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Birkbeck Training Series 2021/2022

Venue: Online

Book your place

The Birkbeck Training Series enters its fourth year in 2021-22. Launched in 2018 by the Student Counselling Service at Birkbeck, University of London, the workshops are created by and for HE. counsellors and are tailored specifically for short-term work with students. We are very proud to have become a valued source of training within the sector and we hope to continue to provide a tailored thinking platform for Counsellors working in HE.

Over 18 months have passed since the first lockdown and as we learn to live with Covid-19, whatever that may mean, we can’t ignore enormous impact that this pandemic has had in our society and in us personally.

During this series we hope to explore the idea of loss from different perspectives and beyond the pandemic; we are hoping to collectively contemplate what it means to work with bereavement and loss, to think together about the loss experienced by students both entering and leaving higher education and finally we would like to offer a space to think about the loss we constantly experience when working in a short-term model.

Although the workshops can be booked individually, this year they are going to be facilitated by one trainer with the aim of carrying the group over time so that if reflections emerge after one workshop those could be picked up in the next one. Additionally, for the first time, we will be offering a reflective space after the Training Series has ended to think together about the impact of the training on our clinical practise.

The workshops will be delivered online over half a day with moderators available for a better online learning experience. Although we have waiting lists, we feel it is important to limit ticket numbers so you have a greater opportunity to engage directly with the trainer and other participants.
Details about the workshops and booking information are in this booklet. We look forward to welcoming you to the 2021-22 Birkbeck Training Series.


Wednesday 19 January 2022 - 9am-1pm
Working with Bereavement and Loss in Short-term Counselling in H.E.

About the workshop
More often than not, loss is at the core of our therapeutic interventions and while we are used to working with bereavement and loss in short-term counselling in HE, we thought it would be helpful to spend some time reflecting on the process of mourning. In this workshop the trainer will take us though what healthy mourning involves, the impact of loss and the impediments to mourning and how we can work with loss in short-term interventions.

Workshop Themes

  • Process of mourning and impact on the defensive structures
  • Different presentations of clients who might be stuck at various stages during the process of mourning
  • Loss and trauma
  • What are the impediments to mourning a loss and what is the impact on the therapeutic relationship
  • Therapeutic interventions aimed at exploring the resistance to dealing with loss.


Wednesday 16 February 2022 - 9am-1pm
Working with Transitions and Loss in Short-term Counselling in H.E. 

About the workshop
University life is all about transitions, leaving home to go to university, leaving a previous life style, from a gap year to a successful job in a different field and often leaving a country. While going to university might be a very exciting prospect for some, for others, loss is at the core of their experience. This workshop will explore the possible loss that the students may experience arriving at university as well as during the end of their studies.

Workshop Themes

  • Understanding the impact of the transition to HE. What effect does the transition have on the individual, what is the person losing and what does it mean to them?
  • Explore different presentations including students that are:
    • Separating from their parents
    • Exploring their sexuality or making significant decisions regarding their gender identity
    • Coming into terms with a recent diagnosis
  • The therapist has the job of assessing the individual are of mind and risk factors involved in their behaviour
  • Understanding the impact of leaving HE


Wednesday 16 March 2022 - 9am-1pm
Thinking about our Loss when working in Short-term Counselling in H.E.

About the workshop
This final workshop of the series is aimed at the reflecting on our experience of loss when working in short-term in HE. The pressure that we experience when trying to work with complex presentations in a short period of time, as well as the guilt and loss that we might experience when the sessions come to an end. The speaker will support us in reflecting on our feelings and understanding how we might be unconsciously reacting to the pressures of the role.

Workshop Themes

  • Risk to the way we practice when working short-term:
    • Becoming overreactive
    • Tendency to only work with the positive transference
  • The frustrations of not having more time vs the invaluable impact of our work
  • The impact of the endings in us personally.


Wednesday 11 May 2022 - 12-1.30pm
Follow up Forum

About the Forum
For the first time, we are offering a reflective space after the Training Series to discuss the impact of the learning on our clinical practice. Moderated by the Birkbeck Counselling Team we hope to offer an experience where we can explore those thoughts that often come after attending a workshop.

You don’t need to have attended the whole series to book on this event.

icket price: £70 per workshop or £200 for the whole series including the reflective forum.

Workshops are aimed at qualified counsellors, particularly those working with students in a Higher Education setting.

Time: 9.00am to 1.00pm including short breaks

Live online workshops, platform Microsoft Teams: The interactive workshops will include the trainer’s presentation, Q&A, and breakout group discussions. Participants need an electronic device (preferably a computer/laptop) with a microphone, webcam and reliable internet connection. Joining instructions will be emailed to participants a few days before including a guide to using Microsoft Teams, schedule, and slides in advance when possible.


A CPD certificate will be emailed afterwards.

Booking & payment: Past workshops have had waiting lists so we advise early booking to avoid disappointment. All bookings are by card payment online.

Refund policy

A refund will be given for all cancellations requested more than 30 days before the event takes place and we are waiving the administration charge for the Birkbeck Training Series 2020-21 events due to the pandemic. Any cancellation made less than 30 days before the booked event takes place will not receive a refund. However, if you cannot attend, you can transfer your place free of charge to another person who is a counsellor/therapist if you provide their name by email at least 24 hours before the scheduled event start time and all further workshop materials will go to them. A recording of the workshop is not available and no refunds will be given due to internet or technology problems of ticketholders.

All cancellation requests must be made via email to

In the unlikely event of the workshop being cancelled or postponed we will offer a full ticket refund, however, we will not be responsible for costs incurred such as travel or accommodation.

If you have any queries, please email Contact the Counselling Service. We also welcome your feedback and ideas for future workshops.

The mailing list tick box option when you book your ticket online is for the university generally. Please join our specific Birkbeck Training Series mailing list to make sure you get the latest information about our events and other news. We will only send information occasionally, but you can unsubscribe at any time and view how Birkbeck processes your personal data.

Contact name:


    Is a psychoanalyst & consultant adult psychotherapist at the Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust with 40 years of experience in mental health as a practitioner, lecturer and manager. He first worked as a psychiatric nurse. He became head of the nursing discipline at the Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust and developed the nursing discipline and later took on the post of Associate Clinical Director of the adult & adolescent departments between 2011 & 2015.

    Marcus has supervised designed developed and taught outreach courses for front line mental health staff in various settings for the last 25 years in many mental health trusts.

    He was also one of the founding members of the Fitzjohns Service for the treatment of patients with severe and enduring mental health conditions and/or personality disorder in the adult department.

    He now works as consultant adult psychotherapist in the Portman clinic. His passion is the application of psychoanalytic ideas to the treatment and care of patients in mental health settings.


    • The presenter’s perspective is one of many and we aim to provide a respectful space for thinking. Please note that the views expressed by presenters or any other individual in relation to this workshop are not necessarily those of Birkbeck.