Manchester Transactional Analysis Conference

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MANTAC conference, 2018.
JANET NEAL reports on a great day at MANTAC 2018 regional conference.
The committee and the glorious weather warmly welcomed delegates for a second successful year at The Chancellors Hotel, Fallowfield; with the delightful benefit of a patio and green space to gaze at and stroll round at break times. A big thank you to all who attended and presented.
With registration done and packs collected, delegates could help themselves to refreshments throughout the day.
As a new addition to our conference we provided a twenty minute mindfulness session, before the keynote, kindly run by Tom McGahan and a welcome table for people at lunch to mix and network.
Hannah Legge opened the conference for the first time as Chair with a warm welcome to everyone and introduced this year’s theme of, ’Beyond Autonomy: Development and Growth Across the Lifespan,’ and introduced Sue Arslan the representative from UKATA who kindly made herself available throughout the day for delegates to talk to.
Hannah then introduced our keynote speaker, John Heath who shared his professional and some of his personal journey in his reflections and shared insights on the theme and its relevance to the world of Psychotherapy. Thank you John again for a stimulating, interesting and thought provoking launch into our conference.
Our regular second hand book sale was available for delegates to sell their books or donate them to this year’s charity of choice, ’Animals in Distress,’ which raised £100. Thank you so much to those who brought their books and happy reading and much thanks to those who bought them.
As usual we also provided an area for sharing marketing information about practice, training, workshops and networking information was made available too for delegates.
The workshops informed and stimulated our thinking with a range of styles: didactic, discussion and experiential. In Margaret Webb’s workshop ‘Braving the Wilderness,’ she spoke of research that shows the rise of individualism and loneliness and how as practitioners ‘ we need to brace the wilderness beyond autonomy as described by Berne in order to foster health, interconnectedness and true belonging in our societies.’
In his workshop,’ The Parent interview,’ Bob Cooke demonstrated a skilled and sensitive live ‘therapy’ session with a volunteer for delegates to observe and discuss and be informed by.
Joanna Groves lead the workshop, ’Growth and Healing in Couples Therapy: A Goodbye process,’ covering theory of, ‘Integrating Adult and Relational knowing through the lens of Imago Relationship Therapy and TA,’ to, ’offer practitioners other ways of holding the space and freeing up energy in couples (relational) work through practical exercises that are transferable into working practice.’
In John Heath’s workshop, ‘From dependency to autonomy and beyond through mind-body integration’ John taught key theoretical elements of psychophysical work where the reach is extended by inviting, not a conversation between two ego parts, as in traditional decision work but a new dialogue between an aspect of mind and an aspect of body which have become habitually linked into a self- limiting pattern and he included some experiential exercises and discussion on potential clinical application.
John and Liz Heath delighted with a closing plenary and invited delegates into groups to discuss their highlights and experiences of the day and many shared with the whole group, goodbyes were said and journeys home began.
We are delighted to have Enid Welford as our Keynote speaker for next year’s conference on Saturday, 29th June, 2019 for the theme, ’Holding Hope.’ We hope you can join us.

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