One-Day Workshops May-July with Emma Philbin Bowman, BA, MIAHIP

Emma Philbin Bowman, BA, MIAHIP at


Longing for Recognition, May 20 

‘When self-love depends upon externals,

on others’ opinions of what you are and do,

the self is betrayed…’

Between Defeat and Destiny, May 27 

 ‘be not the slave of your own past, dive deep, and swim far,

so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power,

and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.’ Emerson

Befriending the Pain Body, June 24

‘And thanks, for the trouble you took, from her eyes

I thought it was there for good, so I never tried.’ Leonard Cohen

Calling – in the glow of Ripeness, July 8 

 ‘Vocation is the place where your deep gladness 

and the world’s deep hunger meet’ Buechner

Workshops run Saturdays, Mindfulness Centre Pembroke St, 10-5pm

€80 to IAHIP members, (or €120 for those who wish to ‘Pay it Forward’ to MSF or Simon)

More info: / email


Registration and Booking:

Longing for Recognition, Saturday May 20

‘When self-love depends upon externals,

on others’ opinions of what you are and do,

the self is betrayed…’

We each have an innate hunger to be noticed, attended to, reassured, and, occasionally, celebrated and admired…  Yet we are also often ambivalent about these longings: we may deny or be ashamed of them, we may feel bitter that the recognition we hope for does not come, we may feel ‘beams of love and admiration’ fall only on others.

Acknowledging the presence of these longings – and the feelings of vulnerability, hope, failure and pride we associate with them – can be deeply relieving. We can begin to develop a tenderness toward ourselves that neither inflates nor degrades us, but supports our intimacy with life. We move in the direction of seeing ourselves with love and ordinariness as ‘one thing among many’ (Milosz).

This workshop offers an opportunity to look freshly and freely at these themes. It encourages us to explore what we feel we need or hope for in terms of recognition, drawing on the Self-Psychology of Heinz Kohut, who explored our developmental needs for mirroring, admiration, and affinity with others, and on the writing of AH Almaas, who has written extensively on the subject of narcissism. We will also look at the insights ofCarol S Dweck in Mindset, clarifying the impact of our fear of failure and exploring the courage to be ‘works in progress’ rather than already impressive. The workshop aims to support us acknowledge our hopes for recognition, how they currently affect us, and what it might mean to relate to them more wisely.

The cost of Longing for Recognition for IAHIP members is €80.

registration and booking




Between Defeat and Destiny, Saturday May 27

 ‘be not the slave of your own past, dive deep, and swim far,

so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power,

and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old. –


Whatever age we are, we want our futures to be beautiful. We hope to be happy in them, and to live with meaning and joy. Yet many of us also struggle to believe happiness is possible for us: we sense we are up against an undertow, where experiences of failure, self-sabotage or disappointment take their toll. When this is so, our futures rarely inspire us and can become a source of blankness or dread. This workshop aims to bring fresh light to these themes.

We will explore this territory through a rich blend of theory, poetry and experiential work. Drawing on the ideas of Christopher Bollas (on fate and destiny), Bromberg and Kristeva (on the allure of the past and how we can feel caught in looping cycles of repetition), and Thomas Hubl on how to hear ‘the fragrance of the future’.

Between Defeat and Destiny allows us to look with more compassion and insight at threads of fatalism or despair that may undermine our dynamism, and explore how we can alter and transcend these by learning to relate to life in more engaged, responsive and creative ways.
The cost of Between Defeat and Destiny for IAHIP members is €80.

registration and booking

Befriending the Pain Body Saturday April 29

And thanks, for the trouble you took, from her eyes

I thought it was there for good, so I never tried.

Leonard Cohen, Famous Blue Raincoat

Eckhart Tolle’s notion of the Pain Body can be a rich lens to understand our emotional distress: on this workshop we use it as a springboard to explore skilful ways of fielding our pain.

One of the most difficult things about being human is the experience of being assailed by the ‘worst’ in ourselves: states of acute despair, loss, terror, or pure pain that take hold at times and feel almost too strong to bear.  For each of us, in these ‘worst’ places, our pain feels personal and unrelenting. Dismayed to find ourselves here, again, we may tell ourselves we are pathetic, or attack ourselves.In truth, we may we simply be scared or heartbroken to feel as bad as we do.

This workshop offers a space to explore and reflect on the nature of our ‘Pain Body’, the energy it carries, and how we can relate to it with more spaciousness, empathy and love.Over the course of the day, we will balance an acknowledgement of the qualities of our particular pain body, how it arises for us and how we are inclined to react to it, with an exploration of what truly softens and alleviates our distress. We will also work with developing the kind of tender, present body awareness that helps to lighten the intensity and duration of our suffering.

When we bring clear thinking to the Pain Body, alongside a willingness to feel and accept its expression, our relationship to it lightens. In time, we can become more curious, resourceful and spacious in its presence.  (Two brief pieces about different elements of the Pain Body here) This workshop does not aim to overcome our Pain Body, but to re-imagine – and re-embody – it by responding to it with intimacy, vitality and warmth.

“the abandoned child is both that which never grows….and also that futurity springing from vulnerability itself…that which becomes different are our connections with these places and our reflections through them” Hillman

The cost of Befriending the Pain Body for IAHIP members is €80.

registration and booking



Calling –  ‘in the glow of ripeness’, Saturday July 8 2017

 ‘Vocation is the place where

your deep gladness

and the world’s deep hunger meet’


Whatever stage of life we are at, whatever we are wrestling with, we long for happiness and fulfilment.  Amid changing conditions, what sources of happiness can we rely on? Much of our joy as humans comes from finding a balance between being true to what brings us pleasure, and giving the best of ourselves in ways that matter.  Calling unites these possibilities, which makes clarifying our connection with calling a precious ally in creating happy futures:

On this workshop, we devote a day to deepening our connection with Calling. For some of us that will be to refine our sense of a particular calling; for others to regain a sense of purpose; and for some to stumble upon or clarify a purpose we have missed or underappreciated. Whatever we bring to the day, each of us will be supported in clarifying our inner visions and uncovering our hunches and instincts about what matters most to us now.

We will draw on ideas from  James Hillman – who wrote an exceptional book on calling in The Soul’s Code – John Dewey – who had a rounded understanding of the breadth and multiplicity of our Callings, psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas who had a rich understanding of our creativity and uniqueness as a ‘force of destiny’, and the Japanese concept of Ikigai.  We may also take inspiration from literature of passion by Rumi, Milosz, Gibran, Yeats and others, and consolation from Leonard Cohen.  These voices invite us to rediscover the territory of calling in a rich, open way, fleshing out the unique ways that Calling speaks to us.

The cost of Calling for IAHIP members is €80 

registration and booking


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