Who Am I Being When I Am Being Here With You? The Existential Therapist As Idiot, Fool and Executioner

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Professor Ernesto Spinelli

Saturday 27 January 2018 10:00 – 16:00

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

Workshop cost: £120/ 10% discount for Wimbledon Guild counsellors

The Workshop:

Existential therapy proposes a particular set of philosophical ideas that are radically different to most espoused by other Western forms of psychotherapy. What is probably the most critical of these is the principle of relatedness or inter-relation which is so pivotal to the whole rationale of existential thought in general and existential therapy in particular that its presence resonates throughout every point and argument presented by the approach. Relatedness argues that we cannot understand nor make sense of human beings - our selves included - on their own or in isolation, but always and only in and through their inter-relational context. Relatedness directs the existential therapist toward such questions as:

What is it like for you, the client, to be as you are being in my presence?
What is it like for me, the therapist, to be as I am being in the presence of this other?

Such questions, in turn, focus upon a recurring challenge for both client and therapist: "who I am being when I am being here with this other?" In doing so, they provoke an immediacy and uniqueness to each therapeutic encounter.

This seminar provides participants with the opportunity to explore the impact and implications of practising existential therapy from standpoints that are attuned to relatedness. It will focus on the therapists' interactions with their clients and will argue that different emphases and points of focus can be identified and contrasted with one another as the therapeutic encounter proceeds from its beginning to its ending. It is presented by one of the foremost teachers in and practitioners of the approach and is derived from his latest textbook Practising Existential Psychotherapy: The Relational World, 2nd edition (Sage, 2015).


Participants will learn through lecture, discussion, experiential exercises, and exploration of case material that they bring to the seminars.

The Trainer:

Professor Ernesto Spinelli has gained an international reputation as one of the leading contemporary trainers and theorists of existential therapy and, more recently, the related arenas of coaching and conflict mediation. He is a  Fellow of both the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), a UKCP registered existential psychotherapist and  an  APECS accredited executive coach and coaching supervisor. In 1999, Ernesto was awarded a Personal Chair as Professor of psychotherapy, counselling and counselling psychology and in 2000 was awarded the a BPS Division of Counselling Psychology Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of the Profession.  Ernesto is Director of ES Associates, an organisation dedicated to the advancement of psychotherapy, coaching, and supervision through specialist seminars and training programmes. His most recent book, Practising Existential Psychotherapy: The Relational World 2nd ed (Sage, 2015) has been widely praised as a major contribution to the advancement of existential theory and practice. His previous books include: The Interpreted World: an introduction to phenomenological psychology, 2nd ed (Sage, 2005); Demystifying Therapy (PCCS, 2006); Tales of Un-knowing (PCCS, 2006); and The Mirror and The Hammer: challenging therapeutic orthodoxies (Sage, 2001).



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Since 1907, The Wimbledon Guild has provided a range of services to support local people of all ages.

Today our wide-ranging services are available at little or no cost to people who live or work in Merton. We are currently providing more services to more people than at any other time in our history. Many local people experiencing financial, material and emotional hardship are unable to get the support they need anywhere else.