Leslie Ellis

One-day pre-conference workshop:
Diving Deep: Three experiential focusing approaches to working with dreams and nightmares

Dreams provide immediate access to our clients' inner life. When we are able to help our clients experience their dreams in a curious, open, focusing-oriented way, they are able to directly access the dream's tendency to carry their life situation forward. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Ellis has been working with dreams in clinical practice and has come to favor three embodied experiential dreamwork techniques: 'finding the help' in a dream (from Focusing), re-entering a dream element (from Gestalt) and dreaming the dream onward (from Jung). These experiential methods can be used and combined to safely and constructively navigate the depths of any dream. Dr. Ellis will offer examples and experiential exercises that will show workshop participants how to allow the dreamer to discover for themselves what the dream is trying to tell them. Dr. Ellis is an expert on nightmares and their treatment, and will explain how disturbed dreaming is undertreated and associated with increased suicide risk. She will describe how to apply a simple, experiential method to treat those who suffer from nightmares related to post-traumatic stress injury. Participants will leave the workshop with greater confidence in working experientially with dreams in their clinical practice. 

Dr. Leslie Ellis is a teacher, author and psychotherapist interested in experiential ways of cultivating inner life, especially through dreams and the body. She is currently offering online dreamwork instruction based on her book, A Clinician’s Guide to Dream Therapy (Routledge, 2019). She also offers training in focusing, a somatic approach to psychotherapy. Leslie has a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and a Masters from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is vice president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams and past president and a Certifying Coordinator with The International Focusing Institute. 


Leslie Greenberg

One-day pre-conference workshop: The Transforming Power of Emotions

In this workshop I will present an Emotion-Focused view of working with emotion awareness, acceptance, and transformation. We will begin with a discussion of the role of emotion and emotional processing in function and dysfunction. The importance of working with amygdala- based emotion will be emphasized. The use of process diagnosis in an emotion-focused approach to identify both adaptive and maladaptive emotions and primary and secondary emotions will be presented. How to combine relationship and work on different tasks based on marker guided intervention will be discussed. Six major principles of emotional change in psychotherapy Emotion Awareness, Expression, Regulation, Reflection, Changing Emotion with Emotion and Corrective Emotional Experience will be discussed. Videotaped examples of evidence-based methods for evoking and dealing with emotions in self-criticism and in emotional injuries from the past with significant others will be presented and discussed. The importance of moment by moment attunement to affect, and of emotion activation in therapy will be demonstrated.

Leslie Greenberg, Ph.D., is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Psychology at York University in Toronto. He was originally trained in Person Centered and Gestalt therapy and engaged in psychotherapy research. He has authored the major texts on Emotion Focused Therapy from the first books Emotion in Psychotherapy (1986) and Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (1988) to most recent Emotion-Focused Therapy (2015) and Emotion Focused Therapy of Forgiveness and Letting Go (2019). He has received both the Early Career and the Distinguished Research Career Award of the International Society for Psychotherapy Research as well as the Carl Rogers and the Distinguished Professional Contribution to Applied Research of the American Psychology Association. He also has received the Canadian Psychological Association Professional Award for distinguished contributions to Psychology as a profession. He is a past President of the Society for Psychotherapy Research. He now spends the majority of his time training people in emotion–focused approaches.


Encounter Group

Two days of encounter group space

The Encounter Space

The encounter group will be an open space where all participants are welcome to attend for as little or much as they wish. The purpose of the encounter space is for participants to aim to meet each other personally and as openly as possible sharing experiences and (all kinds of) emotions in the moment. The focus is on how we are together in the encounter group.

An encounter group doesn’t have a planned program or structure. We don't know what we will do or how we will be; that is for us all to construct together. No particular people will take the role of facilitator. All members of the group can be facilitative at any point. No particular people will be formally given more power or responsibility than others. During the pre-conference and conference, the encounter group preparation committee have a role to open and close each meeting and welcome everyone. During the encounter space, we contribute as participants along with everyone there.

To encounter is to meet another who is different from oneself and express oneself as openly, honestly and clearly as possible whilst being open to experience another and attempt to meet the other with unconditional positive regard and empathic understanding for their uniqueness, and interest and care in their responses. To encounter is to be willing to meet across differences rather than to present just those aspects of oneself that don't confront another. It is to risk expressing any emotions in relation to another and what is happening in the group, and often mixtures of several emotions at once. It is to be open and to attempt to understand any responses from others. It is to meet with the people who are here, aiming to be present, being as congruent as possible and express what arises in that meeting, being ourselves rather than talking about ourselves or others. It is an opportunity to practise really being focused on oneself and one’s reactions to others at the same time as trying to empathically understand and value the others who are present.

Encounter groups are therefore unpredictable and may be exciting, risky and powerful experiences. All participants will probably be here with different hopes, fears, ideas, expectations. We also acknowledge the dynamics of power arising from inequalities of identities, including differences arising from language. What we want is to welcome everyone, and to go ahead together in this unique experience of oneself, of the relationship, and of all that will come out of our human diversity.

To be able to be together with all our differences is crucial for our community and is what we can bring to each other and to the whole of society.


Community Encounter Group Space

Two Meetings for all pre-conferences attendees in the late afternoon

The Community Encounter Group Space is a forum for all participants at the pre-conference both workshop and encounter group participants. Community Groups are larger groups offering space to the whole of the community in an encounter group way. Don't miss this unique opportunity to meet all delegates in a large encounter.


PCE Cinema

Two PCE movie nights with your PCE friends from around the world

More information will follow