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Come and live in an ‘enabling environment’ for three days in Rio Moment´s – Country House Paiva Valley.

  • Learn about the power of group process in a safe and enjoyable way
  • Experience what goes into making any group or working environment genuinely therapeutic
  • Find time to relax, be playful, have fun and recharge your batteries

What is it?
The Living Learning Experience is a 3-day intensive experiential residential training course. It takes place entirely in groups, and is run as a structured programme of activities in a democratic and non-hierarchical framework. Participants explore the experience of working closely with others, and learn how to use relationships effectively in clinical practice. During the course participants have the opportunity to:

  • Take part in community meetings, small, large and work groups, and other activities involved in a residential community
  • Meet with colleagues and share work experience
  • Think about how they relate to others, and safely experiment with new ways of thinking and behaving

Although some group relations courses can generate anxiety for participants, the primary aim of this training is to offer a robust experience of psychological containment. This is provided through structured participation, and the experience of attachment and agency. It also provides the opportunity to participate in creative and therapeutic work, in an emotionally safe environment. The course is routinely evaluated and audited, independently researched, and is part of international development work.

What will you learn?
Practical and Transferable Skills

  • Knowing how any organisation or psychosocial environment can be made more compassionate and ‘enabling’
  • Confidence in using relationships effectively in clinical practice, including the therapeutic management of risk
  • Establishing and using reflective practice in work settings
  • Being able to function more effectively within authoritarian hierarchies
  • Having confidence to use our own and others’ emotional reactions as a valid part of working practice

Knowledge and Understanding:

  • Understanding unequal power dynamics, and how they are used and misused in organisational settings
  • Understand how emotional and physical safety is best established and maintained through therapeutic relationships
  • Apply knowledge of one’s own patterns of behaviour in the formation of working and personal relationships

Intellectual Skills:

  • To experience, understand and critically evaluate the nature and impact of intensive group processes
  • To describe the impact of one’s self on another, and vice-versa
  • To make links between objective and subjective understanding of relationships
  • To apply this knowledge in understanding one’s own emotional development

Who is it for?
The course is suitable for all levels of staff. Although it is designed primarily for clinicians, it is also useful for those working in administrative, managerial, commissioning and policy roles. It will be of most interest to those working in:

  • NHS and independent mental health care settings, forensic units and social care environments
  • Therapeutic Communities (TCs), Enabling Environments (EEs), Psychologically Informed Planned Environments (PIPEs), Psychologically Informed Environments (PIEs) and any other intentional positive environments
  • Any setting which aspires to be more compassionate, empathic or psychologically-minded
  • CPD certificates are issued to all participants who complete the course

*Price includes 2 nights’ accommodation at Rio Moment´s, food and beverages for 3 days, experiential training and supervision


5th International Mental Health Meeting of Romão de Sousa Foundation