Counselling in Gloucestershire

Saturday 19th May 2018 10am - 4pm – Simon Roe

“Lives of Quiet Desperation” Working with Men

 2 & 6 Therapy Rooms, Wainbridge House, Shepherd Road, Gloucester, GL2 5EL

A one-day workshop for therapists, counsellors and interested individuals

'Most men lead lives of quiet desperation (& go to the grave with the song still in them)

The above quote, paraphrased from Henry Thoreau, seems as distressingly apt today as it did when it was written over 150 years ago. Despite the advances made by feminism, the 'new age' & the 'men's movement' men are still notoriously reluctant to present for any kind of therapeutic support. Yet levels of depression, violence & suicide in men, particularly young men, are seemingly at an all- time high. What is it that leads to this state of affairs? How, as practitioners, can we engage effectively with men? What unconscious biases or prejudices might we be holding that will interfere with or sabotage our work?

This will be a largely experiential training day. We will use a variety of methods & approaches, including personal reflection, group and pair work & poetry & story to explore some of the following topics:-

  • ‘Not measuring up’ – men and shame
  • The dangers of ‘nice’ men
  • The 'boy code' - breaking the silence
  • Working with men’s anger & violence
  • War
  • Men and grief

Feedback from previous ‘Lives of Quiet Desperation’ participants

‘Simon's depth of experience in running workshops for and about men was clearly evident. I recommend his course.’

‘This is the first time I have been able to grieve for my father – thank you.’

‘Simon's workshop is very apposite; much needed at this time. He invites us to look very squarely and honestly at the male and masculine archetypes and find value and integrity. A challenging workshop for therapists and the therapy culture.’ 

Simon Roe originally trained as a body psychotherapist with Nick Totton & Em Edmondson. He has over twenty years’ experience of working with men & became a co-leader of the Mandorla Men's Rites of Passage programme in 2001. He is a Respect ( approved trainer & supervisor for several domestic violence projects and is the director of Two Wolves Consultancy and Training Simon has recently completed a foundation course in Process Oriented Psychology (Arnold Mindell)

Saturday 28th April 2018 10 am – 12 noon – Matthew Cott

Responding to our Clients’ Metaphors

 Venue: Christchurch, Heron Way, Abbeydale, Gloucester, GL4 5EQ

A single mother, whose young children have been taken into care, says to her therapist:

“I feel like I’m being swept down a river.”

As therapists, how might we respond to this client’s metaphor?

Through metaphor clients can often find words to express complex feelings or gain new insights on a problem. Disclosing information about one’s feelings and experiences through metaphor is less direct so can feel safer and more comfortable. Use of metaphors has also been found to strengthen the therapeutic relationship and can also be invaluable in supervision. Given these and other benefits it is not surprising that skilful use of metaphor is commonly expected of counsellors and psychotherapists.

Lakoff and Johnson (2003) claim our ideas about our worlds are metaphorical, derived from embodied experience.  They define metaphor as ‘understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another’.

This seminar provides a basic introduction to metaphor in therapy and will explore ways of working with clients’ metaphors. There will be an opportunity to practise, reflect on and discuss some of the skills involved.

The seminar is informed by Matthew’s current doctoral research project, which is aiming to form as full a picture of practice as possible of the processes followed by therapists in the use of client metaphor as it unfolds in therapy and how clients experience this.

The seminar will be of interest to practitioners at all levels of experience who have an interest in metaphor in therapy and supervision.

Matthew Cott

Matthew has been a volunteer counsellor at Listening Post, Gloucester since 2016. He’s in his final year of a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at the University of the West of England. Before joining Listening Post he spent two years as a volunteer counsellor in a university’s student counselling service and then 12 months as a volunteer CBT therapist in NHS Let’s Talk, IAPT service. He gained a BSc (Hons) Psychology & Counselling from Roehampton Institute Surrey and an MSc in Occupational Psychology from Birkbeck. At the turn of the millennium he began working as a freelance coach before moving into a corporate coaching role focused on developing a partnership between a university and a further education college. His current day job is with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, where he leads a function responsible for assessing and advising government on applications for degree awarding powers.  He has a long-term interest in meditation and has taught meditation classes in Gloucester and Cheltenham.

Saturday 9th June 2018 10am - 4pm – Dr Rachel Freeth and Dr Barbara Mitchels

Exploring Spiritual Dimensions - Where counsellors dare to tread

Venue: Christchurch, Abbeydale, Gloucester, GL4 5EQ

Many clients want to explore within counselling experiences and questions that are often referred to as spiritual.  It is therefore important that counsellors consider their own perspectives and responses – personal, professional, theoretical and ethical.

With a mixture of theoretical input, discussion and small group work this workshop aims to explore:

·         meanings of spiritual experience

·         what psychiatrists think about spirituality

·         exploring spiritual dimensions with clients

·         responding to spiritual crisis

·         how our own belief systems might influence our therapeutic practice

Dr Rachel Freeth is an NHS psychiatrist and a person-centred counsellor.  She also devises and delivers training on subjects related to psychiatry and mental health.  See

Dr Barbara Mitchels is a counsellor in Devon, and a retired solicitor, running a web-based consultancy service for therapists, providing resources and workshops on topics relevant to law, therapy and mediation. See

For costs and booking please click here Spring Summer Programme 2018.docx


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