WEEKEND RESIDENTIAL 18th, 19th and 20th July 2014


Our need to belong has been explored and acknowledged by theorists of psychology, sociology, and spirituality, as well as artists. Salvador Dali, a Spanish surrealist painter, claims there are two things most important in life: to Be and to Belong.  The psychologist Abraham Maslow points out in his hierarchy of human needs that all humans have a basic need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. John O’Donohue, Irish poet and scholar, postulates there is an eternal echo of longing that lives deep within us – the desire to belong – in a hungry, homeless world that suffers from a deep sense of isolation and fragmentation.

In this workshop we will explore and address each our need to Be and to Belong through the use of art, enactment, action methods and writing. This experiential weekend workshop aims to offer a safe, relaxing and inspiring space in which participants can connect with themselves and others in this transitional space, through creative expression and playfulness.

It is the sixth residential in a series open to individuals who wish to engage in some personal exploration and development. It allows for an introduction to psychodrama psychotherapy or to deepen the experience in this creative and deep psychological method. Group members will be able to participate to the degree they feel comfortable, combining collective and individual exploration, based on the themes that emerge. The weekend creates a therapeutic community space where participants will work and live together, as well as have time for individual reflection.


The workshop takes place in one of the self-contained houses at Sheep Island Hostel, which is situated in the village of Ballintoy on the main north coast road between the towns of Ballycastle and Bushmills in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Close to the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope bridge, and the Old Bushmills Whiskey Distillery, the venue is set in one of the most picturesque parts of the province. Accommodation is shared and sleeps 3 to 5 people in a room with ensuite bathrooms. The house has a large kitchen where cooking and meals take place. There are two pubs with restaurants nearby for those who prefer a meal out. You can visit www.sheepislandview.com for more information. For those who prefer a single bedroom facility, there are several B&Bs in the area.


Time schedule of the weekend:

Friday at 7 – 9

Saturday 10 – 5

Sunday 10 – 3.

Group size is limited to 10.

This workshop counts for 15 CPD hours.


Cost: early booking rate: £ 110 if booked before 26th May 2014. Booking made after 30th April: £140.  The cost does not include food. The nearest supermarket is in Ballycastle, and a village store in Ballintoy.

Non-refundable deposit of £70 is due with registration, unless workshop is cancelled.  Contact Biggi for a booking form and send it with your deposit cheque.


Biggi Hofmann, originally from Germany and living in Northern Ireland since 1980, has been leading workshops and residential weekends since 2000. She is an experienced group psychotherapist who has a passion for facilitating healing and change through creative expression.  




What works in supervision

This workshop  looked at Supervision in the counselling process. Looking at what is necessary to make a good supervisor/counsellor fit. We will examine both the counsellor and the supervisors’ concept of good practical supervision and working together. We will conclude with considering some of the pitfalls that may impact on supervision.

29th March

Mary Nugent RMBACP


 Mindfulness and Self-Acceptance

This workshop looked at the benefits of using Mindfulness as part of working with clients who have issues around self-loathing and self-acceptance.

Jon Kabat-Zinn defines Mindfulness as being in the present moment, with a non-judgemental stance. It’s this sense of being non-judgemental, that Mindfulness evokes that can allow a person to develop compassion and empathy, not just for others, but for themselves too.

The workshop was also useful as a tool for therapists, and helps you fulfil the ethical principle of self-respect. Being Non-judgemental, towards ourselves is just as important as being non-judgemental towards our clients. It allows a sense of self-compassion and self-acceptance that can develop the therapeutic use of self.

from 10-12.30pm   16th November 2013 @ Friends’ Meeting House, Frederick Street, Belfast BT1

 iacp logo

Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy Northern Ireland Regional Committee


Assessing and Treating Suicidality

Presenter: Dr Eoin Galavan BA Psych.,Hons MA Coun.Psych.,D.Clin.Psych. Reg.Psychol. PsSI. MIACP

Eoin’s professional training began with an Honours Degree in Psychology from UCD. He subsequently trained as a Counselling Psychologist receiving his Masters from University College Cork in 2000. Following this he trained as a Clinical Psychologist receiving his Doctorate from Trinity College Dublin in 2005.  Eoin has worked within public adult mental health service in both community and inpatient psychiatric service and also runs a private practice. Eoin has worked with suicidal patients within these services both as a psychologist, therapist and within a Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Programme.  Eoin is currently co-ordinator of the North Dublin DBT Service. This programme is specifically designed to treat individuals who present with severe levels of self-harm and suicidality.  Eoin is an Honorary Tutor on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Trinity College Dublin. Eoin has been involved in teaching and training professional counsellors, therapists and psychologists for over 10 years

The goals of the Workshop are;

  • To explore the psychology of suicidality
  • To provide a space to discuss and consider the challenges of working with suicidal people
  • To discuss various assessment and treatment approaches and explore this in sufficient detail as to be able to leave with some practically useful material.  This will involve focusing on a particular assessment the treatment frame that has evolved over the last 25 years, i.e., the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS)

The Format will be varied, utilising teaching, discussion, and role play.

The venue was  The City Hotel, Derry City, Co. L/Derry and it took place on Saturday 30th November 2013


 iacp logo

Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy Northern Ireland Regional Committee


Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in Ireland To-day: An Uneasy Alliance

Presenter:  Professor Ivor Browne

Professor Ivor Browne is respected both for his personal compassion and his consistent opposition to orthodox psychiatry.  A fellowship recipient from Harvard University in Public and Community Mental Health, Dr Browne was Professor of Psychiatry at UCD and Chief Psychiatrist of the Eastern Health Board until his retirement.

The Author of many academic articles, Professor Browne conceived and established the Irish Foundation for Human Development and set up the first Community Association in Ballyfermot.  An offshoot of this had successful outcomes in the City of Derry working with rebuilding a Community encountering conflict.  Professor Browne’s bestselling autobiography Music and Madness gives a deeply moving account of his life, work and professional development

This interactive workshop :

Explored and discussed the somewhat uneasy relationship between orthodox psychiatry and the application of the main psychotherapeutic models in Ireland to-day

VENUE; The, City Hotel, Derry City, Co. L/Derry  DATE: Saturday 5th October 2013


Voyager (part 2) 21st September 2013

An opportunity for conversations considering a wide range of issues around dealing with the past.

Should the past be remembered? And if so, How?

Is there a right to truth?

What aspects of the past would you like to see left in the past?

What difference might acknowledgement of harm make?

 Presented by 

Suzi Swain – a delivery partner for Healing through Remembering

 As counsellors and psychotherapists you have to deal with the history of others in your practice. This conversational workshop is to explore the value of dealing with the past for yourself and your practice alongside what systems or processes are available to assist you in this process.

This was also an opportunity to take time to reflect on your own thoughts and feelings surrounding the past in Northern Ireland.


An opportunity for conversations considering a wide range of issues around dealing with the past.

Presented on 22nd June 2013 @ Friends’ Meeting House by 

Suzi Swain a delivery partner for Healing through Remembering 

 As counsellors and psychotherapists you have to deal with others history in your practice. This conversation  explored the value of dealing with the past with clients and also to gave you time to reflect on your own thoughts and feelings surrounding the past in Northern Ireland.

NICF Conference 2012

The second Northern Ireland Counselling Forum Conference was held on 28 April 2012 in the Dunsilly Hotel, Antrim. These short videos give an overview of the conference and the topics it covered.