Nick Totton
Workshops, Talks and Courses

May 4th-5th
Gestalt Institute, Edinburgh
Wild Therapy

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Psychotherapy has recently experienced the turn to relationality, and the turn to the body. Now we are beginning to see the turn outside – out of the consulting room, out of the obsessive focus on the private world of humans, and towards a realisation that we are wholly dependent on the wider world of which we are a part, on the other-than-human and more-than-human, on the wildness that surrounds and contains our familiar domesticity.

But just as important as taking therapy outside is what happens when we bring it back into the therapy room, and find that it has changed – leading us to revise our conceptions of what therapy is, and of the relationship between individuals and larger networks, in ways which support a deeper, humbler and wilder approach to our work.

On this weekend workshop I will present one particular model of outdoor work: Wild Therapy, which is a book, a training course, and a practice ( The core of the workshop will be a direct experience of working outdoors, at Arthur’s Seat; we will build up to this and build down from it through a mix of emotional and theoretical work. The weekend will not be tightly structured, but open to what arises in individuals and the group.

May 25th-26th
Stillpoint Spaces, London
Power and Vulnerability of the Therapist:
Issues and Implications
Andrew Samuels & Nick Totton

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Over this weekend we want to explore ways in which the therapist holds power; ways in which the therapist holds vulnerability; and the variety of possible relationships between these two things.

While Andrew will focus on vulnerability, and Nick will focus on power – in line with our previous writings and presentations – we don’t for a moment imagine that this binary will remain intact over the weekend, nor should it.

Whether therapy is an art, a craft, a vocation – a common debate – there is little sharing and exploring in a safe and contained group setting of the reasons why we become therapists. So, if it is significant that therapists are rendered
vulnerable by the work – or, as Nick will present, attracted to the fruits of power - something that anticipates this might have been there all along.

This two day workshop will use a wide range of styles including presentation, discussion, supervision and experiential work.
October 12th-13th 2019, February 15th-16th and  May 16th-17th 2020
Spiral Centre, London
Therapy with Character

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What makes character theory (as originated by Freud and developed by Wilhelm Reich) different from the many other ways of categorising people is its grounding in embodiment, and specifically in each individual’s history of embodiment. Character brings together several apparently very different aspects of a person, and shows them to be profoundly linked: developmental history, body structure, emotional attitudes, underlying belief system, relationship style, all emerge as different facets of a fundamental style of being-in-the-world.

Character is an enormously useful tool for grasping what matters to our clients and how they need us to communicate with them. Having a character can be as creative as it can be limiting. Human beings come into the world with two equally urgent priorities: to express ourselves, and to protect ourselves. The ongoing tension and reciprocity between these two poles, as they are conditioned by the different circumstances, restrictions and possibilities afforded to each individual, create the space within which an embodied human personality is shaped.

It is only when we grasp character in our own body that the system starts to be meaningful and useable. Therefore this short course will be strongly experiential in its focus, centred on a series of pairwork exercises to give us a direct taste of each of the six main character structures.

The course is open to any interested practitioners of psychotherapy, counselling and/or other bodymind approaches. It should be understood that the experiential exercises can be deeply stirring.

March 28/9, May 23/4 and July 25/6 2020

Skylight Centre, London

Body, Breath and Energy
A short course in Reichian bodywork
Nick Totton
with Kate Ellis


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Reichian bodywork explores breath, tension and relational contact as paths to release and transformation. It asks the simple but difficult question: Can we breathe freely while staying in contact with the other? When we try to do so, this amplifies patterns of bodily tension - ‘armouring’ - which we have developed in order to suppress difficult feelings of need, fear, grief, rage and so on; releasing these through physical expression and voice opens a larger space in us for joy, love and creativity.

This training will teach a method of exploring our patterns of armouring, through working mainly in pairs and following a very simple structure which allows many possibilities to emerge, including powerful states dancing between the bodily, the relational and the spiritual. Through accessing these places we can connect with and change our deepest patterns of resistance and avoidance.