Monday, October 31, 2005

Experience La Jolla in Wales

The La Jolla Program U.K. is hosting a residential event from 25th February until 5th March 2006 in Pen Rhiw, St Davids, Wales.

The La Jolla Program is a project of the Center for Studies of the Person in La Jolla, San Diego, California which was founded in 1968 by Carl Rogers and others who shared his philosophy. This 8 day workshop provides an opportunity to experience and learn from the Person-Centred group encounter. Participants will spend their time exploring the core conditions of the Person-Centred approach and developing and deepening their capacity to live those conditions. The workshop is intentionally not overly structured, allowing the interests of the group to substantially guide and focus the interaction. There will be a combination of small groups and whole community time, with the exact pattern of each day being negotiated with participants.

The group facilitators are Will Stillwell, who is coming over from San Diego and Steve Vincent, the only full U.K. member of the Center for Studies of the Person. Will is a key staff member of the La Jolla Program and was a colleague of the late Carl Rogers. Steve has 25 years of experience as a person-centred therapist, supervisor and trainer. He previously ran the person-centred training unit at Southampton City College and now works as a therapist in primary care. Will and Steve ran the La Jolla Program together in the UK in 2000 and 2005.

The venue at Pen Rhiw is only half a mile from the Cathedral City of St Davids. Further information on the venue can be found at while further information about the Center for Studies of the Person can be found at

The cost of the program is £495 inclusive of all meals and accommodation. A £50 deposit secures your place.

For a more detailed information, please email or telephone 01603 614766.

[Source: PCA-Events]

Monday, October 24, 2005

Music & the Person Centred Approach

A bit of a tangent this - but hopefully a productive one.

I am particularly interested in the role/place/potential of music in the field of human relationships and communication. More specifically than that, I am particularly interested in the interface between music and mental health and, zooming in even further, in music as it relates to (and in some cases expresses aspects of) the person centred approach.

Those of us fortunate members of the hearing community all have powerful personal experiences of music but it is rarely considered in the same conceptual framework as, for example, mental health, or therapeutic work. I neither aspire nor expect to change any of that.

I do, however, have a few little 'projects' on the go that you may have an interest in and may be able to contribute to. They range from the serious to the less-so and can be summarised as follows:

1. Working towards a PCA Playlist
There is a part of me that can still enjoy music with a lyrical content that is a zillion miles from who I am or want to be - if the beat is good enough (the odd guitar solo tends to disengage certain critical parts of my brain too). But the 'striving for consistency through a way of being' me likes the idea of surrounding myself with music which is consistent with the person centred approach. I have done some impromptu dj-ing at pca events in the past and enjoyed the challenge of finding material that is 'sympatico' with the approach and would like to identify more.

If you know of - or come to hear - any music which you feel conveys either the letter or the spirit of the approach in some way, please let me know. I will track it down (I'm ruthless) and make it accessible through the blog or by some other means (maybe compile a cd or something). I don't know yet.

I'm also interested to hear about any songs which make specific reference to counselling and psychotherapy - so send in your suggestions on that score too.

2. Music in the working environment
If anyone has any thoughts about, knows of, or comes across any information (research, practice examples etc) which relates to the 'use' of music in work settings, I would be grateful to hear about it. Again, and in particular, anything to do with the (psycho)therapeutic use of music - whether as part of the 'wallpaper' of e.g. day centres, drop-ins, reception areas, or whether as a tool or medium in client work - i would be grateful to hear from you.

3. Creative projects
I am interested in the idea of getting the person centred approach across to others through the medium of music. In particular, I have the 'crazy' idea of doing hip-hop/rap style 'versions' of actual dialogue from therapeutic settings (and have a colleague working in his cellar on a project called "THOPERAY - The Therapeutic Opera!). Any suggestions as to sources of suitable dialogue for consideration in the context of these projects - please get in touch.

4. MP3 revolution
I am a johnny-come-lately when it comes to all this music on the internet malarkey BUT I have been a very fast learner. I would be happy to discuss with anyone their mp3 needs with a view to meeting them through file sharing (whether music or software) - the aim is to raise a bit of petty cash for PCAyorks. Any requests please get in touch.

5. Biographical note
There is an interesting inter-generational parallel thing going on for me in all this. My father (Derek Colley) was a basic skills educator in the prison service (remedial ed, I think they called it) who made a bit of a name for himself through his use of music both as a way of building relationships in and engineering the environment of the classroom setting and finding, as he might term it, the 'key' to unlock the potential of the lads on his classes. Music, he found, could reach the parts of individuals with whom communication was most difficult. It worked on a number of levels (literacy classes used song lyrics as material, to give a banal example).

When I think about his work, it puts me in mind of that 'soothing the savage beast' (or is it 'breast'?). Anyhow, with the emphasis on savage. He was, for the most part, working with young people who were pretty scary. And getting unfeasibly good results in terms of 'distance travelled' - by any measures you might care to apply. Perhaps it was all about his own passion for music. It is a passion I share.

Struck a chord?
Any other miscellaneous responses to this particular thread would be of considerable interest to me (and hopefully some of the rest of us). Do feel free to post or comment on the blog or email (please indicate if you wish your message to be circulated or not).

Paul Colley

Friday, October 21, 2005

Peter Schmid workshop - ta da!

Hi Everyone. Now here's a thing!

Sussex Person-Centred Group Presents:

'Presence and Encounter' facilitated by Peter Schmid.

Sat/Sun 19/20 Nov 2005 One and a half days.

Sat 9.30am to 4pm. Sun 9.30 to 1pm.
Venue: Community Base, Brighton.
Cost £75. To Book Contact Peter Hunt Tel. 01273-732606

Peter hardly needs much introduction as he is such a prolific writer within the approach. Most of the PCCS books published over the past few years that contain edited collections have at least one chapter by Peter (see for example Gill Wyatt's 'Rogers Therapeutic Conditions' series).

Here is what Dave Mearns and Mick Cooper say in their new book entitled 'Working at Relational Depth' (Sage):

"Within the person-centred field, there is a tendency to focus on the therapist's experiences and communications towards the client (eg empathy, positive regard), rather than the bidirectional, mutual encounter between therapist and client. ........Recent years, however, have seen some important advances towards a more intersubjective, dialogical person-centred therapy. At the forefront of developments here is the Austrian therapist Peter Schmid, who draws on the work of Martin Buber, as well as the French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas (1969), to propose that the heart of a person-centred approach is a dialogical en-counter." (p.14)

High praise indeed, and for Mearns and Cooper (and Peter Schmid too):
"en-counter means standing counter to the other person and working therapeutically with the difference. This last point is critical, the therapist must be prepared to work with the consequences of the encounter. Their 'counter' to the client is not an act of judgement, aggression or revenge, it is part of the therapeutic engagement. Such an encounter as this is just as likely to lead to a meeting at relational depth ..." (pp125/6).

Cutting edge stuff. Existentially speaking - be there or be elsewhere but take responsiblity for that choice!

[Source: PCA-Events - apologies for duplication]

Paul Colley


Thursday, October 20, 2005


Albert Ellis Needs Your Support
Albert Ellis, 92 was removed from the Board of the Non-Profit Albert Ellis Institute which he founded. He has also been barred from his regular Friday night psychotherapy sessions which he has conducted for over 30 years. Albert has said that he does not hate those who removed him from the Institute, nor is he angry about it. ``I think it`s unfair, but they have the right as falliable, screwed-up humans to be unfair, that`s the human condition,`` he said. A campaign is now underway to re-instate Dr Albert Ellis as President of the Albert Ellis Institute for REBT in New York City:
For more information, visit:

Pregnancy Counselling `Anti-choice`
AUSTRALIA`S consumer watchdog has been asked to investigate whether some pregnancy counselling services are providing deceptive information about abortions, in breach of the Trade Practices Act. Australian Greens Senator Kerry Nettle said she had written to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Graeme Samuel asking him to look into her concerns about pregnancy services. ``I have provided the ACCC with promotional material from some pregnancy counselling services that claim to offer neutral counselling and referral to all pregnancy-related services,`` she said. ``These counselling services are run by anti-choice organisations that refuse to refer women for a pregnancy termination regardless of her wishes``.

Ambitious Strategy to Improve Health and Wellbeing
Two government departments and the Health and Safety Executive joined forces yesterday in a ground-breaking partnership committed to going further than ever before to improve the health and wellbeing of working age people. David Blunkett and Patricia Hewitt launched the first stage of an ambitious strategy placing real responsibility not just in the hands of Government, but also with employers, individuals, the healthcare profession and stakeholders. The strategy, Health, Work and Wellbeing - Caring for our Future, pulls together all the different strands of work going on in this area within government.

Helping with change, through `The Change`
Newindress India, an awareness class conducted as part of the World Menopause Day at the Malabar Hospital and Urology Cenrtre here stressed the importance of counselling to overcome the problems women face during the \'The change\'.

Teenager Treatment for Addiction to Txt Messaging and Emailing
The 19-year-old, who was sending 700 texts a week, resigned from his job after he was found to have sent 8,000 e-mails in a month. He was referred to a counselling service by the public-sector union Unison after spending 4,500 a year on text messages. The youth, from Paisley, near Glasgow, said there was `something comforting` about receiving a text message. He said: `When you look at your mobile and you`ve got a message you wonder who it could be. I like it. It`s like a game of ping-pong, as you send one and get one back.`

Counsellors at the Renfrewshire Council on Alcohol Trust said they had ``never seen anything like it`` in 25 years of treating a wide range of addictions.

Source: The Counselling Newsletter

Saturday, October 15, 2005





NJC Scale, Band 6 scp28, £21,654 pro rata.

The Sex Discrimination Act 1974 S7(2) E applies.

This post will be responsible for managing and developing Project Jyoti, a specialist service for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) women and girls, provided by BME women. Jyoti services include free counselling, Help line support and sexual violence awareness raising workshops for BME community groups. The post holder will be required to work collaboratively with all BRC&SASS colleagues, in particularly with the Jyoti Project worker. An understanding of sexual violence against women, counselling qualification to at least diploma level and experience are essential. Experience of working with black and minority ethnic (BME) women and experience of project management, and/or service development is essential.


CLOSING DATE 25th November 2005.


Hi Paul,
I found this while finalising the Local Groups entries for the next edition of PCQ.  Congratulations on getting a blog up and running.  I run a couple of blogs down in the Heathrow area for news of interest to the area and it is an inexpensive and easy way to get information out into the wider world.
I see that in an earlier post that you had not figured out how to make a link clickable.  You have my email address so if you still need help with that come back to me.
Dave & Sarah McCartney
Visit our village at
Books just wanna be FREE!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Get Your Diary Out

Next meeting of PCAyorks is Sunday 4 December, from 1pm at the Voluntary Services Centre, 19-25 Sunbridge Road, Bradford BD1 2AY.

If you are going to come it would be helpful to know in advance - but not essential.

If anyone needs directions, travel or parking information - or any other kind of information - please ask.

The meeting doesn't have a specific theme or topic.

Looking forward to seeing you on the day - but if you can't make this meeting do come to the next one on Sunday 22 January.

Paul Colley

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

PCAyorks Meeting Dates

Hi All.

In an effort to get some of us in the same place at the same time in (what's left of) 2005, I offer the following choice of dates:


That's your lot. The date that gets the most positive response will be the one that happens - and the one that gets put in the BAPCA journal.

It would also be good if we could kick off the New Year with a meeting so again the choice is between:


Meetings will be in the Mabel Booth Room, 1st Floor, Voluntary Services Centre, 19-25 Sunbridge Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD1 2AY.

Please get back to us with the following information:

1. Which date(s) you can/will attend.
2. If Sundays are never going to be any good for you, please give days and times you would be able to make. If only a small minority want or can make a Sunday, we will try something else.

Don't forget to keep checking the blog

maybe leaving the odd comment as you go. If you want to do a full post (can be done 'remotely' from any email) the instructions have been posted up (or can be sent to you by email).

At the moment I'm trying to discipline myself to add a new external link each day (see left hand column). Because it's early days the first few are extremely obvious ones, but as the weeks wear on I will be dipping into my secret hoard of favourites - maybe adding your own suggestions too ?!

If you need any further information don't hesitate to get back to us at:

Looking forward to meeting as many of you as can make it over the next couple of months.

Best wishes

Paul Colley

Monday, October 10, 2005

Meeting Up in West Yorkshire

We urgently need to pick some dates to include in the next issue of BAPCA's journewsletter, PCQ. The deadline for submitting our revised (with dates) entry in the Local Groups section is Friday 14 October.

If anyone has any days or times they would/would not be able to attend, offers of suitable venues (preferably FOC) - or thoughts/views on the subject of us meeting up generally, please either add your comments here on the blog or email them to

Sometime later today / tomorrow I will post up some suggested slots for possible meetings here at the Voluntary Services Centre in Bradford.

Yours, one step nearer to meeting (?)

Paul Colley

Thursday, October 06, 2005

re Study Raises Questions on Counselling

This is my first attempt to post to this group and this blog.

I thought that the issue of whether certain forms of counselling can be harmful was interesting and very relevant to a person centred group. My own view would be that straying from a non-judgemental and non-advice giving position will almost always lead to negative dynamics.Rogers was the Zen master of counselling precisely because he understood the simplicity of the healthy counsellor/counselee relationship and that less is more.

Posted by: (blog admin is checking to see if this remote poster wishes to reveal their identity).

Let's Meet (?)

Hi all

We have until 14 October to submit our revised entry for the BAPCA periodical, Person Centred Quarterly's Local Groups pages.

Following our visit to the BAPCA Local Groups meeting in Derby a couple of weekends ago, we (Seamus and I) came back with a number of ideas, chief amongst which is the need to set and publicise meeting dates in advance.

It is probably going to be impossible to find a day/time/place that will suit everyone, so if we don't receive any suggestions we will just go ahead and pick a couple of dates to take us to the end of the year. Again, without alternative offers or suggestions, the venue will be the Voluntary Services Centre in city centre Bradford.

If you have any views please get back to us asap.

In lieu of a 'proper' website, we have set up a fairly basic blog (weblog). Check it out at:

It is possible to post to the blog from any email by mailing to:

The subject line becomes the header for the new post, the message follows on as the text. Try it out. The blog is fully editable so don't worry too much about producing the perfect publication.

I have to say that Seamus and I returned from the local groups meeting with quite different feelings about our own group. I am currently feeling that the efforts are disproportionate to the response/outcome/benefit. Any amount of personal messages of appreciation for whatever has been done to date will do little to shift my view that my time could be much better spent than trying to get people to communicate and contribute when they don't feel moved to do so.

Prove me wrong.

Paul Colley

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

So near, yet so far away

Now here's a thing:

I can post to our blog from any email address - apparently. This is
my first attempt. Exciting, or what?