I’ve had a fab few days in lovely Leeds for the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s Practitioner Conference.
As part of BACP’s Coaching Executive (I’m their Specialist for Communications), it was brilliant to spend so much time with my colleagues and to learn more about the way they work.
I had some lovely feedback about my own presentations on becoming more embodied as practitioners (sharing self care tools with therapists and coaches and was glad I’d risked sharing some crystal therapy and EFT (emotional freedom technique) as well as the more obvious body and breath work.)
An unexpected but much appreciated bonus on the Friday was a glorious (if stupid o’clock in the morning) swim. I had felt overly optimistic packing swim things and delusional when asking at Reception about the pool (it hadn’t been on the website) but it turned out they had a shuttle which took me to a local golf club.
One of my highlights was seeing the 45 delegates in my Friday workshop being so willing to participate and happily experimenting with Power Poses (if you haven’t already, do check out Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk here for more on this simple and effective technique).
Professor Stephen Joseph’s keynote on Post Traumatic Growth resonated with my own experience (personal and professional) as well as fitting so well with psychosynthesis which sees people’s potential as much as their wounding.
How wonderful to hear that 30-70% of survivors later (often MUCH later – this has to happen in their own time and on their own terms) see the trauma/s as a springboard into a more meaningful life.
I bought the last copy of his What Doesn’t Kill Us book and turned around and he was there so got an autographed copy.
Anne Scoging differentiated between complex and complicated trauma and gave an amazing talk about her experiences with the latter through her work with London firefighters.
I was sorry to not be able to attend more but with so many interesting offerings, I stuck with the trauma and self-care strands for Day 1.
BACP’s Jade and Richard and others (not to mention all the volunteers on BACP’s various Executives) did an amazing job organising it all.
That evening, we met some of BACP Coaching’s Network Group Organisers who were more local to Leeds than London. So great to put faces to names. If you’re a coach-therapist or simply want to find out more, it’s worth checking out local meetings and you can find out more information here.
Day 2 was about integrative coach-therapy and, having been in the background while Steve Page and Gill Fennings-Monkman put such a fab day together, it was great to be part of it unfolding and to meet so many lovely new coach-therapists and therapists who were simply interested in learning more about coaching.
We started with a Panel discussion and it was inspirational for me to hear more about their diverse journeys into coach-therapy.
My more holistic route into coach-therapy was very different from the others’ (more corporate) and, again, I’d been a little apprehensive about sharing some of it but people responded really positively.
Margaret Chapman guided some of us in a mindfulness meditation at lunch and Carolyn Mumby was, as ever, a superstar stepping in at the last minute after the lovely Jayne Hildreth (get well soon!) was too ill to make it for her segment.
Carolyn, Gill, Michele Down and Becky Wright pulled together to create an integrative workshop on integrative coach-therapy and some of the different approaches (including a comedic and informative role play session with Gill playing a fictional client and Michele pausing to explain her process at different stages throughout the session).
Steve Page led a thought provoking workshop around the quality of supervision for coach-therapists and then I shared some more self-care tools before we completed the day with a roundup discussion.
All in all, I feel fortunate to have met so many lovely people and to have got to know the team better.
As well as being part of such an exciting, pioneering and innovative way of working, it’s easy to occasionally feel a little isolated.
I imagine that the feeling of gratitude for community and support I felt in Leeds will stay with me for a long time.
If you were there, what were YOUR highlights? Feel free to share below.