Lois Holzman led a two-day, philosophical and performatory workshop at the Institute of Family Therapy with Jim Wilson, a family therapist from Wales and author of The Performance of Practice: Enhancing the Repertoire of Therapy with Children and Families. Entitled, An introduction to social therapeutics: How a psychology of becoming informs a non-diagnostic, developmental therapy, the workshop was geared to the specific strengths and challenges faced by those working with families. Says Holzman:
“It was a joy to work with Jim and this group. They were especially responsive and appreciative. They voiced how our conversation was making them think new things and in new ways. So for example, they raised how psychotherapy can be a narrowing activity when it’s not connected to building community; how they could/wanted to be more playful; how they might see the family as a group and not “just” a family, and what might develop from that. They were generous in expressing how helpful our activity was to them in creating new meanings and ways to talk about process and the therapeutic activity — and showed an appreciation for how social therapeutics could broaden family therapy.”
The 13 participants were mostly trained as family therapists and either currently or at one time worked for the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. Several were familiar with the social therapeutic approach, having participated in Holzman’s 2009 workshop at London’s KCC Foundation or reading her book on Vygotskian-inspired development programs, titled, Vygotsky at Work and Play.
Lois and Jim also met with the Institute of Family Therapy Director Barbara McKay (pictured above). The Institute trains social workers across the different boroughs of London and currently has about 1,000 students in their training programs across the UK. Read more.