Allison Priestman

Working with Erotic Charge

In the Therapeutic Relationship

Also Allison Priestman

Sat. Oct 3 2015

Gestalt Centre Wales, Chepstow, £75 (early bird £60)

For further information and booking please contact  Anne Pettit


Erotic charge can be a powerful tool for therapeutic change. Strong feelings of love or attraction in the therapy room are often experienced as scary and disruptive. In training and supervision erotic feelings are sometimes not explored, or else the emphasis is on suppressing them. Yet they are a very frequent part of therapy, and, I suggest, an inevitable effect of the intimacy and intensity of the relationship and the encouragement it offers to surrender to spontaneity.


Many people have a strong need to integrate their sexuality; also to be witnessed and seen as sexual beings. Working with erotic material brings the opportunity of exploring a clients core issues in a very real alive way.


This workshop will focus on learning to accept and explore erotic charge while still maintaining appropriate boundaries, and on making creative use of the experience and everything that it brings up. As a body psychotherapist I’m interested in encouraging practitioners to use their embodiment as a resource; especially when working relationally. We will work with client material and here-and-now exercises.


Embodied Counter-Transference

Allison Priestman

Sat. July 4th 2015

Ealing Broadway, London, CABP £105

For further information and booking please contact  CABP

How can we use our own embodiment as a resource for our client work?

We all have somatic responses when working with clients. This workshop aims to support therapists to make sense and creative use of our embodied responses to our clients.

We will focus on working with embodiment and relationship, utilising our embodied responses as information; about the moment to moment meeting, between the therapist and client. Our bodies have a greater capacity than our rational conscious minds to process complex, subtle, and contradictory information. When we can develop our embodiment it can be a rich source of information, vital for the complexity of working with clients.

The concept that all counter transference is embodied will be introduced and the implications of this will be explored. This workshop is experiential, using here-and-now exercises, group discussion and supervision. Theory drawn from body psychotherapy and psychodynamic thinking will be introduced in an accessible way. My aim is to create an atmosphere where deep professional and personal learning can occur.

Embodied Counter-Transference

Working Relationally with the Wild in the Client Therapist Dyad

Alison Priestman with Kate O’Halloran

Unstone Grange, Derbyshire.

19-21 June 2015, a residential weekend workshop.


Transference and Counter-Transference are psychological but also bodily processes. The concept that all transference/counter transference is embodied, will be introduced and the implications of this will be explored. Through our bodies we experience the internal conflicts of our clients. With our clients, we are part of an asymmetrical, but mutual system, where each is impacted and affected by the other. On this workshop we will be exploring a new paradigm, of how to understand the complexities of transference/ counter-transference dynamics; which draws from Embodied-Relational and Wild therapy.

The process of therapy is wild. Like wildness it can seem to be chaotic, messy, non-rational, dreamlike and have its own wisdom. We will offer the concept of altered states as a way to conceptualise working relationally with wildness and transference dynamics. On this weekend we will explore how to use all of our relational resources, our capacity to be intuitive and intellectual, to be embodied and en-minded, to enter other realms, other realities and return. How do we support Wild Mind?...our ability to listen to the wider, wild intelligence inside us and of which we are a part.

Offering an experiential and theoretical space to explore, play and build insights together. Our aim is to create a safe and contained environment where deep professional and personal learning can take place.


The residential weekend will be held at Unstone Grange, North Derbyshire. Unstone Grange is a comfortably shabby residential centre with five acres of organic gardens and land near Chesterfield. Everyone will have their own room. We will be making our own meals from mainly organic, vegetarian, wholefood ingredients.

Summer Solstice

We will celebrate the longest day of the year, with a big bonfire on the Saturday evening. Living, playing and working together, throughout the weekend, will be an important part of the workshop.

Cost and Bookings

The cost is fully inclusive of teaching, accommodation and food. Early bird price, £240 (before 15 May), full cost £280. Camping or concessions early bird price £210, (before 15 May) or £240. Deposit £110.

Please contact Alison for further information and to book; 01453 731226,

Kate O'Halloran

I have over 20 years experience of supporting process, as a facilitator and workshop leader. I practise as an Embodied-Relational Therapist and Wild Therapist, indoors and outdoors, in Norwich. I am interested in the imaginal, the liminal, and the marginal, in language as a form of embodiment, in dreaming and in wildness. I am also a steering group member of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibillty (PCSR) which aims to locate psychotherapy and counselling in its social context. I am currently editor of its magazine, Transformations.

An Experience of Body Psychotherapy

Allison Priestman,

Friday 8th March 2013, Gestalt Centre Wales, Chepstow

Also Allison Priestman

Sat 21st April 2012, Gillingham, Kent

The discipline of body psychotherapy is attracting a lot of attention presently; it has much to offer the counselling and psychotherapy world, especially to our understanding of the complexity of what it means to be a human being. Body psychotherapy offers great riches to explore the interrelationship of mind, body and spirit, both in practical techniques and theoretical insights.

This day will be a chance to have an experiential introduction to body psychotherapy. We will be working on both personal and professional issues, learning new usable skills in supporting embodiment. My aim is to respond to the interest and experience of those on the workshops. Subjects I imagine we could explore are, embodied counter-transference, working with embodied relationship, the appropriateness of touch, movement, breathwork, exploring body symptoms. I hope it will be an interesting, stimulating and rewarding day.

Working with Body Process

Allison Priestman 9th February 2013

Independent Counselling Training, Bedford.

Also   Allison Priestman, Stephen Tame

Sat. 28th & 29th January 2012, Fulcrum House, Bristol

This workshop is intended...

as an introduction to counsellors & psychotherapists who are looking for ways to support their client’s process as it expresses through their bodies.

As a refresher for practitioners trained or experienced in body psychotherapy. For complementary body practitioners who want to bring more relational and process work into their client work. It is also for anyone interested in discovering more about themselves through body-oriented sessions.

Our aim is to build confidence and demystify working with body process, expanding your skills and knowledge to support clients who want to explore their body experiences. A core skill we will work on is being able to track your own body process as it responds to your client. We will work with movement, breath, internal sensation, gesture, posture and bodily symptoms - working both with and without touch. You will have a chance to explore your own embodiment and to experiment in a supportive group. No one will be expected to do anything they don't want to do, and emotional release will be held in a safe setting.

An Experience of Embodied-Relational Therapy

Allison Priestman, Nick Totton,

10/11 Nov 2012. Hebden Bridge,

Also  Allison Priestman, Stephen Tame

19/20th January 2013, , Bristol.

These workshops offer the opportunity to explore an innovative body psychotherapy modality. They are also good ‘tasters for the Embodied- Relational Therapy Training.

ERT is an holistic integrative approach focusing on two facts about human beings: we are embodied and in relationship. To be alive we need to be a body, to be alive we need to relate to others; our greatest challenges and our greatest joys follow from these twin facts.

The weekends will be structured on the four phase model on which ERT is built. Developing our skills of; Contact our ability to connect fully with ourselves, others and the world. Information Gathering being aware of and studying micro communications. Amplifying: especially body experience, e.g. through movement, breath-work, body symptoms and internal body sensations, and also ways to amplify relationship. Integration: both in therapy and of the weekend.

The aim is for stimulating enlivening weekends. A chance to learn valuable skills in working with embodiment and relationship.

Listening to my Body Telling my Client’s Story

Embodied Counter-Transference

Allison Priestman, Stephen Tame

Sat. 27th Oct. London

How can we use our own embodiment as a resource for our client work?

How can we make sense and creative use of our intense and uncomfortable responses to our clients? This workshop aims to offer an experiential opportunity and a theoretical model to explore how we can utilize our embodied counter-transference. 

When working with clients, we will often experience unusual and strange responses in our own bodies, which can be difficult to notice, make sense of, and use therapeutically. Our bodies can literally pick up unconscious material from our clients. This workshop, led by two body psychotherapists, is a chance to explore these kinds of experiences, and to develop tools and techniques for accessing our embodied counter-transference, and projective identification, as a powerful resource for our work.

Working with Trauma - A Body Psychotherapy Approach

Allison Priestman, Stephen Tame

Sat 9th June. 2012.. Devon,

This workshop aims to offer support to practitioners working with trauma – with complex and challenging client material. Drawing from Embodied-Relational Therapy and the work of trauma specialists such as Peter Levine, Babette Rothschild and Pat Ogden.

During the day we will explore - How to encourage clients to have direct contact with their sensory embodied experience; the advantages and challenges of working in this way. How to use the therapists own embodied experience as a resource for the work. We will introduce theoretic understandings of how the body responds to traumatic experience.

As therapists and trainers our aim is to create safety, believing in the value of working both respectfully and slowly. To support this we will explore the skills of maintaining and following contact with our clients and how to stay awake to re-enactment. We hope the day will be informative, confidence boosting and able to be integrated into your work.

Working with Character  Styles - A 3 day Training Course
Contact, Nurture and Power,

Allison Priestman, Stephen Tame

Sat 24th March, Sat 28th April, Sat 19th May 2012, Fulcrum House, Bristol

Character is a body centred model. It provides a map to understand different embodied responses to the challenges of being in the world. It can provide a way to see and understand the wholeness of mind, body and spirit interaction.

It is a rigorous systematic approach to therapy, first developed by Wilhelm Reich from Freud’s thinking, and evolving through practice since that time.

Character, in the Embodied-Relational Therapy tradition, is seen as an intelligent response to early life challenges. We aim to celebrate and appreciate our body mind patterning, while finding ways to soften and let go of unhelpful habitual ways of being.

This is an opportunity to learn about working with character - how it can help us facilitate safer and more effective work; make deeper, more effective contact with our clients; support us to work with difference;  to work more flexibly with a broader range of clients; and learn about ourselves and our own embodiment patterns.

On this training we will explore the theory and practice of using character with clients. We will introduce three of the six ERT character styles; exploring the developmental thresholds of existence/contact, feeding/nurturing and validating/power.  This will offer ways of understanding and working with particular character strategies, for example; working with clients when contact is difficult or absent, or when there’s never enough, or when sessions feel like a power struggle trying to happen. We will also look at how these themes get expressed and echoed in how we relate to others, in our core beliefs, and in our body structuring.

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