Gestalt News & Events from UKAGP
Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the September UKAGP newsletter, which this month is packed full of news & events from the gestalt community as well as two fantastic articles written by two of our members Jon Blend and Raksha Sidhu. We're keen to include more of your reflections on gestalt theory and practice in our newsletter, so please do feel free to get in touch with your ideas / submissions for future editions.

Whilst the Organising Committee (OM) have not been able to meet over the summer, we continue to be in touch, now having monthly Skype check ins in between meetings to support our projects and ongoing work.

We have mostly continued with the roles we held last year, with the exception of Liz Beauchamp who has stepped down from Vice-Chair in order to be able to focus her energies as Conference Organiser - lots to do in the year of a residential conference! We are all delighted to welcome Belinda Harris onto the committee as our new Vice-Chair, knowing she will bring new energy, skills and experience to add to the team.

A reminder that we always welcome contact from members who would like to become more actively involved; let us know where your skills and interests lie and we’ll do some match-making!

Areas may include help with recruiting new members, active participation on our social media, preparation for next year’s residential conference, ongoing work with the new website, further engagement with trainees and pre-accreditation members and involvement with the History of Associating project.

Remember UKAGP is our national Gestalt organisation - it’s up to all of us to co-create our community.

With warm regards,


Chair, UKAGP

Venue Announced for the UKAGP National Gestalt Conference 2017

UKAGP is hosting a unique, integrated conference for the Gestalt Community which will celebrate 25 years of the British Gestalt Journal from the 30th June to 2nd July 2017.

We are thrilled to be able to announce the venue as being the Executive Centre at Wokefield Park

There, the Gestalt community is invited to join a dialogue with: Lynne Jacobs, Joe Melnick, Peter Philippson and Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb who will publish new papers on current aspects of  their work in the Spring 2017 BGJ, which will be explored throughout the conference in seminars and workshops. 

The conference offers an innovative gathering providing a rich opportunity for Gestalt practitioners to engage together, in a unique ‘learning and research’ experiential gathering.

Booking details and prices to follow, watch this space for further information! 

An Invitation to Follow UKAGP on Social Media

As some of you will already be aware, as a committee we're in the process of trying to develop the 'outreach' work we do to raise public awareness of Gestalt as a modality and UKAGP as an organisation.

To that end we've recently set up social media channels on Facebook and Twitter. Those of you who are digitally inclined are warmly invited to follow us there!

Our social media channels are a great way to hear about news & events (as well as promoting your own) and to chat with other professionals in the gestalt community. We're also using them to share and discuss relevant articles from the wider fields of psychology, sociology and politics that might not be strictly relevant for the UKAGP newsletter/website.  

Our Facebook in channel particular is generating a lot of outside interest and is becoming increasingly active, but online communities need people to develop and thrive - so please do come and join us!


Attended Taormina this year? We'd love to hear from You!

For those of you who attended the Joint EAGT/AAGT conference, we would like to encourage you to write about your experiences for our next newsletter (published in December).

It could be about the conference as a whole, reflections on particular workshops or panels you attend, or anything else that you think would be of interest to other members who were unable to make the journey.

Please send your pieces to Jen at by 5pm on Friday 21st October. Thank you! 

Article - The Drama of Being an Adolescent

By Jon Blend

Approximately 10 percent of children and young people aged 5-16 suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder; around 1in 13 deliberately self-harm. Nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression. The number of 15-16 year olds with depression nearly doubled between the 1980s and the 2000s. (Source: Statistics: Young Minds website).

This bleak picture will be familiar to those UKAGP therapists who work in CAMHS, in colleges and schools , also to some working in private practice: we have a problem on our hands. A number of conversion courses have come into being in recent years, enabling psychotherapists qualified to work with adults to gain the knowledge and skills needed to work competently and safely with a younger clientele. UKCP ‘s newly introduced child and adolescent proficiency marker provides an interim assessment measure for another raft of therapists wishing to ‘up skill’ and have their particular experience recognised in this area. It requires a demonstration of relevant knowledge and expertise acquired through specialist cpd and supervision

How did adolescence as a Western phenomenon come about? ...

Continue Reading >>

Article - Reflections on Gestalt Psychotherapy and Hindu Astrology

By Raksha Sidhu 

Hindu spirituality in India is steeped in worshipping idols, images and symbols often of a cosmic nature with rituals and prayers. I am now learning that these images and symbols are metaphors for states of consciousness and life processes and rituals are methods of altering these states. One branch of the Hindu system of understanding life processes is Jyotisha or astrology, the study of planetary positions and the forces and constraints and the effects on one’s life.

I have been living in India for the past 3 months. I previously lived in the UK for 15 years, and experienced the vagaries of life there including training and qualifying as a gestalt psychotherapist. Recently my aunty told me she had found relief and acceptance of where she was in her life upon consulting an astrologer. I was sceptical of her claim and also curious what my reading my be if I consulted. As per the pathway of referral in India, my aunty suggested I meet a priest who knew someone she knew, whose son said he knew someone who can give me a reading.

As a Gestalt psychotherapist and having studied existential philosophies, I felt sneakily excited to allow a stranger with no prior knowledge of me to narrate my life processes to me, bequeathing responsibility for my life course, to the extent he would predict. I was also preparing to dismiss anything he said. In this I noticed transference of the authority my parents held in creating a narrative for me when I was a child, one which often did not fit my experience. The astrologer was a man, a patriarch figure, who would use the authority of an ancient Hindu tradition in explaining my circumstances to me...

Continue Reading >>

News and Events

Within the UK Gestalt Community

The Ageing Process: a Trilogy of Workshops @ Manchester Gestalt Centre

Community CPD Workshops – facilitated by Alessandra Merizzi

A trilogy of community workshops oriented to the exploration of psychological aspects of ageing in a Gestalt Therapy key.

The workshops are open to anyone from any background with an interest in this theme.

Cost: £15.00 (Early bird of £10.00 still available for some dates)

Payment methods: by cheque, or through the Manchester Gestalt Centre website.

Also send in (or write on the web booking form) a paragraph or two about yourself and your interest in this workshop, plus your contact details and email address. Some reduced fee places may be available. Please enquire if you think you may be eligible. Refunds will only be given if for any reason we are unable to offer you a place or if the workshop is cancelled.

A certificate of attendance will be given out at the end of the day.

15th Annual British Gestalt Journal Seminar Day

The Annual BGJ Seminar Day is an opportunity for gestalt practitioners; friends, writers and reviewers of the Journal, to engage in conversation, exchange ideas and experiences and to get involved in workshops together. This year, we are delighted to announce that Gaie Houston and Dr. Tim Read will facilitate the day. More information about the topics and facilitators can be found below.

Date: November 19th 2016
Cost: £40
Location: Friends House, London

Vegetarian lunch provided. Cake contributions welcome! (please label with ingredients).

Awareness, Phantasy and Physics with Gaie Houston

An important distinction exists between consciousness and awareness. Gestalt Therapy is concerned with raising awareness.  Non-ordinary states of awareness are in most people’s experience, yet for the most part only the vocabulary of pathology describes them. This talk aims to remind us of the ways in which this therapy can enhance our awareness and use of them.

The Healing Power of Non Ordinary States of Consciousness with Dr. Tim Read

Discussing some of the key concepts of archetypal psychology drawing on Plato, Jung and Grof, while concentrating on the elements of archetypal openings that have most relevance for the psychotherapist. Tim asks how can we access, harness and integrate the depth and power of numinous experience for therapeutic use and for psycho spiritual development?

5.5 Continuous Professional Development hours will be offered to all attendees.

Book Tickets

Advanced therapy group @ EGI

with Graham Colbourne

This exciting new, ongoing advanced group (up to 12 people) will meet four times a year for three days. It will interest people wishing to work in areas which have been elusive or difficult. The group will bring a level of sophistication which will support exploration of early experiences which are significant in current life, where growth can be maximised.

Graham is skilled in working with embodied relational process, attending to emergent process, and supporting creative exploration using a variety of media. This will be a place for exploring the gamut of human experience: love, fear, destructiveness, loss, holding, nourishment, joy and the possibility of authentic and compassionate relationship.

Applications are welcome from people who have already spent time travelling this path of growth, e.g. have undertaken a training in counselling or psychotherapy and/or are familiar with receiving support and taking risks towards wholeness.

Location: Edinburgh Gestalt Institute.

Dates: 18-20 Nov 2016; 3-5 Feb 2017; 14-16 April 2017; 2-4 June 2017

Time: 9:30am-5pm.

Cost: £1280 including a non-refundable deposit of £200.

To book a place on this workshop or if you would like further information, please contact EGI on our website. Alternatively call us on 0131 228 3841.

Association of Dance Movement Psychotherapy’s
AGM & Conference 2016

Pathways and Partnerships

Saturday, 15th October 2016. 
Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA

With recent events creating turmoil at many levels, it is a fitting time to celebrate the impact, healing and support creative therapies bring to communities and individuals affected by disconnection, division and fear.

In October 2015 ADMP UK was accepted as an organisational member of UKCP.  The past year has seen us build on this partnership with our UKCP partners and drama, music and art therapies and pave the way for new pathways into UKCP membership. Join us in celebration of this significant achievement and reflect on our present pathways and partnerships and determine new ones for the future.

We welcome all psychotherapists to join and explore how we can model embodied inclusion, connection and acceptance.

Conference—keynote speakers

The impact of extreme stress on refugees and their helpers: how can creative modalities of counselling and psychotherapy be useful?       

Prof. Dr. Claire Schaub-Moore CPsychol, AFBPsS, MA DMP ADMP UK (UKCP registered) will present her current research with refugees, and discuss how movement oriented and trauma-centred therapy supports volunteer and professional helpers in their work.

Hums, humans and humanity: exploring e-motion through making music. 

Jon Blend MA Dip Psych Dip Child (UKCP reg.) MBACP CQSW will facilitate a workshop based on ‘Lifemusic’, a socially inclusive improvisatory practice using simple instruments and voice to engender fun, well-being and ‘communitas’.

Join us to:

  • Enhance understanding of movement-based creative therapy
  • Make new contacts to build partnerships and opportunities
  • Engage with therapists from your own and other disciplines
  • Gain 3.5 CPD hours
  • Take time for personal reflection

Gain new skills and insight into:

  • Using the voice as a therapeutic tool
  • Working with refugee communities
  • Forging new pathways for future working


  • AGM 9:30 am -12:30 pm
  • Conference 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Read More Info 

Introduction to Gestalt

Dates - 08/10/2016 - 09/10/2016
Time 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location - Manchester Gestalt Centre

Facilitated by: Joy Appleby

This 2-day workshop offers an introduction to the Gestalt approach. It presents a blend of theory, practice and experiential exercises that enable participants to gain an understanding and flavour of Gestalt. It is also an opportunity to develop greater self awareness and to work with other people in a group environment.

This interactive workshop is suitable for anyone who wants to learn more about Gestalt, including people working in the voluntary sector, mental health and other helping professions, counsellors, psychotherapists and trainees. If you would like to discuss the training or require more information please contact Joy either by email or telephone at the Manchester Gestalt Centre.

Read More Info

Hidden Facets: How do you challenge or collude with society’s expectations of you as a woman?

A half day workshop in London with Jenny Colls and Judy Graham

Sunday November 6th 1-5pm
335 City Road London EC1V 1LJ Room 7
Cost £75

What stops you being who you want to be and doing what you want to do?

In this workshop we explore the many and various ways we, individually, inhibit ourselves and the way society conspires to encourage this. This is an opportunity to work with other women who also feel – if not now, when?

This is the third in a series of this theme. We welcome back those who have worked with us and encourage new participants to join us. It is also a stand alone workshop. It will count as 4 CPD hours and a certificate of attendance is provided for those who want it.

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:

Irish Forum for Counselling & Psychotherapy

'Understanding the legacy of the 1916 Easter Rising through the lens of Transgenerational Trauma'

Join us for a presentation and Q & A session by Roz Carroll and Jon Blend 

Roz Carroll is a Chiron-trained body psychotherapist. She teaches ‘Contemporary Theories of Psychotherapy’ on the MA in Integrative Psychotherapy at The Minster Centre.  She is a regular speaker for Confer and author of numerous articles and chapters, including: ‘The Blood-dimmed Tide: Witnessing war and working with the collective body in Authentic Movement’ in Psychotherapy and Politics International. Roz is part of the Irish diaspora.

Jon Blend is a relational gestalt /integrative child psychotherapist and Lifemusic practitioner with a background in social work and psychiatry. He works in private practice and teaches at The Gestalt and Minster Centres and internationally.  Jon’s publications include a chapter in Relational Child, Relational Brain (eds. Harris and Lee) and ‘I Got Rhythm’ (International Gestalt J, 2010 32,2.) He performs regularly  with Playback South , a ‘communitas’ oriented theatre company and  is the son of a Viennese Kindertransportee whose diaspora journey began at age nine.  

Information and Booking: For booking information please email: Ann Conlon at

The lecture begins promptly at 12.00pm & lunch will be served at 1.30pm

Tickets are limited and the closing date for booking is Friday November 4th 2016. 

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

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