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Wimbledon Guild Counselling Training

For over 20 years The Wimbledon Guild Counselling Training has offered counsellors of every level the opportunity to learn new skills and take part in training.

We choose high quality speakers and frequently look for topics that have cross-modality appeal. We have an enduring interest in attachment-based counselling models and, in addition to a CPD programme, we are currently offering the first attachment-based counselling training in Great Britain.

Our courses are accessible to those that work or have other commitments and are most often offered on the weekend.



The Therapist’s Own Attachments- with Linda Cundy a 2 day CPD event

This 2-day event will help participants reflect on their own attachment history, personal and professional, and how that has shaped the person they are now. It will be highly experiential and make use of creative approaches including use of art.

To book please visit:



The neuroscience of early relational trauma and its relevance to clinical work with Dr Briony Nicholls

Throughout the history of psychotherapy and counselling researchers have looked for explanations and descriptions in neuroscience that correlate with our experiences of clients and of ourselves. We are now in a position to use that research to inform our thinking about our professional practice.

Our brains are designed to adapt to challenges of our environment, to help us survive. Its structures develop and are shaped through attachment and in relationship with others. In this workshop, we will investigate what happens to the brain when early nurturing and attunement are less than optimal, and in the context of early relational trauma.


Meaning Oriented Grief Therapy

This workshop will introduce participants to meaning-oriented grief therapy, an approach that seeks to facilitate loss narrative reconstruction, developing a security-enhancing bond with the deceased and living a meaningful life without the deceased (Neimeyer et al., 2011). This model follows research findings suggesting that grief therapy addressing the greater need for sense-making and reconstructing meaning could aid effective adjustment (Currier, Holland, & Neimeyer, 2008).

Meaning-oriented grief therapy involves a brief-therapeutic protocol with an introductory and closing session and five major phases: “Reopening the Story” phase, progressing to “Processing the Event Story of the Loss” and “Revisiting the Back Story of the Relationship,” before concluding with “Accessing the Continuing Bond”, and finally, “Consolidation”. Each phase involves several techniques, which are drawn from the Meaning Reconstruction Approach (Neimeyer, 2012; Neimeyer & Sands, 2011).

After a brief theoretical presentation of the rationale for meaning-oriented grief therapy, a selection of therapeutic techniques will be presented, illustrated with clinical excerpts and video recordings from real-life cases. A large focus of the workshop will be for participants to gain an experiential understanding of the techniques through hands-on practice.

The main goal of this workshop is to offer a set of principles for practice, illustrated through clinical video and experiential exercises.

The Trainers:

Dr Edith Steffen is a Senior Lecturer in Counselling Psychology at the University of Roehampton and a practising Counselling Psychologist. Her research is in meaning-oriented grief therapy, continuing bonds in bereavement and extraordinary death-related experiences. She recently ran a pilot ‘Meaning in Loss’ group at the research clinic of the Centre for Research in Social and Psychological Transformation (CREST) at Roehampton.

Dr Inês Mendes is a Lecturer at the Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London. Her main publications concern processes of change in psychotherapy, namely the development of innovative moments in different therapeutic treatments using mix-method design. As a Clinical Psychologist she has recently participated in a funded project aiming at assessing the efficacy of a 12 sessions’ protocol of meaning-oriented grief therapy delivered through Skype.


Psychoanalysis and Anxiety: From Knowing to Being

Kierkegaard, following Lucretius, said that we cannot help but flee from anxiety, that anxiety is universal, and that in anxiety we suffer from our being. Such anxiety arises from the human condition and, in contrast to specific fears, cannot simply be related to a ‘cause’ that can be ‘treated’. Our natural tendency is to flee from that which cannot be altered or modified.

My research, which takes in writings on anxiety from antiquity through to a consideration of the role of anxiety in the writings of Freud, Klein, Winnicott, seeks to understand what, as analysts and therapists, we might be able to offer our patients in the presence of the kind of anxiety to which we are also subject — as fellow human beings.

I will be exploring with you Freud’s early writing on the mother’s availability to her infant in states in which both the infant and she fear it will die at any moment, and Bion’s container-contained theory in which the mother takes the baby’s anxiety into herself. These both require the mother to be with the baby’s experience to become informed of the infant’s predicament, and to meet it with something in herself.

The role of interpretation is key in psychoanalysis, and in my book I consider its function in relation to anxiety. Drawing upon insights from a daseinsanalytic approach, which recognises as one of its core principles that our being is revealed in and disclosed by anxiety, I show how I prioritise the experience of being with the patient and becoming informed through being with them, before making an interpretation in the realm of knowing (K).

In an interactive workshop we will work through some exercises and scenarios which present us with the challenge of how this approach might help us to attend to anxiety in our patients, in a way that is helpful to them, whilst remaining psychoanalytic in our thinking and understanding

The trainer:

Chris Mawson is a Training and Supervising Analyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society. He trained at the Tavistock Clinic in psychoanalytic psychotherapy with children and adolescents, and in psychoanalysis at the British Psychoanalytical Society and Institute. He worked for nine years in St Mary’s Hospital Department of Child Psychiatry, Paddington Green, in the days when children at that clinic were offered intensive psychoanalytic treatment within the care of the National Health Service. He now works as a psychoanalyst in private practice.

As well as the clinical practice of psychoanalysis, he is interested in the study of groups from a psychoanalytic perspective. He has a special interest in the work of Wilfred Bion and is the editor of The Complete Works of W. R. Bion (2014, Karnac Books).

Other publications include:

Psychoanalysis and Anxiety: From Knowing to Being (2018) Routledge; Three Papers of W. R. Bion (Ed. 2018, Routledge); Interpretation as Freud’s specific action, and Bion’s container–contained (2017, International Journal of Psychoanalysis); Review: Between Mind and Brain: Models of the Mind and Models in the Mind by Ronald Britton (2017, International Journal of Psychoanalysis); Bion Today (editor, 2010, Routledge); The use of play technique in understanding disturbed behaviour in school (1986, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy); and Containing anxiety in work with damaged children, in Anton Obholzer and Vega Zagier Roberts (eds), The Unconscious at Work: Individual and Organisational Stress in the Human Services (1994, 2nd Edition, 2019 Routledge).


From coercive control through to physical and sexual violence: Working with Interpersonal Violence and Domestic Abuse

On average, two women a week in the UK are murdered by their partner or ex-partner. While much of the clinical literature focuses on physical violence in domestic abuse (DA), there is increasing evidence that power, control, coercion and emotional abuse is used to control partners in intimate relationships. This workshop, which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists, aims to enhance our comprehension of DA, its impact and long term effects on survivors; while explaining how, as practitioners, we can work effectively using the principles of safe trauma therapy, psychoeducation and stabilization to restore control and to allow for the processing of the DA narrative. It will look at the spectrum of DA, including the dynamics of control and coercion in emotional abuse, and the role of shame and humiliation that silences those who are being domestically abused.

The workshop will consider the use of physical force, sexual violence, financial abuse, spiritual abuse and revenge porn, and identify those most at risk of interpersonal violence and DA. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the processes involved in DA such as grooming victims, the cycle of abuse, the role of dissociation and thought blindness that supports the trauma bond which binds the couple. The aim is to understand how victims may present in practice, to identify signs and symptoms of DA and how they can be understood and supported. the role of attachment and fear of abandonment that underpins much of DA and how this manifests relationally both for the couple and practitioners working with DA. We also look at the importance of the therapeutic relationship in restoring relational worth, mitigating the de-humanising effects of DA and restoring autonomy and self-agency.

Conceptualizing DA within the complex trauma framework, we consider the processing of the DA narrative and the facilitation of post traumatic growth. By identifying the challenges of working with DA and introducing a range of therapeutic skills, practitioners will feel more equipped when working with survivors of DA and enhance their comprehension of the transformative effects of post traumatic growth for both clients and practitioners.

Specifically, we will consider:

  • The nature and dynamics of DA, such as the role of charm and enticement, the use of control and coercion, the cycle of abuse, the nature of thought blindness that facilitates the trauma bond
  • The role of silence, secrecy and stigmatization
  • The role of shame
  • The role of dissociation
  • The intergenerational transmission of DA through attachment and relational deficits
  • The characteristics of male and female perpetrators DA as complex trauma and its neurobiological impact
  • The psychological impact and long term effects of DA on partners, and children
  • Obstacles to leaving an abusive relationship
  • The importance of developing safety plans when leaving
  • The need for safety and multi-agency collaboration
  • The need for longer term therapy using a trauma informed practice model when working with survivors of DA
  • The role of the therapeutic relationship in restoring autonomy and self-agency
  • The impact of working with DA on practitioners and the role of self-care

The Trainer:

Christiane Sanderson BSc, MSc. is a senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton, of London with over 30 years of experience working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence. She has delivered consultancy, continuous professional development and professional training for parents, teachers, social workers, nurses, therapists, counsellors, solicitors, the NSPCC, Towards Healing, Ireland. the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Committee, the Methodist Church, the Metropolitan Police Service, SOLACE, the Refugee Council, Birmingham City Council Youth Offending Team, and HMP Bronzefield. She is the author of Counselling Skills for Working with Shame, Counselling Skills for Working with Trauma: Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse, Counselling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 3rd edition, Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse, The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to Protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse, and Introduction to Counselling Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She has also written The Warrior Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Sexual Violence; The Spirit Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Religious Sexual Abuse Across All Faiths and Responding to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: A pocket guide for professionals, partners, families and friends and Numbing the Pain: A pocket guide for professionals supporting survivors of childhood sexual abuse and addiction for the charity One in Four for whom she is a trustee.


Providing Help at the Point of Need: Insights from Single-Session and One-at-a-Time (OAAT) Therapy: A One Day Workshop with Windy Dryden

While Carl Rogers discussed the importance of the 'core conditions' in counselling and therapy, clients often claim that what is also therapeutic is being seen at the point of their need rather than at the point of service availability. In this workshop, I will discuss the nature, principles and practice of single-session and one-at-a-time therapy that has been developed to provide a response to that need and to reflect the fact that the most frequent number of sessions that clients have internationally is '1'. I will make the point that single-session and one-at-a-time work is best viewed as a mindset rather than as an approach and will stress that SST/OAAT can be practised by therapists using their preferred orientation. I will demonstrate my approach to this way of working with volunteers from the audience who seek help for current issues that they are prepared to discuss in front of an audience of their peers.


Intergenerational Trauma, with particular focus on black identity wounding with Dr Aileen Alleyne

Intergenerational trauma is a form of historical trauma that affects many people or even an entire generation. The collective trauma is transferred from the first generation of trauma survivors to the second and further generations of off-springs of the survivors. These effects are passed on via complex post-traumatic stress disorder mechanisms, which can be psychological, physical, mental and spiritual. Commonly cited examples of historical trauma include, the Holocaust and African Slavery, but famine, natural disaster, war, terrorism, and displacement, can also produce similar effects of intergenerational trauma. As clinicians we may struggle to understand the part that history plays for our clients. This workshop is an opportunity to explore how history still plays a part in creating ongoing challenges for our cultural, social and racial identity. Our history is deeply embedded in the unconscious and understanding the impact of this phenomenon can help facilitate awareness of and insight into struggles that clients bring into the consulting room. The workshop will be facilitated with a particular focus on black identity wounding, will also provide a space to increase and deepen cross-cultural competence in this area of clinical practice.


Aspergers in the Bedroom


The Workshop:

Asperger Syndrome in the Bedroom: A one day workshop aimed at professionals working with individuals affected by Asperger syndrome. The aim of the workshop is to increase the understanding of this complex disorder and develop useful methods and strategies for working with individuals and couples affected by Asperger syndrome

Workshops are interactive and offer a balanced combination of activities, learning and discussion. The workshop is sensitively paced to meet individual needs and there will be time allowed for having questions answered.

Objectives: To increase understanding of how being affected by Asperger syndrome (AS) will impact on an adult and the sexual side of the couple relationship.


  • Understand the facts behind Asperger syndrome
  • Understand what is meant by Theory of mind, Meltdown and mindreading
  • To appreciate the relevance of sensory sensitivity and it’s impact.
  • To understand how both partners in a couple relationship will be affected.
  • To practice role plays in Communication.
  • To look at case studies.
  • To have knowledge of tools and strategies that may help the couple to discuss feelings, emotions and sex.

Course structure: Discussions/PowerPoint/video/role play/exercises

Aimed at: Psychosexual therapists, counsellors, psychologists who might find themselves working with individuals and couples affected by Asperger syndrome

The Trainer:

Maxine Aston has an MSc in Health Psychology and has worked as an BACP accredited counsellor for many years. Maxine is also qualified as a supervisor and a teacher in Adult Education. Maxine runs her own Counselling Centre where she specialises in working with individuals, couples and families affected by Asperger syndrome, she has specialised in this area since 1998. Maxine is one of the few professionals working with adults in relationships and is the author of five books on this topic. Maxine’s book ‘The Other Half of Asperger Syndrome’ was the first book published on relationships when one partner has Asperger Syndrome. Maxine is presently writing a sixth book and is conducting research with Professor Tony Attwood into couple counselling and Asperger Syndrome. Maxine has been running workshops both in Scotland and England for twenty years. In addition, Maxine’s workshops, for partners that live with a person with Asperger syndrome, have been highly successful and attended by participants from all over the world.

To book visit:


"I hope you die and I hope it's soon." Unconscious parental death wishes and the infanticidal attachment?

"I hope you die and I hope it's soon." Unconscious parental death wishes and the infanticidal attachment? with Professor Brett Kahr


Do parental death wishes actually exist? And if so, what impact might such unconscious hatred have upon the long-term development of the child? In this presentation, Professor Brett Kahr will examine the toxic, even nuclear, impact of infanticidal wishes across the life cycle.


Although Sigmund Freud wrote extensively about death wishes in the family, he devoted far more attention to the child’s desire to kill the parent of the same sex, rather than upon the parent’s desire to murder the child. Donald Winnicott elaborated upon parental death wishes, especially in his classic essay “Hate in the Counter-Transference”, albeit rather briskly.

Building upon these foundational contributions, Brett Kahr will draw upon his work with psychotic and forensic patients and, also, with normal-neurotic individuals, to explore the many ways in which maternal and paternal death wishes and death threats towards babies and children become internalised over time and, ultimately, contribute to the development of severe psychopathology.

Kahr will explore the concept of the “infanticidal attachment”, examining how early death threats can damage the very foundations of the ego structure, resulting in psychosis, suicidality, criminality, severe eating problems, life-threatening addictions, and a host of other extreme psychological states. Drawing upon extensive case material, he will consider how intensive, long-term psychoanalytically orientated treatment can contribute to the neutralisation of such toxic “infanticidal introjects”.


Infidelity and the Couple Relationship

Infidelity is a distressing and common theme in couple therapy, and one which has a high prevalence despite societal condemnation. For both partners, an intense relationship outside the primary one can be interpersonally traumatising. There are usually multiple determinants, but the need to know why it happened can be very strong, leading to destructive exchanges and emotional turmoil. This training day will explore the complex themes that arise when infidelity in its various forms impacts on the couple relationship.


Working with dreams in clinical practice: realising the full richness, depth and significance of dreams with Marcus West

This workshop will give an overview of the history of dreams and dream interpretation, Freud’s and Jung’s approach to dreams, the neuroscience controversies around dreams, and an exploration of how the unconscious works in respect to dreams, but will centrally focus on working with dreams in clinical practice.

Although it primarily looks at dreams from a Jungian perspective, the workshop offers an approach that can be applied by all practitioners, supplementing their existing way of working. Essentially this involves unpacking the many levels and layers of meaning embedded in dream symbols and dynamics. My central interest is in the way that dreams illuminate our internal working models - our implicitly-held early relational experience - that are central of therapeutic practice. I will illustrate this approach by looking at four of Jung’s own key dreams, which will also elucidate the heart of Jungian psychology.


Working with the Unspoken. When talking is not enough

A workshop for counsellors and psychotherapists interested in deeply exploring body awareness in therapy and illuminating working with non-verbal phenomena and countertransference

Mind and body are fully integrated and what the therapist notices in the client’s body, or experiences in her own body, energy, tension, holding or other non-verbal phenomena is vital to bring into awareness and into the work with our clients. Today, our clinical work with traumatised and abused clients, both adult and child, coupled with recent neuroscience research, emphasises how trauma is held in the body and how a bodily understanding is essential for therapists working with trauma, anxiety and depression. This workshop will deeply explore body awareness in therapy and illuminate working with non-verbal phenomena and countertransference. We will draw on a range of body psychotherapy theory, clinical examples and group discussions, whilst reflecting on the therapists felt countertransference in her own body. We will incorporate a newer understanding of the Autonomic Nervous System, Poly Vagal Theory, the Breath, Movement and felt energy in the therapist’s body as key pillars of the day.



Wimbledon Guild Counselling Training Conference 2020: An attachment perspective on our relationship with eating

On Saturday 29th Feb 2020 10am-4:00pm Wimbledon Guild Counselling will hold our One Day Conference. This year’s theme will be: An attachment perspective on our relationship with eating

Chair: Linda Cundy

Speakers: Professor Jeremy Holmes, Linda Cundy, Penny Forster

Further details to follow:

The Speakers:

Linda Cundy is an attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapist, supervisor, and independent trainer who has a long association with the Wimbledon Guild. She has written and edited three books to date (Love in the Age of the Internet: Attachment in the Digital Era; Anxiously Attached: Understanding and Working With Preoccupied Attachment; and Attachment and the Defence Against Intimacy:

Understanding and Working with Avoidant Attachment, Self-Hatred, and Shame)

as well as a number of articles published in professional journals. She has a private psychotherapy practice in North London.

Professor Jeremy Holmes MD was for 35 years Consultant Psychiatrist/Medical Psychotherapist at University College London (UCL) and then in North Devon, UK, and Chair of the Psychotherapy Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists 1998-2002. He is visiting Professor at the University of Exeter, and lectures nationally and internationally.

In addition to 200+ peer-reviewed papers and chapters in the field of psychoanalysis and attachment theory, his books include John Bowlby and Attachment Theory (2nd edition 2013), The Oxford Textbook of Psychotherapy (2005 co-editors Glen Gabbard and Judy Beck), Exploring In Security: Towards an Attachment-informed PsychoanalyticPsychotherapy (2010, winner of Canadian Goethe Prize) , and The Therapeutic Imagination: Using Literature to Deepen Psychodynamic Understanding and Enhance Empathy (2014) and Attachment in Therapeutic Practice (2017, with A Slade). He was recipient of the Bowlby-Ainsworth Founders Award 2009.

Penny Forster is a senior psychotherapist, highly specialised in the treatment of eating disorders. She has built up over 15,000 hours of supervised clinical practice over 23 years, throughout this time exclusively seeing people with all types of eating disorder.

After an initial training in group therapy, she gained a Post-Graduate Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy at Roehampton Institute (University of Surrey), and then went on to train more extensively in attachment-based psychodynamic therapy, completing the Post-Graduate Diploma in Attachment-Based Psychotherapy at the Wimbledon Guild in 2015.

Penny worked as an independent psychotherapist with the Eating Disorder Unit at the Priory Hospital Roehampton for many years, seeing individual patients and running groups as part of their extensive therapy programme. She currently works with her colleagues as a partner in the Chelsea and Harley Street Eating Disorder Service, seeing patients individually and running a weekly support group for patients who are approaching recovery.

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