Spring Conference


Sat. 3rd May 2014 

Loss and Significant Change

John Bowlby introduced Attachment Theory to the world of psychotherapy in the 1950’s, and it has never left ‘centre stage’. By combining the innovative methodology of Mary Salter Ainsworth, it has been able to withstand the test of time, leading to the quote by Martin Seager (a recent TAP conference speaker) that, ‘Attachment Theory is probably the best attested concept in psychology’. However the developmental work has never stood still, and as John Bowlby wished, the theory should be regarded as a concept on which to build. New perspectives and research are influencing the current direction of the theory, which will increasingly affect the work we do as therapists.

Our speakers at the conference are;

Sir Richard Bowlby: - who will be giving us a unique insight into his Father’s work.
Dr Una McCluskey: - who will be presenting clinical applications to demonstrate how modern Attachment Theory is being used today. 
Venue: Taunton Racecourse, Orchard Portman, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 7BL
Fee: £86 for the full day or £80 to TAP Members

Click on the link for the full programme and for a booking form click here 


TAP Conference Sat. 9th March 2013 

Dialogues Around Depression

 Concerns, Critiques and Solutions

Depression continues to blight the lives of millions. In recent years CBT has become the 'treatment of choice' by NICE and is now integral to the IAPT programme. But is it the only way? How does it compare with other modes of therapy? Is treatment more about the therapeutic relationship or the technique? How do you decide what is best for your clients or patients?

These are some of the challenging questions we hope to address in the 2013 conference. There are genuine differences of opinion and no easy answers but here is an opportunity to question and contribute and we should have plenty to take away from this day. In addition to these top speakers, for the first time we will have some short 'vignettes' of personal experience to enrich and inform the day.

TAP has a reputation for attracting national  or distinguished local speakers.



Depression: from a medicalised to a psychologically minded approach.

Martin is a clinical psychologist, lecturer, broadcaster and activist on mental health issues. He has worked at the Tavistock, is a consultant for the Samaritans, a member of the Mental Health Advisory Board College of Medicine and has worked in the NHS for almost 30 years.

Martin will question the quality of the science underpinning traditional views of depression and show how in truth, depression is a very vague and wide term. By referring to clinical practice, everyday life, the arts, and works by himself and other authors, he will explore ways of making our mental health services and society as a whole less depresso-genic and more psychologically minded.

Martin Seager, in 2007, was commissioned by the then Secretary of State for Health to lead an advisory group from a broad range of psychological approaches, to delve deeper into the core science of human mental well-being. The group comprised Susie Orbach, Andrew Samuels, Valerie Sinason, Lucy Johnson, Martin Seager, Glenda Fredman, Ross Hughes, James Antrican, Peter Kinderman and Margaret Wilkinson. (Three of the ten had been TAP conference speakers on different occasions.)

Martin Seager has worked for the NHS for almost thrity years and is a member of the Mental health advisory board College of Medicine. he also wrote the cover article for the September issue of Therapy Today, the BACP magazine. 

Martin's Presentation 



Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy - Preventing Depression Relapse

Alison Evans is a mindfulness based cognitive therapist working in the Moods Disorders Centre at Exeter University, and is the Programme Lead for the Diploma and MSc courses in MBCT. She has extensive experience of dealing with depression. Her work includes research into preventing relapse for patients with a history of recurrent depression.

She is a co-founder of the Exeter Mindfulness Network.  Mindfulness has an extensive research base and is becoming widely recognised as a major therapeutic tool. Alison will present both the theoretical basis of her approach and, by using casework, how  the MBCT course supports people to make changes.

Alison's Presentation



A compassion focused therapy approach to working with depression

Dr. Christopher Irons is a clinical psychologist working in a Community Mental Health Team in London. He is an accredited trainer and supervisor of compassion focused therapy (CFT), and regularly presents to academic, professional and lay audiences on CFT and more broadly, the science of compassion.

Drawing upon research from evolutionary psychology, attachment theory, developmental and neuro-sciences, Christopher will be discussing whether CFT may provide a useful psychotherapeutic approach to working with depression and how CFT may also augment traditional Cognitive Behavioural approaches.

(Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) was developed by Professor Paul Gilbert. Some of his patients told that they had come to understand their thoughts and behaviour but felt little better. Consequently, he drew upon evolutionary biology, neuroscience and Buddhism to create CFT, for which he received the OBE in 2011. Professor Gilbert warmly recommended Dr. Christopher Irons as a speaker at this year's TAP Conference.)

Chris's Presentation 

TAP Conference Sat. 24th March 2012 

'Creativity, Dreams & the Imagination'


Creativity, dreams and imagination are fascinating but elusive concepts which are at the heart of our humanity. The brief we gave our speakers is to go beyond the familiar in the search for the roots of the creative potential that can transform the lives of our clients and patients. Yet they are to carry us with them and suggest models of working which we could adapt and, in particular, suggest models of working which we could bring to those situations where the therapy is 'stuck'. The speakers will draw on their varied and extensive experience to bring these concepts into a clearer focus.

Our conference will consider three views from three eminent speakers, Ian Rees, Maggie Peters and Dr Lynne McClelland. After a presentation covering the latest developments in the field each of our speakers will in turn go on to present their views on how this work could influence their thinking and the way they practice.


 TAP Conference Spring 2011

Saturday 12th March 2011, 9.15am-4.30pm

Enlightened Psychotherapy

Neuroscience and the Nature of Consciousness

Psychotherapy and counselling are often referred to as 'talking therapies'. Does this ignore the possible physical or spiritual attributes which make up the whole human being? Neuroscience has made great strides in recent years in understanding the brain, so demonstrating how various functions are linked. There is also increasing recognition of the role of the physical body. Transpersonal psychology is now taught at University level.

So how far, if at all, does the latest cutting edge research and thinking give us reason to modify our understanding and practice of therapy?

Our conference will consider three views from three eminent speakers. After a presentation covering the latest developments in neuroscience each of our speakers will in turn go on to present their views on how this work could influence their thinking and the way they practice.

Our speakers:

Margaret Wilkinson

Margaret has been a keynote speaker at BACP conference and recommended by last year's popular contributor, Andrew Reeves. Her book 'Coming into Mind' argues that the new developments in neuroscience must be acknowledged if psychotherapy is to progress through the 21st century. Her books have been endorsed by Professors Andrew Samuels and Joy Schaverein both former TAP conference speakers. Conference Presentation

Kathrin Stauffer

Kathrin is a registered body and integrative psychotherapist. Having trained originally in biochemistry she became more interested in the subjective aspect of the human body. Her book 'Anatomy and Physiology for Psychotherapists: Connecting Body and Soul', sets out her present thinking. She is the current chair of the Chiron Association for Body Psychotherapists.

Mark Shiels

Mark practises in London as a core process psychotherapist, working with clients using a transpersonal psychotherapeutic framework whilst recognising and affirming the emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual parts of our being. He trained at the Karuna Institute and is committed to an inclusive, ecumenical (non-sectarian) approach to therapy.


Saturday 20th March 2010

9.15am - 4.45pm



Engaging Teens, Involving Men and Including the Excluded

Politicians campaign on the theme of 'Broken Britain' and the 'Fractured Family'.  We live in a time of sweeping changes in society, in family structure and gender roles, whilst economic developments have brought prosperity to some and poverty for others. The provision of counselling and psychotherapy has increased in recent decades, but the take-up has been unequal.  The less affluent and men are less likely to access it, and once there, to remain in it. Has therapy anything to offer to the alienated? - to men with traditional views about their role? - to people from every class of society? Can - and should - therapy adapt to changing circumstances and values? TAP believes this is a challenging and relevant theme and we have invited three expert speakers to help us explore it.



Working Class Subjects and Psychotherapy Regimes: could psychotherapy become a space for working class protest, opposition and resistance?

Sally Sales has a long-standing interest in the formation of working class subjectivities within a dominant and colonising middle class culture. She will argue that psychotherapy has often been a normalising and pathologising experience for working class people. Dr Sales is a psychoanalyst and supervisor in private practice in Cornwall and Chair of training for the Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis in London. She has researched the contested status of contemporary open adoption practices, including the marginal position of working class parents in child protection and adoption procedures. 



Slugs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: Men, Masculinity and Counselling

Dr Andrew Reeves is a Senior BACP Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist and supervisor at the University of Liverpool Counselling Service.  He has published articles on working with suicide, self-harm, and counselling with men.  He published in 2008 Key Issues for Counselling in Action: Second Edition (with Prof Windy Dryden), and Counselling Suicidal Clients in 2010.  He is a regular columnist for Therapy Today.

 Andrew Reeves Presentation


From Safe Child to Humane Adult:

The Enduring Impact of Complex Trauma (on Brain and Behaviour)

Christina Enright comes via nursing, psychology and family therapy. She is a qualified Integrative Child Psychotherapist with over nine years experience working with the most traumatised and marginalised children and their families. At Kids Company she does direct clinical work with a range of clients as well as working closely with staff teams in the assessment and monitoring of cases. She has a special interest in the development of more effective models of training and intervention for working with children and adolescents who have endured complex trauma, and is passionate about disseminating research evidence on its impact, particularly within the education system.

Brief overview of Kids Company

Presentation about Kids Company

Christinas Presentation

TAP Conference 2009 Feedback 

Analysis of Feedback Forms

Overall: 64 returned from 128 delegates so 50% return rate.

Question 1: How would you rate the conference overall?

87% of responses rated the conference as Very Good or Excellent

Question 2: How would you rate the venue overall?

93% rated the conference as Very Good or Excellent

Question 3: How would you rate the standard of food and catering today?

89% therefore rated the standard of food and catering as Very Good or Excellent

Question 4: With regard to your own work, how relevant has the conference been?

86% rated the relevance of the conference to their work as Quite or Very Relevant

Conference Comments - We hope you enjoy some of the comments made at our 2009 conference.

'Very high calibre of speakers.' 

'Really appreciate the different angles that speakers coming from, that all inter-link so well.'

'Well done again on promoting an excellent conference.'

'It was lovely to hear from each speaker have welcome they felt by the committee, and I think that helped make them at ease and supportive of each other in addressing the theme. I loved the balance of the difference approaches. "

You asked us for speakers notes / presentations we have now provided them on this website. You also asked for more of Peter Heinl we will be offering a workshop in the Autumn so you can work with him once again.

The conference hosted three speakers:

PETER HEINL - The Dimension of Unconscious Transgenerational Trauma - A Diagnostic Challenge for the 21st Century?

Peter Heinl studied medicine in Germany and France and worked on research with Sir Andrew Huxley FRS in London. He also trained in psychiatry and psychotherapy at the Maudsley and Tavistock. He has been in private practice in London and Germany and is the author of 'Splintered Innocence - an intuitive approach to treating war trauma' (2001). He will present clinical material illustrating the intuitive diagnosis of transgenerational trauma and will also discuss the wider aspects relevant to medical and mental health practice in order to encourage the audacity of thinking 'outside the box.'

ALEXANDRA RICHMAN - Through the Eye of the Trauma Storm: EMDR in the Treatment of Trauma

Alexandra (Sandi) Richman is a Clinical Psychologist specialising in the treatment of victims of acute trauma and personal injury, adult survivors of childhood abuse and dissociative disorders.  In addition to conducting a private practice, Alexandra is a Consultant Psychologist with the Traumatic Stress Service at the Maudsley Hospital in London, where she heads up an EMDR service within the Traumatic Stress Service.  She is a Past-President of the EMDR UK & Ireland Association, an Approved Consultant and Trainer with the EMDR International Organisation (EMDRIA), and with EMDR Europe Association.

  Eye of the storm presentation ( this is a powerpoint presentation)

JEREMY WOODCOCK - Trauma and Spirituality

Jeremy Woodcock is a family psychotherapist who trained in several traditions. He is a Catholic and a Zen Buddhist. He was Consultant Family Therapist and Head of Groupwork at the Medical Foundation for the care of Victims of Torture in London and later Director of Family Therapy Training at the University of Bristol. In Bristol he was also a practitioner and teacher of psychoanalytic family therapy practice at The Bridge Foundation.  He is fascinated by the notion of trauma as one pole of life experience, characterised by constriction, in contrast to mysticism at the other pole of