Counselling in Gloucestershire

Saturday 21st October 2017  

Karl Gregory - From Shame to


 Hillview Church, 26 Colwell Avenue, Hucclecote, Gloucester, GL3 3LX 10.00am-4.00pm

Over the past decade psychotherapy, theology and neuroscience, have begun to converge… this roughly translates to the therapeutic relationship, compassion and brain structure!

From psychodynamic approaches through to CBT and on to the person centred, all are embracing the healing properties of compassion.

Shaming is evident in many educational, family and social systems. Shame creates traumatic feelings that can become toxic and block development (changing brain structure). Neuroscience is beginning to demonstrate that compassion opens the channels of empathy allowing the brain to restructure and develop.

In this workshop we will look at how therapists and clients can co-create a more fallible and compassionately human space with each other therefore promoting healthier human development.

Those of you who have been to my workshops before will be aware that the experiences you bring are valuable and essential. This workshop will include short presentations with discussion, small group work, space to discuss issues raised and a well referenced information pack.

KARL GREGORY SRN, RMN, MSc Counselling, Diploma in Psychotherapy Supervision, FNCS (Fellow National Counselling Society)

  • An integrative relational therapist – integrating relational, existential and systems approaches
  • Previously 20 years’ experience as a psychiatric nurse, tutor, supervisor and manager in the NHS
  • A lecturer and external examiner at various Universities and Colleges in the UK
  • Provides workshops, counselling and supervision for organisations
  • Recently worked in Malta to help set up supervision training
  • Co-founder of Severn Talking Therapy as a vehicle to run an annual Supervision Conference  UK, a Diploma in Relational Supervision and workshops
  • Recently working with NCS (National Counselling Society) as consultant in developing their Supervision Practice Guidance
  • Has published on issues around Counselling, Supervision and Mental Health
  • 20 years private therapy practice in Brockworth, Gloucestershire.


 Saturday 4th November 2017 

Sally Despenser - 

Working with

 Complex Grief

Christchurch, Heron Way, Abbeydale, Gloucester, GL4 5EQ 10.00am-4.00pm

People often come to counselling after a loss. It may be a death (or other loss) which has happened recently, or some time ago.  In complex grief, people find that they cannot adjust to the new reality. In some cases, it becomes apparent that the client’s grief is multi factorial.  A tortuous, detailed and enmeshed narrative can leave the therapist as bewildered as the client, and it can be difficult to see what the actual death has got to do with this overwhelming story. 

Finding the usual models of individual grief inadequate for working with complex cases. Sally now thinks in terms of the client as part of a family (comprising several generations) which is a fragile eco system capsized by the death.  Grief is often the catalyst that opens up ancient cracks. The therapeutic task is to facilitate adjustment by taking into account the whole system, and to nurture seeds of personal resilience.

Drawing on shared clinical material, we will explore some grief and loss theories

    • define complex grief and identify some of the external risk factors ("the cracks") which may be apparent at assessment or revealed later
    • focus on intergenerational relationship, attachment and communication patterns
    • think about the functional self - and how this may have been stunted by some experiences and family patterns

The workshop is suitable for therapists at any stage of their career. The style of the day is interactive and experiential. Sally does not use Power Point, instead will provide generous hard copy handouts.

It is advised that if you have suffered a recent serious loss, you should think carefully about attending this workshop

About Sally Despenser

A long time ago Sally was trained as an academic historian and teacher. Subsequently she became a freelance counsellor, supervisor, trainer and writer. Her first training was with Relate in the 1980’s.  In the 1990s, as part of a Masters in Psychodynamic Counselling, she had her first professional introduction to end of life issues and bereavement. Sally set up a small counselling service in a hospice, working with dying patients and families. This led to invitations to run workshops for nurses in training and for palliative care nurses in the community, as well as other training opportunities not connected with healthcare.  From 2011 – 2015 Sally ran Professional Development Days for BACP. Also for BACP, she wrote a number of online modules from 2008 – 2013, and was Book Reviews Editor of Therapy Today from 2006 – 2012. Meanwhile Sally continued to practise as a psychodynamic counsellor in Private Practice

Four years ago Sally returned to 2 end of life settings: a hospice and a Maggie’s centre.  The work has involved supervising volunteer bereavement workers, facilitating staff support groups and an Uncertainty Group, as well as seeing clients experiencing complex grief.   Sally is also contributing to a 3 year research project on Palliative Care in the Acute Setting, part of the national End of Life Care strategy. 

Autumn Programme 2017 and booking form.pdf








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