UKAGP Newsletter ~ July 2014
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UKAGP Newsletter ~ July 2014

Dear Gestalt Colleagues

We have a wonderful range of events and courses happening within the Gestalt community over the next six months, and we hope you will enjoy reading about them below and choosing what to take participate in.  Please let us know of any further events for our next newsletter, which will now be a regular mailing every two months, the next issue being August 2014; please send all event details and article submissions to by 31st July.

Conference Tickets -  Early Bird rates now available until 17th July 

‘Enriching Our Community’

Please join us for our Autumn conference and pre-conference evening social event, to coincide with EAGT members’ visit to London for their AGM and meetings.  This is a unique opportunity to meet our European colleagues, some fine and distinguished Gestaltists, authors and leaders in the field, some of whom will offer workshops and join us for our conference.

with Jenny Mackewn , Gianni Francesetti, Malcolm Parlett, Billy Desmond, and  others to be confirmed, and workshops offered by Dieter Bongers, Guus Klaaren, Nurith Levi,   Helen Rowlands,  Tomaz Flajs, Peri Mackintosh, Jan Roubal, Jon Blend,  Judy Graham, Jenny Colls,  
James Bailey & Simon Jacobs


Pre-Conference Social & Dinner from 7 PM on Saturday 20th
Conference 9.30-5.30 on Sunday 21st September 2014 

EARLY BIRD RATES for conference tickets extended until 17th July 

Special trainee discounts held until 30th August,
but subject to availability - limited places so book before then!

•We are delighted to welcome members of the European Association for Gestalt Therapy (EAGT) to London, and have grasped this unique opportunity for our communities to meet by organising a dinner and social event, followed by our one day conference. All inclusive tickets start at £105. 

• Further details are on our website including the link to Eventbrite to buy tickets. - join us - queries to Natasha Wilson 




Keynote Presenter: Jenny Mackewn - Transformative Change in a Volatile World

Panel Discussion: Gianni Francesetti, Malcolm Parlett, Billy Desmond and others to be confirmed...

 Conference Workshops

Yes we care! Gestalt therapy is more than a psychotherapeutic concept
with Dieter Bongers, Guus Klaaren, Nurith Levi from the Human Rights & Social Responsibility Committee of the EAGT.

Dr. Bongers is a Psychologist, Dr. phil. and Gestalt Psychotherapist.  He runs the training in Gestalt therapy at IGG in Berlin, and in Gestalt OE at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland (GIC); also a training in Couples and Family therapy at the  "Center for Intimate Studies" (Mass).  Since 1984 he has worked as a Psychotherapist and Consultant with addicted people. From 1991 - 2001 Dr. Bongers worked as the Therapeutic Director of an Institution for Correction with young male offenders. Presently he works in private practice in Liestal, Switzerland.  He has represented the NOGT of Switzerland branch of EAGT since 2008.
The Human Rights and Social Responsibility Committee (HR&SRc) of EAGT offers a workshop with a mini lecture included about the social political dimension of Gestalt therapy. Gestalt therapy, like all psychotherapy modalities, is always rooted in a social and political field. From this point of view we can state that all our interventions have a political impact.

In this workshop we especially focus on the question ‘how does your Gestalt identity appear in your life and engagement outside the therapy room?'
We will link our personal experiences with the Gestalt theory rooted in Paul Goodman’s legacy. 

Filming Empathy
with Helen Rowlands: UKCP Integrative Psychotherapist and Director of The Welsh Psychotherapy Partnership.

This workshop starts by screening ”My Mother” by Welsh director Jay Bedwani. Jay’s film won the prize for best U.K. short in the 2013 IRIS Film Festival and is not currently on general release. This will be followed by an exploration of the themes of attachment, transformation, body image and empathy. It may also be possible (schedule allowing) for Jay to join with the group for part or all of the time so that an exploration of process and perspective from the director's & viewers' positions can take place.

Working with Metaphors
with Tomaz Flajs: B.A., dipl. GPTI, holder of the GATLA certificate of proficiency and ECP, and a full member of the EAGT. I am President of the Slovene Association for Gestalt therapy SLOGES, Vice-President of the Slovene Umbrella Organization for Psychotherapy, and co-founder of GITA Institute for Gestalt Therapy, Ljubljana, where I work as gestalt psychotherapist, trainer and supervisor. I train also abroad, in Croatia, Austria, Russia, Georgia and Germany. I have written a few articles on Gestalt therapy in Slovene language, among them 'Men and Shame' and 'Use of Metaphors in Gestalt Therapy', published in the Slovene Review for psychotherapy Kairos.
I (metaphorically) understand metaphors as a 'bridge': a bridge between figure and ground, and a bridge between the referential frame of the client and the referential frame of the therapist. As such, they can be a tool of contact (and they can sometimes be also a way of deflecting). Gestalt therapy, with its phenomenological and experimental attitude, offers rich possibilities for working with metaphors. The workshop is a mixture of theoretical input, where I present my understanding of metaphors as the ground for different uses of metaphors, and experiential exercises aimed at getting more acquainted with metaphors in practice.

Freeforming - Contact Meditation

with Peri Mackintosh is a psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer at the Bethlem Royal Hospital and has over 30 years experience working with people with severe mental disorders. He pioneered mindfulness based groups in residential psychiatric units in the 1980’s. He originated Freeforming Contact Meditation and is an examiner for the Metanoia Institute Gestalt Program in London. He began studying vipassana and Zen meditation in 1973 and trained at London School of Contemporary Dance and Laban Centre for Movement Studies. He is a black belt in Aikido. 

He has performed, choreographed, and composed for stage and television. 
Living in our thoughts can feel stale, stuck and out of touch. Escape the mind trap. Explore the expanded awareness we enjoy when we connect. Tuning to each other, thoughts fall away.  Sensing our bodies at an energetic level brings us alive. We feel, move, sound out. Finding deeper connection, our confidence grows. We discover we can trust, let go and surrender to what is happening now. Habits and tensions dissolve. The present moment opens afresh. We liberate a playful freedom. We call this Freeforming. Both a recreational activity and a training in attunement the practice has proved a beneficial group intervention with people with severe mental illness.  
Freeforming was developed by Peri Mackintosh drawing from Zen, Aikido, Gestalt and the improvisatory arts. Be prepared to move, sound and touch.

Do our interventions help our clients or do they help us? 
with Jan Roubal, M.D. is a therapist, psychiatrist, supervisor and psychotherapy trainer. He teaches
psychotherapy and psychiatry at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. He has been working in a psychiatric hospital, mainly with depressive patients. Currently he works in a private practice.  He is a member of the European Association of  Psychotherapy, European Association for Gestalt Therapy (chairing the Research Committee), Society for Psychotherapy Research and Society for Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration. He publishes texts mostly on psychotherapy in clinical practice and has co-edited two books: a Czech publication „Current Psychotherapy“ (Portal, 2010) and „Gestalt Therapy in Clinical Practice. From Psychopathology to the Aesthetics of Contact“ (FrancoAngeli, 2013). Contact: ,
Therapeutic interventions we use, for example an empathic question, experiment suggestion, or frustrating silent pause, are directed to our clients and aimed to support their healing and development. At the same time, however, these interventions serve us, therapists, to cope with our own experiences in the therapy session. They dissolve our anxiety, drag us out from helplessness, release our frustration. 

Examples of such functions of interventions will be presented from the work with depressive clients. A simple tool to recognise these functions and work with them will be offered to participants and they will have a possibility to see their own clinical work case from this offered perspective.

More Musical Innovations: Putting the Hum back into Being Human!
with Jon Blend MA CQSW is of European descent, an Adult, Child & Adolescent UKCP Registered Psychotherapist, Supervisor, trainer* and  a Community Musician. He  performs  with Playback South Theatre Company ( His chapter - “Am I Bovvered? " (In Harris and Lee (eds.) Relational Child, Relational Brain, (2011), Gestalt Press,  Taylor & Francis) describes psychotherapy undertaken in a UK NHS Child and Family Mental Health Service that helped a selectively mute adolescent find self-support through music-making. Jon also works as a Lifemusician in various settings  exploring musical improvisation for therapeutic purposes and for well being. He recently presented this workshop at the 2nd Violet Oaklander Foundation Conference (, Malibu, California.   Correspondance: *see short courses link: 

This fun, hands-on workshop draws inspiration jointly from the music-making approach of Gestalt therapist Dr. Violet Oaklander and the Lifemusic approach of Jungian/ Community music therapist Dr. Rod Paton. Both inclusive methods aid the development of contact; they promote health and well being and help foster the self-support required for further expression for children and adults across the lifecycle.

Using simple ‘instant access’ instruments that require no prior learning or skill to play we will focus on awareness, exploring emergent sound-making, unconstrained by adherence to melody or rhythm. As we explore our music-making the group may wish to reflect briefly on processes arising e.g. of attunement, confluence,  introjection, co-regulation, power/control and communitas.
Used within a trusting dialogic relationship these  ways of making music may appeal to and help engage many who find difficulty with verbalising their concerns. The approaches can be applied to a variety of individual, group, family and community contexts.
All participants are welcome - no musical skills are needed or assumed!

Hidden Facets ~ How do you challenge or collude with society’s expectations of you as a woman?
with Judy Graham and Jenny Colls
Judy Graham, B.A, MSc, LCSW is a gestalt psychotherapist and supervisor with a private practice in North London. She previously worked as a primary care counsellor developing expertise in brief therapy and published her research findings. In 1979 she became the first female director of Alcohol Recovery Project and established the first women’s alcohol service.  Judy has served on the board of UK Gestalt organizations, and the Association of Humanistic Psychology Practitioners, and she was UK regional rep for AAGT for 10 years.  She has authored articles for the British Gestalt Journal, Therapy Today, a chapter in Humanistic Approaches to Psychotherapy and a chapter, Women and Aggression in Continuity and Change: Gestalt Therapy Now.  She offers workshops on ageing/midlife crises, assertiveness, empowerment of women and finding your voice. Her special interests include addictions, eating disorders, body work and cultural displacement. She is currently studying Native American Medicine Wheel teachings. Contact:,
 Jenny Colls MA is a UKCP Registered Gestalt psychotherapist and supervisor with a private practice near Totnes in Devon. She is also a coach and supervises coaches, and has trained in Family Constellations work.  She is an external supervisor at Leeds Metropolitan University and an external coach for senior staff at the Institute of Education, London University.  In the late 1990s she pioneered a psychotherapy service in primary care to which GPs referred directly, and over the last twenty years she has been running therapy, supervision and personal growth groups both here and in Iceland.  She has a special interest in Field Phenomena and her long term focus and study is on our capacity for presence and that which supports it.  To this end she is currently learning with the Ridhwan School.  Contact:
The cultural and social field is often rich with projections about how a woman “should” be, act and look. They can easily be introjected.  Such interruptions of contacting may create fixed Gestalts restricting the possibilities of a more authentic sense of being.

This didactic and experiential workshop will create an environment for women to value their journeys and discover something unique here and now.  We will be supporting each other with various exercises to raise awareness and find some new facet of ourselves both as individuals and together.

'Impact of Social Media on Therapy' 
with James Bailey & Simon Jacobs

Workshop details to follow


2014 / 2015

Shame and Belonging
~ A Somatic-Relational Approach
With Sue Glasser
Saturday 12th July 2014
9:30 - 5:00pm
London EC1

Ffi: SueGlasserFlyerShame


The Therapist is Present
~ Relational Artistry
With Rich Hycner
15 - 17th August 2014
Lydiard Park Conference Centre 
BGJ May 2014

International Body-Mind Workshop
With Miriam Granthier (Gestalt Psychotherapist) and
Imogen Ragone (Teacher of Alexander Technique)

2nd August 2014
10:00am - 4:30pm

A fun day of noticing and awareness, body work and self care.
This course ran last summer and was fully booked.

More details on
Ffi: Body-Mind workshop 2014

Marianne Fry Lecture Day
Saturday 27th September 2014,
10:30am – 4:30pm
Armada House, Bristol
With Toni Gilligan

Distinguished Gestalt trainer Toni Gilligan has identified a contradiction between a major Gestalt theory we all subscribe to and what we put into practice in our own back yard. The theory is that of the indivisible field, and the contradiction lies in our dealings with each other, in the complex but increasingly significant field of therapeutic ethics, and specifically complaints procedures, a topic that every therapist needs to think about, and know about.

She will explore the contradictions in this year’s Marianne Fry Lecture and experiential session, entitled Moving Beyond ‘Who's to Blame?’ A Critique of Complaints Procedures.
Marianne Fry Lecture 2014 Poster

For full details and to book a place go to the website at:

Launch of New Programme in Leading and Facilitating Transformative Change in a Volatile World: A Masters in Organisational, Team and Personal Development from
a Systemic Gestalt and Complexity Perspective 

At the Metanoia Institute in Partnership with Middlesex University
Entry into Year 1 and 2 commencing October 2014

Our core faculty team consists of:
Jenny Mackewn, Programme Leader

Simon Cavicchia, Core Tutor for Year 1
Eliat Aram, CEO of The Tavistock Institute

Jenny is a specialist in Organisational, Personal and Ecological Constellations as well as author of two well-known books on Gestalt, with an interest in applying Complexity to organisational systems.  Simon is a specialist in Organisational Gestalt and Embodied Approaches to Executive Coaching and Eliat is a specialist in Complexity as well as CEO of an internationally renowned organisation.

Ffi: Launch of New Programme in Organisational Development from a Gestalt
For more information or an application form: please contact Jenny Mackewn ( or Sarah Osman ( 

Changing Relationships: Certificate in Couples Work 
Beginning October, 2014 
Led by Dr Lynda Osborne, Carole Ashton and Dr Marie-Anne Chidiac

This programme of five two ‐ day workshops will build your confidence and skills in providing couples counselling and psychotherapy.

The British Gestalt Journal
13th annual BGJ Seminar Day
Future Sense: Five Explorations for an Awakening World
with Malcolm Parlett
Saturday 22nd November 2014
11:00am - 4:00pm
Venue: Toynbee Hall, Lecture Hall, 28 Commercial Road, London E1 6LS.


Lynne Jacobs & Gary Yontef
5 day workshop

1- 5th April 2015 
Lydiard Park Conference Centre

'Enriching Our Community'
20/21 September 2014 Conference

It is not too late to get involved with this year's conference. There's an opportunity to help with organising, setting up, running stalls, advertising on social media, programme design, providing support, offering overnight accommodation to colleagues etc

JUNE 26-28 2015

We are looking to hold our next conference in a venue located in the north of England. Please let us know if you have any recommendations or suggestions for suitable conference venues; they will be very gratefully received!

Conference Call

Would you like to take part in a group to design, plan, and run the next UKAGP conference with support from the committee and administrator?

We are looking for inspiring, creative, practical, focused individuals who would like to take part in this opportunity, sharing skills and learning new ones in the process.

For either of the above please email us via Natasha at  


2014 Marianne Fry Lecture: ‘Moving beyond who’s to blame: a critique of Complaints Procedures’

A Request for Assistance

Dear Colleague

I will be giving this year’s Marianne Fry Lecture, in which I want to explore, and initiate a conversation about, the congruence and non-congruence between key underlying assumptions of our theory and the structure and assumptions of our complaints procedures.

As part of this I wish to discuss the experience of complaining, and/or being complained against.

I would be very grateful to hear from anyone who is willing to talk with me about their experience of complaints procedures, either of making a complaint or seriously considering complaining; or of being complained against, or under threat of being complained against.  I don’t need (or want) to know the specifics of the complaint, or whether or not it was upheld.

I will treat all conversations in the strictest confidence. I do not need to know your name so if you prefer you can text me a mobile number to contact you on. I will want to use some comments in my lecture as illustrations: I will negotiate that at the time of our conversation, and will agree with you how this will be disguised and made anonymous.  

Thank you very much for considering this.

Toni Gilligan

UKCP accredited; Director and Tutor, The Gestalt Centre, London. 
tel: 01386 561528 mob: 07799 626269


UKAGP Administrator: Natasha Wilson

Following on from my assisting with the organisation and administration of the UKAGP Residential Conference in June 2013, I was invited to continue working for the UKAGP for a further 18months as a pilot scheme.  I shall be assisting with membership processing, and giving support to the Committee in whatever administrative and organisational capacity is needed.  I will also be assisting with a review of the administrative and operational systems currently in place to increase efficiency and coherence.

My background is in health care, complementary therapies, and administration and I now combine these skills in my work.  Along with the administrative role for the UKAGP, I also work as General Practice Manager of The Practice Rooms, an organisation that provides space for the practice of talking and complementary therapies.

I am passionately interested in the process of change and transformation and so am very happy to be working with the UKAGP.  

Jacqui Lichtenstern – Chair

I have been working therapeutically in a variety of contexts since age 14, including integrated play, youth and care work, and completed my MSc in Gestalt Psychotherapy at Metanoia after an initial training in Integrative counselling. I am passionate about making connections, engaging with the wider community from the beginning; becoming  a member of GPTI, AAGT & PCSR, attending diverse conferences and CPD training across modalities, assisting teaching at Manchester Gestalt Centre and to prison inmates, and facilitating groups & workshops on issues of identity, belonging and mixed heritage. I have a small private practice and work as a therapeutic mentor to university students, and as part-time librarian at Metanoia. I am delighted to represent UKAGP in EAGT, and see my role as playing a part in enabling UKAGP to grow and develop into becoming more widely known as the National Organisation for Gestalt Therapy (NOGT) in the UK. 

Rod London – Secretary

I worked for 20 years as a primary school teacher in various Birmingham schools. Alongside this I trained initially at Birmingham Counselling Centre, followed by psychotherapy training at Metanoia. By the time I graduated in 2011, I had left teaching and currently work co-managing a university counselling and mental health team, in GP practices and run a small private practice.

I see UKAGP as offering a unifying opportunity for what sometimes seems a very disparate gestalt community. It could become the first place anyone interested in gestalt looks for information about gestalt practice and practitioners in the UK. Additionally, UKAGP events and communications have provided a sense of belonging for me - something I hope you find too.

Ruth Nightingale – Finance Officer

I came to Gestalt in 2006 having reached a stuck place in my working and personal life. Gestalt made sense and I began studying for a career in this field; qualifying with an MSc in Gestalt Psychotherapy from Middx/Metanoia in June 2011.

During this time I was fortunate to be able to also study with Ruella Frank in New York. This complementary training on Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy (DSP) enhanced my Gestalt learning and remains a clear interest in my client work, and I deliver Introductory workshops in DSP and Relational Movement. 

I live and work in London; am in private practice, support a counselling placement delivering to NHS patients, provide business consultancy for counselling services in the region, am an assistant tutor at Metanoia Institute and run a Women’s Therapy Group. 

I joined UKAGP at its inception, and bring to the committee my skills learnt through running my own business along with a need for order! I have a passion for our work which has led me to meet Gestalt Therapists from all over the world. The opportunity to be part of a UK community that brings peer support and peer learning both face to face and virtual is what UKAGP can provide through its membership. 

James Bailey - Membership Recruitment, Publicity and Marketing Officer

Background: I have spent my nearly 30 year business career working in UK and International media, primarily in advertising sales and commercial strategic/business development, and currently work at CNN, the international news broadcaster. In 2003 I began my training as a Psychotherapist at the Gestalt Centre, graduating in 2013, and I now balance my working week between CNN, private practice and voluntary therapy work in London and Sevenoaks.

Committee Role:  My role in UKAGP is to ensure the function and importance of the organisation is clearly explained to existing and new members, training institutions and organisations. I have a real interest in ensuring that members have a clear understanding of why UKAGP exists, the benefits and importance of membership to themselves and the UK Gestalt community, and that you develop a sense of how you can actively give to the community. All issues I heard voiced at the 2013 Conference. I would value any input you might like to offer so UKAGP can begin to offer you support in your life as a Gestaltist. Feel free to tell me what you’d like us to be/offer you, by email at 

Jane Flint – Regional and Special Interest Groups Co-ordinator

My Gestalt training began in 2002 with GPTI at the York Psychotherapy Training Centre. In 2009 I completed my MSc in Gestalt Psychotherapy at Metanoia. Prior to my MSc, I completed an MA in Integrated Counselling Studies at the University of Nottingham.  I have clinical experience in the NHS, voluntary sector and private practice. As Regional and Special Interest Groups Co-ordinator, I’m interested in facilitating the formation of regional groups and special interest groups by helping members to connect with each other.  If you are interested in starting or being part of a group, please get in touch with me.

Helen Thomas – Trainee Representative

I began my Gestalt training in 2010 at Metanoia/Middlesex and am currently in my 4th year of study.  My current placement work is at a low cost counselling service in west London and I plan to begin a small private practice in 2014. My background is in software development and management in both the private and public sectors and I now work at the Houses of Parliament.

As Trainee Representative, I’m interested in how the wider Gestalt community can both support and benefit from the trainee community especially as trainees transition to fully fledged therapists. I am aware how vital peer support has been throughout my training so far and want to keep giving and receiving this as I progress professionally. I volunteered to be the trainee representative at the June 2013 conference (when I was one of two trainees there!) and I enjoy bringing naive and challenging questions to the committee on behalf of newer therapists as well as trying to help answer them. 

Dawn Gwilt – Co-Welsh Representative and Pre-accreditation and Research Representatitve

In July 2013 I finished the taught part of my psychotherapy training at the Welsh Psychotherapy Partnership in Cardiff.  I am now working towards UKCP accreditation, and therefore I am very interested in finding ways to support those of us at this stage of training - pre-accreditation/ post-training.  I am also keen to encourage more links with research, and would be very interested to hear from members on either of these topics. 

Mel Ovens – Co-Welsh Representative

I am a contemporary Gestalt therapist who works relationally, and am influenced by existential and attachment theory. I co-founded The Welsh Psychotherapy Partnership (WPP) in 2007, and am looking forward to sharing the Welsh representative post with Dawn. 

Committee Member Stepping Down:

Danny Boyle – Membership Committee Chair

Danny Boyle writes: “I was due to end my term on the committee at the next AGM, and was hoping to complete the year, but due to other commitments I have not been able to find the necessary time to remain a full active member of the committee. Therefore I tender my resignation.”

The committee wishes to thank Danny for all the hours and hard work he volunteered during the 3 years of involvement on the committee as Secretary and Membership Committee Chair. We wish him well for the future, and look forward to his continued involvement as an active UKAGP member.

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