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Existential Dialogues: The therapist in the mirror. Ten live dialogues between Prof Ernesto Spinelli and International Existential Therapists based on case studies that illustrate key existential topics.

20 May “Embodiment” with Prof Ernesto Spinelli and Dr Greg Madison

Embodiment. “Existential Psychotherapy, any therapy, all of us, so readily fall back into conceptual forms of thinking and understanding. We can get lost in theory, philosophy, and ideologies without checking to see which of these actually resonate with our felt experience of living. If we place our existence first, then words and concepts become the epi-phenomena and our bodily feelings become the guide to understanding which descriptions work and in exactly what way. We find that the body is not an enclosed subjectivity but the location of a whole system of interactions stretching far beyond the ‘individual’ as usually conceived. If we take embodiment as core to our practice, then we all become philosophers and poets in a very concrete way.” Dr Greg Madison

Greg MadisonDr. Greg Madison is a Chartered Psychologist, Associate Fellow of the BPS and Registered existential Psychotherapist (UKCP/EAP). He regularly lectures internationally and teaches workshops in the UK while maintaining a limited private practice online. Greg’s academic studies in psychology began in 1979 when he first learned about the work of the existential philosopher Eugene Gendlin, and he has been practising as a psychotherapist and Focusing teacher now for over thirty years. He wrote a small book called ‘The End of Belonging’, exploring the concept of “existential migration” and has edited two books on Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy as well as co-edited a text on Existential Therapy. Having been exposed to many psychological theories and most of the various models of psychotherapy, Greg maintains a sceptical perspective regarding our current ‘knowledge’ about psychology, claims about the meaning of life, and scientific beliefs that explain existence and human functioning. Greg believes that it is crucial that we remain as open as possible to the complexity of human existence: each person teaches us something universal and also something unique about the everyday dilemmas of being human and the unanswered deeper questions of our place in the universe. In his work, Greg Madison emphasises what a person concretely experiences moment-by-moment and how in existential work it is our experience that continues to unfold and enrich our understanding of ‘self’ as living process.

Prof Ernesto SpinelliProfessor Ernesto Spinelli was Chair of the Society for Existential Analysis between 1993 and 1999 and is a Life Member of the Society. His writings, lectures and seminars focus on the application of existential phenomenology to the arenas of therapy, supervision, psychology, and executive coaching. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS) as well as an APECS accredited executive coach and coaching supervisor. In 2000, he was the Recipient of BPS Division of Counselling Psychology Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession. And in 2019, Ernesto received the BPS Award for Distinguished Contribution to Practice. His most recent book, Practising Existential Therapy: The Relational World 2nd edition (Sage, 2015) has been widely praised as a major contribution to the advancement of existential theory and practice. Living up to the existential dictum that life is absurd, Ernesto is also the author of an on-going series of Private Eye novels.

Venue: Online Zoom

Read the full programme here >

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