‘Engaging Our Community’ – Residential Conference 3rd-5th July 2015 NCTL Nottingham

National College for Teaching and Leadership

The UKAGP 2015 Summer Residential Conference is being held between 3rd & 5th July at the National College for Teaching and Leadership, University of Nottingham.

‘Engaging Our Community’ 3-5 July 2015, is a conference that is forming from the seeds sown in our previous conferences: ‘Nourishing Our Community’ in 2013 and ‘Enriching Our Community’ in 2014. We aim to provide a space for people to come together and explore engagement within the organisation, and the wider Gestalt community and out in the wider fields that we are all part of.

The conference will feature opening presentations from Michael Clemmens and Hugh Pidgeon as well as 3 workshop slots, participant led activities, ongoing process groups, live music, a BBQ and a traditional evening Ceilidh. It’s a great opportunity to share ideas with other Gestalt Practitioners around the (often tricky) issues surrounding Gestalt practice and social engagement.

There are still some residential and day tickets available with discounted places for UKAGP members and trainee delegates -please book as soon as you can to avoid disappointment. Everyone from the UK and beyond is warmly invited!

If you have any questions about the conference, please don’t hesitate to contact us by emailing [email protected]


The Conference Organising Group

Conference Programme:

Please click on the box below to view the programme in a full-sized window, or click here to download your own pdf copy.

Workshop Outlines:

(Download here)


There are two ways to register for the conference:

1) Offline: Download, print and complete our booking form, available as a Word Document or PDF and return it to us along with your cheque (this avoids Eventbrite fees).

2) Online: For those wanting the convenience of paying securely online by card payment, please use the Eventbrite system below:

Pre-Conference Workshop

Creating the Present Situation through our Mutual Embodiment

Michael Craig Clemmens PhD

View full workshop details

Opening Presentations

Michael Clemmens will open the conference presenting the embodied collective or embodied field as more than an individual’s perception of their present environment. It is the situation in total, including all the somatic, pre-personal processes of everyone and the interactions of these which is that “greater than the sum of the parts”.The challenge for us as a collective is to give voice and space to the under supported parts of the collective, these parts are not only individuals of diversity , there are also the aspects of the ground in each of and collectively which tend to not become emergent. Our tendency as professionals is to create “experts” of one who inform us (either patriarchially or matriarchially) about the “truth”. Our collective then becomes embodied audience.

The radical possibility is to mobilize and lend support to the whole embodied cohort to share space, voice and power. Such conversations and dialogues can then become spontaneous and interactional, the collective emerges as a constantly developing and situationally adjusting dynamic with pervasive ownership of the process.

Hugh Pidgeon will widen our frame of reference to the social and environmental context of our work as therapists, through the presentation of a short film ‘Negotiating with Gravity’ which he first made for the AAGT conference in Puebla, Mexico where he had been invited to speak on the contribution of Martin Buber to our thinking about dialogue and our relation with Nature.

The film draws upon familiar text from ‘I & Thou’ to explore how nothing is of itself and that there will always be a context to any encounter – offering us an opportunity to explore those occasions all of us will have encountered when our words ‘cling to the threshold of speech’.

Hugh will just have returned from presenting a personal account of his experience of making the film to the May 2015 International Research Conference at the Gestalt Centre on Cape Cod with particular interest in film as a research medium particularly well suited to Gestalt psychotherapy.

Michael Clemmens PhD is a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Pittsburgh, PA, working with individuals and couples. He is a lead faculty member at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland and has been a workshop leader and work scholar leader at Esalen for over ten years. Michael’s main interest is in the interaction between physical processes, relational dynamics and the larger contextual field, and he travels extensively in the US and internationally teaching and offering experiential learning opportunities.Publications include: ‘The Interactive Field: Gestalt Therapy as an Embodied Relational Dialogue’ (in Gestalt Therapy: Advances in Theory and Practice), ‘Getting Beyond Sobriety: Clinical Approaches to Long Term Recovery’ and ‘The Embodied Field: Culture and Body’ (with Arie Bursztyn in ‘The Bridge: Dialogues Across Culture’). Hugh Pidgeon is a director of his own dialogue consultancy practice, Collective Intelligence, and a long standing Associate at Ashridge Consulting where he was on the faculty that created and developed the Ashridge Masters in Organisational Consulting. Hugh PidgeonHugh specialises in his consulting work in the development of intelligent responses in complex circumstances. He trained originally as a therapist with Ischa Bloomberg and GTS UK in Europe before completing his certification with Bob Resnick et al at the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Los Angeles.  He has been a practicing Gestalt therapist for the last 26 years.


The venue for the conference is the National College for Teaching and Leadership, Nottingham, UK. You can find a map to the venue here.

The venue is spacious, light and modern, with an impressive range of facilities. It offers good accessibility for delegates with disabilities, and can cater for a wider range of food preferences. For more information around accessibility or dietary requirements, please email us.

HMG Id templates

More information

Conference leaflet is available here. Please do download and share with friends and colleagues.

A detailed flyer about our opening presentations is here.

Curious about the conference Ceilidh? Our flyer has more information.