Facilitation, Psychotherapy & Personal Development

What is a personal development facilitator?

I’ve worked for almost forty years as some kind of ‘teacher’: facilitating my own and others’ learning and personal development in a variety of ways. Though rather than ‘teacher’, following Carl Rogers, the originator of person-centred counselling and psychotherapy, I prefer the title ‘facilitator of learning’.

Socrates said, “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.” Galileo’s famous aphorism was “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.” And Rogers himself: “A person cannot teach another person directly; a person can only facilitate another’s learning.”

The language of facilitating personal growth

Psychotherapy, and to some extent counselling, is understood by many as a process of exploring damaged personal history in order to find some acceptance, integration or closure in the present. Working specifically with past trauma – or at least integrating it into one’s being in a good enough manner – can be helpful for many. For others, finding immediate strategies to function more effectively now is their prime focus. For some, there is no perceived problem, past or present, but they have a sense that their full potential is not being achieved, or they are not quite functioning the way they would like.

Most of the time we manage our psychopathology – also known colloquially as ‘emotional baggage’ (be wary of those who say they don’t have any!) – well enough often enough for us to function normally. At other times, we don’t, and it surfaces in unexpected, unhelpful or destructive ways in our relationships, our workplaces, life in general. At times like these, it can be beneficial to work with a professional trained in facilitative approaches to personal growth.

My own training is in humanistic and transpersonal psychology, therapeutic bodywork, crisis management, NLP, workplace counselling and process oriented psychology, amongst others, so these days I define myself as eclectic. I have wide experience in working with individuals, couples and groups facing all manner of difficulties in their personal and/or professional lives

The terms above in italics can be googled if you want to do more research (sometimes you’ll need to add the word psychology), and any responsible practitioner you contact should be happy to answer your questions. In the end though, if you want to work one-to-one with any kind of personal development facilitator, the most important question is to ask yourself this: do I feel okay enough with this person to reveal something of myself?

Working with me

I no longer work in organisational settings, though I am still available to individuals or self-elected groups who find themselves drawn to work with me. For working face-to-face I am based in a small Yorkshire village, where we can work outside in the garden hut, inside when we are allowed, or we might explore working online or on the telephone. In the past, small groups of people have organised their own gatherings which I have facilitated, although this is perhaps not for current times. Do email or phone for more up-to-date information.

I do not charge for the work I do, other than travel expenses. At this stage of my life I prefer my skills to be available to anyone who is concerned enough about their own development to seek help – being able to ‘afford’ it need not be an issue. Whilst not a Buddhist, I embrace many aspects of Buddhist philosophy, including working on the dana principle where service or teachings are given freely, in the spirit of generosity. It may be that you are able to reciprocate, with a donation which helps support communication costs and my voluntary conservation work, but if you can’t, and you think you might value time with me, then do make contact anyway.