Forgiveness in counselling and psychotherapy – A workshop with Sue Hanisch in Stockport on Friday 31st March 2017 – 09:30 – 16:00
On Friday 31st March 2017 Sue Hanisch will run a workshop in Stockport on the difficult topic of forgiveness. Sue was the victim of an IRA bombing in London in 1991. She is deeply involved in the Forgiveness Project and uses the Human Givens approach to work with traumatised clients.
Sue would never broach the subject of forgiveness with a client unless they were actively resisting change by incessantly blaming others. But under these circumstances forgiveness could be the unnamed elephant in the room. It may be relevant to examine how this is serving the client, and why they need to hold onto blame while wishing to put the past behind them. Forgiveness is not necessary for people to get on with their lives. However unexpressed emotions leak out and show themselves in personal relationships, behaviours and physical symptoms.
Sue does not believe that she has ‘moved on’. Rather she has learned to carry her experiences with her as part of who she is. She thinks that people become stuck, blocked and depressed by the idea that they have to leave something behind that is a significant part of their biography and hence biology. Her work in Northern Ireland continues to challenge and trigger her. She finds that compassion and self-care are required before a visit and on her return. This keeps forgiveness as an active process, while offering opportunities, again and again, to see the other side of the story.
Overview of the day
Sue is not prescriptive about forgiveness. For her it is an intensely personal matter that is nobody else’s business. However, as a starting point, she will present a range on ideas and quotations. These illustrate the way in which we are influenced by our own and other’s expectations around the topic. she will also discuss blame and how this depletes energy levels and disempowers.
The main topics of the morning will be the principles on which the brain works and the essentials of the Human Givens Approach. These lead to the view that the victims of traumatic events focus on what has happened and what has ‘gone wrong’. This prevents clear thinking and disrupts the ability to have physical and emotional needs met in a healthy way. Because of this PTSD can lead to chronic depression, breakdown of relationships, anger issues, addictions etc.. The rewind technique from the Human Givens Approach helps to recalibrate the memory of the traumatic event, and enable the focus of attention to be changed.
In the afternoon there will be a film showing a good example of the huge difference that forgiveness can make. However, it also illustrates the difficulties that can be created through objections and resistance from family members. There will then be a general discussion and a review of the emotional challenges evoked by forgiveness.
By the end of the day participants should be able to identify (on a personal and private level) where they are holding on to resentments and grudges. They will be invited to enquire within themselves why they are allowing this to happen. And they will be encouraged to think about whether we need forgiveness, why this is the case and for whose benefit?
The workshop leader
Sue Hanisch graduated as an occupational therapist. Initially she worked in paediatrics in Blackburn and the Ribble Valley. There she set up the first community based service and provided therapy for children.
For many years she lived abroad in Iraq, Algeria, Greece, Jordan, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Israel and the Netherlands. Then in February 1991, while preparing to move to South Africa, she was involved in an IRA bombing in London. This caused severe physical and psychological injuries requiring three years of intense rehabilitation. This included prosthetic rehabilitation for a below knee amputation to her right leg and reconstructive surgery to her left leg. In 1994 she returned to work.
Following on from her experiences, she became involved in Medico-legal work. This involved discussions with individuals. It also involved learning and teaching about the effects of post traumatic stress on the body and its ongoing effects on everyday life. They will also have had an opportunity to consider the relevance that forgiveness may have in their practice.
In 2002, Sue completed a diploma in the Human Givens Approach to psychotherapeutic counselling. This is particularly applicable to people suffering from PTSD. She has applied the approach in childcare, in Vocational Rehab, and with returning military personnel and victims of attack and terrorism. In this capacity she has worked in Bosnia, South Africa and the West Bank. She lectures at Liverpool University and has been involved in setting up Human Givens training in Australia and Bosnia.
She gained a private pilot’s licence in California in 1998 and works with great enthusiasm to promote flying scholarships for disabled people. Her awards include the Woman of the year for courage in 2002. She has worked with the British Legion, Combat Stress, Red Poppy and PTSD Resolution; and is a member of the Legacy Project in Warrington. She offers advice to NHS training groups and ‘Blue-light’ services on interventions for people affected by violent conflict. As a member of the Sustainable Peace project, she works with ex-paramilitaries in Northern Ireland and regularly speaks on behalf of the Forgiveness Project. In 2014 she was invited to become involved in the ‘Freedom Our Responsibility’ project in South Africa and in recent years has contributed to several publications on the physical and psychological effects of trauma on the body.
To hear Sue’s story click below:
The event will start at 09:30 and finish at 16:00.
The cost is £90 per delegate. For registrations made before 6th February, there will be an ‘Early bird’ rate of £80. After this date we will maintain this rate for groups of three or more people who book and pay together.
The event, which includes lunch, will be held in the comfortable surroundings of the Friends Meeting House in Stockport.
6 hours CPD. An individually signed certificate of attendance will be provided to all registered delegates. Those who register within 24 hours of the event, or who wish to obtain a duplicate, can order one from the website.
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