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.

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