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The Awareness Centre

The Awareness Centre (TAC) Training School offers a centre of excellence for counselling training and continuing professional development (CPD) for therapists.

Based at The Awareness Centre in Clapham SW4, the TAC Training School offers a one-year Foundation Certificate in Counselling for people looking to take their first steps into counselling – and a two-year Diploma in Integrative Counselling for those looking to complete a counselling qualification.

The TAC Training School also offers a broad range of continuing professional development (CPD) workshops for therapists. It also offers and personal development courses and workshops for clients.

Courses

Course

The Foundation Certificate in Counselling

The Awareness Centre’s Foundation Certificate in Counselling offers you an opportunity to discover, explore and experience the field of counselling. The Foundation Certificate is a one-year, part-time course run over a number of weekends from The Awareness Centre (TAC) in Clapham SW4. 

The course provides a robust theoretical and practical introduction to counselling, with an emphasis on putting your knowledge and skills into practice.

The course helps you to develop interpersonal skills and build therapeutic relationships, so you can attend sensitively and appropriately to the needs of your clients. We also work on the importance of establishing and maintaining clear professional and personal boundaries.

Self-awareness and personal development are vital components of the training. The course includes personal and professional development activities, counselling skills training, and an exploration and understanding of theories that underpin your counselling work.

The Foundation Certificate in Counselling is suitable if you are considering a career in counselling, or if you wish to develop your interpersonal and communication skills. This training offers 120 contact hours.


Course

The Foundation Certificate in Counselling

The Awareness Centre’s Foundation Certificate in Counselling offers you an opportunity to discover, explore and experience the field of counselling. The Foundation Certificate is a one-year, part-time course run over a number of weekends from The Awareness Centre (TAC) in Clapham SW4. 

The course provides a robust theoretical and practical introduction to counselling, with an emphasis on putting your knowledge and skills into practice.

The course helps you to develop interpersonal skills and build therapeutic relationships, so you can attend sensitively and appropriately to the needs of your clients. We also work on the importance of establishing and maintaining clear professional and personal boundaries.

Self-awareness and personal development are vital components of the training. The course includes personal and professional development activities, counselling skills training, and an exploration and understanding of theories that underpin your counselling work.

The Foundation Certificate in Counselling is suitable if you are considering a career in counselling, or if you wish to develop your interpersonal and communication skills. This training offers 120 contact hours.

Workshops

Workshop

Understanding Personality Disorder with Anna Minogue BSc psych; MA psych; UKCP accredited

5 hours CPD

During this workshop we will explore, clarify and critically evaluate the clinical diagnosis of personality disorder. We will consider current theories of the development and maintenance of personality disorder, identifying recommended treatment pathways and therapies, as well as practical issues for those seeking to help.

By the end of this workshop you will be better able to: define the term ‘Personality Disorder’ and describe the main features of this mental health condition; describe how and why the problems associated with Personality Disorder develop from childhood and endure into adult life; describe a simple model for recognising the core features of personality disorder in the therapy setting; identify the treatment pathways and NICE recommended therapies for Personality Disorder and identify key practice issues for counsellors, psychotherapists and others in the helping role.


Workshop

Suicide And Risk Assessment with Anna Minogue BSc psych; MA psych; UKCP accredited

5 hours CPD

Suicidal distress is a complex phenomenon that exists along a spectrum ranging from hopeless feelings and thoughts of death, through to active planning and suicidal acts that can end life. The aim of the workshop is to raise awareness of common risk factors for suicide, possible early warning signs to look out for, how to engage a suicidal client in an effective and supportive way, how to assess the level of risk and to decide on a plan of action. The support needs of staff and others who may be affected by suicide will be addressed throughout.


Workshop

Brief Dynamic Therapy – A Flexible, Psychodynamic Approach with Jonathan Smith

5 hours CPD

In many of the organisational contexts in which counsellors and psychotherapists work, whether in the NHS, student counselling services in higher education, or the voluntary sector, there is a need to be able to provide counselling or therapy within a short-time frame. Flexibility is another key factor in the provision of effective and evidence based therapeutic work in these settings.

The workshop will enable participants to acquire an understanding of key principles that form the basis of a flexible approach to Brief Dynamic Therapy.  

Workshop

Exploring Transitional Objects – Have We Under-Estimated Winnicott’s Seminal Idea Of 1951? withAnna Bravesmith

5 CPD HOURS

We have become familiar with the concept of transitional phenomena and most parents, particularly mothers in Western Europe and possibly further afield, understand that their children form special attachments to particular toys or objects, from which they refuse to be parted. It is also widely accepted that an activity such, as singing or reciting rhymes, at night time before going to sleep, may have a special meaning for a child.

However, the thinking behind these familiar parts of our culture is less thoroughly understood. This workshop aims to reflect on the centrality of transitional space, transitional phenomena and transitional objects to our capacity for making meaning out of life. We will include thinking about adults’ capacity for art, religion and sport in connection with a development from the early attachment to a special object.

The workshop will consist of a presentation by the speaker with PowerPoint slides and discussion, interactive exercises in pairs and small group games.


Workshop

Setting Up In Private Practice with Kevin Hamilton, Bonny Allyson and Caspar Kennerdale

5 HOURS CPD

Making the transition from either training or agency work into private practice can seem daunting to begin with. This one-day workshop aims to de-mystify the process and to provide participants with some practical tools in making this transition.

Topics covered include finding a suitable location and premises for your practice; marketing your practice, establishing an appropriate fee structure; obtaining client referrals and assessment; organising professional supervision; contracting with clients; managing risk, deciding suitable registration and professional membership options; self-employment, taxation and financial matters; professional indemnity insurance options; GDPR issues; building your practice, including EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) work and self-care.

The day will give participants ample opportunity to find out about the above and explore other issues that are related to the establishment of a successful private practice.

Workshop

Working With Dreams In Therapy with Karen Dempsey

5 hours CPD

This is a practical, experiential and creative workshop introducing you to a range of tools and techniques that can be used to work with your clients’ dreams.

We will explore dream journaling, dream narratives, dream theories, working with symbolism and imagery, and how working with dreams can facilitate personal insight and growth. The workshop will involve discussion and information sharing, as well as working with dream techniques and engaging with dream symbols through drawing.

This workshop is suitable for trainee and qualified therapists interested in working with dreams in their therapeutic practice. Please bring along a significant or recurrent dream to work with during the day.

Workshop

Voices, Visions and Unusual Beliefs – An Introduction to Psychosis with Anna Minogue BSc psych; MA psych; UKCP accredited

5 hours CPD

Voices, visions and unusual beliefs represent some of the core features of psychosis. What is happening to someone in these states of mind and what can be done to help? This one day workshop for counsellors and psychotherapists aims to demystify psychosis, throw light on how and why psychosis may develop and how counsellors and psychotherapists might be able to help.

By the end of this workshop you will be better able to: define psychosis and identify the range of clinical diagnoses that may involve these types of experience; describe a range of explanatory models of psychosis including medical, psychological and cultural understandings; identify the treatment pathways and NICE recommended psychological interventions for psychosis; identify key practice issues for counsellors, psychotherapists and others in the helping role.

Workshop

Mental Health Awareness with Anna Minogue BSc psych; MA psych; UKCP accredited

5 hours CPD

Mental health exists along a continuum from everyday pressures and stress to clinically significant mental health problems. It is not always easy, nor necessarily desirable to place hard borders between normal and abnormal mental health, but as counsellors and psychotherapists we have a duty to recognise when a specialist approach or additional support may be required, along with a duty to manage risks or crises when they arise.


This workshop provides an overview and refresher in recognising signs of common and severe mental health problems, the practical clinical issues that may arise in consequence, the treatment pathways and recommended therapeutic approaches that should be considered. By the end of this workshop you will be better able to recognise signs of common conditions such as the anxiety disorders and depressive conditions; recognise signs of personality disorders and severe conditions including bipolar disorders, schizophrenia spectrum disorders and related conditions; identify the main medical and psycho-social explanatory models of these mental health problems; Identify the treatment pathways and recommended therapies for different mental health problems; describe the principles of self-care and recovery-oriented approaches to managing mental health.

Workshop

Working With Mood And Madness – An Introduction To Bipolar Disorders with Anna Minogue BSc psych; MA psych; UKCP accredited

5 hours CPD

Bipolar is a complex condition that involves extreme swings in mood from high energy states of mania to low energy states of depression. This workshop will explore the defining features of bipolar, the psychological, emotional and social impacts for those living with bipolar and the practical issues for counsellors and psychotherapists seeking to help and manage in the therapy setting.


By the end of this workshop you will be better able to: define the term bipolar and the describe the different types; recognise signs of mania, hypomania and depression; identify the treatment pathways and NICE recommended psychological interventions for bipolar; identify key practice issues for counsellors, psychotherapists and others in the helping role.


Workshop

Taking Care Of Ourselves As Practitioners with Anna Minogue BSc psych; MA psych; UKCP accredited

5 hours CPD

According to the BACP and UKCP Codes of Practice, all counsellors and psychotherapists have a duty to monitor their own wellbeing, to take steps to protect themselves from psychological harm that might impact the quality of their work and to proactively seek out support when it is needed. What does this mean in practice? How do we ensure that we authentically ‘walk the talk’ when encouraging self-care in our clients? This one day workshop for counsellors and psychotherapists aims to facilitate reflection, discussion and practical approaches to taking care of ourselves whilst taking care of others.


By the end of this workshop you will be better able to: identify some of the main causes of therapist burn out and poor mental health; recognise signs of vicarious trauma and other signs of psychological harm in self and others; explore personal and professional barriers to taking reasonable care of self; identify some practical options for therapist self-care and support.


Workshop

Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy with Anna Bravesmith

5 hours CPD

Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT) has been developed by Alessandra Lemma, Mary Target and Peter Fonagy as a model of brief psychodynamic therapy and is used for the treatment of mood disorders, usually lasting 16 sessions. The model skilfully weaves together some aspects of attachment theory, mentalisation based therapy and some psychodynamic theory and technique, thereby providing a sophisticated synthesis.

It is used in the NHS in many IAPT services in primary care and increasingly also in secondary services for treating more complex cases, where it is often extended to 20 or 24 sessions.

The approach is to focus on the client’s relational world rather than deep internal world, although inevitably there is an overlap between these. The model is structured but leaves space for clients to bring in issues as and when they enter their minds. The therapist encourages them to make connections between what emerges in their minds and a focus which is selected to act as a ‘spine’ in the centre of the ensuing therapy. We will attempt to practice selecting a focus, or ‘interpersonal affective focus’ (IPAF) as termed in DIT.

We will proceed using a lecture format with PowerPoint slides and participatory exercises and role plays.

Note: In order to practice as a DIT therapist it is necessary to complete specialised training. This workshop is an introductory workshop, aiming to give participants a ‘taster’ with a view to continuing on to take the training.

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