Monday 22nd March from 7 to 9pm
Stefanie Stahl - 'The Child in You' the answer to all interpersonal relationship issues
Our self-esteem is the key determining factor in how we feel about life, the world and our place in it, especially with regards to relationships and success in life. Who am I? What do I have to do to be loved and accepted? Am I enough? Am I welcome? Am I worthy? Am I allowed to stand up for myself? How can I assert myself in times of need and conflict and still remain connected?
In the best of cases we develop the necessary basic trust and self-esteem in childhood that will carry us safely and securely through most of our adult lives and allow us to enjoy healthy relationships. However, in many cases, abandonment, neglect, separation, abuse or simply perceived insults, slights and injuries to our self-esteem can become so deeply imprinted over the years with the effect that the grand sum of these negative experiences will greatly impact how we build and maintain relationships overall. The messages we received as a children are thus very likely to affect our behaviour when dating, in committed relationships and possibly even regarding the likelihood of finding love at all. Bestselling author Stefanie Stahl has created a highly successful method for resolving these issues by means of healing the inner child. Her pragmatic “do-it-yourself-therapy” type of approach enables one to embrace the ‘shadow’ child and bring out the ‘sun’ child. Becoming friends with both your sun and shadow child, opens up a whole new world of possibilities to resolve conflicts, to create happier and more fulfilling relationships and thus to be able to literally find answers to every question on the subject of love and relationships. Healing your inner child is the key.
STEFANIE STAHL is a national board-certified psychologist, bestselling author published in over 29 countries and well-known psychotherapist and trusted expert in her home country Germany.
Born and raised in Hamburg, she left the North of Germany early on to study in Trier, where she has been based with her work and family ever since. She successfully runs a psychotherapy private practice and training business. She also gives lectures and offers workshops and seminars in her methods for personal development and relationship work. In addition to her role as a therapist, expert, and coach, she has also written numerous bestselling books in the areas of self-development, inner child healing and relationships. Her publication, ‘The Child in You’ has been on the bestselling list of the renowned magazine Spiegel in Germany at number one since its first listing in 2016. She is a popular speaker and interview partner online and offline having appeared in numerous magazines, online forums, conferences, and television shows as a trusted expert in psychotherapy and self-development.
Stefanie Stahl’s guiding premise and message to her audience and the public focuses on the power of self-reflection to change lives for the better. In her words: ‘luck in love and relationships is not a matter of luck at all but more a matter of personal choice and self-reflection thus a political necessity in today’s world’.
The secret of Stefanie Stahl’s success lies in her approachability and heart to heart directness. She has the innate ability to boil complex psychological theories and concepts down to their very essence making them readily accessible to everyone regardless of their level of knowledge or experience thus giving each and every individual the possibility of using this knowledge to their own best end.
‘Self-perception is everything in relationships’ is her moto. How you perceive yourself determines how you also perceive others and this has a direct impact how you interact with them. Stefanie has designed a step-by-step guide to solving just such problems in love and relationships. Her method makes use of the concept of the inner sun and shadow child to build up self-esteem and find the right balance between adapting or asserting yourself, making the arduous journey of self-discovery easy as well as practical.
Monday 14th June from 7 to 9pm
Monique Notice MA - Cultural Differences in the Therapy Room
This talk will examine how, as therapists, we can work with cultural differences. We will look at some of the conscious and unconscious processes involved and what happens when these differences are ignored or not acknowledged during therapy. An individual’s cultural heritage itself may dictate the uptake of, the expectations of, and ultimately their experience of psychotherapy.
Collective knowledge, shared belief systems, values, language images and symbols result in a commonality of how we view the world. These systems have a major impact on psychotherapy. Their interactions are profound and complex, and therapy will have to be tailored with all these variables in mind. I will look at race and racism, ethnicity and its implications for our work. I will demonstrate how cultural differences play out in my own practice, the impact of cultural differences on the relationship and in my clients’ lives with examples from my client work
MONIQUE NOTICE MA, is a psychodynamic counsellor and psychotherapist working with adults, young people and couples in private practice based in Bishop’s Stortford. Her background is in nursing. She runs psychological care workshops for nurses and teaches mindfulness to various groups, schools and other institutions. Special areas of interest are sexuality, sexual development and trauma. She writes a blog on psychological issues. Monique is a member of BACP.
Monday 20th September from 7 to 9pm
Prof Gershen Kaufman - A Developmental Theory of Shame, Identity, and the Self
To feel shame is feel seen in a painfully diminished sense, exposed to view. Shame is the feeling of indignity, defeat, failure, alienation, and worthlessness. No other feeling is more deeply disturbing to us—not fear, not anger—because shame is an inner torment, always diminishing self-regard, self-esteem. We have been judged and found wanting, even when those judging eyes belong to us. Shame is like a wound made on the inside by an unseen hand, truly a sickness of the soul. Even though discouragement, shyness, embarrassment, self-consciousness, guilt, and inferiority certainly feel like very different experiences overall, each one nevertheless signifies a loss of face. The affect present in each of these is still shame. Discouragement is shame about temporary defeat, shyness is shame in the presence of strangers, embarrassment is shame before an audience, self-consciousness is the magnifying scrutiny of shame turned inward upon ourselves, guilt is shame about immorality, and inferiority is shame that has become both internalized and magnified, permanent.
When shame is internalized it becomes autonomous, self-perpetuating, endlessly re-triggering itself. Experiences of shame are stored in memory in the form of scenes, which are visual, auditory, even kinesthetic. When previously isolated scenes of shame fuse directly together, these once-discrete, separate scenes become more permanently interconnected, thereby magnifying one another. The internalization of shame and subsequent magnification of shame scenes are the dual processes by which shame captures the self, causing shame to become ever more deeply rooted within the emerging personality, growing like a cancer.
For anyone who would like to become more acquainted with shame theory in advance of the lecture, I would recommend two of my books. The first was written specifically for mental health professionals and psychotherapists of all persuasions, and articulates both a theory of shame and a framework for psychotherapy.
The second, while ostensibly written for 9-13 year-olds, demonstrates the translation of fundamental principles of shame theory into actions, tools that anyone can learn whether adult or child. This book comprises an educational curriculum with wide application: for families, groups and the classroom, for children, adolescents and parents.
The Psychology of Shame: Theory and Treatment of Shame-Based Syndromes, Second Edition (Springer Publishing Co., 1996).
Stick Up For Yourself! Every Kid's Guide to Personal Power and Positive Self-Esteem, Third Edition (Free Spirit Publishing, 2019).
GERSHEN KAUFMAN is Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University. He was educated at Columbia University and received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester. He is now professor emeritus, Counseling Center and Psychology Department, at Michigan State University. For thirty-six years he was actively engaged there in providing psychotherapeutic services to university students; consultation to university faculty and staff; clinical supervision and training to psychology practicum students and interns; research supervision for graduate students; and teaching a course on Affect and Self-Esteem in the Psychology Department. Kaufman also maintained a private practice as a licensed psychologist until 2010, where he treated a broad range of clientele in psychotherapy.
A pioneer in the study of shame, Kaufman is the author of The Psychology of Shame: Theory and Treatment of Shame-Based Syndromes, Second Edition (Springer Publishing Co., 1996) and Shame: The Power of Caring, Third Edition (Schenkman Books, 1992). He is the coauthor with Lev Raphael of Stick Up For Yourself! Every Kid's Guide to Personal Power and Positive Self-Esteem, Third Edition (Free Spirit Publishing, 2019); A Teacher's Guide to Stick Up For Yourself, Third Edition (Free Spirit Publishing, 2019); Coming Out of Shame: Transforming Gay and Lesbian Lives (Doubleday, 1996); and Dynamics of Power: Fighting Shame and Building Self-Esteem, Second Edition (Schenkman Books, 1991).
Monday 15 November from 7pm - 9pm
Pam Billinge - Loss, endings and separation - How horses can help heal us
Horses and ponies are becoming more frequent partners to psychotherapists, counsellors and coaches around the globe. The approach is more usually described as ‘equine assisted’, but Pam Billinge prefers to use the term ‘horse-led.’ In her talk she will explain why and also explore in particular the contribution which experiential horse-led process can make to the healing of loss, endings and separation. She will refer to some case-histories as well as use readings and video clips to illustrate. The work is embodied, with an emphasis on presence, felt-sense and the non-verbal.
Pam first began to notice the link between her own emotions and the behaviour of her horse when her mother was dying of cancer in 2002. At the time she was in her first year of training in Body Psychotherapy and this process, plus her own personal therapy, helped her to track the dance which took place between her grief and her relationship with her horse. The bereavement which followed her mother’s passing left her in no doubt of the powerful contribution which horses could make to human healing. She engaged upon a journey to learn more deeply about the true nature of the horse, in parallel to completing her psychotherapy training and supervision period. This took her to the US where she spent six weeks studying in Colorado. On her return she began to integrate horses into her psychotherapy and coaching practises and in 2012 embraced this modality on a full-time basis.
Pam Billinge works with both individual clients in a therapeutic context and also organisations seeking interventions to support relationship, culture change, leadership or communication. She completed her body psychotherapy training and supervision period with Cambridge Body Psychotherapy Centre during the 2000s and since then has specialised in her unique approach to human development based on experiential, relational interaction with horses. The work is embodied, with an emphasis on presence, felt-sense and the non-verbal.
Whether offering therapy or coaching the work tends to be short-term and is often on referral from other psychotherapists, coaches or counsellors. She is the author of two books, The Spell of the Horse, Stories of Healing and Personal Transformation with Nature’s Finest Teacher and The Spirit of the Horse, More stories of Life, Love and Leadership, both published by Blackbird Books. Pam now lives in France where she holds residential retreats and workshops and in addition to horse-led therapy and learning she offers remote support. She also continues to work at her previous base in Wiltshire, United Kingdom when this is possible.