Towards a shared language of pain: Exploring the body in pain in the consulting room.

Sarah Benamer

Saturday 6th October 2018 10:00 – 16:00

Drake House, 44 St Georges Road, London SW19 4ED

Workshop cost: £120 + booking fee / 10% discount for Wimbledon Guild counsellors/ Early-bird discount of 15% available until 6th July 2018 or until they sell out.

The Workshop:


Exploring the body in pain in the consulting room.

For some, pain has been a constant in their life, as a part of illness or disability from birth, for others it can follow injury and trauma. Acute life threatening pain as an aspect of some medical conditions can bring an urgency to make sense of things at precisely the time when you feel least able to. Chronic pain is no less intense but sustains over time often with little hope of relief. Pain can also manifest with no known organic cause or be connected to emotional experience.

This training day will afford practitioners the space to explore the different ways that physical pain presents in psychotherapeutic work and to think about how best to support clients who are living in pain for whatever reason.

Clients whose physical symptoms do not respond contemporary western medical and pharmaceutical models often come to us feeling that they have failed or been failed by these paradigms. What is the psychotherapists role when we are working with somebody in both physical and emotional distress?

Therapy may be an opportunity to explore the impact of living daily with pain and illness, to reconcile feelings of difference, to process anger, loss and hopelessness, and to understand how this experience influences other aspects of self, for example sexuality or relationships.

Appreciating pain from both an outside in and an inside out perspective, the day will draw from socio-cultural, relational, and attachment theories as well as our own individual understanding and experience of pain. Hopefully empowering clinicians and clients to not lose sight of the power of finding meaning, attachment and connection in the face of pain.

The day will include:

  • Relational, attachment, and developmental perspectives on the body.
  • Theories of pain. Socio-cultural, attachment, medical models, understandings from neuroscience.
  • The felt experience and consequences of living with chronic pain and illness; such as loss, self-blame, anger, and shame.
  • Specific ways in which pain comes into therapeutic work, and the opportunity to reflect upon clinical material and the therapists role.
  • What can we as clinicians do? Considering the process of acceptance, and grieving a lost body and life, towards facilitating clients in pain to feel that they have increased choice and agency.
  • The Therapists pain and self-care.

The Trainer:

Sarah Benameris a UKCP registered Relational Attachment Based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and supervisor who works with individuals and couples. She has a particular interest in the many roles of the body in our emotional and relational worlds. Sarah originally trained as a psychotherapist at The Bowlby Centre and has subsequently undertaken a COSRT psychosexual and couples therapy training. Prior to becoming a psychotherapist Sarah was a community worker, advocating for those in crisis within the NHS psychiatric system, for individuals in chronic pain, and for people with long-term illness and severe physical disabilities. In addition to therapeutic training she has an MA in Applied Anthropology which informs her integrative approach to clinical practice.



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Booking Conditions


or until they sell out