Finding freedom from compulsive patterns.

A 12-week series for those struggling with any form of unhealthy relationship or behaviours.

Claire van den Bosch and Annabel McGoldrick are pioneering their first long-form workshop series for people trapped in addictive cycles, whether you’re the addict; the partner or the family member of an addict. We’ll meet over 12 weeks, beginning on a Monday in February 2023. We’ll meet at 0730-1030 UK time/1830-2130 Australia time. We’re currently taking expressions of interest before finalising the date. To let us know if you’re keen to participate, email info@emdrinsight.com.

If you suffer from any kind of self-destructive, addictive or compulsive behaviour, there’s so much we want to share with you! There are ways to find freedom: to choose ways of being in life that feel nourishing and free from cycles of perfectionism, shame and the need for control. We both have personal experience of such a journey, so we’re offering pretty much everything we’ve discovered during the fifty combined years of our individual recovery and professional journeys. We’re genuinely excited to offer this first instalment of what we hope to be a repeating workshop series.

If you’re a therapist helping clients who’re currently stuck, who can’t find the motivation to get out of destructive addictive or compulsive self-soothing behaviours, you might be wishing they had more support than you can offer.

What if they could gather together with others? To feel a sense of community, to learn compassionate perspectives, valuable psychoeducation, and recovery tools that can help them get well. It can feel repetitive to teach every client the brain science of addiction, dissociation and the role of dopamine. What if they could learn that elsewhere, leaving you to do the deep healing trauma work, using EMDR & IFS?

If this is for you, then there are good reasons why you found alcohol, drugs, pornography, work, self-harm, online gaming, destructive relationship patterns, like fixing and rescuing etc that really helped you in the short-term. But now there’s a cost, to your health to your relationships. During these workshops, you’ll grow to understand the deeply well-meaning “firefighting” intention of “addictive” behaviours and ways that helped you survive. You’ll also learn clear, healthy, deeply connecting ways to communicate – ways to be heard in the world.

Whether you’re considering it for yourself or your clients, this series, unfolding across three months, is designed to be much richer than mere psychoeducation. Each session will fuse short bursts of multi-media teaching with experiential reflection exercises. Combined with the power of the group, which can be so supportive when skilfully facilitated, participants can feel really seen and heard.

There will also be recordings of the teaching sessions, audio-files of guided meditations, bullet-pointed learning notes, takeaway support materials and worksheets to print or use electronically, a WhatsApp group, options for supportive activities to try in between sessions, and links to other great organisations and resources, all curated for you to access through a password-protected online portal. 

This isn’t a 12 Step group, but we are both indebted to and inspired by the 12 Step movement, meaning that the series is entirely appropriate for those clients who are already engaged in 12 Step work.

Although this workshop is a first, we are both very experienced presenters & facilitators. Read more about Annabel here, and Claire here. Past feedback from workshops run by Annabel & Claire:

  • I loved Annabel’s clarity and focus.”
  • “This was a transformative training.”
  • The workshop was very organised, well run and flowed and very much exceeded my expectations.”
  • “Excellent and inspiring”.
  • Brilliant, love this approach including the flexibility and creativity of it”;
  • “I felt energised and nourished by the whole experience”
  • “The workshop was simply amazing”;
  • “I loved all of it”; “I felt empowered by the end”.
  • “Just brilliant. Annabel is a genuine natural educator & communicator”;
  • “Annabel & all the facilitators created a great atmosphere and enabled me to focus on the material and get the most out of it”.
  • “Wonderful team – wow, what a treat you offered”

The number of participants is capped at 30: This is to create a supportive, intimate space with breakout groups that are safely small, where everyone has space to speak, ask questions and not feel lost in a sea of Zoom faces.

Cost: Sterling £995 (just £82.92 per week), AUD $1691.62 (just $140.97 per week).

We’re offering five low-cost places, (£395 UK. $671.55 AUD), email info@emdrinsight.com to apply.

or email info@emdrinsight.com to let us know you’re interested once we’ve finalised the dates.

Workshop Outline

Week 1:   Introductions: forming the group; understanding the value not just of the materials to be shared over the 12 weeks but also the group experience: the importance of identification, connection, mutual respect and support, and de-shaming; overview of the course structure; first sharing circle; “homework” ideas.

Week 2: A compassionate understanding of addiction and addictive processes; the trauma lens on addiction; addiction from the perspective of neurodiversity/ADHD/ASD; the role of the heroic “firefighter” parts of our internal system committed to trying to soothe us; the need for viable alternatives for soothing; understanding the brain and the role of dopamine in addiction; busting the judgmental myths about addiction; a socio-economic perspective on addiction in our culture; second sharing circle and homework ideas.

Week 3: “Assured Survival Feelings”, the unconscious drivers of urges and cravings that fuel our compulsive individual self-soothing behaviours; exploring how our habit loops formed; third sharing circle and homework ideas.

Week 4: Healthy self-soothing tools – group brainstorm on the whole array of our soothing behaviours, including a review of nourishing ways to stabilise the nervous system; apps and meditations; exploring the 12 Steps; experiential breathing practices, “installation” of an inner resource team and healing place, the “absorption” technique, and the “butterfly hug”. Fourth sharing circle and homework ideas.

Week 5: Codependence – understanding the link between addiction and codependency, two sides of the same coin! Strategies to form healthy relationships play a major role in addiction recovery (as well as the common pitfalls of beginning to change). Fifth sharing circle and homework ideas.

Week 6: Boundaries strategies to create healthy boundaries internally & externally with trainer demonstrations followed by a pairs/triads exercise, then sixth sharing circle and homework ideas.

Week 7: Healthy communication, the basics of Non-Violent Communication (NVC), live demonstrations of these effective tools, followed by pairs/triads exercises for participants. Seventh sharing circle and homework ideas.

Week 8: Recovering ourselves – the importance of self-knowledge and finding the lost parts of ourselves – how do we know who we really are and what we really need? Human givens, Love Languages, Neurodiversity, HSP, Enneagram. Eighth sharing circle and homework ideas.  

Week 9: Deepening self-knowledge – understanding your internal family system (mapping with drawings, playdough, cards, chairs); the particular role of perfectionism, shame, the need for control, and freedom from control; understanding internal chain reactions; solo reflection time then one or two volunteers to do a family constellations style exercise. Ninth sharing circle if time permits, and homework ideas.

Week 10: Handling triggers. More on your internal family system – learning to notice and compassionately reframe activation, and to engage in parts-dialogue including choosing new self-soothing behaviours and the course of action with the help of others in recovery (expect facilitator demonstrations). More on the significant role of shame and parts who use internal shaming; introducing a trigger log. Tenth sharing circle and homework ideas.

Week 11: Even more on your internal family system – more practice using real examples from last week’s “trigger log” in pairs/triads. Eleventh sharing circle and final homework ideas.

Week 12: Reflections on “where from here” and closing twelfth sharing circle. 

or email info@emdrinsight.com to let us know you’re interested once we’ve finalised the dates.

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