Monday, January 14, 2008

One-day PE-EFT Workshop in Dundee

Entry for 11 January 2007:

With my crazy week, I barely had time to organize the one-day taster workshop on Process-Experiential-Emotion-Focused Therapy scheduled for Friday in Dundee. I was fortunate enough to be able to get a ride from John McLeod back to his house, after the Scottish SPR meeting on Thursday night, since the workshop was scheduled for 9:30 the next morning (the folks who caught the train I would have taken turned up late).

John and Julia have moved up into the hills between Dundee and Perth, to a farmhouse-style place up one of the little valleys off the Perth-Dundee road. The rain had cleared out and the temperature had dropped, or maybe it was just that we had moved out of the Dear Green Zone that we had noticed when we flew in the previous Monday. At any rate, by the we got there, the road leading up to the valley to their house turned icy and the gravel of their drive was covered in a layer of bumpy ice. As I got out of the car, I was hit by the intensity of the bright stars glowing against the clear winter sky, like Murray Creek but with a clearer horizon because their weren’t so many trees; we could even see the Milky Way!

They put up me in a very nice outbuilding, similar to what we call the Prayer Closet at Murray Creek, but with indoor plumbing. Actually, their whole place reminds me strongly of a somewhat less primitive Murray Creek. I’d finished going over my presentations for the next day, and slept soundly for a change.

In the morning, after John had warned me that I’m working too hard and we had struggled to get out up the icy drive to the main road, Julia drove us into Dundee for the workshop. Once there, the set-up when very smoothly and I found myself ready 15 minutes early for a change. I felt a bit at loose ends, but it made for a pleasant start to an intense day.

In contrast to the summer EFT-1 course, only a few of the 15 attendees (including a couple from Glasgow and one from Newcastle) were primarily trained in the Person-Centred Approach; most were in the humanistic-integrative camp, with a fair number with a Transactional Analysis (TA) background. This meant that I was preaching to the choir when it came to process guiding; for a change, nobody really seemed to be struggling with that.

I seem to have developed a reasonable plan for one-day taster courses: I emphasized emotion theory, played a couple of videos, introduced two tasks (two chairwork and Clearing a Space), did a live demonstration, and had them practice Two Chairwork in groups of 3 or 4. This time I dropped the outcome research and the dialectical constructivism (they were in the handout but we skipped over them). Overall, this structure gives participants a bunch of the theory and a flavour for the practice and the workshop format, making it a good lead in for the PE-EFT Level 1 training, for those who are interested in going on to do more.

As has happened in the past, the experiential small group practice nearly got squeezed out at the end. This would have been a mistake, because I suspect that it was the high point for many of those there. We left on a high note, dashing off to the train station to catch the 16.47 train back to Glasgow. As Julia dropped the Glasgow-bound folks off, I asked her to please tell John to invite me back. I rode home through the early Friday evening darkness (the sun is still setting about 4), tired but please, looking forward to a quiet evening at home after a long week that had started in Ohio.

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