Newsletter: April 2024


We are delighted you have signed up for our newsletter. We are positively overwhelmed with the responses and new connections we are making. We hope as a community will continue to grow together.                                                                                                                                                                        

When you venture into something new, you often find yourself reflecting on the process and the decisions you made asking yourself if this is the right thing to do! After Dan Hughes (Part 1) and Robert Grant’s webinar we received such informative and inspiring feedback, we certainly know we are on the right path! 

Stress Awareness Lunchtime chat, it was good to connect and hear of a wonderful example of how the therapeutic space was held for an anxious client. 

Thank you to everyone who has attended, booked or emailed us about our courses, we could not do what we are doing without you all.

I would like to extend my gratitude for the CPD opportunities that School of PACT is offering. It is refreshing to see relevant training to support my work”.

“I have done several CPD courses since qualifying two years ago and this training was, by far, the most helpful to me”.

This months top news

We have been a little quiet recently so we could devote our time to writing new courses, which we will be able to share with you in coming months once the accreditation process has been completed. Watch this space!

Coming soon...

Clinical Assessments through a Systemic Lens

Facilitated by Eileen Braham

When: 13/04/2024. Time: 9.30-12.30pm. 

Online: £30.00. CPD 3 Points.

Web Therapy Supporting Families in Crisis – Introduction (Fully booked)

Facilitated by Alun John

When: 27/04/2024. Time 9.00-12.30pm.

Online: Free.

Once Upon a Trilogy…… taster session

Facilitated by Alun John

When: 08/05/2024. Time 6.00-7.00pm (UK).

Online: Free.

AutPlay® Therapy Training

Delivered by Robert Grant, creator of AutPlay® Therapy for Neurodivergent Children and Young People.

When: 13/07/2024 – 14/07/2024 

Time: 9.30-4.30am. 

Venue: Box End Park, Box End, Bedford, MK43 8RQ. 

For more information visit the website

Delegates attending in person are invited to enjoy a free Sound Bath, after training on 13/07/2024

Part Two: Principles and Interventions of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy: Attachment Principles in Individual and Family Therapy

Delivered by Dan Hughes, creator of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). 

When: 08/06/2024 

Time: 1.00-7.30pm. 

Venue: Online. CPD 6.5 Points.

Once Upon a Trilogy. Live in Bristol

Once Upon an Archetype

When: 22/06/24

Time: 9.00 – 4.30

Venue: Bedminster Quaker Meeting House, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 5HX

Once Upon a Metaphor

When: 20/07/24

Time: 9.00 – 4.30

Venue:  Bedminster Quaker Meeting House, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 5HX

Once Upon an Anti-Hero

When: 05/10/24

Time:  9.00 – 4.30

Venue:   Bedminster Quaker Meeting House, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 5HX

New dates for the Once Upon Trilogy….. to be announced, delivery in different locations. Please do get in touch if you are interested in this training so we know what locations to consider.

What has been achieved in recent months

We heard from Robert Grant, creator of AutPlay® Therapy for Neurodivergent Children and Young People. Share and inspire us with how his approach to working with children and parents in the therapy room affirms neurodiversity. This event was well received by the audience, many of whom felt Roberts’ approach would support and develop confidence within their skills set.

Don’t miss Robert Gran delivering his full AutPlay® Therapy Training on the 13th/14th July 2024 in Bedford.

Something to ponder on...

Things Change!

Actually everything deteriorates. Even atoms decay over time. (Radioactive decay)

Now, I know that this can lead down a quite morbid rabbit hole, so let’s pull it back a bit! I’m not just talking about life, but about systems. Models. 

Newton (Back to the second law of thermodynamics) had ground breaking ideas that changed the way we looked at our world and our universe. Einstein had his E=MC2. Although the underlying truth of these theories are still valid and true they have been superseded by other thinking and ways of looking at our world and universe. This is true also in our field of therapy. We look back at the works of Freud and Jung with admiration and hail them as ground breaking theorists, but… in the proceeding years others have come and tweaked the theories and added new research to the wisdom and found other ways  to work with clients. Child centred approach, Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), Attachment theory, Eye Movement Desensitisation reprocessing (EMDR). Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), to name but a few.  Neuroscience has had a huge impact on the way we work with clients.

When I trained to be a therapist, not many people understood attachment theory. It was a mystery. Teachers and social workers were in awe, as I explained during training how early infant relationships could shape the behaviours of older children and adults. Now, attachment is a reasonably well known theory. It was the same with early infant complex trauma. Nobody understood why children’s behaviour was affected by something that “they couldn’t even remember!” In the following years, we have had the rise of DDP and the acceptance and understanding of attachment. We have seen Adverse Childhood Experiences, a phrase coined by John Bowlby and later by Bruce Perry, Dan Segal etc., etc. We have had the rolling out of Trauma Informed Practice in schools, social services and even the police. All this is good, it has been necessary and a crucial part of our development as a “caring society”. As therapists I wonder if we are willing to adapt to our constantly developing world or if we find ourselves stuck in our old (still valid) ways of working?

At our recent CPD with Robert Grant (AutPlay) we got to grips with a way of working with parents present in the therapy room during therapy. This may not something that we have all been taught and yet it feels that it has its place. In cases of early infant complex trauma where the attachment has been compromised, this model of working could offer benefits. With the greater understanding of Neurodiversity and inclusive practice, we need to be looking at models like AutPlay Therapy to help us focus on, and develop our therapeutic skills for the best interest of the child and their families.

In the same way as Axline and her peers moved away from the Therapy Couch and into the world of creative arts, we must assess each client to see what the best model of therapy would be for the best therapeutic outcome for each individual child.

I have called this scribble “Things Change” but actually, there are some things that don’t change. Our need to continually learn won’t change. The inexorable fact that we don’t know everything won’t change. Learning being more important than achievement won’t change.

At the School of Play and Creative Therapies we welcome change. We want to push the boundaries and not stagnate. We would love you to be next to us on this journey into the next chapter.

Alun John 


Spring Therapeutic Services, offers play and creative arts therapy and counselling to children, young people and adults based in Bedford

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Newsletter: May 2024

Welcome to our sixth newsletter! Time has really moved faster than we could imagine….
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