Living Therapy - Counselling, Training and Supervision in Southampton Living Therapy - Counselling, Training and supervision in Southampton


I deliver three courses at locations across the UK for mental health professionals who work in the field of addiction. My approach is based upon the 12 Step philosophy pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous.

Upcoming Course: Understanding Addiction –The Romney Centre, Southampton, SO17 1XS.

Date: 15th July 2017

Click here for details and booking.

Addiction is a widespread problem that permeates all levels of society and the damage caused to society by addiction is huge. Consider alcohol, for example. It is estimated by the UK government that as much as 5% of the population has alcohol dependency problems alone, and the cost to the economy may be as much as £20 billion every year. A large part of the problem is that addiction is frequently misunderstood by mental health professionals and the general population, and addicts often don’t get the help they need, or are afraid to ask for it. The problem of being afraid to ask for help is particularly prevalent among professional people, for whom admitting to having an addiction problem is perhaps the hardest step of all.

Since 2000, I have been people achieve long-term recovery from a range of addictions, including drugs, alcohol and food, using the 12 Step approach.

Some Feedback From Delegates:

Very honest and thoughtful presentation. Interaction from group members very useful. Useful info on cross-addictions.

With this work shop what I found very helpful was not just the qualification of the trainer/s but the value of knowing the trainer/s had real experience in this field and it wasn't coming only from the academic stance.

Really interesting to develop insight into addiction. Lots to think about. Will definitely inform my work when treating people who are also addicts. Really enjoyed the training.

More feedback ...

What Is So Special About These Courses?

These courses have been designed to help counsellors, support workers, social workers, clinicians and anyone else who helps addicted people. These courses will equip you with theory, skills, and knowledge required to help people experiencing addictions and those who are recovering from addiction in a 12-Step fellowship (e.g. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Co-Dependents Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous, among others). Many adherents of 12 Step programs seek additional, outside help. The courses include very practical tools that can be used to help clients in their journey of recovery.

Through involvement and experiential learning, you will discover the personal nature of addiction, the history and philosophy of the 12 Step approach, and how it has helped several million of people worldwide recover from addiction. You will take away a practical approach which you can use immediately to help your clients.

The following four sections describe the content of each of the courses that I offer:

Addiction Awareness

(2 Hours CPD)

In this course I present the neurology and psychology of addiction. I give a brief outline of the history of the 12 Step program and I explain the role played by 12 Step fellowships in promoting long-term recovery from addiction and good mental health. I introduce the first step of the 12 Step program and I explain how to help addicted people overcome some of the common barriers that prevent recovery and lead many people to relapse.

Understanding Addiction

1 day (6 Hours CPD)

In this course, I explain how patterns of addiction are created and sustained. I describe how the basics of the 12 Step approach can be used to help clients begin to break out of those patterns and recover from addiction.

When I did a BA in Humanistic Therapy, I saw many parallels between the various Humanistic models and the 12 Step approach. For example, there is a close correlation between the 12 Step approach and Carl Rogers' Seven-Stage model of process through which the client moves "from fixity to flowingness", as Rogers describes it in his book 'On Becoming a Person'.

The 12 Step approach is tailor-made for people wishing to recover from addiction. It provides a structured, concrete, tangible method that helps the individual break free from thoughts, feelings and behaviour that are rigid, repetitive and centred around addictive activity. The approach helps the person move to a position of thinking, feeling and behaving which is flexible, creative and centred around a psychologically healthy lifestyle.

This course will give you an 'inside understanding' of the psychology behind the first three steps of the 12 Step program, as well as personal experience of the way in which the principles of the program can be applied in everyday living. Furthermore, it will show you the pitfalls that your clients may encounter on their journey through the program and it will help you to understand and support your clients through the difficulties they face on the transformative journey of self-discovery that seems to be an essential factor in achieving long-term recovery from addiction.

Working With Addiction

4 days over 2 weekends + homework (34 hours CPD)

This is an in-depth course run over 2 weekends, 3 months apart, with homework in between. All of the 12 Steps are covered individually, and you will gain an experiential understanding of the links between the 12 Step model and other approaches to recovery from addiction.

The course structure is as follows:

Weekend 1 – Steps 1-5.

10 hours self-reflective journaling (approximately 1 hour per week).

Weekend 2 – Steps 6-12.

You will not simply be given a lecture or provided with facts which can be obtained from the internet. Instead, you will be taken on a journey where you can explore various issues in a dynamic and experiential way. For example, there will be exercises to help you explore:

1.What is addiction like from the perspective of the person experiencing the addiction?

2.How you can have 'unconditional positive regard' for the person and not the 'stuff' that they are carrying?

3.How you can spot where the person is on their therapeutic journey?

4.How to work with traumatised clients – addiction and trauma often go hand-in-hand.

5.Practical ways of inviting clients to be able to explore their addiction, and learn more about themselves and the powerful 'addictive craving' that they experience as part of the cyclical nature of addiction.

6.Exploring the addictive cravings and working on how to help clients break the addictive cycle using elements of the 12 Step model of recovery to help prevent relapse.

7.Understanding the 12 Step model of addiction and recovery so that you can accompany a member of a 12 Step fellowship on their journey through the 12 Steps.

8.Understand the pitfalls that both therapist and the client can experience on the recovery journey. Such pitfalls may include frustration on the therapist's part with the client's relapses, and often erratic journey, as well as the client's experience of guilt and shame that can throw them off track.

9.When counselling isn’t enough – knowing when and how to refer a client on for more in-depth treatment.

This course will give you an 'inside understanding' of the psychology behind the 12 Step model, as well as personal experience of the way in which the program can be applied in everyday living. The theory, knowledge and techniques that you will learn can be used in both Individual and Group Therapy settings.

This course integrates theory, practice and insights from the 12 Step Program, Focusing-Oriented Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Person-Centred Therapy, Solution-Focussed Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness. It will give you an in-depth understanding and practical toolkit for helping clients recover from addictions, whether you are a drug worker, support worker, social worker, clinician, addictions therapist (trainee or qualified), or a therapist who occasionally has clients who experience addiction issues.

Addiction Work Tutorials

(2 hours CPD once a month, for delegates who have completed the certificate course).

For those who have completed the Certificate course, I offer monthly group tutorial sessions at The Romney Centre in Southampton, within easy reach of the M27 motorway and Southampton Central railway station.

I believe that learning never stops – these sessions give you an opportunity to discuss aspects of your casework that include addiction problems. I place emphasis on self-reflection and learning from each other and from your clients. I facilitate these workshops using the Seven-Eyed Supervision Model developed by Peter Hawkins, Robin Shohet and Joan Wilmot.