UKAGP Newsletter ~ January 2015
View this email in your browser
UKAGP Newsletter ~ January 2015



1.   Letter from Chair

2.   Administrator Pilot Scheme Review

3.   Letter from Natasha

4.   Administrator Vacancy + link to role description on website

5.   Conference 2015

6.   Honorary Treasurer Vacancy

7.   Updates from Committee Members

8.   2016 Conference

9.   Revised Roles

10. Birmingham Gestalt Group Advert


1.       Letter from Chair

The new Organising Committee has been busy during the past few months beginning to work towards our 2015 Objectives as stated in our Strategy Document. One of the aims is for the organisation to be less dependent on a few people by engaging the membership to be more actively involved, so we are delighted with the positive energy and engagement of 18 people who are working together to create our next conference – more details below. Another way we hope to engage you, is by keeping you up to date with the committee’s work throughout the year through bulletins such as these (partly inspired by the new GPTI Executive Committee’s recent introduction of sharing summaries of their meetings with the membership via jiscmail).

We have had two committee meetings since the conference, and with new members joining the committee, we discussed and reviewed our roles. After my first year as Chair, I recognised the support in the structure that AAGT have with their President, Vice-President and President Elect, and proposed that we create the post of a Vice-Chair. This was agreed and Liz volunteered to step in to the new role. Jane Flint volunteered to act as assistant Secretary to support Rod in his post and Helen and Dawn proposed working together to promote and engage with trainees and training institutes.  James’ role was clarified to focus on marketing and publicity, growing the membership, whilst the administering of the membership including collecting subscriptions etc. is more obviously connected to Ruth in her role as finance officer. The committee is now seeking a replacement Honorary Treasurer to support Ruth – see later.....

Conference feedback was discussed, specifically regarding membership experience of the AGM and we acknowledged the request for a slower pace and more reflection time.

We followed up on some of the strategic objectives and agreed a number of things, one of which was the implementation of ‘Google Apps for Work’, which links and synchronises ukagp user accounts under an umbrella organisation, resulting in a professional, accountable, transparent system, and a virtual office. Importantly, email archives will no longer be lost when committee members step down. The financial investment is already paying off, with members being able to access and edit documents online, and the resource is proving to be invaluable in supporting the new the new Conference Organising Group too.

I invite you to take a few minutes to read the news and updates below, and to contact us or write in with any responses which can be included in the next mailing.

2.       Administrator Pilot Scheme Review

Background: It was proposed at the summer conference in 2012 that an 18 month pilot scheme be introduced for the engagement of an administrator to aid with the general administration of the organisation.  It was suggested on the acknowledgement that leaving the administration of a growing national organisation to temporary volunteer committee members was an inefficient and unrealistic expectation, and the support of a paid post to carry out regular tasks particularly around membership administration would make more sense.

The pilot scheme ended December 31st 2014 and since then Natasha and the Committee have undertaken a review of the experience. A short summary of this is as follows:

Successes: Having a central email address managed by someone who would respond to enquiries on a regular basis, organise membership mailings and provide a central place for administering documents has improved our service significantly. Natasha has also initiated a complete overhaul of the membership database, implemented new systems and processes and undertaken many of the tasks in organising the last conference including liaising with the venue. She offered invaluable support to the Conference Organising Committee.

Learnings: There has been significant learning through the process and we have identified areas would benefit from greater clarity such as defining expectations, requirements and reporting channels and including the administrator in regular committee communications eg meetings/minutes etc. so that they can have a better understanding of the overview or implications of actions. We recognise that the role requires a more flexible approach to hours as there are peaks and troughs across the calendar year.

In conclusion the pilot scheme has been considered a great success in enabling us to move the organisation up to another level, and the feedback we have received from the membership supports this. Using this review, and looking at similar roles and job descriptions, we have created a detailed description of the role for an ongoing post, and are now looking to recruit someone to deliver the tasks associated with the role on an on-going basis.

Although Natasha has decided it is time for her to move on, we are delighted that she is willing to work with us on an interim basis until we have found someone to take on the role.

The committee would like to voice their appreciation for commitment and patience that Natasha has put in to what has been at times a challenging post.

3.   Letter from Natasha

The role of UKAGP administrator for the pilot scheme involved admin support, newsletter formatting, membership database overhaul, identifying problem areas within the administrative system and proposing solutions, conference administration and support.  The role has been both interesting and challenging and I would like to thank the UKAGP for this opportunity to grow in ways I would never have imagined when I took on this role.  Warmest wishes to all members, Natasha

4.   Administrator Vacancy

This is a great opportunity for a self-motivated person who enjoys flexible working hours to become involved with a young and dynamic voluntary organisation as a self-employed part time administrator.

Please pass this on to anyone who may be interested; details of the role are on our website click here

To apply please send your CV and a cover letter describing your interest in the role what skills you would bring to it, by 6th February 2015 to:


5.       Conference 2015 -  3rd-5th July ‘Engaging Our Community’

Liz Beauchamp - Chair of Conference Organising Group (COG)

As Jacqui states in her intro we have a full team to organise the conference this year.  The management and strategy group made up of me, Adam Julius Smith and Ruth Nightingale (Finance Officer) have been busy creating the plan and business case, whilst the other work group leaders have been busy liaising with their groups and thinking about action plans and overlaps.  We had the first meeting of the COG work group leaders in Mid January, which proved very useful and we’re all feeling much more confident about the way forward and how we can work together.    

The working groups are made up as follows:          


UKAGP Conference Organising Group (COG) 2015 & Working Groups

Management and Strategy


Liz Beauchamp: Chair

Adam Julius Smith: Vice-Chair

Ruth Nightingale: Finance

Working Groups

Leadership Role & COG

Members of Working Groups

1. Programming

Jacqui Lichtenstern

Piero Dell'Anno

2. Marketing

James Bailey

Gilead Yeffett

3. Venue

Belinda Harris

Emma Flax & Hilary Holford

4. Workshops

Merilyn Parker

Vienna Duff

5. Process Groups

Jane Flint

Rachael Kellett

6. Social Event

Jon Blend

Rosemarie Earlam


The venue is to be the National College for Teaching & Leadership, in Nottingham which looks fantastic and they’ve offered us a great rate so that we can keep the prices in line with past years.  The theme, ‘Engaging Our Community’, builds on the previous two conferences Nourishing the Community and Enriching the Community – more in later updates. Tickets will soon be going on sale and we’ll be in touch with more details as they become available.  I’m looking forward to seeing lots of you there!

6.       Honorary Treasurer Vacancy

We thank Liz Beauchamp for her valuable work as Treasurer, but as she needed to step down from this role since joining the committee, we now need to find a replacement. The role provides guidance on all aspects of financial issues, and provides support for the finance officer and the committee as a whole. This ongoing position also provides continuity for the organisation when committee members change. We invite applications from people with sound financial experience, or current or retired finance professionals looking for an opportunity to do some voluntary work.

Please ask anyone who may be interested to contact us at


7.       Updates from Committee Members

Jacqui Lichtenstern – Chair & EAGT Representative

My first job after the September conference, was to find 3 dates that all nine members of the committee were available to meet on, (a challenging task as we all have busy and full lives), and to work on preparing the agendas for those.

My next priority was to make the first steps in implementing the Conference Organising Group (COG) Proposal (see Strategy Document on website). This involved a joyful job of contacting people and inspiring and inviting and encouraging them to take part, resulting in our COG plus working groups of 16 people (10 of whom are not on the committee). (By the way, anyone who showed interest in the survey and hasn’t been contacted - please let us know - as there were no contact details attached).

With professionalisation, improved communication and disaster and recovery plan intentions also in the Strategy Plan, I researched, initiated and set up a month’s free trial of ‘Google Apps for Work’ (see my letter above). Following this initial success, we set up a subscription and I began uploading documents onto the drive and making it ‘our office’.

I’ve been working with Liz and Natasha on the review of the Administrator pilot scheme (see above), and with Liz and Ruth on the proposal and description of the new post.

As EAGT representative, I wrote an update for their newsletter, and a report of our September meetings for the committee, and am preparing to attend the General Board meetings in Amsterdam next month.

Liz Beauchamp – Vice Chair & Conference Organiser

Well a busy month for me – I took on the roles of Vice Chair and Conference Organising Group (COG) Chair, obviously I didn’t have enough to do this year!

The role of vice chair has meant working closely with Jacqui, which I’ve enjoyed very much and as a result realised how much lands with the chair.  This month has been spent working together on finalising the outcome of the Administration Pilot Scheme and its associated actions, like agreeing with Natasha about the interim role, creating a job description and agreeing the recruitment process – we do hope you ask around for us...With my other hat I’ve been working closely with the COG (see no.5 above) to get everyone on board and at a place of understanding, which has involved a lot of communicating.  After being initially concerned about how we were going to get it all done I am now feeling relieved to know that we have a great team of people on the case and am looking forward to working with everyone over the next few months.

Ruth Nightingale – Finance Officer

New Website: Having now received three quotes for our new website we have been compiling more detailed requirements which will be sent to each of the companies who have expressed an interest in providing this for us.  Once this has been received we will be in a position to appoint the successful company and get this project under way.

2015 Conference: As a member of the COG Management & Strategy Group my role is to ensure we are managing the financial aspects throughout the planning process.  I have created a business plan and budget lines for the conference based on the numbers communicated to the membership at the 2013 AGM.  

James Bailey – Marketing & Publicity

Our focus in 2015 will be the marketing and promotion of our our conference in early September, and we are beginning to formulate the way in which we can most effectively generate interest in this event amongst the UK Gestalt Community, the UK counselling and therapy communities, and additionally amongst European and US Gestaltists.

We'll look at advertising the conference in therapy journals and magazines, and are likely to gain exposure through European and US Gestalt association newsletters. Our hope is the spread the net as widely as possible to generate interest and excitement in attending the conference as well as joining UKAGP.

We also see social media as a new method to present UKAGP to our community and wider, developing both interest in the conference, and in the longer term engagement and conversation across digital platforms. Once the various groups have been created we'll notify you and encourage joining.

We have been talking to a graphic designer, who is a Gestaltist, and he has kindly agreed to work with us on creating a 'look and feel' for UKAGP's marketing, advertising, publicity and our planned web redesign. This will enable us to have a consistent image across all marketing materials with a view to improving our 'brand' profile.

We'll be talking to you directly through member newsletter and email, and hope you rise to the challenge of helping to inform non-members of the benefits of joining UKAGP, as well as encouraging your colleagues to join us at the Conference.

Helen Thomas & Dawn Gwilt – Training Institutes, Trainee & pre-accreditation engagement

We are working to increase contact between the UKAGP committee and Gestalt Training institutes; both those institutes who already have student members, and those with no connection at present. Our current tasks are to gather information about what systems are in place at present, and to draft a letter to training institutes, students, and alumni, to share information, encourage membership, and most importantly to open up lines of communication. Also, we intend to offer a space at the July 2015 conference for post-training and pre-accreditation trainees to meet and discuss issues and challenges related to this stage of training.

If any members would like to contribute to this in any way, please contact us at


 8.       2016 Conference

Following on from the successful joint venture with EAGT in September, UKAGP was approached by the British Gestalt Journal, to see if we would like to join our next one day conference with their 25th anniversary event. Although excited by this prospect, we did not want to clash or be in competition with the first ever joint AAGT/EAGT conference which will be taking place from 23rd to 25th September 2016 in Sicily.

Therefore we agreed to approach GPTI to ask if they would like to do something different for their next residential on the first weekend of July 2016, and  join with us and the BGJ to collaborate on a 3 way event.

We are delighted to announce that the GPTI Executive committee responded very positively and join our excitement at the prospect of the three organisations coming together to collaborate on creating a national Gestalt conference, in celebration of 25 years of the BGJ.

Save the dates now for a very special weekend on 1st-3rd July 2016!


9.   Revised Roles


Organising Committee

Chair: Jacqui Lichtenstern

Vice-Chair: Liz Beauchamp

EAGT Delegate: Jacqui Lichtenstern

Finance Officer: Ruth Nightingale

Secretary: Rod London

Assistant Secretary: Jane Flint

Marketing & Publicity Officer: James Bailey

Trainee, Pre-Accreditation & Institute Engagement: Dawn Gwilt & Helen Thomas

Conference Organiser: Liz Beauchamp

Ordinary Committee Member: Rachael Kellett


Voluntary Roles

Webmaster: Adam Kincel

Honorary Treasurer: Vacant


Paid Post

Interim Administrator: Natasha Wilson

Administrator: Vacant


Birmingham Gestalt Group


What we are:

We are a peer group of therapists and trainee-therapists, meeting since 2011 as the West Midlands group of the UKAGP.  We are now in the process of reshaping this group, and would like to increase membership to a maximum of 10 people.


What we are offering:

An opportunity to join in creating a safe, held space for exploration of facilitated experiential work, theory, and group process.  Topics will be chosen by members of the group and explored in monthly meetings.  The meetings will be held at Birmingham Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre, 131 Pottery Road, Warley Woods, Birmingham, B68 9HE


What is the commitment:

Meetings will be on the second Sunday of each month from 10:30-12:30.  At the moment the group is open to new members, although we are working towards becoming a closed group in order to create a safe and contained environment for deep work. There will be a financial commitment to cover room hire, to be shared equally between all members.


If you are interested in joining, please let us know by email.  We will then circulate your name to existing group members to identify any potential boundary issues, and get back to you.


Therapy Group - Places available

I have been running a therapy group in London since January 2007.  We have met four times a year (Thursday and Friday), and it has been geared to qualified psychotherapists and senior trainees who have done a good amount of personal therapy and want to continue their personal development.
At our last group, we decided to metamorphose: we will now cut our link specifically to London, and meet at a very pleasant and financially reasonable residential venue we have found in the Midlands.  The cost at present (my fees, accommodation and all food) is around £250 each time, and will reduce if more people join.
If you or anyone you know would like to join or to find out more, please get in touch with me.
Best wishes, Peter Philippson,
Miriam Taylor
Understanding and Working with Dissociation

Saturday 14th March 2015 
Central Oxford
Lynne Jacobs & Gary Yontef
5 day workshop

1- 5th April 2015 
Lydiard Park Conference Centre
Flyer attached: BGJ May 20

BGJ Website

Dear All,

We are currently in the process of a major rebuild of the British Gestalt Journal Website and I am writing to keep you informed of developments and to ask for your help and support.

Over the next few weeks we will be collating and digitising the entire BGJ archive.  This will mean that any article will be availble for download on demand for a nominal fee.  Not only will we continue to bring out the journal in printed form twice a year as usual, but we will be publishing news, articles, reviews and more informal content on the website, including visual images.  This opens up all kinds of new possibilities and opportunities.

This is where we would like your help. In order to develop this history of Gestalt therapy in the UK for the website, we are looking to collect facts and memories and to chart the lives of the various Gestalt trainings, and conferences, past and present. If you have any contributions to make, such as when a training started (or ended), who was involved, significant events, photographs, memories, or ideas, please get in touch. All contributions will be credited if used on the website. Please also let us know of people who might be interviewed.
Best Wishes,
Editor, British Gestalt Journal

The UKAGP Team - Who we are

UKAGP Interim Administrator: Natasha Wilson

Following on from my work for the last 18 months on the UKAGP administrator pilot scheme, I am continuing as interim administrator until a permanent administrator has been appointed. 

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.

 The Organising Committee

Jacqui Lichtenstern – Chair & EAGT Delegate

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.

Liz Beauchamp - Vice-Chair & Conference Organiser

MSc (Gestalt Psychotherapy), UKCP Registered: MBA.

I graduated from Metanoia in 2011 and I work part time as a psychotherapist in private practice in East London. Having completed an MBA in 2005 I became a self-employed business consultant working primarily with owner/managers helping them to achieve their goals. Whilst studying I realised how compatible my consultancy work was with Gestalt and so completed a Diploma in Organisational Gestalt. I’ve found this has complemented my consultancy work and enables me to use my passion for Gestalt in a much wider context – my business clients seem to find it quite useful too!

In my spare time, which I’m always trying to increase, I love to travel and enjoy trekking in far and distant lands where I’m never happier than when the phone has no signal, the only running water is in a nearby stream and the only decision to make is whether to wear an extra layer!

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 - Marketing & Publicity Officer

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.

My hope is to find exciting reasons for new members to join UKAGP.

Jane Flint – Assistant Secretary

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, Pre-Accreditation & Institute Engagement

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 –Trainee, Pre-Accreditation & Institute Engagement

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. 

Rachael Kellett - Ordinary Committee Member

I started training in Gestalt in 1999 with the York Psychotherapy Training Institute whilst working as an Assistant Psychologist at The Retreat Psychiatric Hospital in York. I graduated in 2003 with an MSc from Sherwood Psychotherapy Institute. I currently work in Private Practice in Buckinghamshire and London. I work with individuals, couples and groups therapeutically. I also facilitate workshops and teach relaxation and stress management in schools.

Copyright © 2015 UKAGP, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp