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The Ground Beneath Our Feet - BPN online gathering and inaugural AGM, Saturday March 27th

Updated: Feb 22


Everyone is talking embodiment these days. But is some of it just that, talk? Is there a danger of embodiment becoming commodified – and identified with a comfortable white, Western, able-bodied, heteronormal experience? Whose embodiment is this anyway? Is it possible to find some solid ground?


We invite you to spend the day exploring these questions and a range of possible answers – or further questions. The conference is open to anyone with an interest in the personal, political or therapeutic field of embodiment; BPN itself is a grouping of therapists identifying and resonating with body psychotherapy as the core of their practice.


BOOKING: The Gathering is free for BPN members. Non-members can either pay £20, or join the Network with £15 annual subscription and attend for free. Network membership entitles you to an entry in the Find A Therapist area of the website. To book, email bodypsychotherapynetwork@gmail.com



Timetable, Saturday March 27th


Some timings may be approximate


10 am Start - centering exercise, practicalities and opening remarks


10.30 Break into random small groups, to introduce yourselves and chat about the day


10.50 Open mic session - 5 minutes each to say anything you want


11.50 Short break


12.00 Whole group discussion


12.30 or 12.45 Lunch break


2.00 - 3.00 Workshops


3.00 Short break


3.15 AGM


3.45 Random breakout groups


4.05 Whole group discussion


4.30 End



Workshops


These online offerings are running concurrently in the afternoon from 2 to 3pm. To book a place on a workshop, please email your workshop host directly once you have registered for the gathering, using their contact email listed below.


It will be possible to choose your workshop on the day, but you will need to email the host in the same way, and they will send you a separate Zoom link.


There may be more workshops added as we get closer to the event.


If you haven’t yet offered a workshop but would like to, please email your proposal to

bodypsychotherapynetwork@gmail.com before March 14th.



1. Living in the white body


Hosted by Susan Groves

Contact: susancgroves@googlemail.com

Maximum number: 12

Minimum: 2


This is an area of keen interest for me. Partly this has to do with growing up in Southern Africa and sensing into a different experience of the body.

I will present a short audio-clip of a conversation between a colleague and I on our lived experience of being a white body.

I’ll keep the space quite open and flexible, perhaps with the possibility of movement/posture/gesture in the space after the short presentation.



2. A collaborative exploration around working with long-term health issues and chronic pain

Hosted by Allison Priestman

Contact: info@allisonpriestman.co.uk


The area that I’m most struggling with, with my clients is working with chronic pain and long term health conditions.


I’m interested to have a collaborative exploration with other body oriented therapists. How to work with embodiment when there is no ground. When the clients, (and at times our own) body can be experienced as untrustworthy, difficult and dangerous.

We can make use of breakout rooms to explore in smaller groups.



3. The Pesso Method: engaging with the emotional and “storyline” right brain

Hosted by Sandy Cotter

Contact: sandycotter.centaur@gmail.com

In this hour long workshop key features of the method will be highlighted and each participant will have the opportunity to experience how ‘new memories’ can be wired into the body-brain in the service of healing.


Sandy Cotter writes: The importance of committed and precise body work - that engages with the emotional and ‘storyline’ right brain – is widely acknowledged. In 2012 Albert Pesso received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy and was recognised as one of three living masters of body-based psychotherapy.


Sandy Cotter was his direct student for 15 years and is one of three founding directors of the Pesso Boyden Training in the UK.


4. Different Bodies

Hosted by Nick Totton

Contact: nick@3-c.coop

I want to invite people to explore the extent and effect of normativity in body psychotherapy: that is, how far the ‘body’ we are addressing is implicitly white, male, able, straight, or all the above, and how this skews our work. I’m issuing this invitation as a white, mostly able bodied, privileged-as-straight, man; wanting to learn from people with other identifications, and wanting to influence other mainstream practitioners to become aware of the issue/s. Some of my questions are: Why does body psychotherapy not act as an ally to people who are oppressed for their bodily differences? Why does body psychotherapy not campaign for social justice around issues of bodily difference?


I propose to start with a very short talk about how I see these issues, and then open the space for a conversation between all participants.