CPD Events & Training

About The Bodies – Embodiment in  the Therapeutic Relationship

Certificate in Embodied Therapeutic Practice – beginning Sept 2019 At The Albany Centre, St Albans.

“..the lived body cannot be understood apart from the system ‘‘mind–body–world.’’ Where there is a body, there is a personal world, an opening upon the world which is unique.”  – Jennifer Burlington.

Each of us has a unique embodiment and it is through our embodiment that we are shaped by experience and come to know ourselves, each other and the world. Body psychotherapy offers a route to this opening to the world by addressing our embodiment directly with a range of understandings and practices that can inform and extend your work with your clients. This experientially and theoretically alive course will offer an opportunity to integrate some of what body psychotherapy has to offer. We will consider ways of being in and understanding the therapeutic relationship as an embodied relational phenomena where we learn to make more use of our felt experience.  All bodies and modalities are welcome.

The course will run for one weekend a month for 5 months Sept 2019 – Dec 2020

For further details (dates, costs, curriculum) click HERE

Confer Conference – Post-Slavery Syndrome:
Intergenerational PTSD in the Consulting Room Today

With Dr Aileen Alleyne, Robert Downes, Eugene Ellis, Wayne Mertins-Brown, Judy Ryde, Foluke Taylor, Lennox Thomas

Friday 22 March (eve) + Saturday 23 March 2019 – London

Foluke Taylor & Robert Downes presentation:

Black Presence, White Fragility: aka a Complex Situation aka Babylon aka The Great Shenanigans aka What do reparations look like in the world of therapy? aka How much time do you need for your progress?

Foluke and Robert will bring their explorations around black presence and white fragility via their engagement with the works of Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being and Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why it’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism. They have been in dialogue for 19 years about these realities and are not done. Through the use of Sharpe’s notion of wake work (taking care in the ongoing wake), the wake being the afterlife of slavery and all its ramifications, they will share their practices and thinking about the nature of wake work for therapeutic practitioners that addresses black presence and white fragility.

Embracing Shame for Oxford OTS

Time: 10-5pm
Date: April 7th 2019
Venue: OTS-Oxford Therapy Centre

A Day on Shame for ITD – feedback

October 21st 2018  10:00-16:00

Terapia @ The Bothy, 17 East End Rd, London N3 3QE

White Fragility in the Therapeutic Relationship

For Oxford Therapy Centre

Trainer:Robert Downes
Time: 10:00 – 17:00
Date: Sunday, June 24, 2018
Venue:OTS-Oxford Therapy Centre
£40 – OTS members
£50 – OTS affiliates
£75 – Non-members

About the training:

“White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviours such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviours, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium”  

Dr. Robin DiAngelo

“We must prepare ourselves for—and even seek—difficult, threatening, unsettling, awkward and shame-inducing conversations”. 

Anton Hart”.

I have been applying the work of James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Frantz Fanon, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Christina Sharpe and Tim Wise alongside Robin DiAngelo’s work on white fragility to the matrix of the therapeutic relationship. In turn this has informed my approach to the training of psychotherapists and counsellors.  Students, clients and therapists of colour frequently encounter white fragility and its formidable defensiveness.  It can be argued that whiteness has not been placed on  the ’couch’ for a thorough enough analysis and that this limits the therapeutic potential for personal and collective transformation.  So what gives?

I became interested in the kind of awkward conversations we need to have to navigate the arena of race, the trauma of racism and the structure of whiteness in the consulting room, classroom and beyond. One of the struggles I have noticed is the reluctance in some therapists to be constructed as a ‘bad white object’ and I think white fragility provides an entry point into unravelling from counter transference reactions that are informed by whiteness as an egoic structure in need of defending.  DiAngelo speaks to developing stamina and resilience for these awkward conversations.

Whiteness as a social construction that resides within the psyche of the therapist (and profession), irrespective of race,   seems to have been under examined in therapeutic training environments.  The therapeutic curriculum in many agencies continues to be Eurocentric. The focus has traditionally been on diversity and multicultural approaches to the therapeutic project.  The criticism of these approaches is that they make racism a little more palatable where racism can be seen as something for people of colour to overcome rather than something for white people to deconstruct as part of a psychological and broader socio-political project.

If whiteness is a social construction that is internalised and lives in both the conscious and unconscious realms of the psyche, how do we engage with it in ourselves as therapists and counsellors,  within the clinical encounter and in our thinking and teaching within the profession?  This workshop will provide an experiential opportunity to examine white fragility as an embodied phenomena that requires many of the skills and methods of psychotherapy alongside psychological knowledge to engage with it creatively.  There will be some preparatory reading and reflective practices to engage with prior to the day.

To book a place click on this LINK

A Day on Shame for Surrey and Kent CPD Group

Sevenoaks Wellbeing Centre
34, St John’s Road, Sevenoaks
Kent TN13 3LW

Saturday 2nd June 2018



Given the challenges of shame, we need an orientation and capacity that is informed by a range of approaches and understandings: mindfulness, object relations, embodiment, radical acceptance, attachment theory, trauma work, sensorimotor psychotherapy and humour are some of the resources and practices we can draw from. 

Shame can be such an inhibitor to learning, being in the world, relating and the therapeutic project itself. Our clients often feel shamed by us, we shame our clients, we feel shamed and are shamed by them. So what do we do with the shame matrix when it arises? How do we navigate our way through it to gather the riches that are revealed when we meet shame more optimally?

This workshop will be an experiential as well as theoretically reflective exploration of shame and how we can best engage with it in ourselves and in our work as counsellors and psychotherapists. 

Some topics and themes we will explore through presentation, reflection, inquiry and discussion:

  • Exploring definitions, descriptions and experiences of shame.
  • Some of the clever stuff we need – useful theory.
  • The purpose of shame – as a manifestation of the self-care system.
  • Building shame resilience – how we go about this.
  • What lies beyond shame and how might we get there?
  • Therapeutic skills for working with shame.
  • Shame in relation to identity, discrimination and oppression & being human. 

This workshop will start at 10:00 a.m. and finish at 17:00 p.m.

Lunch break at 13:00 p.m. Lunch is not provided so please bring something along. 

Tea and coffee are provided free of charge

Cost for this workshop is £75.00 per person

To book a place please contact Patrick Moroney at patrick.moroney@tiscali.co.uk

A Day on Shame for ITD

Saturday April 21st, North London.  Poster for Robert Downes PDF - Shame Workshop

ITD Website


I am an experienced teacher and facilitator of learning. I have taught counselling and psychotherapy to a range of practitioners. I have experience of running training events for social workers, youth workers, and others in the helping professions.

I have provided a range of CPD events to practitioners:
Engaging with the body in the counselling and psychotherapy relationship.
Working with the super ego.
Engaging with touch in the therapeutic encounter.
Diversity and difference – race, gender, sexuality, disability as they enter the consulting room and the dynamic of the therapeutic relationship.

Teaching experience:

  • NAOS Institute London  – Teaching on the Trauma Diploma Course
  • Metanoia – visting lecturer on the MSc in Humanistic Psychotherapy
  • The Minster Centre – Teaching the Body in Psychotherapy Module to second year psychotherapy students.
  • Centre for Counselling & Psychotherapy Education (CCPE) MA in Transpersonal Child, Adolescent & Family Therapy.
  • Centre for Personal & Professional Development (CPPD) on the Diploma in Humanistic Integrative Counselling
  • The Whittington School of Psychotherapy – co-facilitating with Bernd Leygraf the Intensive One Year Course on Object Relations and Gestalt.
  • Hungarian Gestalt Association in Budapest.

I am a returning trainer to Off The Record Twickenham, providing training to their newly recruited volunteer counsellors each year.

I co-wrote and delivered training packages for managers around working with conflict in team and organisational settings.

I have presented workshops at a range of conferences and currently sit on the executive committee of The Relational School where I contribute to workshops, conferences and seminars.


I co-wrote and delivered the ABC Accredited Advanced Certificate in Counselling Young People and the accompanying publication: Listening in Colour: Creating a Meeting Place with Young People Robert Downes, Sue Lee, Foluke Taylor-Muhammad. Published by the Trust for the Study of Adolescence.

You can see a range of training and consultancy commissions that I have delivered here recent contracts.