Counselling Training - Beyond Comfort: Inside the Mind of a Person suffering from eating distress

A one day course on 20th April with Elizabeth Ross

Brief description of training:

We will start the day by going into the mind of ‘Sofia’ (who currently weighs 28 stones – and losing…) through a group constellation. This is what she has to say to potential participants:

I will give you the words of my ancestor: "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate"... "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here" Buckle up Ladies and Gentlemen... It’s going to be a “Hell” of a Ride! (‘Divine Comedy’)

Sofia wants to give therapists an opportunity to understand and learn from her by being literally ‘in her mind’:

• How it feels to weigh 28 stones and the problem she faces every day 
• ‘the issue of not feeling like a human being’ 
• the hidden world of eating

This workshop has been put together in partnership with clients who are morbidly obese, anorexic or have been diagnosed with body dysmorphia. Clients have actively contributed to this workshop, through short letters and creative art, to help therapists understand the issues surrounding their problems with food better and to become more effective in helping these client groups. The group constellation will enable us to intimately experience Sofia’s everyday battle within her mind and body, her difficulty in forming intimate and social relationships in a world which is a traumatic place to her. Through the eyes of unresolved trauma, we will discuss the differences and similarities of the issues facing ‘fat’, anorexic and body dysmorphic clients. The helpfulness of various therapies offered by the NHS to these groups of clients, ‘dieting clubs’ and addiction based models of how to lose weight like Overeater Anonymous. By the end of the day, through the group constellation, we will sum up the necessary stages of Sofia’s path to healing. We will also address an essential but often unexplored phenomenon relating to transference and countertransference: the therapist’s weight and relationship to food (which is visible to clients unlike other problems therapists may have).

Brief biography of trainer:

Elisabeth Ross MBACB (Accr), AdvDip in Forensic Counselling and Psychotherapy

Elisabeth is a psychotherapist, counsellor and supervisor in general and forensic practice in south London.  One of her clinical specialisms is extreme abuse (spiritual, satanic, ritual abuse and mind control) and working with survivors of organised crime. She provides specialist supervision for therapists within this field as well as general and forensic supervision.

She runs workshops based on material prepared in partnership with clients called ‘INSIDE OUT’: ‘Inside the mind of a borderline personality disorder’, ‘Inside the mind of a spiritual abuse survivor’, ‘Into Dangerous Places: inside the mind of a sexual and violent offender’, ‘Beyond Comfort: inside the mind of a person suffering from food distress’’, Counselling the Unimaginable: inside the world of African Witchcraft.

Elisabeth has held key posts including Director of One in Four UK, working with survivors of child sexual abuse (2005-09), and Chair of the UK Forensic Therapists Association (2008-14).  Elisabeth has worked for the Irish Catholic Church counselling service Towards Healing for the past 15 years and runs their ‘Trauma Recovery Programme’ in London.

She was a member (2009-11) of the board of the Criminal Justice Forum of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.  She is currently also a Restorative Justice Officer.

Another special interest of hers is Terrorism, Extremism and Mental Health.

About the seminar: The day will start at 10.00am and end at 4.00pm and the completed course will count as 6 hours CPD. Certificates will be provided by the trainer. The cost for this one day course is £97.50. An application form is attached completed forms will be taken on a first come, first served basis. Lunch is not included but you are welcome to bring your own and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of Burrswood's beautiful surroundings. Burrswood welcomes people of all faiths and none. Alternatively do book into the Cafe at Burrswood 01892 865991.

Please note: This course will only go ahead if a minimum number of delegates are signed up by 6th April 2018. If there is insufficient demand the course will not proceed and any payments taken will be fully refunded. Once the course is confirmed, payments are non-refundable and will be used to support Burrswood Health and Wellbeing and its charitable activities.

To Book: Please call Reservations on 01892 865988 or complete the attached form or email

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