We are delighted that these workshops are part of our programme of events for the conference.  You will be able to select one of these workshops at registration. 

Adolescent Configuration Styles

Bronagh Starrs

Adolescent experience is becoming increasingly complex as young people adjust and respond to living in our present-day world. Mental health has become the principal concern, as adolescents struggle with a host of issues such as anxiety, school attendance and academic pressure, gender diversity, substance misuse, navigating social media and living in often complicated family compositions on a vulnerable planet. 


In this workshop we will explore a contemporary, phenomenologically attuned understanding of adolescence, identifying three principal character styles within the modern-day adolescent’s lifespace. As young people have evolved, so too have parenting approaches. Bronagh will demonstrate how each configuration style in adolescence elicits a predictable response in parents. She examines the many challenges and dilemmas facing parents in today’s world, highlighting the patterns and pitfalls which often render parental interventions ineffective. Her analysis, from a relational Gestalt perspective, of adolescent process and parental response, has implications for the therapeutic encounter. 


About the Presenter: 

Bronagh Starrs is Programme Director for the MSc Adolescent Psychotherapy in Dublin Counselling & Therapy Centre in partnership with University of Northampton and Founder & Director of Blackfort Adolescent Gestalt Institute. She maintains a private practice in Omagh, Northern Ireland, as a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, writer and trainer, specialising in working with adolescents, emerging adults and their families. Bronagh is an adolescent development specialist and has considerable experience as a trainer in adolescent development and therapy throughout Ireland. She also teaches and presents internationally on the developmental implication of trauma on the adolescent journey. Her first publication Adolescent Psychotherapy - A Radical Relational Approach (Routledge, London) has received international acclaim. Bronagh’s second book Adolescent Configuration Styles, Parenting and Psychotherapy – A Relational Perspective is due for publication in 2023.  

The Relational Field in the Bodies of Step and New Constructed Family Members

If a stepfamily were a body, what shape would it have? 

Claire Asherson Bartram

This workshop focuses on the experience of partnerships where one or both adults have children from a previous relationship and where one parent (or more) lives somewhere else.  In these situation, adult partners have contrasting responses and priorities in relation to their own and each other’s children.  The relationships are felt as bodily reactions and bring forward emotions that are beyond reason with a primitive power.  


In healthy situations biological parents have a connection and love with their child which is experienced viscerally and passionately.  It includes taking on the shared task of providing physical and emotional environment needed for that child to grow and this is part of their identity as parents.  If they separate the task becomes split between households.  Intimate partners coming into the situation - whether they view themselves as stepparents or not - respond to the children differently; they are outside of the parent/child relationship and despite goodwill can be perceived as a threat. This is one of many complications that can arise in this situation where new partners become beset by demands, and needs from inside and outside their relationship.


In the time we have together we will consider stepfamily relationships and include an exploration of how these are experienced in our bodies.  From this we will consider what supports individuals and couples in stepfamily and similar situations to move towards integrating as a family group.  The workshop will be a confidential space for experimentation in which we may draw from examples in our lives, and therapeutic practices.  


About the Presenter 

Claire Asherson Bartram qualified in 1991 as a Gestalt therapist and works in London as a therapist, supervisor and group facilitator with individuals, couples and groups. She was a founding member of UKAGP (United Kingdom Association of Gestalt Therapy) and is on the editorial committee of the British Gestalt Journal.  She is on the team of tutors teaching research and supervising research dissertations at the Minster Centre (Integrative training).  


Claire’s interest in stepfamilies and parent/child relationships began with her own  own experience raising a family and she has continued to develop this strand of her work.  She has a doctorate in Psychotherapy by Professional Practice  ‘Narratives of Mothers in Stepfamily Situations’ and over the years she has run numerous workshops on Gestalt and Stepfamilies for organisations and at conferences.  Her therapy work includes many couples and individuals living in stepfamily situations


Among other influences, Claire integrates Gestalt with  Ruella Frank’s Somatic Developmental Psychotherapy, Bert Hellinger’s constellations, development, attachment and evolutionary theory.  

Discovering the co-created rhythm of self through our aesthetic knowing

Catherine Power & Ann Cadogan

In this fractured world people are struggling to understand how life makes sense for them.  With so much suffering in our society and the world at large we are at a loss to find our relational ground. Rather than attuning to the other – looking, sensing, feeling, tasting and touching, we see more isolation and aloneness. We see more re-acting than relating and responding with the other.  

We hope during this exercise to awaken the energy and vitality within ourselves and towards the other.  We invite participants to risk participating in rhythmic, sensing movement that allows for spontaneity and engagement of the fullness of ourselves in awareness and contact.

We begin by connecting with and experiencing our lived body in the present moment with our aesthetic knowing in a field perspective. Staying with how we are in our essence in this space and time, in and through this process of being with our living, pulsating, alive body we begin to focus our attention towards an embodied inter-corporeality that supports the aesthetics of co-creation. 

Through this process of contacting with another in the act of moving-towards-the-other (Spagnuolo Lobb) we hope the participants will begin to feel into sensuous experiences supporting the aesthetics of co-creation. 


About the Presenters:

Catherine Power

 Post-Graduate Diploma in Gestalt Psychotherapy, Diploma in Supervision, MIAHIP. 

Catherine has worked in the field for over 30 years starting out in an ethical community-based counselling organization providing affordable counselling to people regardless of their ability to pay. for the service.  She continues to work in this organization, and believes that this is a much-needed service in all communities and in our fractured world this need is ever increasing.    She went on to train as a couples counsellor and supervisor.  She completed her training in Gestalt Psychotherapy in 2003 and experiences the value of working in an embodied relational way with individual clients and with groups.  Other trainings include “working with couples from a Gestalt relational perspective”, training in trauma and training as a psychosexual therapist.  Catherine is a tutor at the Gestalt Institute of Ireland. She is experienced in working with issues of domestic violence and has a special interest in the impact of addiction on families.  She is an accredited IAHIP supervisor and has a private practice seeing individuals and couples.     


Ann Cadogan

MA Gestalt Psychotherapy, BSc (Hons), HDip Ed, MIAHIP, MIAHIP, Tutor with Gestalt Institute of Ireland.

Ann had a background in teaching, facilitating parenting programmes before becoming a gestalt therapist. On qualifying with the Post Graduate Diploma in in Gestalt therapy, she subsequently completed her MA in Gestalt Psychotherapy with The Gestalt Institute of Ireland / Carlow Institute of Technology. Ann is presently a tutor with GII. In the current year

she is participating in a supervision/reflective practitioner training. She has a busy private practice and enjoys being part of her local community.

The importance of community for Ann permeates her personal and professional life. Working with marginalised families as a Home School Community Liaison Coordinator for twelve years and then as a psychotherapist, she is convinced of the healing power of belonging. She believes that people thrive when given the encouragement and opportunity to make a contribution to their community. Together they grow in this unique dynamic , proving the whole is greater than the parts. She has established community groups under many different guises, gardening groups, art groups, parenting support groups , photography groups, cookery groups . She has recently become a founder member of a women's group in her local village , where rural isolation is a phenomenon.

One touch of nature - making sense of the world through ecosomatic practice. 

Jacek Panster

For how each leaf traps light as it falls.
For even in the nighttime of life
it is worth living, just to hold it.

- Seán Hewitt, Leaf


We have grown increasingly disconnected from our bodies and the natural world around us. How can we tune to our embodied experience in nature to receive the nourishment of otherness and to develop resilience in the face of adversity? How can we reawaken in our surroundings the childlike sense of wonder to find beauty in the depth of our human fragility?     


Remaining true to our founding text (PHG, 1951) with regards to the unitary nature of the organism/environment field and drawing on contemporary gestalt theory’s focus on lived body experience, in this workshop we will engage in ecosomatic practice to explore the reciprocal relationship between body and earth. 


We will resonate in movement with the shapes, spaces, rhythms, textures, and smells in the environment. By heightening our sensory awareness of how we engage with the landscape as we breathe, yield our weight to gravity, or push away from the ground, we will be able to, literally, make sense of the actual situation we are living moment-by-moment. Working in dyads and small groups, we will explore how this shapes our person-to-person contacting.     


About the Presenter:

Jacek Panster, M.A. is a certified gestalt psychotherapist (Gestalt Institute of Toronto, EAGT), a Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy (DSP) trainer and supervisor, and an Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy (IMBT) practitioner. Over the last 15 years, he has been on the faculty of gestalt training institutes in Poland. He practices psychotherapy in Kraków and leads personal growth and professional development workshops throughout the country, with a particular liking for overseeing group processes in residential settings. Drawing on gestalt therapy theory, ecosomatics and indigenous knowledges, he currently develops his professional interest around radical relationality, that is how our embodied connection with the environment, place, nature, and rhythms affects the therapeutic process.

Moving Wisdom

Colette Lynch

Inspired by the discipline of Authentic Movement, this workshop offers a movement space for you to enter into movement with others whilst attuning to the witness within. The witness within involves attending to our living bodies with awareness, phenomenologically tracking our unfolding ‘inner’ experience. Our moving bodies are pre-reflective and the wisdom of our movements invites us to trust the knowing of witnessing the co-creating of movement.


"Be strong then, and enter into your own body.
There you have a solid place for your feet.
Think about it carefully!
Don't go off somewhere else!
Kabir says this: just throw away all thoughts of imaginary things,...
And stand firm in that which you are".



About the Presenter:

Colette Lynch  (M.A., P.G. Dip) is a fully accredited (IAHIP) Gestalt Psychotherapist and Somatic Movement Therapist. 


Colette is passionate about combining Gestalt psychotherapy and somatic experiencing to bring about real psychological and physiological transformation. She has just completed an MA in Gestalt Psychotherapy carrying out research on how developmental movement patterns support the therapeutic process.


She has been involved with the practice of Authentic Movement for 12 years, assisting Joan Davis on her recent 3 year Original Nature programme.  She is particularly interested in combining the dream with somatic movement to explore the possibilities this can offer in the process of self-regulation and healing.

Over the past 20 years, she has also trained in other fields such as Jungian Psychology with Art Therapy, the Naked Voice with Chloe Goodchild, and DTR colour and movement therapy.

Movement Medicine a Path to Embodied Presence

Catherine Dunne

Being Embodied –

Strengthening, presence, boundaries, resilience and truth in your relationship

 with your body, heart, mind and the world around you.


The path of becoming  more embodied, developing our own interoception, our capacity to notice and integrate the feedback we receive from our bodies, is a practice. It involves attention, presence and intention. Movement Medicine is a modality that helps us to deepen and expand into that wisdom our body holds. In the process of intentionally listening to, moving, and following the body, we find more capacity to be centered, present and to attune to the knowing and guidance of our bodies and the resource available in the world around us.  It is also a wonderful way to release stress, resource our nervous systems, gain new perspectives, become more attuned to and maybe even enjoy our bodies. People have moved and danced to rhythms and music around the globe since the beginning of time for good reason.


This workshop is an invitation to move your body with the support of some lovely music and the guidance of some simple movement medicine practices. There are no steps to learn and nothing you can get wrong. I hope you will join us.


About the presenter:

Catherine Dunne is a gestalt therapist, supervisor, MIACP, Movement Medicine teacher and Ancestral Lineage Healing practitioner. Catherine has been working as a therapist for the last 30plus years and has been teaching Movement Medicine since 2015. She is passionate about expanding our understanding and experience of the relational field we are working with in therapy, from a place of embodied presence, in search of more resource for ourselves and our clients.