A one-day workshop aimed at enhancing our ability as therapists to recognise and regulate our own Fear System responses in our work with clients.
Facilitator: Michael Guilding, BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor with 24 years post-qualification experience.
Venue: 17 Wetherby Road, York, YO26 5BS
Date: Saturday 15 February 2020
Time: 10.00 am to 4.30pm
Cost: £70 including a light lunch
Very few clients come for therapy who do not have some history of trauma. Most of the people we work with have an autonomic nervous system highly attuned to threat and prone to fear responses such as alarm, anger, withdrawal or collapse. Working with our clients, our own fear system responses are activated. These are biological processes that can shut down our social engagement system and render us ineffectual as therapists.
When our fear system activates in the counselling room, we can experience tension, anxiety, fright, loss of our ability to think clearly, irritation, frustration, feelings of uselessness and hopelessness or extreme exhaustion. This is the opposite of the experience of energy, vitality and absorbed interest that we have when fear is regulated and we, and our clients, become exploratory rather than defensive.
The aim of this workshop is to increase our awareness of the physical, emotional and mental impact on us of our biological fear system responses, and to enhance our ability to regulate these responses, bringing ourselves and our clients to a place of safety - the “window of tolerance” within which therapeutic work becomes possible.
The workshop will combine an explanation of how the biological fear system works and the various states it throws us into, covering Polyvagal Theory and the concept of the Fear Cascade, with opportunities to explore our own experiences of fear system activation, both in our personal lives and in our work as therapists. We will also work with a number of practical methods for regulating our fear system responses. Each workshop will be limited to seven participants and will be facilitated in a manner which prioritises the creation of a safe space for exploration and learning.