Monthly Archives: September 2018

Finding the Hum in Human


Saturday 3rd Nov 2018 – 10am – 5pm
Aashna Psychotherapy Centre, London N12

CPD workshop for counsellors and psychotherapists.

Lifemusic is an accessible, socially inclusive form of group improvised music- making devised by composer, horn player and music therapy lecturer Dr. Rod Paton. Paton’s approach builds communitas: it is essentially dialogic music- making, involving playing without ego. No prior experience or skill at music making is needed to participate. ‘Instant access’ acoustic instruments made of wood, skin, bone and metal are used together with our voices. In common with improvisational approaches from many cultures Lifemusic finds application across the whole age and ability spectrum. It’s phenomenological focus on present awareness and contact helps develop wellbeing, perseverance and the ability to manage and respond to dissonance and uncertainty.

There are four precepts in a Lifemusic approach:
• Everyone is musical
• There are no wrong notes
• Every sound you make carries meaning
• Music – making is an act of trust

Jon writes: “After warming up our bodies and our voices we will explore and reflect on some different ways of making sound, working together experimentally as a group and in sub -groups. My aim is to provide a mix of enjoyable musical experiences that will nourish and stimulate you. I also want to provide you with some useful tools for working with clients that enhance self-esteem, boost connectedness and presence. We will experiment with different ‘holding forms’ – temporary structures that anchor the work. Later, participants may wish to explore their own relationship to difference through ‘musical haiku’ – a cross -modal means of expression particularly suited to small group work. There will be opportunity to sample the meditative qualities of a ‘sound bath’ and to explore simple action songs, joiks or chants that have a revitalising effect. Some clinical vignettes illustrate how Gestalt therapy may make use of a Lifemusic approach. There will be opportunity for the group to reflect on the day’s process near the end. Simple, acoustic Instruments are provided; you are also welcome to bring your own.”

Includes a delicious Indian vegan lunch!

Click here for further details and to book.

‘Who decides what we play?!’
Watch Jon and Pretish discuss Lifemusic:

Also see video clip of a session by clicking Lifemusic link at


Blend, J. (2010) I Got Rhythm: Music – Making with Children and Adolescents. International Gestalt Journal V32, 2 165-181
Blend, J. (2011) in Relational Child, Relational Brain. Harris & Lee (eds). Gestalt Press
Ernst Berendt, J (1991) The World Is Sound: Nada Brahma: Music and the Landscape of Consciousness. (pub.Destiny Books)
Paton, R. (2011) Lifemusic: Connecting People to Time. Archive pubs.
Stevens, J. (2007) Search and Reflect: A Music Workshop Handbook. Rockschool.
Walker, S. and Paton, R (2014) Lifemusic as an aid to recovery in a forensic mental health setting. J of Psychiatric Intensive Care NAPCU 2014:00:1-6

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A Gestalt Approach to Working with Adolescents


5- 8 December, 2018
11am-6pm Weds, Thurs, Fri; 11am-4.30pm Sat

This part experiential, part didactic course caters for counsellors, psychotherapists and other professionals working with young people. It draws on the approaches of Gestalt therapists Mark McConville and Violet Oaklander, Attachment and Family Systems theories, Lifemusic practice and Playback Theatre.

This course explores the following:
· Adolescent development: stages of maturation
· Adolescent context- the relational Field: family, peers, community
· Attachment, identity, arts media and questing
· The role of anger in separation/’disembedding’
· Social media and cyber security

Theoretical and experiential input assists with:
· Engaging adolescents and families ( using role-play)
· Understanding how teenagers may rework relational boundaries
· Exploring how therapy can help adolescents own their abilities, develop life skills and access support.

Participants will learn:
· To assess adolescents and make a treatment plan
· To recognise thoughts and feelings that teenagers struggle with
· How an arts -led approach develops understanding of relationships.

Counts as 21.5 hours Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Jon Blend (MA Dip Psych, Dip Child, CQSW) is a gestalt therapist, an Integrative child & adolescent psychotherapist (UKCP & ECP reg.), clinical supervisor, trainer and Lifemusic practitioner with over 30 years’ experience of working with young people and their families. Jon is a former humanistic therapies tutor with The Minster Centre, London, a guest trainer with the Violet Oaklander Foundation and co-founder of EIATSCYP:UK. Recently Jon has taught counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, teachers and wellbeing practitioners in California, Croatia, Georgia, Poland, Bath, Goole, London, Manchester, Prestwich and York. Jon’s writings include a chapter on adolescence in Relational Child, Relational Brain, (2011), Harris and Lee (eds); I Got Rhythm: Music –Making with Children & Adolescents- International Gestalt Journal, V 32 (2) and Spiritual Journeys (2018: pub pend). He is resident musician with Playback South Theatre. Correspondence: [email protected]; Web:


NB. This workshop links with (optional ) The Drama of Being An Adolescent: 5 Dec @ 8pm, venue Candid Cafe, EC1V . This is an exciting improvisatory performance of stories about teenage life as related by our audience to a troupe of actors plus musician. Hosted by Playback South Theatre (details on Facebook).

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