Scottish Transactional Analysis Association

Informing, representing and connecting the modern TA community within Scotland and beyond

STAA Conference Programme 2017

Saturday 18th November 2017

Apex Hotel, Waterloo Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 3BH

I would like to warmly welcome you to this years conference.

After last year͛'s successful STAA conference on Depression and Self-Care, we had enthusiastic feedback from delegates on addressing issues that are always aroundboth for ourselves and for ourclients - and which often don'͛t get the attention they deserve.


Romancing the Shadow is this years theme, and I look forward to welcoming Alison Ayres and Trevor Timms as our opening and closing speakers. I very much hope that in coming, listening, participating, and sharing, you will find a great deal of very practical help and support in your practice.


Finally, I would like to deeply thank everyone who has contributed to organising, running, and delivering this conference. They are all volunteers. They are all part of this great Scottish TA community. The quality of this event is a testament to how much they give to us all, and I am proud to be the Chair around such a committed and friendly group.


Sheila van Tol, STAA Chair

Conference Timetable


8:30 - 9:30

9:30 - 10:00

10:00 - 10:45

10:45 - 12:45

12:45 - 14:00

14:00 - 16:00

16:00 - 16:30

Breakfast Networking Session

Registration & Coffee

Keynote Address - Alison Ayres

Morning Sessions (Choice of 3 speakers) 

Lunch  & STAA AGM (13:30 -14:00)

Afternoon Sessions (Choice of 3 speakers)

Closing Session (Trevor Timms)

Breakfast Networking Event

Host - Patricia Lyon (STAA Treasurer)

Free breakfast, pastries, coffee etc. A social space to catch up with old friends and make new ones before the event proper. A relaxing start to the conference. 

Contact Patricia at [email protected] for more info. 

Keynote Address 10:00 - 10:45 

Presenter - Alison Ayres

Alison lives in Edinburgh where, since she retired as a trainer, she maintains a small supervision practice, and runs PTSTA groups and seminars. Her published articles have included, Suicide: The Only Way Out (2006: The Transactional Analyst), and Thoughts on Shame and Pride (2013: Strokes) and her interests continue to be researching ideas about shame, resilience and the end of life. She enjoys having plenty of time for gardening, painting and regular visits to the gym

Morning Workshops  10:45 - 12:45

Healing Agony - Margaret Webb

In 2006 an overview of research projects aimed at healing trauma from interpersonal and

intergroup conflicts was presented to the United Nations. In each of these projects forgiveness between individuals and/or groups was encouraged and viewed as an essential part of healing the trauma, ending the conflict and restoring relationships.

When our clients have been traumatised by the behaviour of others, is it helpful or harmful to invite them to forgive what they believe is unforgivable?

If we attend to͞ the Shadow in such circumstances, what might we discover?


Workshop Style - The workshop will be a mixture of presentation, experiential exercises and whole group discussion. Advanced knowledge of TA concepts beneficial.


Presenter - Margaret taught for over 20 years before becoming a therapist. She worked for 8 years as a counsellor in a Primary Care Mental Health Team in the NHS. She now has a private practice in Glasgow offering psychotherapy and supervision.

The Responsiveness Ladder - Matthew Elton

The responsiveness ladder is a tool for clients and therapists seeking to understand why well-intended offers of support, comfort and practical advice can repeatedly go very wrong. When under stress, we drop down the rungs of the responsiveness ladder. Transactions that are pitched at too high a rung are experienced as unhelpful, discounting and even antagonistic.

The image of the ladder and its rungs can help us understand why things go wrong, help us to adjust how we pitch our transactions, and help us to focus on what a person can manage in the given moment instead of focusing on what they should be able to manage.


Workshop Style - The workshop will be a combination of experiential learning, Didactic teaching and discussion. No prior knowledge of TA required

Presenter - Matthew' s formative training was in Transactional Analysis. He also has a strong interest in Narrative Therapy. He has a general counselling / therapy practice, based in Edinburgh. In addition, he specialises in therapeutic work with artists and writers. www.extra-help.org.uk

Catching the Emotional Bullet - The Light and Shadow of your Identity as a Practitioner - Ronen Stilman

"It's the relationship that heals"... but is the therapeutic relationship any different from say... a good old friend with listening skills? a parent loving their child? And if it is different, what is it that yodo that differentiates it? And what's love got to do with it?

An experiential, interactive and stimulating workshop to explore and deepen your understanding of the light and shadow aspects of your identity as a TA practitioner.


Workshop Style - Experiential, didactic, group and 1:1 conversation, using theory of script. Basic knowledge of TA scripting theory advantageous.

Presenter - Ronen has an independent private practice in Edinburgh where he works with individuals and couples as well as Supervising practitioners. Ronen has taught various CPDs and regularly presents in national and international conferences. He also works as an independent change manager where he facilitates large scale change in organisations. www.talkingtherapy.org

Afternoon Workshops 14:00 -16:00 

Living in the Condo - Exploring the latest Process Model Ideas - Valerie Heppel

Since the 1970s Taibi Kahler has been researching and developing his Process Model for use in clinical and organisational settings. His most recent book pulls together his ideas about the layering of character types, which he likens to a condominium. In addition, he explains his thoughts on other TA concepts which make up our understanding of script. Through teaching and discussion this workshop will discuss some of his new ideas, including the͚ condo metaphor, phasing and defences. 


Workshop Style - Teaching and Discussion. Participants will find a basic understanding of drivers and character types an advantage.

Presenter - Valerie is a psychotherapist, trainer, supervisor and independent crop consultant. She has a background in both arts and sciences and enjoys finding connections between apparently disparate subjects.

Sculpting the Shadows - Beren Aldridge

This workshop will introduce participants to Mary Cox's model of Ego and Self. Using this simple but rich model, we will consider the value of distinguishing between a core self, our ego states and our whole self. The group will use their bodies to sculpt this model of ego and self, and in doing so we will develop a felt sense of the ego defences that are diagnosed as personality disorders; particularly the emotionally unstable, the narcissistic, the schizoid and the anti-social presentations.


Workshop Style - The workshop will have taught components mixed with group conversation and a whole group exercise that requires participants to stand and move around the room. Advanced TA knowledge an advantage. 


Presenter - Beren works in private practice in Kendal, leads a farm-based therapeutic community for people with a diagnosis of a personality disorder and delivers mental health training in the statutory sector.

Crossing the Line - Exposing the Shadow -Barbara Clarkson

In this workshop we will explore how "mistakes" can trigger shame as the shadow aspects

of ourselves are exposed, and how this may ultimately lead to expansion and integration of

the self, if the disowned wounds and rejected yearnings of the soul are recognised and met in the darkness and brought into the light. The presenter will share her personal experiences of these issues and invite participants to explore their own using theory, symbol and metaphor, with the aim of reaching beyond shame to discover new potentials.

Participants will be encouraged to discover the positive messages and aspects of professional and personal potency that can be hidden in the Shadow beneath the experience of shame when we "cross the line". We will learn from our mistakes at a deeper level. As James Joyce said "A man's errors are his portals to learning".

The workshop will consider Nathanson's Compass of Shame (1994) and the thinking of Kaufman, Brown and others on the role of shame and vulnerability in creating healing and resilience. Developments of these models by Barbara Clarkson and Kathie Hostick,

first presented in Berlin 2017 at the World TA Conference, will be shared and explored in the course of the workshop.


Workshop Style - The workshop will include didactic teaching, experiential learning, large and small group discussion and experimentation with the presenter's developing model.


Presenter - Barbara writes "I have been deeply changed by the times when I have encountered mshadow through crossing the line, and believe that with compassionate relationship, these painfuexperiences can be transformed into moments of healing and integration."

Closing Address 16:00 - 16:30

Presenter Trevor Timms 

Former Chair of the STAA, Trevor works as a psychotherapist and massage therapist in private practice in the Borders.


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