Welcome to heartswork

Stephen Richards (counsellor, supervisor, consultant, trainer, east, west, sussex, kent)

June 2018 Cardiff Relaxing in the garden (now building site!

Personal

A couple of weeks ago I ran the Cardiff 5k Run for Victory around the suburb of Whitchurch. There was a great party atmosphere and we had a lovely time.My aims were to: a) survive b) complete the run c) not finish last. Mission accomplished!

We are both really enjoying living here. Most of our journeys are done with our free bus passes and where we live we don’t have to wait more than a few minutes. I’m loving visits to the Central Library a beautiful and comfortable modern building which is a joy to browse or sit in and there are plenty of independent cafes,restaurants,bars and shops as well as the big shopping centres which could be anywhere-except that all signage and announcements are in Welsh and English. Last weekend was declared a traffic-free day in the city and we had the additional excitement of Cardiff city F.C. s victory parade after winning promotion to the Premier League. You didn’t have to be a football fan to enjoy the loud but good natured celebrations. The builders arrive on Tuesday for an estimated 12 weeks so we will be camping in some parts of the house whilst other bits are being demolished and a kitchen/diner,ground floor shower room and outside walled patio constructed. We’ll have to practice staying calm and keep reminding ourselves that it will be lovely when it’s finished! The vegetables in the greenhouse and the bits of garden that won’t be affected by the building works are thriving in the warm weather and it is a great joy to me to tend the garden and look forward to developing it over time. We have trees and flowers in full bloom now and it is wonderful to wake up to bird song on these bright days.
Yasmin and I watched the Royal wedding and amongst the usual displays of pomp and unearned privilege there were some great moments.
Even for a hardened leftie like me the actual behaviour of the happy couple looked very much like two people who love each other. The music was great, the flowers and garlands were fantastic and then came the sermon from Bishop Michael Curry – the first black presiding bishop of the US Episcopal Church. He spoke with passion and joy and I think some of the congregation were very uncomfortable. This is just an extract that will explain why….

“That’s what love is. Love is not selfish and self-centred. Love can be sacrificial, and in so doing, becomes redemptive. And that way of unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive love changes lives, and it can change this world.

“If you don’t believe me, just stop and imagine. Think and imagine a world where love is the way.”

“Imagine our homes and families where love is the way. Imagine neighbourhoods and communities where love is the way.

“Imagine governments and nations where love is the way. Imagine business and commerce where this love is the way.

“Imagine this tired old world where love is the way. When love is the way – unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive.

“When love is the way, then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again.

“When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook.

“When love is the way, poverty will become history. When love is the way, the earth will be a sanctuary.

“When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields, down by the riverside, to study war no more.

“When love is the way, there’s plenty good room – plenty good room – for all of God’s children.

“Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other, well… like we are actually family.

“When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all, and we are brothers and sisters, children of God.

“My brothers and sisters, that’s a new heaven, a new earth, a new world, a new human family.

Amen to that Bishop Michael and Namaste to you all.

*We are coming back to Sussex in July and there are places left on the:
  • Workshop in the Big Yurt by Steve Richards*

Different strokes for different folks

Saturday 7th July 9.30-4.30

A theoretical and experiential workshop for counsellors and psychotherapists exploring differing needs for contact and recognition

Please bring food to share . I’ll provide tea,coffee,water etc.

Venue: The Big Yurt at Glynleigh Organic Farm (between Hailsham and Stone Cross)

(From the Hailsham direction take the first left turn after Hilliers Garden Centre B2014. From the Stone Cross direction take the first right turn just before the Garden Centre. The Yurt is on the left and we’ll mark the entrance and meet you.)

Cost: £80-00 (12 places)

phone: 07970-211834

Who I am …

My name is Stephen Richards. For the past 30 years I have been self employed as a counsellor, supervisor, consultant and trainer working with a wide variety of individuals, couples, groups and organisations.

I have had substantial training in Person-Centred Counselling and Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy and have had additional training and personal experience with Gestalt therapy, Bodywork and Psychosynthesis therapies.

I am a qualified supervisor and have developed and taught professional training courses in counselling, supervision, counselling skills and groupwork.

In recent years I have also been involved in the Advanced Diploma in Forensic Counselling and Psychotherapy course and the Advanced Diploma course in Counselling and Psychotherapy with Children and Families both at Wealden College.

I have run CPD and personal growth workshops for several years ranging from “Using DSM-IV the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association” through to “Body Breath and Soul-Exploring Eastern Techniques of Personal Growth”.

An increasing area of work for me is in public, private and voluntary sector organisations. I train and mentor managers to develop their thinking and skills and act as a consultant to directors and managers in coping with day-to-day problems and developing and implementing effective systems to prevent them arising.

Why “heartswork”?

For the past few years I’ve had a website www.working-in-relationship.co.uk and I’ve been pleased with the content, so I’ve kept most of it on this site.

My problem was that although “working in relationship” is the only brief description which covers the different kinds of work I do it doesn’t trip off the tongue and if you’re a hunt and peck typist like me it takes a while to type and there is plenty of opportunity for error.

The title “heartswork” is inspired by my remembering a conversation I had with a Transactional Analyst from Seattle, Elaine Childs-Gowell about 20 years ago. Elaine, who died in 2006 is most well known for her book “Good Grief Rituals” and unbeknownst to me at the time was a powerful human rights activist and had a Ph.D for her studies of Shamanism. She said to me,very simply, “You have found your heart’s work and that is the important thing.”

Why the lotus logo?

In the various strands of Buddhism and Hinduism the lotus is a frequently used symbol with a variety of meanings. For me the meaning is that a flower of great beauty and symmetry is born and flourishes in the muddiest of ponds.

Philosophy

I believe the value of my work lies largely in the quality of relationships I make with my clients and colleagues. My success is measured by their continuing trust in my ability and character and I take as evidence the changes in their thoughts, feelings and behaviour they make with my help.

In all the different kinds of work I do my aim is to bring out the best in people which can sometimes mean helping them to understand and change some aspects of themselves which they may find unacceptable or to manage painful realities.

I believe firmly in personal responsibility, mine and my client’s, rather than external regulation and I am therefore accountable to my clients, colleagues and my conscience to behave with integrity.
I have professional supervision to enable me to be supported and challenged in my continuing growth and development. In addition I have substantial personal experience of therapy beginning in 1984 with 6 years in group therapy.

Like many of my colleagues I have serious concerns about people helping others without an in-depth examination of their own motives and the humility to seek help with their own problems. Given a choice between the practitioner who recognises he is a fallible human being who sometimes makes mistakes and sometimes needs help and the kind who never makes mistakes and never needs help – I strongly recommend the former kind!

Old-fashioned as it may be I still believe that freedom, equality and cooperation are the best conditions for healthy individuals and a healthy society.

Finding the right person

Probably the best way to pick a counsellor or psychotherapist, trainer or consultant is by word of mouth.

If people you trust say that someone is a good practitioner, go to see them (or if you want organisational work ask them to come and see you) and decide for yourself if they seem the kind of person you want to talk to, ask about their professional training and experience and see if they are open and direct in reply to your questions.

The most important thing is that they are responsive and pay good attention to you and that they make clear contracts about payment, the limits to confidentiality etc. (Please note that total confidentiality is not morally or legally sustainable).

If they are shifty, flaky, evasive, pompous, scared, scary or you simply don’t like or trust them, go elsewhere however elevated their qualifications or reputation.

If you are not in my vicinity or need a specialist service call me anyway and I will refer to someone I know whose work I trust.* I have extensive contacts in East Sussex, Kent and West Sussex and some further afield.

*Please note this is about getting the right service for you. I receive no payment for referrals.

Stephen Richards
Director
www.heartswork.co.uk
June 2018 workshop

Counsellors and Psychotherapist Join the Union!

Counsellors and Psychotherapists Join the Union!

We are coming back to Sussex in July and there are places left on the:
  • Workshop in the Big Yurt by Steve Richards

Different strokes for different folks

Saturday 7th July 9.30-4.30

A theoretical and experiential workshop for counsellors and psychotherapists exploring differing needs for contact and recognition

Please bring food to share . I’ll provide tea,coffee,water etc.

Venue: The Big Yurt at Glynleigh Organic Farm (between Hailsham and Stone Cross)

(From the Hailsham direction take the first left turn after Hilliers Garden Centre B2014. From the Stone Cross direction take the first right turn just before the Garden Centre. The Yurt is on the left and we’ll mark the entrance and meet you.)

Cost: £80-00 (12 places)

Rooms for hire in Crowborough Sally Valentine has rooms for hire at Lodge Counselling in Crowborough. I use them myself, they’re just right and the atmosphere is great as you would expect! Call her on 07885-760764. Therapy Room available for hire at Eastbourne Therapy Clinic, 16 Lushington Road. Available for permanent 1/2 days and full days and also adhoc hourly basis. For more information, contact Claire Pooley on 07595 465948 or Clairepooley@sky.com

Ongoing work….

If you’re looking for bespoke training, supervision or consultancy or therapy for yourself please bear me in mind and of course keep in touch and let me know what you are up to.

I love this…

“The true opposite of obedience is not disobedience but independence. The true opposite of order is not disorder but freedom. The true opposite of control is not chaos but self-control.
from “Kith: The Riddle of the Childscape” by Jay Griffiths extract from an article in the Guardian Weekend supplement 4th April 2013

“Confidence, clarity and compassion are essential qualities of a teacher.” B.K.S.Iyengar

B.K.S. Iyengar died on the 20th August 2014 aged 94. If you want an inspiring story of a man who triumphed over illness and made a difference to people all over the world read about this man.

and this…

“In neo-classical economic theory, it is claimed without evidence that people are basically self-seeking, that they want above all the satisfaction of their material desires: what economists call “maximising utility”. The ultimate objective of mankind is economic growth, and that is maximized only through raw, and lightly regulated, competition. If the rewards of this system are spread unevenly, that is a necessary price. Others on the planet are to be regarded as either customers, competitors or factors of production. Effects upon the planet itself are mere “externalities” to the model, with no reckoning of the cost – at least for now. Nowhere in this analysis appears factors such as human cooperation, love, trust, compassion or hatred, curiosity or beauty. Nowhere appears the concept of meaning. What cannot be measured is ignored. But the trouble is that once our basic needs for shelter and food have been met, these factors may be the most important of all.”

Carne Ross, The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century