Peter Lavender Counselling & Psychotherapy Nottingham
Psychotherapy & Counselling Nottingham
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Training & Personal Development

 Relational-Centred Psychotherapeutic Counselling

In the Winter of 2003, my friend Ken Evans (who was originally my trainer in Gestalt Psychotherapy at the Sherwood Institute in Nottingham) telephoned me to announce that he had recently taken over the Scarborough Psychotherapy Training Institute, and that he wanted a “new model of counselling training” to be offered at the institute – what could I come up with? Of course I was both flattered and delighted that he had asked me to undertake this task – but also terrified – after all, it had all been done before hadn’t it? How was I supposed to come up with something new?

None-the-less Ken had given me 6 months to come up with something so I settled down and started to reflect upon my own practice as a therapist. I broke down my practice into individual components; I like to think that I use ‘what works’ in psychotherapy, and knew from feedback that I was clinically very effective. I then started musing upon all the various models that were around: person or client centred counselling, psycho-synthesis counselling, Gestalt, Transactional Analysis, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy to name but a few. I had always held a view about the nature of the relationship between the client and the therapist being of crucial importance, so on a whim I typed “Relational- Centred Counselling” into Google – and didn’t get a single hit!

I realised that perhaps I was on to something and started writing what has since proved to be a very successful training course. Six months later it was complete, Ken met with me to look at what I had come up with and ‘snapped my hand off’. We immediately advertised the course in and around the North-east with the first cohort starting their training in October 2004. (Incidentally, I went back to Google and repeated the same search in the summer of 2004 and this time got 10,000 hits for “Relational- Centred Counselling”!) Whilst I am constantly up-dating the course as new research becomes available I am including an over-view of the course contents below to give you a flavour of what the course offers.

What is Relational-Centred Counselling?

Relational Centred Counselling is at the leading edge of professional counselling training in the UK and Europe. It is supported by research into what works in therapy, and draws upon contemporary developments in psychoanalytic, psychodynamic and humanistic theories. Of crucial importance to this approach to counselling is the therapeutic relationship as a co-creation, involving both client and therapist. Therefore trainees will develop as reflexive practitioners, able to reflect on the client, themselves as therapist and the process between. This is underpinned by developing a sound working knowledge of the dynamics of relating, including transference phenomena. Of particular interest will be the insights that have emerged from a range of theories of child and adult development. It is a professional requirement, as well as a moral obligation, that trainees undergo their own personal therapy which is indispensable to an understanding of human relationships.

Who is the course aimed at?

This course is aimed at attracting entrants from the caring/helping professions; Nurses, Doctors, Social Workers, Teachers, Voluntary Sector workers. It provides an excellent basis for anyone wanting to move into Counselling in Primary Care, and/or wishing to develop their own Private Practice. Acceptance for training is based on a selection process comprising written application, interview and references.

Year One - Congruence and Empathy

1. Theory and philosophy of relational centred therapy.
2. Active listening I.
3. Academic responsibility – reading, writing and research.
4. The nature of congruence.
5. The nature of empathy.
6. Ethical and professional responsibility.
7. Self care, coping with the demands of being a counsellor.
8. Dreams and creativity in Psycho-therapeutic counsellin.

Year Two - Advanced Congruence

1. Identifying and working with 'healthy' dependency.
2. Contracting and assessment.
3. Other modalities -- Gestalt.
4. Personality styles - A - odd/eccentric.
5. Other modalities -- Transactional Analysis.
6. Personality styles - B - dramatic/emotional.
7. Personality styles - C - anxious/fearful.
8. Transference, counter transference and parallel process.

Year Three - Advanced Empathy

1. Deepening the process.
2. Human development.
3. Research in psychotherapeutic counselling.
4. Relationship theory.
5. Projective identification.
6. The role of the relational centred counsellor.
7. Advanced ethics.
8. Endings: bereavement and loss.

Page Updated: 9/27/2018