After more than fifty years working with people, including thirty years as a psychotherapist, twenty years as a body psychotherapist, and about seventeen focusing on trauma, I closed my individual psychotherapy practice in 2012. My Supervision practice ended in December 2016.
Having finally left London behind and settled by the sea in Dorset, I reached a more self-centred stage in my life.
maintaining a small, eclectic one-to-one practice, running occasional workshops, with reflection and some writing as my main focus.
More than thirty years since I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Management by by Self-Managed Learning at what is now the University of East London, I still value the Self-Managed (or Self-Directed) Learning approach, for personal and professional development workshops, and have featured in some workshops.
I still love watching people develop personally and professionally.
I have a particular interest in how people - particularly helpers, and people in positions of leadership - can survive and thrive within organisations, how the Helping Professions can so easily take their toll on the human spirit, and what can be done to humanise this process, and the art and science of Self-care for Helping Professionals
I continue to be fascinated by ways of working with trauma, and with the complexities of trauma-conditioned transference and counter-transference. This is in no small part due to my long friendship and collaboration with Babette Rothschild (The Body Remembers, and now The Body Remembers , Volume ii, Help for the Helper, 8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery etc.). She has kindly said: Michael Gavin has been my closest UK colleague since 1992.… There is no one I have more confidence in as a therapist, teacher, consultant, and supervisor."
Through yoga, Tai Ji, and Qi Gong, through dancing and riding my bike, as well as Body Psychotherapy and Somatic Trauma Therapy, I continually return to the fundamental importance of embodied living and body awareness.
After thirty years of learning from and collaborating with Michael Randolph, our Radix Intensive Body Psychotherapy workshops remain a enduring source of surprise and delight to me. I have long felt a calling to bring the insights of our body focused ways of working to those whose training has been in the talking therapies.
I am a certified Radix Body Psychotherapist and one of only two certified Somatic Trauma Therapists in the UK.
I am an Approved Supervisor on the Somatic Trauma Therapy Certification Program.
I was External Clinical Supervisor to the London Underground’s Counselling and Trauma team from 2007 to the end of 2015.
I was in private practice in SW London from the 1980s until the end of 2012.
I have been a Regular member of the Institute of Transactional Analysis (now UKATA) since 1982, and a frequent presenter at ITA Conferences over the years. My five (interrupted) years of TA training in the eighties, disrupted by a prolonged encounter with ME/CFS, has formed a valued frame of reference for my thinking, and I learned much from intensive training with Bob and Mary Goulding and Richard Erskine.
From 1997 until the end of 2017 I was a regular member of a Professional Development Group, led by the Psychoanalyst, Shirley Spitz, exploring relational psychoanalysis, transference and counter-transference and other analytic and psychodynamic themes.
My own Jungian analysis lasted from 1986 to 1998, and for the past 30+ years I have been associated with the annual Champernowne Trust summer conference focussing on Jungian psychology, creativity and the Arts based approaches to therapy. I am now myself a Trustee with particular responsibility for the Web and Social Media.
I trained additionally in Core Energy Management with William Bloom (The Endorphin Effect, Feeling Safe etc), and with Dina Glouberman in Imagework.
My awareness of Mindfulness practices began in 1966 when I joined an esoteric school based in the teachings of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky and the philosophy of the Advaita Vedanta. In the thirty years and more since I left school the practices and the philosophy have continued to inform my life and my work.
Originally a Cambridge classicist, I hold advanced qualifications in Education and Management.
I was a teacher, initially of Latin and English, and but mainly specialising in work with children then called "maladjusted"- now described as having Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties.
For thirteen years I was Head of Woodstock School, a mixed day special school for 6 to 16 year-olds in Southwark (Inner London.)
In the years since then I have offered training and consultancy to staff in primary, secondary and special schools throughout London and surrounding counties.
I am a practising grandparent.