Lectures & workshops

The program is currently being created. The full list of presentations that will take place during the conference will be announced after the 15th of March.

Mick Cooper (United Kingdom)

Relational depth: An experiential exploration (workshop)

This workshop will be an opportunity to explore the lived-experience of relational depth: both in therapy and in everyday life. Participants will have an opportunity to examine their own experiences of relational depth, the personal factors that may make it more challenging for them to connect deeply with their clients, and the use of embodied empathy in relating deeply to clients. The workshop builds on the keynote lecture on relational depth. By the end of it, participants will have developed their understanding of what it means to relate deeply at a personal, embodied level.

Gerhard Stumm (Austria)

Progress and stagnation in psychotherapy: sharing precious moments of change and disappointing standstills and interruptions (workshop)

I want to invite the participants to explore both positive and negative phenomena in the psychotherapeutic process. To balance out onesidedness and to learn also from failures I especially encourage the group members not only to share successes but also flops. In our exchange we will reflect upon these from a relational, experiential and existential perspective.

Michael Lux (Germany)

The Magic of Encounter – Moments of Movement from the Perspective of Neuroscience (lecture)

In recent years neurosciences have made tremendous progress in research of the human nervous system. Thereby, impressive capacities of the brain to connect humans with other humans were revealed. It was also sufficiently empirically demonstrated that person-centered relationships provide a growth-promoting interpersonal climate not only in psychotherapy but also in other contexts. Security, trust, interpersonal synchrony, affect labeling and dialogical exploration of experience have a profound influence on the vegetative nervous system, neurochemicals like Oxytocin, neural coupling, emotion regulating neural structures, and the interhemispheric information transfer. In the lecture it will be outlined how person-centered relationships may unfold their constructive power at a neurobiological level and how neurobiological processes might be involved in moments of movement.

Kurt Renders (Belgium)

Exhausted heroes: Emotion-Focused Therapy with survivors of sexual abuse (lecture)

In this lecture I will talk about how I work with male survivors of sexual abuse from the perspective of Emotion-Focused Trauma Therapy. Emotion-Focused Trauma Therapy was developed by Paivio & Pascual-Leone (2010) at the York University of Toronto, Canada. It is an empirically verified model that describes the different phases and steps that are needed to integrate trauma experiences from the past. In addition to explaining the treatment model, I will discuss case material, especially the specifics of the work I do with male survivors of sexual abuse.

Claude Missiaen (Belgium)

Facing your existential demons: Experiential workshop on focusing from your safe place (workshop)

In this workshop we want to help you to make contact with a bodily felt safe place. From here on you can go back and forth in the direction of your existential demons (like the fear of being abandoned and really be on our own, the undefined darkness that comes along sometimes, the inevitable losses we had and that we will have, the horrible awareness that our life will stop at some point, the feeling of total senselessness that can overwhelm us, the universe that is watching indifferently when our life falls apart…). Mostly, we prefer not to go into these difficult feelings and convictions. But at some point in our life, maybe we have to face them. We look for safe ways to contact your existential givens in order to have a non-threatening dialogue with them. In this interaction we give a lot of attention to appropriate self-care.

Agnieszka Brejwo and Andrzej Kapusta (Poland)

Laboratory of experience and reflecting (workshop)

During the workshop we propose several exercises based on phenomenological description of human experience. We want to trace the moments of changes and breakthroughs in the experience based on mutual interactions and reflections. Can we identify triggers? What makes our perspective more complete and broader? Can we examine this process more carefully and more closely? The participant will learn how the concepts and categories present in phenomenology, neurocognitive science and anthropology of experience translate into therapeutic practice.

Joanna Kaczmarek and Katarzyna Kawka (Poland)

River of life – the actualization tendency in a moment of movement (workshop)

We offer you a shared reflection on the function of the actualization tendency in a moment of change. We will present our thoughts on the moving spirit in a process of change which are derived from our analysis of C. Rogers’s idea of the actualization tendency and E. Gendlin’s idea of carrying forward. The form of workshop will enable us to deepen the experience of change and to share insights resulting from the on-going course of processing this experience.

Anna Szapert and Paweł Seroka (Poland)

Therapeutic process and social change – practices, opportunities, restrictions (lecture)

How and in what way can individual changes, often stimulated by a therapeutic process, be translated into social change? How can regaining autonomy and sense of personal power initiate transformation at the political level? This presentation is an attempt to define the place of psychotherapy and therapeutic culture in the context of social and political transformations. We will examine one of the historical examples of an initiative combining personal and social change, namely the Consciousness Raising movement accompanying the the second wave of American feminism and inspired by Rogerian encounter groups.

Ireneusz Kaczmarczyk (Poland)

From dependency to presence – experiential approach in psychotherapy of addicted persons (lecture)

Regulating emotional pain with the use of drugs (or behaviors) helps to adapt and at the same time precludes access to primary emotions and their adequate symbolization. Using drugs most often influences an individual’s current relationships and identity in a way that deepens the feelings of emptiness and existential suffering. During the lecture I will present a process of psychotherapy of a person addicted to psychoactive drugs and alcohol. I will give examples of experiential techniques used while working on current and past experiences. I will present moments of change in a process of integration and regaining the ability to relate to another person. In the context of the advances in neuroscience I will point out the goals and potentials of experiential therapy of addicted persons.

Piotr Cholerzyński (Poland)

Delayed impulse reaction in the unconditional acceptance atmosphere (workshop)

There is no one-word notion illustrating events opposite to trauma. Words like: euphoria, ecstasy, excitation used by patients while describing their experiences of using drugs or performing addictive behaviors are not as intense as the word ‘trauma’. I will present therapeutic work with people addicted to gambling. This work is focused on the experience of pleasure while gambling. What my clients describe could be most accurately defined as a ‘traumatic pleasure’. Working with this experience resembles working with trauma or a ‘puzzling experience’ according to Rice. Experiential examining pleasant mental states evoked by using a drug or performing an addictive behavior results in desensitization to the stimulus associated with this pleasure. Consequently there is a change towards adaptive coping with the so called ‘craving’ or ‘relapse’. I will share my conclusions and reflections on the experiential work with addicted persons.

Piotr Fijewski (Poland)

From behavior to experience. Looking for moments of change in group trauma therapy based on symbolic assertiveness method (lecture)

Symbolic assertiveness is a method of trauma therapy applied mostly in group setting. It uses drama, gestalt experiment and working on behavior. Therapeutic work is focused on looking for empowering experiences in situations of past trauma that are enacted in drama. Usually the changes experienced by clients are very clear and encompass not only emotions, but also behavior.

Melissa Harte (Australia)

Processing emotional pain using the expanded Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) task of Focusing (workshop)

Harte (2012) proposed an expanded version of Focusing to include the reprocessing of painful or traumatic events which was found in clinical practice to successfully process these events. More recently, Harte (2017) used the discovery phase of task analysis to refine the proposed model and develop a method for bringing previously suppressed or incomplete memories of painful/traumatic events back into awareness so they can be successfully processed and integrated. This 90-minute-workshop is experiential and will provide participants with knowledge and theoretical understanding of EFT for trauma and how to use the extended focusing task.

Melissa Harte (Australia)

Supervision using Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) “in mode” (workshop)

Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is an integrative, evidenced-based, manualised, experiential therapy that emphasises the quality of the client-therapist relationship and offers efficient interventions/tasks to assist clients to deal with emotional experience in the present moment. The EFT approach employs a series of client markers as indicators of client readiness that directs the therapist in choice of effective process interventions/tasks. An extension of the more standard approach to supervision has seen the development of EFT supervision “in-mode” by using the method’s markers, that is parallel to the EFT process. This workshop offers experiential opportunities to engage in EFT supervision “in mode.”