Author Archives: George

Creativity in Counselling and Psychotherapy – A workshop with Donna Savery

Creativity in counselling and psychotherapy – A workshop with Donna Savery in Stockport on Friday 21st October 2016
09:30 – 16:00

Creativity in counselling 1On Friday 21st October Donna Savery will run a workshop in Stockport on the topic of creativity in counselling and psychotherapy.  This will be rooted in the metaphor of theatre.  For further information click here.

Many therapists believe that it is vital to engage and promote creativity in counselling and psychotherapy. They believe that these can be most effective when they harness the creativity of the therapist, while helping clients to find theirs.  This is widely recognised in specific fields such as trauma recovery (e.g. van der Kolk, 2014), and is probably universal.

Donna has visited Mindsite twice before. In her first visit she shared practical and theoretical ideas on working with myth in therapy.  In the second visit, she focused on the myth of Echo and Narcissus and its role in understanding and working with clients who present with narcissistic, co-dependent, or what she calls Echoistic traits.

In this interactive day she will look at the idea of the theatre of the mind, drawing on her background in theatre.  She will invite participants to consider how key ideas and experiences found in the theatre can help therapist to access the inner world of clients, and help them to understand the working of their mind. This may help clients to understand the impact of their interactions on others or the drama of their own lives. It may also help therapists to be more reflexive and effective in directing the process of therapy.

For those who like a mixture of theoretical and experiential training, this offers both. Donna works in a highly interactive way – using theory to explain the ideas that underpin her thinking. The aim is to provide experiential learning that will enable participants to gain insight into themselves and their approach to practice. There will be a mixture of small group discussion, large group teaching and sharing, experiential group work and role play.  And this will be backed up by written resources. This will ensure that all learning styles are addressed and that participants leave with a valuable experience of the day and a personal understanding of the theatre of the mind.

Participants will gain an understanding of the ways the metaphors of theatre and dramatic space can be used in the service of clients. These will be illustrated in the development of an understanding of the psychic space of the client and the acting out of their inner drama. Bion’s theory of the container / contained will be used as a way of thinking about both theatrical situations and the external world.

About the event

The event will be of interest to therapists of all orientation, who wish to help their clients explore their inner worlds.  This will enable them to take greater responsibility for their actions, acknowledge existential choices and take agency in their lives. The personal development aspect of the workshop will offer opportunities for therapists to engage with their own inner worlds, and will appeal to practitioners or students who wish to gain insight and understanding of their impact on clients. Those who like to work and think creatively will find opportunities to enrich their work through the exercises and theory employed.

About the workshop leader

Creativity in counselling 2Donna Christina Savery is an Existential and Creative therapist. Her recent research into working with myth in existential relationship therapy was published in Emmy van Deurzen’s book ‘Existential perspectives on relationship therapy’ (van Deurzen, 2013). She formerly worked as a theatre director and academic and brings these elements to her work as part of her drive for authentic co-creative therapeutic relationships. She has a private practice in Buckinghamshire as well as a busy practice in London W1. Donna is also a group therapist, researcher and has recently completed the IGA diploma in Group Analysis. She is writing a book on ‘ Echo and Narcissus – Relationship Dynamics in Existential Therapy’ and most recently presented her research on ‘Echoism’ at the SEA conference 2014.

For further information on the event click here.


Savery, D. C. (2013). The challenges of meaninglessness and absurdity addressed through myth and role play. In E. van Deurzen & S. Iacovou (Eds.), Existential perspectives on relationship therapy. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
van Der Kolk, B. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind and body in the healing of trauma. New York, NY: Viking.

Mindsite CPD for Counsellors and Psychotherapists in Year Five

Mindsite – CPD for Counsellors and Psychotherapists in Year Five

Mindsite is officially four years old! The idea was born in September 2012, and we held our first event in February 2013.  Here are a few of the presenters we have invited to Manchester and Stockport over the four years.Mindsite anniversary
For us the process has coincided with the concluding stages of our Professional Doctorates at the University of Manchester.  And it has provided us with additional insights into practice.

Reflections on the past

The Mindsite journey has been an enjoyable one. But, like most practitioners, we are  anxious about the future of counselling and psychotherapy.  Most significantly, we are concerned about the clients and patients we strive to help.

Inside and outside the NHS, practitioners face profound challenges. Yet it is clients and patients who face the most overwhelming problems. Those with resources are better placed.  But even they find the process perplexing. And the less wealthy, or those with more serious mental health issues, have a virtually impossible task.

We all subscribe to evidence based practice, but the nature of evidence is arguable.

And internal squabbles play into the hands of politicians who cannot or will not provide resources; while burying their responsibilities in delegation, misleading statistics and rhetoric.

Thoughts for the future

Jonathan and I have different approaches to practice. But we cling to a liminal view of therapy that is wary of medicalisation.  And when the healthcare system is the source of funding, it is also the judge of success.

We share its concerns. How do we sort the effective from the ineffective? How do we ensure value for money? And how do we make each patient matter?  But while approaches based on a timescale that is unduly limited, and an approach that is unduly prescriptive; might ameliorate some acute problems, it will almost certainly fail to address underlying issues or prevent a recurrence.  And the curative potential of more creative solutions is lost in regimentation and medical jargon.

We think effective approaches to mental health focus on holistic care and on the individual. The effectiveness of more acute forms of therapy are just as likely to lie in a deeper concern for the patient, as much as the content of the component parts of the ‘treatment’.  And while mental health has always been a post code lottery, in the world of CCGs this is even more true.

Planned events

In any case, Mindsite survives.  And we hope that our customers will continue to attend.  We will attempt to focus on the discontents of our time; range across modalities and highlight more creative approaches.

For the remainder of 2016 our events focus on eating disorders, the underlying significance of theatre, the use of metaphor in therapy and Parks Inner Child Therapy (PICT).  We are also in the early stages of planning a session on Compassion fatigue with the well known Canadian practitioner Françoise Mathieu.  Then in 2017 we have arranged workshops with Ernesto Spinelli in March and Michael Jacobs in May, with more to follow.

To be kept informed, subscribe to our mailing list and blog.  This can be done from the RH side bar (below in some browsers).

Best wishes,

Jonathan Lloyd
George MacDonald

Penny Parks Workshop in Stockport on Friday 18th November 2016

The Inner Child in Counselling and Psychotherapy, with Penny Parks in Stockport on Friday 18th November 2016
09:30 – 16:00

Penny Parks 1We are looking forward to Penny Parks visit to Mindsite on Friday 18th November 2016.  Demand has been strong.  As a result, places are now limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

At the event, Penny will present Parks Inner Child Therapy (PICT).   This is a structured, systematic approach to psychotherapy, encompassing imagery, rescripting, cortical re-mapping and rapid belief restructuring to establish new neural pathways.  It can produce profound, rapid and lasting change that ultimately leads to full resolution of underlying issues.

Penny developed PICT to address childhood abuse issues.  However, it has also been found to be equally effective for a wide variety of emotional problems. The approach is compatible with most popular therapeutic models: CBT, Solution Focused Therapy, EMDR, EFT, Lifespan Integration, etc..

About the workshop leader

Penny Parks 2Penny Parks is a trainer, author, life & health coach and motivational speaker. She is also a psychotherapist who pioneered and developed the first comprehensive ‘inner child’ therapy model.

Penny is a gifted communicator acclaimed for enhancing participant’s self-confidence, motivation, inspiration and creativity. She presents Masterclass seminars for professional and personal development that are renowned for humour, high-energy and life-changing impact. Organisations with which she has worked including the NHS, MIND, Relate, Social Services, Police and Probation Services, Universities and Colleges, Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy Training Organisations, Professional Associations, Private Agencies, Solicitors (as both trainer and expert witness) and many varied professionals.

She is the author of two popular therapeutic books, Rescuing the Inner Child, Souvenir Press (1990) and The Counsellor’s Guide to Parks Inner Child Therapy, Souvenir Press (1994) – both have remained in re-print since publication. She is Patron of two charities, Personal Recovery Service in Somerset and The Haven Project in Essex, and is a Fellow member of both the National Council of Psychotherapy and the National Counselling Society.

Penny is an American, with British citizenship, who has lived in the UK since 1982. She is married and lives in Suffolk where she is well known as a jazz/blues vocalist.

Practical arrangements

The event, which includes lunch, will be held at Cheshire Conferences and Events at Edgeley Park Stadium, Stockport.  Individually signed certificates of attendance will be provided to validate CPD.

The cost is £130 per person.  There is a reduced rate of £115 per person for groups of three or more who register and pay together.

To visit the event webpage click here.

To be taken directly to the registration webpage on Eventbrite click below.  You can register with confidence using Eventbrite and pay by PayPal or card.  Alternatively we can invoice you or your organisation.  For further information email , or call Jonathan at 0161 439 7773. To view our cancellation policy click here.

Eventbrite - The Inner Child in Counselling and Psychotherapy

Ernesto Spinelli in Stockport on Friday 17th March 2017

Existential psychotherapy and uncertainty: A workshop with Professor Ernesto Spinelli in Stockport on Friday 17th March 2017
09:30 – 16:00

Ernesto Spinelli 1We are pleased to announce that we have now finalised the details of this workshop with Professor Ernesto Spinelli.  It is on the website and registrations are open.

In November 2013 Professor Ernesto Spinelli ran a seminar for Mindsite on his approach to existential psychotherapy.  On Friday 17th March 2017, he will return to provide further insights.  In this seminar he will address the topical question of working therapeutically with uncertainty.

Current issues such as global instability, climate change, and Brexit lead to increased levels of anxiety and confusion. These highlight the degree to which uncertainly permeates our lives. At the same time pundits and experts constantly remind us that ‘we are in an entirely novel set of circumstances’. As a result, ‘We can assume nothing and cannot rely on past solutions.’ All of this leads to significant unease and confusion.

Existential psychotherapy and uncertainly

Ernesto Spinelli 2Among contemporary psychotherapeutic models, existential psychotherapy emphasises the inevitability of uncertainty. Within its foundational stance of relatedness there is no single point of focus.  “I” can never fully determine, with complete and final certainty: what and how the world will be; how others will be; or even how “I” will be at any time.

The inevitability of uncertainty, and the openness of existence it proclaims, alert us to certain things.  Notably, that prior knowledge, values, assumptions and beliefs regarding self, others and the world are untrustworthy.  And they may be “opened” to challenge, reconsideration or dissolution at any time. Paradoxically, existential psychology argues that uncertainty remains a constant given of human experience, not just an occasional and temporary consequence of unusual circumstances.

If existential psychotherapy is correct in this, what might it tell us about the practical aspects of working with uncertainty as therapists and counsellors?

The workshop will address this issue.  It will consider how to draw out and work with the (often) implicit fears and concerns regarding the uncertainty experienced by both therapists and clients.  And it will look at how their constructive possibilities may be enhanced and incorporated into the therapeutic encounter.

For further information on the event and pricing click here.  To be taken immediately to the registration webpage click below.  You can register with confidence through Eventbrite and pay by PayPal or card.  Alternatively we will invoice you or your organisation.

Eventbrite - Existential psychotherapy and uncertainty - Ernesto Spinelli in Stockport


CPD in Counselling and Psychotherapy in NW – 2015

CPD for counsellors and psychotherapists in NW – Our 2015 Programme

We have now finalised our programme of CPD in  counselling and psychotherapy in NW for 2015.  You may be aware that we have been trying out some new venues.  These include the Evron Centre in Stockport; Tameside Hospital – Werneth House, St Thomas Conference Centre in Central Manchester and now Hallé St Michael’s in Central Manchester for our events in the later part of 2015.

This is a part of quest for the right venues in the right places at the right prices.

On Friday 27th March, Jonathan and I will repeat out popular Trauma event and there are a further five events for the remainder of the year.

Myth in psychotherapy – Narcissism: with Donna Savery

CPD in counselling and psychotherapy 1On Friday 12th June 2015 Donna Savery will return to run another workshop on myth in psychotherapy and counselling. While the theme of this interactive day is similar to the previous event, the content is entirely new. This time it will focus on the increasing prevalence of narcissism in today’s culture viewed through the myth of Echo and Narcissus. The event will be held at the calm, spiritual Evron Centre in Stockport. For further information click here.

Attachment theory – Bowlby to current theory and practice

CPD in counselling and psychotherapy 2Following the highly successful Attachment theory event with Sir Richard Bowlby, we have invited one of the most eminent practitioners of attachment based therapy, Dr Mario Marrone, who had supervision from John Bowlby for ten years, to run a one day workshop on current theory and practice of Friday 18th September 2015. The venue will be the St Thomas Conference Centre in Central Manchester. For further information click here.

Existential psychotherapy and pluralistic practice

CPD in counselling and psychotherapy 3Professor Mick Cooper will pay a return visit to Mindsite on Saturday 17th October 2015 to deliver a workshop structured around his newly published book.  This brings together two major themes in his work, existential psychotherapy which he wrote about in his 2003 book and pluralistic practice which he wrote about in his 2011 book (co-written with John McLeod).  The venue will be Hallé St Michael’s in Ancoats, Central Manchester.  For further information click here.

Metaphor in counselling and psychotherapy

CPD in counselling and psychotherapy 4On Friday 13th November 2015 Jonathan Lloyd of Mindsite will run a workshop based around his Doctoral research.  This will investigate the use of metaphor in counselling and psychotherapy and help delegates use it more consciously and effectively in their practice.  It is intended for anyone with an interest in working creatively. The venue will be Hallé St Michael’s in Ancoats, Central Manchester.  For further information click here.

Spirituality in counselling and psychotherapy

CPD in counselling and psychotherapy 5Finally, on Friday 11th December 2015 Professor William West will run a workshop on Spirituality in counselling and psychotherapy.  This is intended for anyone with an interest in spirituality and will provide a place where spirituality is welcomed, and in which it will be possible to gently and deeply reflect on its meaning to us and our clients. The venue will be Hallé St Michael’s in Ancoats, Central Manchester.  For further information click here.

We hope to be able to welcome old and new colleagues to these event.  For further information, visit our website

Jonathan Lloyd
George MacDonald

New CPD Events Added – Myth and Attachment Theory

New CPD events on Myth and Attachment theory for 2015

We are delighted to announce that we have added two new events. These focus on themes that have emerged as favourites with our attendees – Myth and Attachment theory.

Myth in psychotherapy: Narcissism: with Donna Savery on Friday 12th June 2015

New CPD Events 1By popular demand, Donna Savery is returning to run a further one day workshop on Myth in Psychotherapy.  This time it will focus specifically on the theme of narcissism.

Donna will consider the increasing prevalence of narcissism in today’s culture; how this affects feelings of entitlement, emptiness, dissatisfaction and rage; and the subsequent impact on expectations and power dynamics in relationships. Through engagement with the myth, she will explore the characters and traits of both Narcissus and Echo (the nymph who adored him) and the degree to which these dynamics are enacted in relationships.  She will then show that the myth can be used as a container for the expression and exploration of echoistic and narcissistic feelings.

Therapists of different orientations will have the opportunity to explore their own Naricissistic and Echosistic traits, and see how these affect their personal relationships and their roles and approach in the room. The session will involve pair and group work to engage with imagery, text and performance. In addition there will be opportunities for discussion and for the consideration of fundamental questions such as the value in working with narcissistic clients, co-dependency, labelling and its uses, and why engaging with echoism is important in psychotherapy.

For further information click here

Attachment theory: Bowlby to current theory and practice: with Dr Mario Marrone on Friday 18th September 2015

New CPD Events 2On Friday 18th September 2015 Dr Mario Marrone will lead a one day workshop on Attachment theory.

In November 2014 we had an extremely successful return visit from Sir Richard Bowlby, who provided a unique insight into attachment theory, his father’s work, its wide ranging applications, and directions it could take in the future.  In response to this, a number of attendees commented that they would like something that was more practice oriented.  We have decided to address this by inviting one of the most eminent practitioners in the field, Dr Mario Marrone.

The day will be structures around three topics:

  1. Basic concepts
  2. Intergenerational transmission of patterns of attachment
  3. Attachment and sexuality

There will be group discussion sessions after each section and at the end of the day.  This will allow delegates to participate fully in the event and to raise areas of interest and concern.

Dr Marrone’s approach to therapy will be of interest to counsellors and psychotherapists of all orientations.  On his website he states that:

Following Bowlby, I see therapy as a safe and confidential space where a secure attachment between patient and therapist can be promoted and developed.  This safe space acts as a platform from where it may be possible to explore the patients’s attachment history and current relationships (including the relationship with the therapist).  Warmth, empathy and connectivity are important elements of the therapeutic relationship.

For further information click here

Mindsite Two Years On

Mindsite Two Years On

MindsiteThe idea for Mindsite emerged about two years ago and our first event, lead by Sir Richard Bowlby, was held on 22 Feb 2013. On 14th November 2014 we had the great pleasure of welcoming Sir Richard back to Stockport for our tenth event.

Our objectives were and remain to provide inspirational events, good venues and value for money. Looking back we believe that we have succeeded in this objective and our customers seem to agree. We have also had a lot of enjoyment and pleasure along the way.

We include a selection of comments from delegates on our home page and – in the interest of evidence based practice – we are now making the results of the evaluations available on the website. To view these click here.

In summary, these show that we have achieved a very high level of satisfaction among our customers, with many returning multiple times. The average overall rating over the ten events has been 4.74 out of 5.

So we thank you, our valued customers, for your support and hope that you will keep coming back.

Jonathan Lloyd
George MacDonald


Hi Emma,

I just wanted to check that you received my emails about the promo codes for our Reeves and Bowlby workshops.

Kind regards,

George MacDonald

Sent from my iPhone

CPD events for counsellers and psychotherapists in late 2014 / 2015

CPD events for counsellors and psychotherapists – additions to the Mindsite programme

As the British summer marches on we have been thinking about CPD events for end of 2014 and early 2015. We have now added three new events:

Mindfulness and compassion in counselling and psychotherapy: 12th December 2014

CPD events for counsellors and psychotherapists1On Friday 12th December David Oldham will run a workshop on Mindful compassion. David is an experienced teacher of meditation who has taught both nationally and internationally for a variety of organisations, including the Mindfulness Association, Samye Ling Monastery and Macmillan Cancer Support.  In his work as a counsellor in private practice and as a Macmillan counsellor in a local hospice he uses mindful practices and teaches Mindful Compassion to patients.  In addition, he regularly runs training retreats for health care professionals and the public.  He has trained with a variety of the leading teachers and researchers in the areas of meditation, mindfulness, compassion and self-compassion.  His teaching is supported by his MA research on the impact of neuroscience on theory and practice.  This is a field he continues to explore. For further information, click here.

EMDR – An introduction: 27th February 2015

CPD events for counsellors and psychotherapists2 CPD events for counsellors and psychotherapists3On Friday 27th February 2015, Dr Liz Royle and Cath Kerr will provide an introduction to EMDR. Liz Royle and Cath Kerr are EMDR Europe Approved Consultants and authors of the book “Integrating EMDR into your Practice.”.  They both work within the continuum of trauma presentations, from using EMDR with very recent traumatic events to working with PTSD, complex trauma and dissociation.  They have published and presented internationally on the subject of EMDR including its applicability to vicarious trauma, stigma and chronic fatigue syndrome. They regularly run workshops for practitioners who are newly trained and less confident in integrating their existing skills into an EMDR psychotherapeutic approach. For further information click here.

Trauma in counselling and psychotherapy

CPD events for counsellors and psychotherapists4CPD events for counsellors and psychotherapists5On Friday 27th March 2015 Jonathan Lloyd and George MacDonanald of Mindsite will repeat their popular workshop on ‘Trauma in counselling and psychotherapy’ It has become an annual event for us and we are encouraged by feedback from participants to continue the tradition. For further information click here.

The complete programme is now as follows:

Day Date Event Presenter
Friday 24/10/2014 Working with self-harm in counselling and psychotherapy Dr Andrew Reeves
Friday 14/11/2014 Attachment theory into the future Sir Richard Bowlby
Friday 12/12/2014 Mindfulness and compassion in counselling and psychotherapy David Oldham
Friday 27/02/2015 EMDR – An introduction Dr Liz Royle / Cath Kerr
Friday 27/03/2015 Trauma in counselling and psychotherapy Jonathan Lloyd / George MacDonald

If you would like our contact details then follow the link in the menu at the top of the page or click here.

Creativity, Spirituality and Hypnosis: Transformational Tools in Therapy – A Workshop with Dr David Smith in Stockport on Friday 20th June 2014

Creativity, Spirituality and Hypnosis: Transformational Tools in Therapy – Dr David Smith in Stockport on 20th June, 09:30 to 16:00

We are very pleased to announce that we have added a new event – ‘Creativity, Spirituality and Hypnosis: Transformational Tools in Therapy’. This one day workshop will be lead by Dr David Smith on Friday 20th June 2014.  The workshop leader is a renowned expert in the field of spirituality in counselling and psychotherapy. He is based in Chicago in the US, but will be in Europe to present a paper at the international Society of Psychotherapy Research (SPR) conference in Copenhagen in June. Mindsite has taken advantage of this opportunity to invite Dr Smith to run a workshop for us.

Creativity, Spirituality and Hypnosis: Transformational Tools in TherapyDr David Paul Smith is a clinical psychologist licensed in Illinois and certified in hypnotherapy and neurofeedback. His Masters degree involved an anthropological study of traditional Native American healing. His Ph.D. focused on the spirituality and religiosity of psychotherapists. Dr. Smith trained in the dept. of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Chicago and completed post-doctoral training in psychopharmacology through a program sponsored by the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.

He is currently Chief Psychologist and Director of Training at St. Bernard’s Hospital in Chicago. As president and CEO of Integrative Psyche Services, S.C. he advocates a holistic, person-centred approach to mental health. He is a member of the Forge Guild, an organization of academic, religious and health professionals dedicated to the exploration and promotion of sane spirituality and has been involved with meditation since he trained in TM at the age of 14.

Dr Smith has published numerous journal articles and book chapters related to the spirituality of therapists and traditional healing in the modern world. His research continues to involve the study of psychotherapy, cultural parameters of healing and the psychology of religion.

The workshop will be held at Cheshire Conferences and Events at Edgeley Park Stadium in Stockport .

The cost is £80 per delegate including lunch and an individually signed certificate of attendance.

For further information click here.

To register immediately click on the button below.  You can register with confidence using Eventbrite, and pay by Paypal, card or cheque.  To view our cancellation policy, click here.

Eventbrite - Creativity , Spirituality and Hypnosis: Transformational Tools in Therapy