The Brisbane Course

The Brisbane course was advertised on the e-mail lists of relevant professional bodies, and, following an introductory evening, eight people decided to participate. It comprised an introductory session, followed by five fortnightly workshops. Having made formal agreements regarding confidentiality, goals and course commitments, each participant engaged in a ‘‘co-therapy’’ relationship with a partner, focusing on a ‘‘personal change project’’ of low to moderate emotional intensity. At each workshop, partners engaged in both therapist and client roles, and reflected on the experience verbally at the end of sessions, and in writing between sessions. Therapy sessions were also undertaken during the alternative week to the workshop.

Each fortnight, participants e-mailed written reflections on their experience to the course facilitator, who then circulated them anonymously. A clear distinction was made between reflection on process and reflection on content; to preserve feeling of safety within the group, it was agreed that participants should only reflect on process.

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SP/SR for the NQ group included the key ingredients of experiential learning and written reflection, but took a different form. Participants practised CT techniques on their own, using an SP/SR workbook designed by the first author. This utilized exercises from the client manual Mind over mood and followed them with specific reflective questions (e.g. what did you notice? what are the implications of your experience for your work with clients?). Participants e-mailed their reflections to the course coordinator, who then e-mailed back out to the group a weekly digest of the reflections with a brief commentary.