Embodied approaches to Life and to Therapy

encouraging aliveness......healing trauma ......promoting growth.....

         workshops and professional training  with Michael Gavin

Residential Week - New Forest  May 29  - Jun 2017

Boundaries, Contact, Engagement and beyond

A somatically informed approach for therapists and counsellors

A five-day residential workshop experience 

with Michael Gavin and Brian Stirner

at Avon Tyrrell, Bransgore, New Forest

Monday 29 May 3.30 pm to Friday 2 June 3.30 pm 2017

£475  shared room

£575 single room

Deposit £225  (balance due March 27th)


Workshop content

We plan to build on the rich and enlivening experience of the one day workshops to create an immersive week-long experience of embodied awareness and interaction.

There will be scope for extensive professional learning and personal discovery.

Some evening sessions can be scheduled to make time to explore this beautiful region in the day time.

The programme will be built around a selection of these elements: -

Professional learning

Deeper exploration of Boundary, Contact, Engagement
  • Grounding
  • Centring,
  •  Facing/Connection
Aspects of somatic understanding
  • breathing
  • vision
  • pulsation
  • emotional anatomy
  • character and development in the body

Theory and techniques from a range of body focused  approaches 

  • Radix Education in Feeling and Purpose
  • Biosynthesis
  • Somatic Trauma Therapy
  • Imagework etc
  • Focusing
Somatic aspects of other models and approaches
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Gestalt
  • Psychodynamic and relational therapies.
  • Somatic Trauma Therapy

"The Map" 
  • from self-acceptance to self-responsibility 
    • Able & Equal
  • differentiating contact
  • mobilisation for engagement
  • clearing and homecoming

Other professional development

  • Skills development
  • Embodied supervision
  • Extended Q&A

And for relaxation, refreshment and renewal...

  • Art work 
  • Movement with music (DMT)
  • Five rhythms dance
  • Somatic meditation

  • Time in the Forest
  • Time on the beaches, and the spectacular Dorset coast
  • Time amongst the historic site of Wessex

The location

Avon Tyrrell

Located in sixty-five acres of beautiful grounds in the New Forest National Park, Avon Tyrrell is a centre for outdoor activity for young people.  It has a lake and a mixture of woodland and open spaces.

Accommodation is self-catering, in twin rooms. 

If privacy is important for you, let us know.  Sometimes a single room is possible and there are plenty of local B&Bs.  You can also camp on the Avon Tyrrell site.

It is near the villages of Bransgore and the "witchy" Burley, where New Forest ponies think the streets belong to them, twenty minutes from the coast, about an hour from Stonehenge, Salisbury, Winchester....


Its log cabins - nestling in the woods - provide a ideal base for our workshops -spacious enough for group activities, sufficiently private and self-contained. 

Avon Lodge comfortably sleeps up to 14 in seven double rooms.

The lodges have modern fixtures and fittings, their own kitchens and bathrooms, and include a spacious open plan living area.  

The lodges are airy in summer and cosy in winter, so just right for September.

Why come to the workshop?

At this workshop we invite you attend to and connect with you own body experience so that you can

 - enhance your awareness of this rich and diverse stream of information about your own and your client’s dynamically changing states; 

 - differentiate what is your own from what is your client’s material;

 - explore the intra- and interpersonal meanings of body states and dynamics; 

 - to bring the vitality of your embodied presence to your therapeutic attunement and engagement. 

You will experience boundaries as something lived rather than thought, and feel from the inside how they relate to contact.

You will develop the ability to retain a sense of self and and an appreciation of the other, in the face of dissociation or when engagement becomes more highly charged or intense. 

You will learn how to remember yourself under pressure and so to take better care of yourself.


The workshop leaders

Brian is a Certified Radix Body Psychotherapist and a member of the Radix Institute, with a practice in London.

He has completed trainings in Somatic Trauma Therapy with Babette Rothschild and in Biosynthesis with David Boadella.

He is also a director of theatre, television and film, and has taught acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art for more than thirty years. He regularly uses aspects of Radix work with actors.

more information here


Michael is a Certified Radix Body Psychotherapist and Certified Somatic Trauma Therapist. 

Having ended his London practice in 2012, he now focuses on supervision and training. He is editor of the Safe Trauma Recovery website. 

For more than twenty years he has been co-leader of the London Radix Workshops programme, and since 2007, External Clinical Supervisor to the London Underground Counselling and Trauma service.

more information here


Why this topic?     Boundary, Contact, Engagement?

Boundaries are fundamental to relationship in general and to the therapeutic relationship in particular.

 ‘Contact is the experience of boundary between "me" and "not-me’…Relationship grows out of contact.  Through contact people grow and form identities.’    Yontef                                                                                                                                                                                  

Our sense of boundary is something that is dynamically changing moment by moment, especially in situations that are in any way emotionally charged, such as the consulting room.

The body is continually offering information about the state of our boundaries and the quality of our contact.  It may also be offering suggestions as to how we may best regulate our contact and maintain, or relax our boundaries.  All too often we may not be not attuned to the wisdom our bodies are offering.

Tuning in to our body awareness can enable us to recognise our boundaries and to take care of ourselves, sustaining a resourceful state as we work with even the most distressed or distressing clients.  This ability is vital in preventing vicarious traumatisation and burnout, as well as enabling us to be appropriately available to the needs of our clients.

Once a felt sense of boundary is established it is possible to learn simple, somatic ways of deliberately firming up or softening our boundaries.  We can also refine our sense of the boundaries of the other, and what this may imply.

Making conscious and experimenting with the underlying "somatic markers" (Damasio) for boundaries and contact is a revelation not to be missed. To purloin a phrase from Allan Schore it is the craft that underlies "the science of the art of psychotherapy."

In our workshops in 2015 we saw how a developing awareness of Boundary and Contact led to a richer sense of the dynamics of Engagement, in particular in the therapeutic relationship.

To find out more about the everybodyknows project, click here.