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We Are Family Locally and Further Afield

We Are Family Locally and Further Afield

Fiona Cook reflects on our TA community and coming together to learn and grow.

TA is one of the very few modalities of counselling and psychotherapy where belonging to a community is key. In the UK there are many communities of TA and we in Physis Scotland are one. One of the many joys of being the only TA Training Provider in Scotland is the special and personal community we have created and consequently, the valued relationships we have with all of our students and colleagues. We are small enough to know them all individually and not so large that they become just a ‘number’ to us. Individually and together they all matter to us and so it is always a special occasion when we can all get together as a large group. We try to do this once a year where we intentionally look at our culture, differences and intersectionalities more closely to learn and share together, to discover areas of power and oppression that we perhaps did not know existed for us before and how we can take this powerful learning into our personal and professional lives.

Altogether Day

In April we were delighted to come together at the Edinburgh Conference and Training Centre for our annual event where students on the Counselling and Psychotherapy programme gather. It can be quite daunting to meet so many folk that some have never met or rarely meet together so we were delighted it went so well. The one thing we all had in common despite our differences is that we were all linked to the Physis Scotland family.

We were pleased and honoured to have Victoria Baskerville TSTA as our guest speaker. Victoria is the Director of Training at TA East in London where they provide TA training through an intersectional lens. She has over the last 7 years developed a fascinating model entitled ‘A Transcultural and Intersectional Ego State Model of the Self: The Influence of Transcultural and Intersectional Identity on Self and Other.’

Victoria took us through her model in her very honest, self-effacing and humorous way – she could be a stand-up comedian in another life – managing to achieve just the right balance between fun and gravitas when she and we were discussing something so serious. She invited us to consider our different intersectional maps and notice what we were prepared to share in this context and perhaps what we were not prepared to share. She invited us to consider this in the realms of context, power and oppression. She made something which looked very complicated more understandable and user-friendly. We know our students and other colleagues will be citing her work for many years to come having met her and grappled with the model. It was a fascinating day of learning which was over too soon, and we will perhaps never know the depth of learning that took place that day.

Grow Beyond Imagination

We have recently launched our new Physis Scotland strapline which is ‘Grow Beyond Imagination’, an aspirational hope we hold for us all, students and tutors alike. Physis Scotland can only provide the space and opportunities for learning and growth. Equally in our personal lives we have daily experiences of ourselves at home and play to learn and grow from and yet what is often learned in all of these experiences cannot be captured collectively and nor should they perhaps.

A further opportunity to learn together was the UKATA conference in Cardiff – another event in April where the UK TA community gathered to learn and be together. As usual, it was an action-packed weekend with many colleagues offering workshops to for us to learn from, not to mention the celebratory and social side of gathering together. There were a few of us, Directors, Tutors, and students representing Physis Scotland there this year and it was a joy to be with them all. The highlight of my weekend was when we were checking into the hotel. Two students from TATO in Leeds introduced themselves and said they recognised us from Instagram.  Clearly, our marketing strategy is working well, and we can now call ourselves Instagram Influencers! LOL!

We were thrilled to meet the keynote speaker at the UKATA conference, the amazing Dr Tanya Banfield, an expert on Neurodiversity.  We are delighted to have persuaded her to come to our next year’s Altogether Day and so the community, family feeling and opportunities for learning go on and on.

Looking forward to next year’s altogether day already!


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