Gestalt News & Events from UKAGP
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UKAGP Community Day Attendees at Colet House. Photo by Liz Beauchamp.


Dear <<First Name>>,

If you missed out on our vibrant and energising Trainee and Community Days at Colet House last month, then this newsletter gives you a chance to glimpse what went on in some reflective personal accounts below.

You can check out the AGM minutes and a report on our most recent Consultative Group meeting. There is also a packed News & Events section for you to browse. 

Current events will be affecting us all in different ways; you may be interested to read psychologist/psychotherapist Jay Watts’ newspaper article (whilst not a Gestalt practitioner, she was a Gestalt therapy client).

It was strange being away from the UK during and after the Referendum. I was in India at a time when the UK news was very present and impacting people at the international conference I was attending. Rob Perks, from the UK, was chairing a panel discussion, and he began by saying that he felt sure that for the shocked and depressed British participants, attending an international conference at this time would be a tonic; immersed in the spirit of internationalism, co-operation, anti-racism and collaboration.

That was certainly my experience, and it reminded me of the UKAGP’s membership and involvement in EAGT, and how enriched we were by our collaborative event in 2014, and I sincerely hope that we will be able to continue our connections and engagement with our colleagues across the sea.

We would like to encourage members to send personal reflections and articles for the next newsletter to Jen at


Jacqui Lichtenstern
Chair, UKAGP

Reports from the UKAGP Community Days

UKAGP Trainee Day 

On June 4th, the UKAGP hosted their first ever Student Day, held on the day before the Community Day for the wider UKAGP community. Both days took place at Colet House in London, and future student days are proposed for different parts of the country.

The day was open to any Gestalt student in training and the theme for the day was “Who is in your tribe?” The invitation was for students from all the Gestalt training institutes in the UK to come together for an experiential day without a facilitator or speaker, in order to explore our experience of belonging and not belonging, and to see what would emerge.

You can read a full report of the day on our website.

Community Day and AGM

Our Community Day and AGM on 5th June was conceived as an ‘open space’ to meet creatively and allow the emergent to take place.  This proved to be an intimate, engaging, fun and thoughtful event.

The committee responded to the comments expressed at 'Engaging Our Community’ the UKAGP 2015 conference in Nottingham and decided to ‘provide community space, and to see what might happen’. A start and end time were set and attendees encouraged to bring lunch that could be shared.

Rather than describe the particulars of what happened we share instead some of the comments we received after the conference by our friends and colleagues as they express their own experience.

Read a collection of voices and reflections from community day participants.

Read a reflective article on the day, written for UKAGP by Malcolm Parlett

Here you can read a personal reflection by committee member Dawn Gwilt.

We hope these reports give you a good flavour of the days, and encourage you to come along to our future community days. Many thanks to all who attended and helped to make them such a success!

AGM Summary and Minutes 

The Annual General Meeting of the UKAGP took place at the Study Society, Colet House, 151 Talgarth Road, London W14 9DA on Sunday 5th June 2016.  

We are very pleased to announce that the following are elected or re-elected to the Organising Committee at this year's AGM:  James Bailey (Publicity); Helen Thomas (Trainee Representative); Ruth Nightingale (Finance); and, new member Belinda Harris (Committee Member).

There was space given at this AGM to discuss issues that emerged from the presentations made by Organising Committee members.  I urge you to read the summary of the discussion and the UKAGP Chair’s Report of the past year that form part of the Minutes and Actions of the 2016 AGM.  These are also available on the website for you to view or download.  

Changes to the UKAGP Constitution agreed by the AGM have been made and a new version has been added to the website.

Please do not hesitate to contact Adam Smith (Secretary) if you have any questions concerning the AGM, minutes, actions or constitution at 


New Opportunities for Gestalt Trainees

Dear all

I am a second year trainee at Metanoia Institute. I would like to share a couple of ideas for student projects that came up at the UKAGP Trainee day in June. If anybody is interested in helping with, supporting, or contributing to either of these initiatives, please drop me a line. The training day was great for getting me to think about what more we could be doing within the student community to support our learning, and to support each other - so these are my starters for ten! I'd love to hear from anyone who is interested and has a bit of time to help - whether student or not!

Gestalt Trainee Reading Group.

I'm looking for people who are interested in meeting regularly - face to face or by Skype - to read and discuss gestalt literature. At the trainee day we talked about reading PHG, though we could also look at other literature. I'm imagining we might meet about once a month, so as not to impose too great a demand on already busy people. I've had offers of support from established gestalt therapists/ teachers - so if we read PHG we might be able to access commentaries, or even invite people in to talk to us.

Gestalt Journal for Student Writings

The Journal would be a web-based collection of writings by Gestalt students and recent graduates. It would be a UK, or even an international journal. I would like to create somewhere for people who are younger in gestalt years to find their voice, to bring different perspectives, to take more chances than they would be able to in a tightly edited journal format. I think this would be quite exciting, and it is something I've wanted to do for a while. At this stage, I am looking for people to help me bring this concept to reality... If it spurs your enthusiasm please get in touch.

Phone: 07791 282 812

John Gillespie


UKAGP Consultative Group - Update

The UKAGP Consultative Group met for the third time on Saturday 4th June 2016 at Tulip House, London Bridge.

The Consultative group is the first nationwide ongoing forum for meeting, dialogue and collaboration between all the various Gestalt organisations in the UK.  

Issues discussed by the group included the purpose and ethos of UKAGP and a review of the membership structure of the organisation. 

For further details read my full report of the meeting which can be viewed on our website, along with all previous consultative group summaries.


Jacqui Lichtenstern,


News and Events

Within the UK Gestalt Community

Fear, Love & Learning – Marianne Fry Lecture Day with Dr Belinda Harris

Saturday 17th September 2016,
10.30am to 4.30pm, Armada House, Bristol

In this year’s lecture Belinda will identify how personal experiences of fear, love and learning have informed her understanding of how they are intertwined, and how they are mediated by power relations. Drawing on her experience as a secondary school teacher, psychotherapist, supervisor, trainer and academic, she will argue that awareness and understanding of power dynamics is essential for educators, just as much as for psychotherapists.

She will examine the human cost of focussing on outcomes and results without sufficient attention to intrapersonal, interpersonal and group processes and how systemic fear and the exercise of ‘power over’ directly affect the embodied experience of teaching and learning. Belinda will explore how ‘relational alchemy’ is necessary and how human growth is based on the exercise of ‘power-with’ and ‘power-for’.

After lunch Belinda will facilitate a multi-sensory experiential session to support participants’ own growth and learning in relation to fear, power and love.

Cost: £78 full; £66 earlybird by 30th June; £50 students and concessions
Bookings will open soon. For full details and to book a place, go to the website at

Read More Info

The Therapist As Relational Artist

CPD Event with Rich Hycner @ Gestalt Centre Wales

The aim of this workshop is to explore the professional artistry involved in our psychotherapy work when balancing the client’s emotional safety with her/his growing edge (while in the background the therapist is also balancing her/his own safety and growing edge).

There will be a presentation of theory, numerous individual demonstrations of relational work, and the likelihood of a group demonstration, and in-depth clinical discussions of the demonstrations. If participants wish, there can even be supervised practice sessions.

Rich is particularly focused on the therapeutic relationship as the nexus for healing, and views the therapist’s presence as an especially unique and challenging medium for exploring the relational and experiential dimensions of therapy. The therapist needs to be mindful of her/his emotional range and depth, to be as fully present as possible to the innumerable possibilities of connecting and/or disconnecting in the therapeutic relationship.

DATE: 16th – 18th September 2016

VENUE: Gestalt Centre Wales, ( Venue TBA ) Please advise if you have accessibility requirements

TIMINGS: Arrive from 5.30pm Friday with a prompt start at 6.00 - 9.00pm. Saturday & Sunday 8:30am for a 9.00am – 5.00pm

COST: Early Bird: £360.00 (if booked by 1st May 2016) Otherwise £450.00

Deposit: £100 non-refundable for workshop. If you wish to begin a payment plan to spread costs, please contact me and details can be clarified. post to Anne Pettit at the Gestalt Centre Wales.

HOW TO BOOK: Please confirm attendance to or by post to Anne Pettit at the Gestalt Centre Wales

CANCELLATIONS: If you cancel more than 21 days before the course you will receive a 50% refund. No cancellations or transfers otherwise.

Lunch & Refreshments available (Please advise if there are dietary requirements).

Read More Info

The Gestalt Centre: Large Group Event 

27th to 31st January 2017

As part of our training programme for psychotherapists and counsellors, The Gestalt Centre has held our five-day Large Group Residential (LGR) every year, for the last 20 years.

This year, in response to requests from Gestalt practitioners, and others, we’re opening this event to the wider professional community. This will bring a unique opportunity for professionals from various settings to work together in depth on:

  • diversity and cultural differences
  • large group dynamics
  • regressive processes in groups: the powerful feelings that we can experience in groups
  • leadership
  • community.

The overall aim is to increase our personal effectiveness in our lives and in our professional roles.

Read More Info

Child and Adolescent Gestalt Workshops with Jon Blend 

The following workshops may interest qualified counsellors and psychotherapists or senior trainees who are already working directly with children in a therapeutic or pastoral capacity under supervision. The may also appeal to those wishing to explore their own relationship with creativity and play.  All courses are facilitated by Jon Blend MA, Dip Psych, Dip Child CQSW. For further details see
Working with Children the Oaklander Gestalt Way Sept 30 & Oct 1.  EIATSCYP post- Symposium workshop, Zagreb, Croatia (This taster weekend introduces three accessible arts modalities likely to help troubled children explore angry and sad feelings in therapy).  

The Drama of Being an Adolescent!  Nov 2-5Gestalt Centre with Playback South Theatre Company, London.  (Includes McConville’s developmental model, assessment, incorporating arts methods into embodied treatment, online safety, Field based approaches to working with adolescents and their families).Details here.

A Gestalt Approach to Working with Children April 3-7 2017 Gestalt Centre, London (This week-long course, now in its ninth year, introduces the Oaklander approach to child counselling and therapy. Additional (optional)  certification involves submission of a case study after attending the course.  

SAVE THE DATES! Residential Week: Working with Children the Oaklander Way. July 17-21 near Abingdon, Oxfordshire. This specially extended version of the working with children course takes place at The Abbey, a thirteenth century retreat and healing centre set in beautiful grounds.  A full programme of day and evening activities includes introductory training in several arts modalities, case vignettes, theory, live demonstrations, and clinical discussion. Includes four nights accomodation on site, all meals, work sheets and materials.

See website for further details: or contact me:

Gianni Francesetti is coming to the UK.

The Psychopathological Field Co-created between Client and Therapist: A Relational Perspective

2 day residential workshop at Chartridge Lodge, Chesham, Bucks 
14th and 15th July 2017

£395 (£375 early bird before 31.10.16)
Includes all meals and one night ensuite accommodation

For details and a booking form contact Alison Clare - 

Limited places so don't delay.
Read More Info

Practice Reflection Group with Miriam Taylor

This monthly closed group of up to six members will provide a supportive space in which to reflect on and explore some of the themes and concerns which therapists share. Combining elements of personal development, supervision and training, the group offers a flexible response to emerging needs.

We will meet on Friday mornings, 10.00-12.30, in Wantage, Oxfordshire. The group will count for two and a half hours CPD a month.

Dates are: 16th September, 14th October, and 18th November 2016 and 27th January, 24th February, 24th March, 28th April, 26th May and 23rd June 2017.

The cost is £40 per 2 1⁄2 hour session.

Participants will be expected to commit to all the above dates, and to pay in full regardless of attendance.

For further information and to book a place, please contact Miriam on 07852 761588 or

Book soon – this group is likely to fill fast!

Read More Info

Trauma Reflections: Clinical Practice and the Relational Field

11th and 12th November 2016,

9.30 – 5.00 Ealing, London

Miriam Taylor in conjunction with  Relational Change

This two-day workshop provides an opportunity for trauma-focused group supervision for each of 12 participants. Reflective spaces will be woven through the two days, alternating with short taught and experiential slots.

The embodied presence of the therapist, in awareness of their own history and responses to trauma, will be considered as a key to facilitating growth. Sander’s concept of Fields of Mutual Influence forms a theoretical underpinning, together with applications of neuroscience and trauma theory.

Fee: £195 early bird, before 15th July; thereafter £220, to include lunches.

Venue: NAOS Institute, 3 Montpelier Avenue, Ealing, London W5 2XP, is ten minutes walk from Ealing Broadway station; there is limited on-street parking.

Bookings: Contact Miriam Taylor –

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Supervision Group for Trained Counsellors / Therapists who also work with energetic / spiritual aspects of clients.

Facilitator: Elizabeth Cooksey

This group is designed to be of use to counsellors/psychotherapists who have an interest in exploring their use of the energetic body and developing this aspect of the field. It will be organised around meditative presence, with group discussion and individual presentation of existing client work. It will include managing the boundary/relationship between the counsellor’s intuitive knowledge and the client’s self knowledge.  The agenda will be formed by the needs and interests of the participants within the framework of a safe ethical space.

The group will start 15th Sept 2016 and run monthly.

Venue: At Clearly Destiny, 12 Woburn Walk, London WC1H 0JL

Read More Info

Advanced Post-Qualifying Diploma In Gestalt Adolescent Psychotherapy

Blackfort Adolescent Gestalt Institute

The aim of this two-year in-depth training programme is to explore and appreciate the complexity of adolescent process and to support counsellors/therapists in developing deeper levels of competency in their work with adolescents who are experiencing psychological and developmental difficulties.

The training will address adolescent development and psychotherapy from a Gestalt Relational perspective. There will be a particular focus on the impact of trauma in adolescence as students understand the adolescent’s development as creative adjustment in context and track the interactive evolution of the adolescent’s contact repertoire and the relational field of which the adolescent is a part.

Themes for the training will include:

• The nature of adolescent development, including transformation of the adolescent’s relationship with him/herself, the social world & parents

• Understanding clinical symptoms as developmental field phenomena.

• Utilising a field approach for designing clinical interventions

• The critical role of shame in the clinical situation

• The pragmatics of engaging the adolescent and parents in therapy

Course Duration: Two Years: September 2016 - June 2018 (8 weekends per year)

Course Director: Bronagh Starrs MIAHIP

Course Consultant & Senior Faculty: Mark McConville Ph.D.

Venue: Dundalk, Ireland (40 minutes from Dublin International Airport)

For detailed course description &amp; application forms please email

Addicted to Perfection: Navigating the  Narcissistic Territory

With Gillian Downie and Melanie Beer

Gestalt Centre Wales, Chepstow

14th October 2016 10am – 4pm

Defensive narcissism uses a façade of arrogance and superiority to cover up an underlying sense of worthlessness and inadequacy. When this façade is disrupted, one falls into shame and self hating depression. To avoid this happening, narcissists usually resort to grandiose assertions about their specialness, or their closeness to a person they perceive to be special. Alternatively, they attack another’s self worth, and thus put others down to make themselves feel superior. This can feel very toxic to be on the receiving end. (Paraphrase of Elinor Greenberg 2013)

This workshop will encourage compassion for our own narcissistic wounds and how we work with defensive narcissism in the therapeutic relationship. We will offer a felt sense of navigating the narcissistic territory through experiential learning, including a story enactment. We will reflect verbally on this experience to inform our self development and our role as therapists in this area.

The Facilitators

Gillian Downie is a gestalt psychotherapist and dramatherapist. She has a particular interest in the narcissistic wound and the impact systemic and cultural narcissism has on us and our relationships. Gillian works in private practice and for the NHS with individuals and groups.

Melanie Beer is a dramatherapist, She works in adult mental health and with children and young people. She is interested in the transformative power of play and how this can facilitate growth.

Read More Info
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