Counsellor Training

Training in Transpersonal and Experiential Psychotherapy

 

Overview

 

The following information is intended to provide interested persons with a comprehensive understanding of the intent, approach and philosophy of the training. This information applies across the whole of the training program including Levels 1 & 3.  While the focus of the discussion is on training counsellors, the level 1 training can be undertaken with the sole purpose of focussing on intensive supported personal development, with no intention of continuing on to levels 2 and 3.

 

Wendy Bignell, a TEP Trainer from Port Macquarie, is working in partnership with me running the TEP Training Programs.

 

The Vision

 

Humanistic Perspective

We envisage trainees who, through first-hand experience will find ways of being that enable them to live in fulfilling and nourishing relationships.  Such ways of being contribute to and compliment the communities in which they live and these ways of being also are in harmony with the natural environment.

It is the vision of trainers that their relationships with the trainees, and the supportive learning environment, are conducive to the trainees exploring their inner lives.

 

Personal Development

An ongoing commitment to personal development is an essential basis of professional practice. Trainees are self-reflective and aware of their strengths, vulnerabilities and biases which manifest as projections, transference and counter transference in professional decision-making and practices. Through critical reflective practices and self-reflection throughout the program in both intrapersonal and interpersonal fields, graduate counsellors have sound foundations for continuing life-long learning independently and in collaboration with their communities beyond the training program.

 

Transpersonal Perspective

Transpersonal and Experiential Psychotherapy is focussed on promoting self awareness, creativity and the unfolding of an authentic self in the trainees. We believe that knowledge and trust in their authentic self is crucial for stability for working with the varying needs of clients - clients from different cultures and in a dynamically changing society.

The Transpersonal model seeks to provide a therapeutic response to people. It helps them find meaning in life by experiencing healing and growth while in life’s transitions and crisis.  Trainees learn to use psycho-spiritual modalities to discover their own inner wisdom, they also learn to allow clarity and direction to unfold in a timing that is conducive to personality and life circumstance.

The healing potential of ordinary and non-ordinary states of consciousness (NOSC) activates personal and transpersonal phenomena that may transform apparent breakdowns into breakthroughs. The transpersonal model furthers consciousness in trainees by promoting self-awareness and a potential opening up to greater possibilities in living an authentic life.

We aim to educate a new genus of practitioners who can deliver excellent services to the public, as well as offer leadership in community development and respond constructively to societal change. Such Transpersonal and Experiential Psychotherapists will have the capacity to work within and between cultures both in Australia and internationally.

 

 

The Rationale of Training

 

Broad range of counselling perspectives

Transpersonal and Experiential Psychotherapy training embraces a broad range of counselling perspectives including the Transpersonal therapy model which has a client-centered, somatic focus, emotion focus and psycho-spiritual focus. The TEP approach also includes the healing and transformational potential within ordinary and non-ordinary states of consciousness. The counsellor must be trained in working with non-ordinary states of consciousness and understand the breadth of experiences that are possible in these states.  Understanding such states requires personal experience.   It cannot be learned from study alone.

In order to understand where the Transpersonal and Experiential Psychotherapy model exists within the field of counselling, other schools of counselling are explored. For example, Psychoanalytical, Humanistic, Behavioural, Transpersonal.

 

Responding to a changing world

The Transpersonal model is a holistic model based on self-awareness, creativity and authenticity, which enables trainee counsellors to express their leadership qualities, and to develop the capacity to:

 

  • respond professionally with depth and heart to a dynamic and rapidly changing world. The counsellor can respond to individual client needs in the moment even though the counsellor may not have met a particular relationship dynamic or situation previously in training or in practice. The counsellor can draw on inner resources and trust the functions of sensate, feeling, intuition and thinking (Jung, 1964) when doing so.

  • Respect the interconnectedness of all life: within the individual; between individuals and family, community, society and the world; between the individual and the ecological environment; and between the individual and the spiritual dimensions of life.

 

The training provides development opportunities that support trainees to embody knowledge and skills for living and working dynamically and effectively as counsellors and leaders in a changing world. In the past our graduates have taken the skills gained into a broad range of settings such as: within the community, in private practice, community services, government and industry. They have brought fresh and innovative perspectives to their existing professions.

 

Experiential nature of the program develops adaptability and creativity

The program delivery is experiential in order to facilitate personal and spiritual development and to create a body of inner knowing, sensitivity, and skills, through personal experience.  Trainees learn to trust in their own feeling, sensate, intuitive and thinking functions (Jung).  In this process they learn to appreciate their own unique unfolding, develop self responsibility, and gain an embodied understanding of the dynamics of transformation, linked to a well established and coherent body of knowledge incorporating ancient traditions and modern theory relevant to the program.

 

O’Brien and Burnett[1], describe three phases of experiential learning: (1) experience (2) expression and (3) integration. These three phases of  learning are valued and modelled to trainees. This approach to learning will flow on to benefit clients.

 

A focus on the personal development of trainees

The approach to training is experiential, with trainees doing their own personal Journeywork using the TERC modalities. They also facilitate one another in these modalities throughout the program. The premise of this approach is, that when counsellors have explored deeper levels of their own psyche, they will be more trusting of the inner world, and therefore more able to effectively facilitate clients exploring such levels. This includes the “dark”, painful and negative aspects of the human being and their experiences.

 

 An integrated approach to curriculum planning

In consideration of the experiential nature of the training, the training program is designed as an integrated program in which all program units are taught concurrently. Giving cognisance to the needs of the trainees, the strands of the program are interwoven throughout, rather than taught as separate subjects or units of work in which an entire unit is taught before another is begun.

 

The training program has a balance between the personal exploration and development of the trainee alongside the development of attitudes, skills, process and knowledge which contributes to the formation of a professional identity as a Transpersonal and Experiential Psychotherapist and leader in the community.

 

[1] Patrick O’Brien and Paul C. Burnett, Counselling Children Using a Multiple Intelligences Framework, article in British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, Vol. 28, No 3, August 2000.

 

For more information please contact:

 

Contact: Melissa L'Estrange

Mobile: 04 4748 3399

 

 

Counsellor Training

 

Tilling the soil and nurturing

growth in life

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