In his article “Bad Couples Therapy and How to Avoid It” (Psychotherapy Networker, 2011) Bill Doherty notes that many therapists who are offering couple therapy are not trained in working with couples. The dynamic between couples, as it plays out in the therapy room, is very different than working with individuals talking about their relationships.
Training in Imago Relationship Therapy:
- helps therapists respond with integrity to the increasing demand from couples for top quality relationship therapy that will really help them work through their issues. Most couples who go for couples’ therapy do want to stay together and many are willing to pay well for good help;
- focuses on enhancing the connection between partners, in the moment, in the here and now;
- gives therapists and couples a solid theory of relationships that makes so much sense and is supported by the latest research into interpersonal neuropsychology. This theoretical understanding of couple dynamics guides the therapist’s interventions;
- provides therapists and couples with tools for increasing their awareness of the deep emotions that lie beneath their conflicts and how these are often connected to childhood relational hurts. It does this in a way that evokes empathy rather than reactivity between partners, thereby inviting them to grow beyond their defensive adaptations into new possibilities for mutual healing and growth. (You might want to check out the RSA video The Power of Outrospection on this post, for a perspective on the importance of empathy to society in the coming years. Where better to practice it than at home);
- supports therapists through an international community of Imago-trained therapists, who are dedicated to effectively helping couples and committed to growing Imago theory and practice. We stay connected and available across the miles through a list-serve, conferences, phone bridges, think tanks, advanced trainings and other electronic and face-to-face means;
- is a one-year program consisting of 96 hours of in-class training plus supervision to a standard of competence for accreditation. Extensive written material in the form of a text and a toolbox is provided as well as a suggested reading list. On an hour-for-hour basis it works out comparable in cost to other top level trainings. Payment plans are available;
- encourages therapists to expand their skillfulness in facilitating couples through a safe, supportive feedback process based on an understanding of what it takes to develop competence;
- perhaps most importantly, it gives participants a unique experience of safety and connection that will most likely transform their own relationships and impact their work with all their clients. Non-therapist partners are welcome to audit the course.
These are just some of the reasons so many therapists who take the Imago Relationship Therapy training describe it as “the best training I have ever taken”.
Article by Sophie Slade, Ph.D. Certified Imago Relationship Therapist, Workshop Presenter & Senior Clinical Instructor. Winner of the Harville Hendrix Award for Clinical Excellence.
Date: Saturday 22nd July, 2017
Venue: The Affinity Centre, 29a Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AR. 10am – 4pm.
Cost: 110 GBP per person
About this course
In our increasingly mobile world, therapists are often called upon to address the needs of clients who have lived and worked overseas. Expatriate living impacts individuals on multiple levels therefore understanding the expatriate frame of reference is key to working successfully with this client population. Questions surrounding identity and belonging, feelings of restlessness and relational struggles are some of the challenges caused by the ever changing landscape associated with the expatriate lifestyle. In particular, repeated cycles of loss and grief are the most poignant issues facing expatriates today which can have a profound impact on well-being.
This course is essential for those who wish to further develop their counselling skills for working with children, young people and adults from an expatriate perspective. The course delivers 5 hours of CPD and a certificate of completion will be issued. The course aims to:
- Develop a deep understanding of the expatriate profile.
- Examine how key psychological and emotional aspects of expatriate living may impact individuals and families.
- Identify and understand factors that affect expatriate mental health and wellbeing.
- Build on therapeutic skills and introduce a variety of adapted and newly created interventions developed to serve the needs of this unique population.
About the presenters
Kathy and Melissa are trained therapists, accredited by the BACP who have lived and worked extensively in expatriate communities. Kathy and Melissa have used their in-depth knowledge to guide professionals in how to work effectively with expatriates by adapting and devising therapeutic skills, theories and interventions to promote expatriate wellbeing. Their expatriate counselling courses will equip both the qualified counsellors who work with such clients and the supervisors who support them in their work, with the additional skills and expertise necessary to ensure the therapeutic experience is grounded in a deep understanding of this unique population.
Participants must hold a recognised qualification in Counselling, Psychotherapy or related fields.
To sign up or for more information, please email email@example.com or ring 07591 691 242
Date: July 23, 2016
Time: 10am – 4pm
Venue: The Affinity Centre, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AR
Participants: This training is aimed at Counselling and Psychotherapy professionals
This course is essential for those who wish to further develop their counselling repertoire for understanding and working with children, young people and adults from an expatriate perspective. Expatriate living impacts individuals on multiple levels therefore this course seeks to understand both the common and unique themes embedded in the expatriate experiences including: identity and belonging, restlessness, relational struggles, loss and grief. Through involvement in this course, you will gain a deeper insight into the lives of these unique individuals and, as a direct result will have a deeper knowledge to develop and employ effective interventions and support systems in order to inform practice in meeting the needs of the expatriate population.
As the world becomes more global and more people are moving abroad for work and study, counsellors and psychotherapists are more likely to work with current or past expatriates. Without a solid knowledge of the issues confronting this unique population, their issues can be misunderstood and therapeutic work can be less effective.
This course aims to:
- Develop a deep understanding of the expatriate profile.
- Examine how key psychological and emotional aspects of expatriate living impact individuals and families.
- Identify and understand factors that affect expatriate mental health and wellbeing.
- Enhance skills that allow counsellors to provide appropriate care and responsiveness to expatriates.
- Improve expatriate engagement and investment in repatriation by developing strategies to support families through transition and beyond.
About the Presenters
Melissa Cochrane has over 16 years of experience in US and International education and counselling and psychotherapy. After qualifying as a teacher, she began her international career on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, then completed her Masters in Social Work with a Mental Health concentration at San Diego State University.
She is a professional member of the American Counseling Association and is accredited by both the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the National Counselling Society in the UK. She has worked as a counselor in the US, UK, Romania, and Qatar. In 2014 Melissa founded Overseas Counseling and Psychotherapy Service, an online counseling and psychotherapy service for expatriates all over the world. She also sees clients privately in Wilmslow, UK.
Kathy Swords has over 25 years experience in UK and International schools, formerly as a Teacher, a PSHE Specialist and subsequently as a School Counsellor. Kathy is accredited by the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists. She practices from an Integrative perspective in order to meet the needs of this unique population. Kathy holds a Masters Degree and is currently undertaking her PhD at the University of Bath focusing on understanding and meeting the needs of expatriate children in UK boarding schools.
In 2014 Kathy established the British Schools of the Middle East Counsellor’s Network and set up the first BSME Pastoral Care, Counselling and Safeguarding Conference. Kathy has two children who attended international schools, boarding schools and university as expatriate children.
To book, contact Melissa Cochrane on 07591 691 242 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, see www.expatriatealliance.com
This is a 10 week, invite only, Thursday afternoon group starting on March 3rd 2016 at the Affinity Centre. 1.30pm – 3.30pm.
Facilitated by the very experienced ACT therapist, trainer and supervisor, Ian Tomlinson and co-hosted by Bill Stevens, this group will provide an ACT consistent environment for individuals to bring about change. The work will be focused on moving towards a rich and meaningful life.
Cost is £200.00 paid in advance for 20 hours of high quality personal development and change. There is education, experiential learning and homework!
Please make payment in advance of March 1st 2016 by using the form below.
Every invitee is familiar with personal development and struggles in one form or another, and is looking to bring their own agenda to the sessions, to work, learn, experience and be open to change.
The Affinity Centre, 29a Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AR. Parking opposite in the multi storey. We are above Swinton Insurance (orange signage). There is a buzzer on the door. Multi Storey Car Park opposite side of the road. If that is full, then behind Hoopers there is a another public car park.
Gender identity does not start and finish with female and male, boy and girl or even man and woman. No, gender is an expression of who we are as a person in our environment and in the wider world. Generally speaking, our gender identity is assigned to us at birth and for most, this dovetails nicely with their sense of self. However, for some people the assigned gender does not always match how they see themselves in the world. For some it is a fluid state, where they express themselves as feminine and masculine, others it is a need to move from one fixed state to another. Wherever you are on the gender scale, not ‘fitting’ your assigned gender can be a lonely and emotionally painful experience.
To experience the incongruence of being perceived as one gender and experiencing feeling of another can be difficult to explain. Talking to a counsellor can facilitate the process of self-discovery, who are you really, what are your actual needs and wants. Having the space to express how you feel, using the words that feel are right for you, can help you to untangle the confusion that can surround your gender identity. Counselling is a safe place where what you say is confidential and will not be judged and you will be treated with positive regard.
Transgender support Wilmslow
Wherever you are on your gender journey counselling can be a welcome source of support eg;
- Dealing with the realisation that you have a gender identity issue, working through your feelings.
- Accepting your gender identity, whatever it may be.
- Learning to live with the whole you, weather this means transitioning from one gender to another, or being fluid in your gender identities.
- Coming out, who are you coming out too and why?
- And what next?
All of these and more can be difficult to navigate on your own, and trying to do so can cause mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, low self esteem.
Let’s do this together
Accepting you need help can be daunting on its own, so once you realise that this is the case that you would like support, finding a counsellor who can truly understand and empathise with you is so important. My experience of growing up with gender identity issues and finally realising I am transgender has given me a unique insight in to the feelings and emotions attached to gender related problems. I can understand the fear and the confusion, the dilemmas that we go through on our journey through life.
Please, if you feel that I could be of help and support, please contact me and start/continue your journey to a more stable you.
Ian Tomlinson is one of only a handful of Advanced Certified Imago Relationship Therapists in the UK with many years of training and experience working with couples.
If you are looking for couples therapy or marriage guidance the chances are you are in one of a few situations:
- Something big has happened in your relationship, like an affair or one partner leaving;
- You have “fallen out of love” with your partner and want to connect again;
- You are constantly in conflict with your partner and are finding it exhausting and painful;
- You are happy in your relationship but want to have something deeper and take it to the next level of connectedness.
I spend a lot of my time working with couples and see all of the situations mentioned above regularly. The good news is that, if you are both willing to do things differently, you can heal the emotional wounds you are causing each other and have the relationship you truly desire.
Imago Relationship Therapy offers you a very different way of relating to each other. It will encourage both of you to talk to each other in a safe, respectful way about what is going on.
Imago dialogue gives you a structure for you to really hear your partner and really listen to what they have to say. This can feel liberating and scary, and offers the potential to move you into a completely different type of loving relationship. (Please read the post I have written about how Imago Relationship Therapy works here).
I use Imago Relationship Therapy almost exclusively in my sessions. This is different to what you might have seen or experienced before in couples therapy because you will not be talking to me, you will be talking to your partner using Imago Dialogue.
My job is to help you do that by saying the unsaid and keeping things safe.
I honestly believe that the work you do in the therapy room is only one part of the transformation of your relationship. We will spend time together discussing ways in which you can connect with each other as you get on with your busy lives and how you can get your needs met in the relationship in a mutually beneficial way.
I will also encourage you to bring the dialogue process out of the therapy room and into your everyday life, establishing healthy patterns of relating and moving you away from arguing and disconnection.
Who I work with
I work with straight, gay and lesbian couples and know that your sexuality will make a difference to how you relate to each other.
I work with couples who have just got together, couples who are in the midst of separating, couples who want to deepen their relationship and couples who live parallel lives and want to connect again.
I am very experienced in working with couples where one partner has had an affair and know how to help both partners come to terms with the impact this has on a relationship.
I do require both partners to be up for the work and be willing to do things differently.
I enjoy seeing two people who were struggling start to connect and finally feel hope for their relationship again. Helping you get there gives me a buzz.
I’m also fascinated about what makes a good relationship and, having felt the difficulty and pain of disconnection in my own relationships, want to help others really experience the love they deserve.
I love Imago Relationship Therapy and think it’s a great way to build a deep loving relationship. I love how it focuses on all of the positive aspects of your relationship as well as helping you to deal with the difficult stuff.
I find the dialogue process an amazing way to communicate in my own relationship with my partner.
Ian Tomlinson is a UKCP registered Psychotherapist and the Director of The Affinity Centre. He is an expert in working with anxiety, stress and jealousy and relationship issues. Ian is an Advanced Certified Imago Relationship Therapist ( one of a handful in the UK) and also trains and supervises at the centre.
If you are reading this you are probably feeling stuck with something in your life. This could be that you are struggling with anxiety, feeling depressed or hopeless, or unsure of what to do in a relationship with someone that’s important to you.
If you decide to work with me then we will work together to move you in the direction of what’s important in your life. We will examine what’s getting in your way and look at how thoughts and feelings may be taking you away from having a rich fulfilling life.
I find that the vast majority of the clients that work with me come away with a higher level of contentment and more able to engage in the here and now. They are able to connect more with their values and get on with doing the things that they really want to do without being held back by unwanted thoughts and feelings.
ACT will teach you ways to deal with your thoughts and feelings differently so that they have much less influence over you. It will also help you be clear on what is truly important in your life and use this information to motivate you to change your life for the better.
TA will provide a great framework to understand why you are doing what you are doing and what makes you tick. You can then use this knowledge to do things differently, allowing you to move towards a more enriching life.
I love both approaches and teach both to other therapists and counsellors. They are great tools to help you get unstuck and get on with your life.
Who I work with
I work with anyone who feels stuck. I tend to see lots of clients who are struggling with anxiety (and I know a thing or two about that from personal experience). I have also become a bit of an expert in jealousy and anger from working with many many clients who have come to me with these issues.
I work with many men (who sometimes feel more comfortable talking to another man) and also work with women too.
I have lots of experience working with sexually diverse clients (gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer) and have trained and maintain links with Pink Therapy in London to keep me up to date with GSD client issues.
I have spent years training in couples therapy and relationship counselling so have a real interest in what helps two people connect. As a result of this I work with a lot of couples using Imago Relationship Therapy and work with individuals on how they can improve their relationships if their partner will not come to therapy. One person doing things differently in a relationship can make a big difference.
I love my work. If I won the lottery tomorrow I would buy a nice car and then keep doing what I’m doing. I feel really lucky to say that.
I get a real buzz from seeing my client’s lives change.
Seeing people connect with their loved ones in new, deeper ways because they have dropped behaviours that are getting in the way is hugely rewarding for me.
Celebrating with clients that have got themselves back to work after long periods off with anxiety or watching a depressed client re-engage with life is both a pleasure and an honour.
Sitting with a client who is contacting their sadness or grief for the first time brings meaning to my life – it’s important to me and gives my life real purpose.
I’m also completely fascinated by how humans work and spend much of my time outside of my therapy room reading and writing about such things.
If you want to read some of the stuff I have written you can check out my blogs, full of information on therapy and personal development.
My current blog with my most recent ramblings is iantomlinson.co.uk Have a look and see if the sort of thing I talk about on there is the sort of thing you are interested in.
The International Coach Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential” and the coaching experience as “professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change.”
If you’re looking to develop a particular aspect of yourself or your life, coaching may be a better fit than counselling or psychotherapy.
While coaching also offers some of the depth and healing of these other therapies, it’s generally more focused on forward motion and working towards specific goals.
Who would use coaching?
Coaching is widely used by people striving to live to their full potential and grow towards a fuller expression of themselves. It’s suitable for anyone with these aspirations. It’s also widely used in the professional and corporate environment – and equally by individuals who want to focus on an area of their life.
What’s the difference between coaching and counselling?
The difference between counselling / psychotherapy and coaching can be confusing. In general terms, coaching is generally suitable for people who are “functioning” well in their lives and want to put focus on a particular area of their lives.
Counselling and psychotherapy are generally more suitable for people who may not feel that they are coping or functioning well in their lives, and want to address specific emotional or behavioural issues.
While it’s not necessary for the client to know anything about coaching, Co-Active Coaching is one coaching approach practised at the Affinity Centre. In essence, Co-Active Coaching is a partnership between the coach and the client; the client brings the agenda and the content, and the coach manages the process to support the client in making change happen. More information on the Co-Active Coaching approach can be found here.
Anger can be a useful emotion when you need it to push you to do something that needs to be done or change a situation that is frustrating you. It’s an emotion we all feel. When anger gets to be the only way you express your emotions or a regular feature of the way you are living your life then it may be time to sort it out and look at what’s going on for you.
The cost of Anger
Anger can cost relationships, cause hurt and pain for your loved ones and work colleagues and, if it transcends into violence cause physical damage to objects, other people or yourself. But you have a choice. You can control your behaviour even though you are feeling angry.
What will the the Anger Management Course cover?
- New ways of thinking about your thinking
- How to connect with your emotions more fully
- An opportunity to identify what really matters in your life and what your anger might cost you
- Strategies for how you can behave differently when you feel the red mist rising
- An opportunity to learn about how you tick as a human being and how you can use this information to behave differently
- Time to talk to other people who have issues with anger and learn that you’re not alone with this
How does the course work?
Each two hour session will involve exercises, discussion, education about anger and the human condition and personal work that you will conduct in small groups or individually. You will be given homework to do between sessions but you get to choose whether you do this or not.
What theories will I learn on the course?
The course will be using Transactional Analysis and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as the main models to help give you another way of understanding your behaviour. There will be no technical language and most things will also be backed up with easy to understand diagrams (pictures speak a thousand words).
When, where, how much?
The course will run on Thursday evenings every fortnight for eight sessions. It will start from January 2015 once we have enough people signed up to run it effectively. There will be a limit of eight people on the course to make it personal and give participants an opportunity to form trusting relationships with the others on the course.
The cost of the course will be £400. This covers all eight weeks and is payable at the start of the course or in monthly installments of £100 a month. If you decide to sign up though you will be contracted to pay for the entire course whether you attend or not. There is a £50 non-returnable deposit on signup.
The course will run in the group room at The Affinity Centre, Wilmslow.
How do I sign up?
Just contact the centre using this form or phone/text me on 01625 529099.
I can’t do Thursday nights but I am interested – what can I do?
Contact the centre or phone on 01625 529099 and let’s talk about it.