Transactional Analysis Cumbrian Conference 2021

Here you will find an archive of workshops from our 17th annual conference

Global Connection – Global Survival

Andy holds TSTA(P). He is the director of the TA Training Organisation in Leeds, where is also maintains a thriving psychotherapy and supervision practice. He was recently awarded an MSc. in research, exploring the supervisee’s phenomenological experience of supervision.
Andy regularly presents at conferences at the national level including with the BACP. He is delighted to have had recent writing published in the Transactional Analysis Journal.

The presenters bring their current thinking and curiosity around the specific connection and survival needs of clients who present as neurodivergent. Using Berne’s metaphor of the pile of coins, they reflect on the trauma of being ‘differently able’ and the sensitivity required in working with clients who have been so regularly misunderstood and discounted. 

Using polyvagal theory alongside concepts from relational TA, trauma and body psychotherapy, participants are invited to deepen their knowledge about divergent minds and bodies, expand their frame of reference, and understand the importance of the embodied presence of the therapist.

What qualities does the practitioner need to bring to their work and what qualities do they need to encourage in their clients?

This workshop builds on ideas from Transactional Analysis – such as the “I’m OK, You’re OK” position – looking at three key qualities: being welcoming, bringing curiosity and challenge, and the holding of hope. Faced with what the client can bring, the practitioner needs to be active and skilful in order to keep these qualities fully alive. And they also need to find ways to match and mirror where the client is at, not showing more welcome, curiosity, or hope than can be tolerated at any given moment.

In times of crisis good leadership is crucial, and yet leading in extremis can bring vulnerability in leaders, to whom people are looking for answers and a way through. Eric Berne wrote that ‘special qualities’ are unconsciously attributed to leaders, including ‘omniscience, invulnerability, and indefatigability’. In other words, leaders can be expected to superhuman.

Empathy is generally seen as an an important aspect of effective therapy. Indeed in our current global situation it is a capacity that is much needed in managing many of the challenges. Yet what is Empathy?

Participants are invited on an exploration of Embodiment that encompasses the conference theme. 

With the concept of the ‘Three Unconscious Motivators’, Fanita English gives us a key to understanding how our psychic energy operates.

What kind of survival are we talking about if all the technological means of communication at our disposal are meaningless for a person or a group of people? Physical survival? Psychological survival? Are we really surviving?

In this workshop, Veronique presents Fanita English’s concepts and will propose exercises. I will give illustrations and examples and will make reference to recent experiences during the lockdown. You will be invited to share your own reflections and experiences.

This workshop aims to re-visit some of Berne’s early ideas which often attract less attention than they deserve. We believe that these concepts are not only fundamental to TA but also to raising our consciousness overall, an essential prerequisite for attending to global challenges like climate change and systemic oppression.

Images have become a hot topic in psychotherapy, especially in association with the treatment of trauma and difficulties with anxiety.

Of especially importance has been studies in the bi-directional nature of images and emotions. In other words, if you are remembering something that is very emotional, it is highly likely that this memory will be in the form of an image. Likewise, if you try to remember something very emotional, this experience is far more powerful if an image is recalled rather than simple verbal processing.
The power of images brings us to two treatment ideas:
• Imagery should be examined during clinical assessment and formulated. • Positive changes in images and metaphors can be incredibly potent when
working with trauma.
This workshop will offer didactic teaching, experimentation and opportunities to apply the theory in practice.

In Greek mythology, when Pandora could not resist the temptation to open the box gifted to her she let out misfortunes and evils into the world. She shut it when she realised. The last thing left in the box was hope.

In the challenge that the world is facing at the moment what are we hoping for the world? for ourselves? What do we mean by hope? TS Eliot wrote “hope would be hope for for the wrong thing”.

This workshop presents the design and outcomes of a developmental group inspired by Claude Steiner’s contact groups called “Stroke City” (Steiner, 2003). The goal of the group is to invite people to understand their own stroke economies and learn healthy ways to get their stroke needs met. It revives the use of Transactional Analysis proper.
In the workshop, participants will

• Observe a stroke city group being facilitated
• Recognise the ground rules that give power to the process
• Understand the outcomes that are possible with such groups
• Reflect on the relevance of groups such as these in the world today

Ecological TA is a new movement ( that focusses on a shift in our thinking away from seeing humans as separate from nature and towards a mindset where we are part of nature.

This workshop introduces the idea of Humility being at the heart of an ecological mind-set that promotes awareness and acceptance, inter-connectedness, cooperation and action. And away from neurotic competitiveness, individual narcissism and collective narcissism.

Using Polyvagal Theory and TA, we will explore how our bodies move between seeking protection and seeking connection.

I will cover a basic introduction of Polyvagal Theory, before I share my own thinking around how the theory fits into the world of TA. The workshop will give participants practical tools to use with clients, as well as a scientific explanation of human connection. It will be experiential, with an embodied focus.

Embodied presence is a foundational skill for the therapist, in essence simple, in practice complex and multi-layered – all the more important (and elusive) when connecting virtually.

In this interactive session we will examine and practice the foundations (in a step by step format); explore some of the complexities (using various models); consider some differentiated ways of enhancing clients’ embodied self- awareness; and address the particular challenges of working virtually.

Michael will offer some theory from Body Psychotherapy, and especially Somatic Trauma Therapy, and neuroscience (Schore, Siegel et al), but the emphasis will be on practice.