Monthly Archives: April 2016

Seminar: Neuroscience and psychotherapy with Margaret Wilkinson, Sat 23rd April

Psychotherapy can help change the brain – this was the compelling take-away thought from Margaret Wilkinson’s excellent seminar on Saturday. Margaret reminded us how early childhood experiences shape not only our emotions and thoughts but our actual neuro-biology. However, these learned patterns and response do not need to be set in neural stone. Margaret outlined how recent insights from neuroscience indicate that the brain is plastic, creating new neurons and new connections throughout life. This means that whilst old patterns of thinking and feeling may be deep-seated and habitual, they can be changed. The empathic and boundaried psychotherapeutic relationship is a place which promotes this change, literally helping the brain think and feel in a new way.

Margaret helped us reflect on this through insights from her own clinical work, questions from the group and an interesting interactive exercise in which we practiced wordless empathy – simply receiving and responding to our partner’s body language and unspoken energy.

This was a good day’s learning, with plenty of food for thought and scope for exploring in our own work.

Briony Martin

(Counsellor and Psychotherapist in private practice and in an agency setting with clients presenting with addiction issues)

We are delighted with the scores from 19 delegate feedback forms:

Overall assessment of event: 4.63 out of 5

Speaker (Margaret Wilkinson): 4.58 out of 5

Value for money: 4.58 out of 5

written comments from delegates:

great organisation, lovely venue”; “excellent, clear, knowledge and experience shines through”; “speaker engaging, very knowledgeable and able to share this in a easy way”

Thank you to everyone who gives us feedback, which we take seriously and use to improve what we do.

Wendy Bramham 

Wendy Bramham Therapy on BBC Radio Wiltshire

Wendy Bramham Therapy has contributed their expertise about mental health on BBC Wiltshire in 2013 and again recently.

In March 2016 we were asked to contribute to a discussion about whether time is a healer.  One of our team, Briony Martin, stepped into the breach to discuss this topic with radio presenter Graham Seaman.  Listen here

In 2013, when BBC Wilts presenter, Mark O’Donnell, suffered a panic attack in the streets of Swindon – and found that people gave him a wide berth! – he decided to try to break down the myths, fears and stigma surrounding mental health, by talking about it on the radio!

BBC Wiltshire - Bipolar programme September 2013

In the studio L to R: David Lathan (Richmond Fellowship), Wendy Bramham, Denise (bipolar sufferer) and Mark O’Donnell

Wendy Bramham gave professional insights and advice on this series of 7 programmes, which covered the following topics:

Unfortunately all the recordings have been lost except for the one on suicide – listen here.

However, following each programme, Wendy wrote self-help resources for listeners who would like to learn more.  Read more by clicking on the links above for each topic.


Wendy Bramham
April 2016

Seminar on Working with Personality Disorder, with Pete Holloway

In March 2016 Pete Holloway, an experienced psychological practitioner within the NHS, treated us to an in-depth insight into working with patients on the Personality Disorder spectrum. Pete shared his vast knowledge and provided examples of clinical work to explain the different types of Personality Disorder.
We learned about how the enduring types of behavioural patterns are classified by the ICD 10 (W.H.O.) and DSM V (American Psychiatric Association) organisations.

Pete helped us to understand the dilemmas and contradictions likely to be experienced by the therapist working with patients and how important it is for the therapist to maintain therapeutic optimism in the therapeutic relationship to help both the patient and therapist.

The seminar was delivered by Pete with humour, drama and impact, making the subject matter come to life and be felt.

Jo Turner
PG Dip. Mar. Th. MBACP
March 2016

We are delighted with our delegate feedback scores from this seminar as follows:

Speaker (Pete Holloway): 4.82 out of 5
Value for money: 4.73 out of 5
Overall assessment: 4.65 out of 5

Delegate comments:
engaging, clear and concise
v good diagnostic terminology
really excellent (i don’t often say that!)
great speaker, engaging and informative
great venue
Pete delivered a very challenging therapeutic process and experience very well with humour and insight.