Reclaiming The Sacred Feminine: a passage towards empowerment and rebirth
Workshop and Seminar with
Michele O’Brien MIAHIP and Dr. Sylvia Murphy Tighe Course Director BSc Midwifery Programme at the University of Limerick.
In recent history, there has been a culture of silence, secrecy, and shame around women’s (and children’s) individual stories of conception, pregnancy, and birth. This secrecy means that what is a natural, essential, fundamental and empowering part of the feminine becomes an experience of shame and regret. The events and discourse leading up to the recent referendum have shown that some women are ready to talk and come out of the shadows; to share their personal stories and experiences. For others, it is still a step too far, too painful, complex, riddled with trauma, guilt or shame.
How can we, as therapists, create a space that gives women permission to speak their truth. How can we support, hold and guide women to integrate their stories into a meaningful personal narrative that supports healing? Would you like to be part of a process of assisting women to heal and reclaim their power through the transformation of such experiences?
A collaboration between Psychotherapist Michele O’Brien and Dr. Sylvia Murphy Tighe, Midwife, and lecturer at University of Limerick, this workshop aims to explore the some of the following issues, both in our own lives and those of our clients:
Adoption whether secret, forced, illegal;
Experiences of the mother and baby homes and Magdalene laundries;
Pregnancy due to rape and incest;
Foetal fatal abnormalities;
Disempowerment in the often over-medicalised process of giving birth.
Are we as therapists ready to listen and be present to the unfolding of these very personal, sacred and sometimes tragic stories? How can we assist women to find strength and transform their experiences; to find healing and discover authentic pride in adversity; to reclaim bodily autonomy and find agency.
How does this impact on our own stories of what it is to be a woman? Our values and ideas?
Particularly aimed at Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and other helping professions. Experience of therapeutic process and reflection would be helpful.
You will have an opportunity to understand and learn from Sylvia’s ground-breaking research on concealed pregnancy from the ‘Keeping it Secret Study’. She will share elements of her doctoral thesis entitled ‘Regaining Agency and Autonomy: A grounded typology of concealed pregnancy’, based on interviews exploring the experiences of 30 women in Ireland.
Michele will host the weekend in the beautiful setting of the Stone Arch Centre, Kenmare, County Kerry. She will present her own practice-based research which contributed to the study and will facilitate process and reflection around pertinent issues raised by the study and by workshop participants.
Dates: Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st October 2018.
Time: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
This workshop will be limited to 14 participants. It will include didactic input, art, movement and group process. A safe therapeutic space to explore the often unspeakable.
Due to the sensitive nature of the workshop, there will be a selection process for places.
Apply to Michele by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Sylvia Murphy Tighe (RGN, RM, PHN, Msc (Women’s Health), Ph.D.)
Sylvia is a registered nurse, midwife, and public health nurse. Currently, she is the Course Director BSc Midwifery Programme at the University of Limerick. She has many years of clinical and educational experience. Sylvia was awarded a Research Training Fellowship by the Health Research Board (2013-2016) to study the nature and impact of concealed pregnancy. Sylvia’s research interests include the transition to parenthood, child and maternal health, health promotion, community engagement and vulnerability and trauma during the perinatal period.
Michele O’Brien MIAHIP Dip Counselling & Therapy, MA Supervisory Practice
Michele is a psychotherapist and supervisor, accredited with Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy (IAHIP), in private practice, based in the Stone Arch Centre, Kenmare, Co Kerry. She has a process orientated approach to psychotherapy, using body awareness, art and movement. Her experience includes the area of trauma; she is particularly interested in the marginalization of hidden traumas for women in modern society.