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Holistic Faculty Annual Conference: 'Creativity and Psychological Well-being'

Thursday 30th April and Friday 1st May 2015 at The Gillis Centre, Edinburgh


This conference will provide delegates with an opportunity; both to increase their knowledge of, and to experience, creative therapeutic approaches to psychological well-being. The theme of the conference was the vision of the late Fara McAfee, Clinical Psychologist, who valued the contribution of art, movement, music and ecological approaches in her work with trauma and deep psychological distress.
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”– Aristotle (384-322 BC)
Practitioners and a service user will share their experience and expertise over the 2 day event:
Dr. Laura Hope Steckler, Clinical & Somatic Psychologist & Psychotherapist, will present work on the impact of getting people moving in psychological work.
Tracey Bennett, Expert by Experience and Holistic Faculty Committee member, together with Jane Street, Faculty Chair, will describe her experiences across a range of therapies and provide opportunities to try some of these.
Elizabeth Nightingale, Area Co-ordinator: British Association for Music Therapy, Scotland, will lead an interactive session introducing delegates to the impact of participation in musical activities
Gail McGregor, Senior Forensic Art Psychotherapist, practising artist and lecturer, will share how the process of finding, relating to and using found objects in art therapy can bridge the psychological barriers to engagement with the outer world.
Dave Bingham, Counsellor & Psychotherapist, Wild Earth, will introduce the group to his work in reconnecting people with Nature, in pursuit of healing, wholeness and maturity.

The conference will be supportive and restorative for clinicians, allowing replenishment and re-connection with the self, therapist and human being, thereby facilitating a reflective space and freeing up the individual’s own creative flow within their own model of professional work. This can generate different ideas towards working with clients. Delegates from past conferences have valued the opportunity to play with ideas in a safe, fun environment whilst networking with like-minded people. The values of resilience, compassion, humour and creativity create a hub of exploration, diversity of thinking and springboard of action. “Feels like coming home” (previous Conference delegate feedback)
*Resources to support and signpost evidence-based practice and further exploration will be available.

Please note, bookings for this event closed at 12.00pm on Wednesday 29th April 2015

If you have any queries please contact us via the event hotline on 01332 224507


Thursday 30th April 2015

Provisional Programme as of 1st December 2014

09:30Welcome and Introduction - Jane Street, Chair
10:00"Listening to the Moving Body: Integrating movement into therapy” - Laura Steckler
11:15Refreshment Break
11:30"Listening to the Moving Body: Integrating movement into therapy” - Laura Steckler, cont'd
13:30Personal experiences of creative therapies - Tracey Bennett
15:00Personal experiences of creative therapies - Tracey Bennett, cont'd
16:30“The power of sound” - Elizabeth Nightingale
17:30Workshop Closes
19:00Workshop Dinner

Friday 1st May 2015

Provisional Programme as of 1st December 2014

09:30"Outside - In" - Gail Mcgregor
10:45Refreshment Break
11:00"Outside - In" - Gail Mcgregor, cont'd
13:30"An Invitation to Experience (a little) Nature Reconnection" - Dave Bingam
14:45Refreshment Break
15:00"An Invitation to Experience (a little) Nature Reconnection" - Dave Bingam, cont'd

Speakers and Facilitators


Laura Steckler

Laura Hope Steckler Ph.D., C Psychol, RSMT, is a Clinical and Somatic Psychologist, Body-Psychotherapist, Somatic Movement therapist, and mindfulness instructor. She was born and trained in the USA and has lived in the UK for 16 years. She trained with Body Psychotherapy pioneer Ilana Rubenfeld who integrated the Alexander technique and Feldenkrais Method with Gestalt psychotherapy. She has danced professionally and has extensive experience with various movement & somatic disciplines and their use in clinical work. She is the author of the chapter ‘Listening to the moving Body: Movement approaches in Body Psychotherapy', in Karkou, Lycouris, & Oliver’s Oxford Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing, submitted for publication in 2015. She has a deep and abiding interest in the mind-body connection and how movement can be used to facilitate wholeness and well-being.

Elizabeth Nightingale

Elizabeth Nightingale is a music therapist with a primary specialism in working with clients with neurological disorders including dementia and stroke but additionally with mental disorders including depression, bipolar and schizophrenia. Elizabeth carries out this work in a freelance capacity with the Fife Council having worked across 8 of their facilities but is also employed by Barchester Healthcare working in one of their Fife homes. Her clinical work takes the form of closed or open groups, individual sessions, couples sessions and family sessions and these take the form both of short projects and ongoing work. Her work has been published in the Journal of Dementia Care. She also develops and delivers various training for staff across these residential and day care centres. Elizabeth has links with Bipolar Scotland and has been a speaker at several of their regional support groups as well as being invited to present on music therapy as a guest speaker at their annual conference in September 2013. Further to this Elizabeth also works at Sunflower Garden, the social care arm of the Church of Scotland, working with children aged 5-14 affected by substance misuse within their families. Some of these children are developmentally delayed and have behavioural difficulties. Elizabeth runs therapeutic support groups as well as conducting individual music therapy sessions with these children. Elizabeth is also the area coordinator for Scotland for her professional body, the Britis

Gail McGregor

Gail McGregor is a practicing artist, an art lecturer and a senior forensic art therapist. Gail has had regular art exhibitions in Toulouse, London, Delph, Aberdeen, Wakefield, Manchester, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. For Gail, art from Nature unites natural elements with artistic vision to create work that pushes the boundaries of what art is and how we perceive ourselves in the natural world. For 30 years Gail has worked with adults with learning disabilities, firstly as an art lecturer and then as an Art Psychotherapist within schools, day care centers, prisons, universities and further education colleges. Gail has on many occasions utilized her passion for nature within her lectures, art exhibitions and as a resource to assist her clients who struggle to communicate verbally and/or express their feelings.

Dave Bingham

Dave Bingham has been many things over the last 35 years: bus driver, computer techy, spiritual director, rock climber, wild camper, trainee psychotherapist, globetrotting corporate hotshot, men's work elder, mountaineer and contemplative. So naturally he now finds himself running a small not-for-profit outfit called Wild Earth, which specialises in reconnecting people with Nature, in pursuit of healing, wholeness and maturity.Dave is a student of Bill Plotkin's Animas Valley Institute in Colorado and their eco-centric and soul-centric models for human development and fulfilment. Dave has a post grad certificate in Counselling & Psychotherapy from the University of Edinburgh, is a former Fellow of the Institute of IT Service Management, and trained in Spiritual Direction with the Whirlow Grange Spirituality Centre in Sheffield and the Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Glasgow.He believes in the agency of the client and the primacy of Nature as guide, therapist and co-conspirator.

Tracey Bennett

An expert by experience Tracey has both a wealth of knowledge both as a client in mental health services and in also delivering training and teaching. A 17yr career as a nanny and 2yrs as a dental nurse until an emotional breakdown in 2000 meant that Tracey found herself lost in a sea of services, never quite getting the "right" support to allow for progress. Hating to be a "passive patient" Tracey became involved with various organisations to improve services both in primary and secondary care. Being made an honorary faculty member at the teaching school at St. George's hospital, Tooting, delivering solo self harm awareness training to paramedics across England, and A&E staff to being lead tutor for the Co-Creating Health Initiative, one of 8 sites across the UK in a pilot programme to roll out collaborative partnerships with health workers and clients. Tracey became a member of the DCP Holistic Sig in 2011 as a service user representative. Tracey continues to deliver training in both self harm awareness and lately on D.I.D. Awareness following her many years of childhood trauma, as she holds the strong belief that training/teaching from a lived experience is invaluable for healthcare professionals.


The Gillis Centre

The Gillis Centre , 100 Strathearn Road , Edinburgh , EH9 1BB •  Website•  Directions

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