AABCAP Conference 2016

Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists

The Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists

AABCAP 8th Annual Conference
Sydney Australia

18th & 19th June 2016

Beyond Mindfulness

Meditation: From the cushion to the couch


AABCAP 8th Annual Conference 2016
Buddhist theory and practice in therapy

Dive deep into the therapeutic and transformative power of Buddhist meditation and psychotherapy. Join counsellors, psychotherapists and other health professionals as we move beyond the modern mindfulness movement and explore the therapeutic power of Buddhist inspired meditation and psychology.

You will hear and learn from some of our most respected and knowledgeable counsellors and psychotherapists how to integrate and extend mindfulness in ways that are ethical, powerful and transformative.

Conference registration includes:

4 half day interactive workshops and panel discussions. Lunch and light refreshments provided both days.
Opening performance by Riley Lee, world renown Master shakahachi flute player and Zen practitioner.

Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney
511 Kent Street
Sydney , NSW 2000

$290.00 Early Bird special till 31 January 2016
From Feb 1 2016, Standard rate $380.00, AABCAP Members $320.00
Conference registration includes 4 interactive half day workshops, light lunch and refreshments both days.

Nominating your choice of workshops.
We invite you to participate in 4 workshops. There are no invited speakers or presentation, this Conference is made up of Interactive Workshops which are 3 hours duration with a coffee/tea break. Please select your workshop in order of preference. We will aim to meet your preferences, but please be early as interest is strong and places limited.

Thank you for your interest in this conference,  Bookings are now “on hold” as only a small number of spaces for some workshops are left. Please contact us directly by email to request being placed on a standby list and we will be in touch about which workshops we can offer you.


Workshop 1: Mindfulness and Heartfulness: A Buddhist approach to Couple therapy
Presenter: Geoff Dawson

Workshop 2: Mindfulness and Compassionate living: Heal, Transform, Awaken
Presenters: Subhana Barzaghi and Sabina Rabold

Workshop 3: Buddha and the Body: Deepening into somatic receptivity with a playful Buddhist approach
Presenter: Chrissie Koltai

Workshop 4: When Freud meets the Buddha: Integrating Buddhist Practices and Analytic Psychotherapy
Presenter: Dr. Eng Kong Tan

Workshop 5: “When words fail, music speaks”: Music therapy, Buddhism and mindfulness
Presenter: Anja Tanhane

Workshop 6: Eros and Agape: Love and Sex in Relational Psychotherapy
Presenter: Carl Webster

Workshop 7: The Buddha’s Eight-Fold Path as Therapy
Presenter: Mal Huxter

Workshop 8: Attachment Detachment and Therapy
Presenter: Francine Bartlett
The full program descriptions of the workshops and presenters are located further below.

Please be ready to provide your preferences of 1 – 8 during the booking process.

Bookings for our AABCAP 2016 Conference is now opened  Book Here

Workshop 1: Mindfulness and Heartfulness: A Buddhist approach to Couple Therapy
Presenter: Geoff Dawson
Bio: Geoff is a psychologist in private practice in North Sydney and provides adult psychotherapy, couple therapy and clinical supervision. He is also a Zen Teacher in the lineage of Charlotte Joko Beck and is the teacher of the Ordinary Mind Zen School, Sydney and Melbourne. Geoff’s therapeutic style integrates Buddhist psychology with Family Systems Theory and mindfulness. He has practiced as a psychologist and as a Zen Buddhist for forty years. His writings and dharma talks can be accessed at ordinarymindsydney.com.au

This workshop will provide a theoretical integration of Buddhist Psychology and Family Systems Theory and show how it can be applied in the practice of Couple Therapy. It will focus on understanding individual dynamics as well as the interpersonal system of the relationship. It will draw on the Buddhist teachings of mindfulness as well as the Buddhist teachings of “heartfulness”- joy, love and compassion, in order to present a more wholistic application of Buddhism to the therapeutic setting. The workshop will also include experiential exercises.

There will be case presentations demonstrating how to work therapeutically with the individual in the presence of the partner in a manner that contains reactivity and cultivates healthy vulnerability and emotional maturity. It will also address issues of emotional and sexual intimacy and explain how Tantra can be practiced to enhance intimacy in relationships.

This workshop will also explain and demonstrate how emotional repair can be facilitated by apology and forgiveness and emphasize the centrality of the ethics of non-harming in successful relationships.

It will also explore the contemporary context of intimate relationships in Western culture – how the “narcissism epidemic” impacts on relationships; a Buddhist perspective on Patriarchy and Feminism, and the trend towards more open expression of sexuality and sexual preference in Western culture.

Workshop 2: Mindfulness and Compassionate Living: Heal, Transform, Awaken
Presenters: Subhana Barzaghi and Sabina Rabold
Bios: Subhana Barzaghi is a Zen Buddhist Roshi and senior guiding Insight Meditation teacher. She teaches regular retreats and workshops throughout Australia and New Zealand. Subhana has 20 years’ experience as a psychotherapist with a Masters Degree in Applied Psychotherapy & Neuroscience. Subhana is a graduate in Hakomi- Embodied Mindful Psychotherapy and a trainer for the AABCAP course and provides clinical supervision. www.subhana.com.au

Sabina Rabold is a counsellor and psychotherapist with 17 years’ experience primarily in private practice. She is the founder of Well for Life, Centre for Counselling, Mindfulness and Holistic Health in Crows Nest where she works with individual clients and facilitates therapy, psycho-educational and mindfulness groups. Her post graduate qualifications include a Master of Counselling and she is a graduate of the Hakomi HEART training and the AABCAP course. www.SabinaRabold.com

This workshop inter-weaves the Buddhist teachings of mindfulness, loving presence and compassion with the relevant psychological sciences of the West.

Subhana Barzaghi and Sabina Rabold are inspired and delighted to offer this workshop to awaken the heart’s capacity to relate to ourselves and the suffering in our life with greater kindness, self-compassion and awareness.

“Research shows that people who are compassionate to themselves are much less likely to be depressed, anxious, and stressed, and are much more likely to be happy, resilient, and optimistic about their future.” Kristin Neff

This workshop cultivates and enhances the powerful tool of self-compassion from the foundation of embodied mindful presence. When the stress of life is high, we can become overwhelmed by our responsibilities and run the risk of exhaustion and burn-out. Self-compassion offers a healing balm; it enhances the capacity for joy, self-esteem and inner peace. The practice of self-compassion affects our bodies and releases brain chemicals such as oxytocin and leads to a measurable reduction in cortisol. Self–compassion practice is particularly beneficial for people working in the helping professions to prevent empathy fatigue and stay well resourced, strong and resilient.

The practices and techniques draw from traditional Buddhist teaching and contemporary science and philosophy. Theoretical frameworks, guided meditation, experiential exercises and group discussion create the framework for the workshop. We will include some of the latest research that validates the effectiveness of mindfulness and self-compassion. Experience enhanced wellbeing and deep regeneration through the immersion in mindfulness and compassion.

Workshop 3: Buddha and the Body: Deepening into somatic receptivity with a playful Buddhist approach
Presenter: Chrissie Koltai
Bio: Chrissie Koltai is a Psychotherapist in private practise for 10 years Initially trained in Self Psychology she has an analytic and a relational approach to her work as well as a somatic understanding with the body and recently graduated from the AABCAP Buddhist Psychology training course in 2015. Chrissie has a 45 year history as a choreographer, director, producer and theatre maker as well teaching body awareness from encounter groups in the 70’s to working with Indigenous dance for 10 years, head of Movement at ACA training actors in movement and physical theatre for 17 years and more recently working with and developing performers with Cerebral Palsy founding a physical approach to communication and awareness. Chrissie Has been a Yoga practitioner for 20 years she embraces all areas of knowledge in her approach to body awareness and whilst delicacy is paramount working with the body believes in the premise of playfulness to open our hearts to a truthful connection to the body therefore the self.

In this practical workshop we will explore ideas from a Buddhist perspective about the body combined with practical exercises developed from 40 years of teaching body awareness.

The first of the 4 Noble truths – there is suffering, or dissatisfaction rings loud for many of us and our clients when it comes to the way we view and feel about our body. I would like to dare participants to engage their body in fun, irreverence and imagination as well as peaceful engagement to truly know the vehicle we live in from a different perspective.

We will begin to understand how to embrace our body with loving kindness and ease bringing the body and mind together with a different energy and truthfully know and accept the body we live in.

When we really inhabit ourselves we can as therapists and counsellors more easily read and be with the somatic energy or bodily messages from our clients. To be truly know one self in all ways can be a life long journey but we can have a lot of joy along the way. It will be gentle as well as fun working together with what we have – the truth of our bodies. Please wear comfortable, loose clothes and bring a towel or yoga mat. All abilities catered for in the workshop.

Workshop 4: When Freud meets the Buddha – Integrating Buddhist Practices and Analytic Psychotherapy
Presenter: Eng Kong Tan
Bio: Dr. Eng-Kong Tan is Founder President of AABCAP and its first Director of Training. In his clinical work he offers individual, couple and group therapies with a dynamic/analytic orientation for almost forty years. In the last decade he has actively integrated Buddhist teachings and practices into his clinical work. He has presented keynote addresses, workshops, seminars on Spirituality, Buddhism, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy in Australia and Asia.

In the last two decades the literature on the intersection of Buddhism and Psychotherapy has rapidly burgeoned. More recently, with the appropriation of Mindfulness from Buddhism to the secular world of therapies, there has been an explosion of mindfulness therapies for almost all psychological disorders as well as numerous physical ills.

This workshop aims to illustrate how Buddhist teachings and meditative practices can be incorporated into dynamic, analytic psychotherapeutic sessions. First, parallels between many psychotherapeutic concepts and Buddhist teachings will be discussed. The therapeutic dyad will then be viewed as two individuals establishing contemplative self-reflective states where the therapeutic action is to occur during the meditative moments of the session. Participants will learn how to introduce such a Meditative Psychotherapy which brings together the best of both healing traditions.

There will be discussion on how therapists can manage their countertransference more effectively and also how patients not only progress in terms of cessation of symptoms but in the development of a calmer, contented, peaceful state of well-being using mindfulness. Eng Kong will share insights on the meditations of the Brahma Vihāras with the participants. Patients may choose one of the four to practice with the therapist at the end of each session to provide a healing/containing function for the states of mind arisen in the session. Clinical vignettes will be used to illustrate therapeutic actions in the course of such meditative therapeutic sessions. Participants will be able to incorporate this form of therapy gradually into their practice as their own meditative experience deepens and their patients show progress.

Workshop 5: ‘Where words fail, music speaks’ – Music therapy, Buddhism and mindfulness
Presenter: Anja Tanhane
Bio: Anja Tanhane, RMT, is a qualified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher and registered music therapist. A meditation and Tai Chi practitioner for over twenty-five years, she regularly teaches the MBSR course, facilitates weekend retreats, and offers training in mindfulness to a wide range of organisations. Anja has lectured on music, mindfulness and Buddhism at the University of Melbourne, and has presented at national and international conferences, professional development seminars, and public forums. As a music therapist, Anja has worked with a wide range of populations including Acquired Brain Injury, pre-school children in marginalised communities, the Stroke a Chord choir, and in aged care. She currently works with the Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place choir. She writes a weekly mindfulness column on her website at www.mindfulnessmeditation.net.au.

Music plays an important role in most Buddhist traditions, and the use of music in music therapy has also been extensively researched and found to have many therapeutic benefits. If the practice of Buddhism is about moving away from intellectual concepts and ideas into the fully lived experience, then music is uniquely placed to support this process. There are also many similarities between the use of mindfulness and music in a therapeutic setting. Despite this, up until now little has been written about the intersection between music therapy, Buddhism and mindfulness.

The workshop will explore the use of music in a range of Buddhist traditions, and discover the elements of music which relate directly to the eight-fold noble path and the four foundations of mindfulness. Participants will have opportunities to experience ways in which music can be used to calm the mind, connect us to our bodies and the present moment, allow for safe emotional expression, and deepen the experience of mindfulness. It will draw on Rick Hanson’s HEAL model for ‘taking in the good’ using music, and will also teach the chanting of the heart sutra in the Japanese Zen tradition.

Music is a powerful, non-verbal tool for communication, and can be used to explore issues of identity, emotional expression, finding balance and closure, as well as bringing people together and strengthening our sense of community and belonging. Music uses the whole of the brain, and as such is direct, holistic, and embodied. The presenter will draw on her many years of experience working as a music therapist and mindfulness teacher to explore ways in which participants can use music for their personal development and healing, to support their meditation practice, as well as offering suggestions for the use of music to enhance their work with clients.

Workshop 6: Eros and Agape: Love and sex in relational psychotherapy
Presenter: Carl Webster
Bio: Carl runs a private psychology/psychotherapy practice in Sydney and the Illawarra. His therapeutic approach is relational and combines somatic work, psychodynamic, gestalt, mindfulness and breath work. He has trained internationally with leading relational psychotherapists and has a forty year background in Tibetan buddhism. His writings and biography may be accessed via the website www://carlwebstercounselling.com

For me, psychotherapy and meditation helps me care for others while also caring for myself and this workshop is designed to help us do better at both. I also believe we need to cultivate eros in the broadest sense to enjoy our life and relationships to the full, which is usually a main goal of therapy. So how can we do that?

Eros includes sexuality but is also about allowing creativity, fun and experimentation in relationship. We feel the energy of Eros both physically and mentally when we meet an-other. Are we attracted, repelled, confused or distracted and how can we use this information in relationship? Agape (or non-sexual love) invites us to let go of our own needs and meet the other in a loving, compassionate embrace while maintaining our own integrity and purpose. At a physical level, as we breathe in our energy rises and focuses (eros), as we breathe out our energy expands and flows outwards (agape). Emotionally we may become fearful and/or excited, or relaxed and warmly responsive. Cognitively we may focus rationally or intuitively. To deepen contact with an-other requires us to be self-aware and be prepared to self-disclose whether or not the experience is positive or negative. Through play and practical exercises, reflection and discussion this workshop will encourage us to expand our notions of eros and agape at the boundaries of the sensing self; interpersonal self and the no-boundary of big mind, shunyata or mahamudra.’

Workshop 7: The Buddha’s Eight-Fold Path as Therapy
Presenter: Mal Huxter
Bio: Malcolm, clinical psychologist, has been a Buddhist meditation practitioner for 40 years and teaching mindfulness and related practices such as loving kindness and compassion in clinical settings since 1991. Currently he works in private practice. During 2014-2015 he worked as a highly specialised clinical psychologist for the NHS (London) and ran groups in Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT), Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB) and Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) privately and at the University of Westminster, London.

This workshop will involve both theory and experiential exercises to clarify how the Buddha’s ennobling eight-fold path can be used as a framework for clinical intervention. It will aim to highlight how wisdom, compassion, ethical behaviour, mindfulness and focussed attention all work together in the process of psychological healing. It will involve presentation, interactive discussion, reflective enquiry, meditation, and possibly movement. The workshop will begin with a grounding meditation practice, which will be followed by an exercise in enquiry about wisdom and other features of the eight fold path. During this workshop Malcolm will provide a power point presentation describing how the factors on the ennobling level of path can reduce the suffering associated with common mental issues such as depression, stress and anxiety. Time for questions, interactive discussion, comments, optional movement and meditation will follow the presentation. Reference will be made to contemporary approaches such as CFT, MSC and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as time permits.

Workshop 8: Attachment, detachment and therapy
Presenter: Francine Bartlett
Bio: Francine Bartlett is a Mental Health Social Worker who has worked in Government, Non-Government sector and Private Practice. She has taught Attachment Theory, Ethics, Human Development and Trauma in several Psychotherapy training courses. Though working across the life span, children, youth and families are a speciality. Her Masters Honours thesis explored stress in the prenatal period. Francine began Buddhist meditation in the ’70’s and this has informed her practice. Completing the AABCAP training 2 years ago has deepened her client and supervisory work. She has 3 sons and 8 grandchildren – a profound training in mindfulness.

The pain and questing that people bring to therapists has long roots. Attachment research indicates that the state of mind of the Mother in pregnancy (as measured by the Adult Attachment Inventory) predicts with remarkable reliability the infant’s attachment status (as measured by the Strange Situation).

This workshop will explore: 1) how mindfulness impacts on the early beginnings of human development; 2) the link between attachment research and detachment in Buddhist psychology; and 3) possibilities of working with the ruptures and repairs of connectedness in children and families.

This will be an experiential workshop so come prepared to engage actively.

Book Now and Nominate your choice of workshops from 1 – 8
We invite you to participate in 4 workshops. There are no invited speakers or presentation, This Conference is made up of Interactive workshops which are 3 hours duration with a coffee/tea break. Please select your workshop in order of preference. We will aim to meet your preferences, but please be early as interest is strong and places limited.

$290.00 Early Bird special till 31 January 2016
From Feb 1 2016, Standard rate $380.00, AABCAP Members, $320.00
Conference registration includes 4 interactive half day workshops, and light lunch and Refreshments.

Thank you for your interest in this conference,  Bookings are now “on hold” as only a small number of spaces for some workshops are left. Please contact us directly by email to request being placed on a standby list and we will be in touch about which workshops we can offer you.

50% of fees paid are refundable for cancellation notice received prior to 3rd June 2016. After this date, no refund entitlement applies, however, substitute delegates will be accepted.