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Professional Development in the Wellington Region

Professional development events in the Wellington region

Talkingworks is delighted to support the therapy community by posting information about training events of interest to counsellors, psychologists and psychotherapists. Send us your event information and we will post it on this noticeboard for free.

Managing Vicarious Trauma

Presenter: Shelley Brunskill-Matson

Shelley Brunskill-Matson 2017This 2-hour, research-informed workshop will provide participants with knowledge, tools, and strategies to minimise the risks and impact of vicarious (secondary) trauma in their professional/ organisational practice. 

This workshop will cover: 
  • What research tells us about the nature of vicarious trauma 
  • Developing your own personal wellness plan 
  • Practical approaches to working with and supporting people so as to minimise the impact of secondary trauma?? 

At the end of this workshop, participants will have a greater understanding of: 
  • What vicarious trauma is 
  • How to differentiate vicarious trauma from burnout 
  • How to recognise the symptoms of vicarious trauma 
  • Identifying ways to of preventing and managing vicarious trauma 

This workshop is aimed at professionals working with, or supporting, grieving children, young people and their families/whānau; including guidance counsellors, school chaplains, child or youth workers, teachers and social workers. 

Shelley Brunskill-Matson is a passionate trainer, speaker, researcher and author who specializes in grief, trauma and suicide-loss. With over 20 years coaching and training experience, Shelley is well-connected within the grief and suicide-bereavement community. A facilitator of the WAVES programme, a psycho-educational programme for adults bereaved by suicide, Shelley is currently completing her PhD looking at the care and support experiences of young people bereaved by suicide. She has a keen interest in educating and empowering adults on how best to support children and young people after a loss of someone close to them. Shelley provides specialist training through her own private training practice, Victim Support and Skylight Trust.
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When:  Monday, 27 August 2018
Where: Skylight, Level 3, 5-7 Vivian Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Cost:  $65.00
To Register: Registration is essential. Please send your name, organisation, and contact details to 

Working with Clients with Anxiety

Presenter: Angela Baker
Angela Baker anxiety workshop wellingtonA simple model for helping your clients overcome Anxiety and Overwhelm
About The Workshop:
  • Angela presents a simple, evidence-based model that clients can easily relate to
  • This model is a helpful way to introduce clients to relevant neuro-science and psycho-physiology in terms they can easily understand and make use of
  • Integrates well with a wide range of counselling modalities
  • The approach is very practical – Angela will demonstrate how she uses this model in a counselling session in a way that is ‘experience near’ for clients, helps them to understand they’re not going crazy and are not ‘broken’, and introduces them to practical strategies they can integrate into their daily lives
  • This model weaves in very effectively with creating a practical ‘Wellbeing and Resilience Action Plan’ with your clients over successive sessions (sample format provided).
Target Audience: Counsellors, Social and Community Workers, Youth Workers, Educators, Pastoral-care Workers, Nurses, and other allied professionals.

Angela Baker, (Registered Counselling Psychologist). Angela worked at the Student Counselling Service at Massey University for over 12 years. She is currently in private practice offering counselling, coaching and supervision as well as offering on-line courses on Mindfulness, managing stress etc.
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When:  Tue 4 September 2018, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Where: Home of Compassion, 2 Rhine Street, Island Bay, Wellington
Cost:  $189
To Register:  arrow-10online

Tragedy, Trauma and Grief: how can I help?

Presenter: Vicki Culling and Jane Weekes

Vicki Culling & Jane Weekes 2018-250In these half-day workshops, Jane and Vicki will explore the topics of trauma and grief, focusing on how you, as a health or caring professional, can support the parents, families and whānau you are working with. We will talk about the effects of trauma, struggling to grieve in our ‘happiness-obsessed’ culture, how you might offer hope in your role, and suggest strategies and tools that you can apply in the work you do.

Dr Vicki Culling is a Director and the principal trainer for Vicki Culling Associates. Vicki has a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Otago University, a Master of Arts (Applied) in Social Work (with distinction) from Victoria University of Wellington and a PhD in Women’s Studies from Victoria University of Wellington. Vicki is a bereaved parent and has been actively involved in Sands for over ten years. Her first daughter was stillborn at 10 days overdue – an experience which led her to utilise her skills in supporting bereaved parents and families and educating health professionals. Vicki has worked actively at both the national and local levels of Sands. She was the first full-time worker for Sands NZ when she won a Vodafone World of Difference scholarship in 2006.

Jane Weekes: In 2012, Jane’s two-year-old triplets, Lillie, Jackson and Willsher were killed in a fire whilst living in the Middle East. Since surviving this unthinkable tragedy she has completed a Bachelors Degree of Counselling, working alongside people experiencing great difficulties in their lives such as trauma, grief and loss, postnatal depression, relationship difficulties and addiction. Having a background in corporate learning and development also gives Jane a unique ability to provide coaching to professionals who work with families experiencing trauma from both a personal, and research based perspective.
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When:  Friday 21 September, Arrive 8:30am for 9am start – 1pm finish
Where: James Coe I, The Dowse Art Museum, 45 Laings Road, Lower Hutt
Cost:  Early bird $95, after 13 September $125. Students $35
To Register: online

Men's Grief and Wellbeing

Presenter: Dr Chris Bowden and Dr Sarah McKenzie

This workshop will examine men痴 grief responses and gender-responsive support to promote resilience and wellbeing. We will cover evidence-based tools and strategies to enhance your knowledge to effectively support men who are grieving a significant loss, or who have experienced trauma. The workshop will include special guest Steve Joll (The Breeze FM), who will tell his story of grief, and facilitate an open panel for participants to ask questions and share their experiences of working with men around tough issues. We will also explore the influence of masculinity on men痴 mental wellbeing and what this means for promoting men's mental health. 

At the end of the workshop, participants will have a greater understanding of: 
  • men's grief experiences and practices in relation to different types of loss 
  • masculine grief styles 
  • how men cope with and manage grief 
  • concepts of effective helping, solutions-focused, strengths-based and gender-responsive support 
  • the gendered nature of men痴 emotional practices and their implications for hindering or helping men痴 mental health 
  • men's diverse social support networks 
  • normal help-seeking practices of men who may be struggling with their mental health 

Who should attend? This workshop is suitable for professionals supporting men who have experienced grief, loss, and/or trauma. This includes clinicians, counsellors, therapists, social workers, residential workers, SWIS, RTLBs and other professionals from a wide range of sectors. 

chris bowden mens grief workshop wellington 2018Dr. Chris Bowden (BA (Hons), MA, Ph.D Health,  is a lecturer in the School of Education at Victoria University of Wellington. He teaches in the area of child and adolescent mental health, human development and in the Masters of Educational Psychology. His areas of teaching expertise include child maltreatment, abuse and neglect, adolescent development and psychopathology, coping, resiliency and post-traumatic growth. Chris' research has focused on family resiliency, adolescent suicide and suicide bereavement. Chris delivers professional development and education to a wide range of education, health and social service providers. Chris is also an agent of the Regional Child and Youth Mortality Review Group which works to make recommendations to prevent deaths and improve systems and responses. Chris is an advocate of solutions-focused approaches and trauma-informed care. 

Sarah McKenzie mens grief workshop wellingtonDr. Sarah McKenzie (BSc (Hons), DPH, MPH, PhD), began working in the Suicide and Mental Health Research Group in 2010. She has worked on a range of projects in the areas of primary mental health care, suicide and suicide prevention. Most recently she was an investigator on the Suicide Mortality Review Feasibility Study (funded by the Health Quality and Safety Commission on behalf of the Ministry of Health). Sarah recently finished her PhD using masculinities theory to examine men痴 everyday mental health experiences, the relationship between men痴 emotional practices, social relationships and mental health outcomes, and the links between masculinity and men痴 mental health promotion strategies. 
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When:  Friday, 28 September 2018
Where: Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club, 11 Logan St, Ebdentown, Upper Hutt
Cost:  $140
To Register: Registration is essential. Please send your name, organisation, and contact details to 

Attachment in Clinical Practice 

Presenter: Dr David Wallin
David Wallin 2018In this seminar Dr Wallin presents an integration of attachment research and understanding with relational psychoanalysis and mindfulness. The  focus is on the explicit and implicit ways that clinicians can facilitate healing, growth, and change. It will be of practical interest and value to psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors, social workers, psychiatrists, and mental health practitioners.  Specific attachment issues in Aotearoa will also be addressed.

David Wallin, Psychologist, author of acclaimed Attachment in Psychotherapy.
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When:  March 23-24, 2019 
Where: Te Papa Cable Street, Wellington
Registration: opens September 2018
For more information contact:
Brochure:  arrow-10download

Monthly Speaking Circle: Relational Presence Training

Presenter: Sally Forman

Do you want to deepen your natural capacity to connect with ease and confidence with your audience? Want to know you can relate authentically in your personal and professional relationships?

Sally Forman psychotherapist wellingtonRelational Presence is our natural capacity to be in connection with one person at a time, from the inside out. It is a powerful foundation for both personal and professional authentic communication and presentation. Relational Presence is a tool for improved relationship and team communication, self-authority, impactful leadership and effective listening. It helps you to move away from relating through 'performance' to creating real connection that creates a meaningful impact, whoever your audience is. Relational Presence is like a muscle, it gets stronger with practise. A monthly speaking circle is a safe and supportive space to explore and deepen your experience of Relational Presence.

In a Monthly Speaking Circle: Relational Presence Training you will practise:
  • Assuming and receiving, support
  • Connecting with one person at a time
  • Being yourself
  • Finding your natural voice
  • Delivering impromptu content
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When: Second Thursday of the month, 6.30 – 9pm
Where: The porch, St Peters Church, Paekakariki,
Cost: $20
To register: Places are limited to 10. To book a place contact Sally on