HPRP workshops


Our workshop programme grew from its infancy in 1976 with a small range of themes: Cocounselling, 6CIA, Sexuality, Transpersonal Psyhchology, Couples workshop, Death and Suffering, adding Facilitator Styles, Group Methods, Humanistic Medicine, Experiential Methods, Primal Reintegration and Sensitivity Training in 1977. In 1978 we added Radical Education, Interpersonal Skills Training Methods, Assertiveness Training, initially for Women and Peer Review Audit, our first 2-year Facilitator Styles course and continued experimenting with others. In 1980 we offered our first Stress Management course and started repeating some of our most demanded courses beyond the basic core.

As the programme grew we were able to repeat an increasing number of core courses and offer them in various lengths and formats. Increasingly people took several courses, often to obvious themes, such as Personal Development and Experiential Facilitation. This paved the way for Departmental Certification and offered the potential of self-generated programmes for Higher Awards. In the end, all Higher award bearing courses, though based on and including much of our core, were closed groups with a well-defined theme.

What follows is a selection from our workshop programmes, to give the flavour of the extent and depth of the programme.

assertiveness training

Assertiveness Training became one of our core programmes and took many forms. In 1988-9 we were offering the following: 3 2-day introductions for men and women, 3 for women only and one for men; a follow up weekend; a 2-part, 5-day workshop on Assertiveness at Work, 2 5-day workshops on Applying Assertiveness in Education and Training, an Assertiveness Training in depth, of interest to wouldbe trainers and a 2-part 7-day Assertiveness Teacher Training. It should be noted that there was increasing interest and takeup of Assertiveness Training in many settings. The HPRP provided the only available setting for training teachers to do this well. We also provided exemplary models for budding and practising teachers to learn from. Some of our workshops were led by people who had studied with us on our long 2-year Facilitator Styles programme.

Workshop programmes are flexible so as to meet the particular needs and interests of the participants, but can be expected to include some of the following: distinguishing between assertiveness, aggressiveness, manipulation and submissiveness; identifying own tendencies; verbal and non-verbal features of assertion; self-respect and respecting other people; irrational beliefs; personal and interpersonal rights; situations in which it is difficult to be assertive; assertiveness and co-operation; listening; making requests; refusing requests; expressing opinions; giving praise and criticism; receiving praise and criticism; expressing emotions appropriately; coping with non-assertive reactions from others.

Details of the range of assertiveness workshops

educational suite

The workshop programme was started with teachers and trainers in professional and voluntary education as a primary clientele, as well as professionals and voluntary workers of all kinds. A range of workshops was developed for both groups over the years to be of benefit to all. This page concentrates on workshops primarily for educators. Some were for beginners in the field which was the focus of the workshop, others for experienced teachers ready for more radical approaches to their role. Some were therefore closer to the traditional model, yet pointed to areas traditionally ignored as in Small Group Teaching Methods and Curriculum Development. A range of workshops introduced Experiential Learning Methods. Firstly the basic introduction, secondly the more focussed Interpersonal Skills Training Methods. Self and Peer Assessment became another core workshop once the approach had been perfected with professional groups and in our long Facilitator Styles course. Another entry workshop which I had pioneered was revived by two of our associates in later years, who offered Role Play and Simulation, one of whom created the Uses of Video in Education and Training. An innovation in 1989 was How to Run New Games Sessions, after years of this being a well loved approach to children and adult fun and group interaction, where the education was implicit. The father of them all was the Radical Education (later "Holistic Education") workshop devised by John Heron, introduced in the first programme, set out the basis for the programme. An offshoot was a much later innovation, on Integrating Personal and Professional Development.

practical methods of dealing with stress

The negative effects of stress are reaching epidemic proportions in many sectors of society as technological, economic, organisational, environmantal, political and social changes reach through to the individual at every level: personal (spiritual, mental, emotional and physical) and interpersonal. Many people feel confident that they can cope with and even welcome the challenges that changes bring. Most people have immense personal resources and have developed their own individual set of coping strategies. However, the rapidly changing nature of the stressors which we now encounter can make these well established 'coping mechanisms' less effective. Indeed, the over-reliance and over-use of some approaches can in turn cause further problems.

Recognising this, James Kilty with Meg Bond, designed a workshop to provide an opportunity to redress this situation in the hope that the approach would disseminate widely as people took away the design and approach.

The aim of our 'Practical Methods of Dealing with Stress' course design is to help people expand and extend the range of methods available to them for dealing with stress, both reactively and proactively.The design has since been developed within the H.P.R.P. programme and extensively elsewhere, in workshops and training manuals such as the former Health Education Council's "Look After Yourself" Tutor's Manual and in Meg's book Stress and Self-Awareness: a Guide for Nurses (Heinemann Nursing, 1986).

We ran a basic introduction and a facilitators workshop for people wanting to offer their own version for their own clientele.

These popular courses also form a useful introduction to the style of education offered in the rest of the brochure.

HPRP workshops for beginners

Whilst many of our workshops were designed to explore a specific theme, such as "Death and Dying" which had no prerequisite in experiential group work, we considered it would assist many people who were unfamiliar with personal and interpersonal development to enter the field with some sort of introduction. Such an introduction would provide a natural way to experience activities which were quite sophisticated in the sense of being radical, as compared with the typical intellectully confined education they were used to. So, various introductions to holistic education were developed over the years. Some were thematic and implicit, such as "Practical Methods of Dealing with Stress", others were explicit as in "Self Awareness and Strategies for Personal Development".

combinations and certificates

Over the years we found participants increasingly following their own patterns of courses to develop what were their key skills. To encourage this, at first we simply offered discounts for two or more workshops. As the interest grew, we realised it would be helpful to encourage a fuller development of skills, especially for facilitators. We strengthened the combinations often chosen for this purpose, by adding our own choices so that the sequences made full use of our course options and developed skills to the highest standards we were setting. To recognise the effort and achievement of participants we provided certification that workshops had been attended and participated in fully. We also provided the option of tutorials and support in reflections of various kinds, such as dissertations. A longer term hope at the time, was to develop this idea into a Masters degree for experiential facilitaors.

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