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Sally Denham-Vaughan with Martin Capps
Martin Capps is a gestalt psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer who is an Associate of Relational Change and also serves on the RC leadership team.
 
Martin came into contact with the profession of psychotherapy when volunteering at a residential 12 Step rehabilitation programme for people with addictions. While here, Martin discovered he had a gift for being present; something that still surprises him despite feedback. In particular, he discovered that he loved group work and group process and exploring factors that supported people to fully become present, rather than drink or use drugs (or eat, gamble, have sex, etc), in order to try and deflect from difficult feelings. This led to Martin gaining a diploma in group work, followed by attending an introduction to gestalt. Attending that gestalt course felt like "coming home – I had finally found a theory that fitted me rather than the other way around”.
 
This passion for gestalt led to a master's degree in gestalt psychotherapy, a course with an academic component that Martin describes as an "extreme challenge for me". Indeed, this experience leaves him questioning how psychotherapists are trained and, in particular, whether a much wider and more creative process of evaluation and examination is needed. His experience as a supervisor reinforces this, since a number of supervisees seem to struggle with the written components of courses, particularly if they are dyslexic.

Martin’s personal theory is that a large number of people with forms of dyslexia are attracted to train in gestalt due to its inherent creativity and embodiment, but this is at odds with a classic, written, academic tradition that increasingly dominates training. He hopes that knowing that he shares struggles with academia supports his trainees and helps to build resilience to the sometimes crushing experiences of shame that he, and others, can experience during training.

Following discussions on this theme of shame with a colleague, Gillian Downie, they brought one of Martin’s trainee essays, entitled The Secret Agent of Shame, to life in a highly experiential workshop. This has now run successfully across the UK with 60 people having attended, and a further follow-on workshop, The Return of the Secret Agent of Shame, has been run twice.
 
Martin has a background as a very successful theatre stage manager, and it is this unique combination of skills that has contributed so much to the RC leadership team. His flair for logistics and organisational aspects of the work has led to him producing with Sally Denham-Vaughan The Liminal Space residential series, and latterly to supporting Miriam Taylor to create the post-graduate certificate and diploma programme in specialist trauma work. This will be augmented by a residential trauma intensive in October 2018, where he will be faculty as well as event manager.
 
Martin’s concern is that people think of Relational Change primarily as a training provider. His own sense is that RC principally exists to build a community of like-minded practitioners who share an ethos and are working towards a vision of a more relational world where interconnectedness is more explicitly recognised. While the RC suite of training courses and workshops are evaluated and offered to a rigorous quality standard, there is also a desire within each programme to create a learning community that operates with mutual respect and as little hierarchy between people as possible.
 
Martin Capps and JackFinally, Martin and I agreed that "living well is the practice of gestalt" and to that end he tries to lead as balanced a life as possible. That means he lives in Herefordshire, where he loves the beautiful countryside, and over the past three years has trained to become a solo glider pilot so he can enjoy flying across the land as well as walking in it (that's his fabulous photo above!).
 
Over recent months the Relational Change crew have been busy travelling and sharing the ethos and programmes. Lynda Osborne spent ten days in Kiev teaching the RC approach to couples work and supervision, while Sally Denham-Vaughan went to Oslo sharing Relational Organisational Gestalt. We're looking forward to welcoming many of you to our annual gathering at the end of November, or to one of our training programmes starting soon. You'll find all events listed below. If you'd like to know more about any, please do get in touch!  
 
ROG COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE

November 24th | Cirencester, Gloucestershire

SHARING THE JOYS AND CHALLENGES OF ORGANISATIONAL WORK

 
If your organisational practice includes relational gestalt and you have attended a ROG training course or residential, then this day is for you...
read more >>
RELATIONAL CHANGE GATHERING

November 30th | Central London

This low-cost, experiential, networking event is open to everyone interested in the work of Relational Change, including therapists, counsellors, coaches, and organisational consultants. This year's theme is...
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RELATIONAL
ORGANISATIONAL GESTALT


Starts December 2017 | Esher, Surrey

BURSARIES AVAILABLE
 
ROG is for coaches, consultants, leaders, facilitators and change agents in any field, and is ideal for therapists and counsellors aiming to move into coaching or organisational work...
read more >>
SUPERVISION:
A RELATIONAL CHANGE PROCESS


Starts December 2017 | Kingston, Surrey

JUST TWO PLACES LEFT

This course is UKCP recognised, meets BACP standards, and is suitable for psychotherapists, counsellors and coaches with at least 2 years experience, wishing to be accredited to supervise others...
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RELATIONAL CHANGE:
COUPLES WORK


Starts January 2018 | Kingston, Surrey

EARLY BIRD RATE EXTENDED

 
For practitioners who wish to extend their work into or with couples, this course is suited to those trained in humanistic, integrative, person-centred, gestalt, TA, process or contemporary analytic approaches...
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THE WELL GROUNDED THERAPIST: TASTER DAY 

April 7th | Central Oxford

GARDENS, PRESENCE
AND THE BODY

 
As therapists we tend to pay attention to challenging aspects of the field. This taster day offers an alternative focus; to attend to the ground and so support our presence to the difficult and often negative figures of...
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THE WELL GROUNDED THERAPIST: RESIDENTIAL 

May 31st - June 3rd | Kings Caple, Herefordshire

EXTENDED WEEKEND RETREAT

 
We'll explore inner and outer landscapes to restore, nourish and deepen connections with ourselves, others and the environment. The workshop will be created through a combination of story-telling...
read more >>
CONTEMPORARY
TRAUMA PRACTICE


Starts September 2018 | Ely, Cambridgeshire

CERTIFICATE/DIPLOMA COURSE

 
Grounded in a relational perspective, this programme offers a safe, non-pathologising and accessible approach to working with trauma. It offers a combination of relational, embodied and experiential perspectives...
read more >>
SEE ALL COURSES, WORKSHOPS & EVENTS >>
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Relational Change · The Woodlands · Esher, Surrey KT10 8DB · United Kingdom

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