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Working With Anxiety: A Compassionate Approach – With Briony Martin

Working With Anxiety: A Compassionate Approach – with Briony Martin

The seminar was focused on a compassionate approach to anxiety and I felt that the speaker, Briony Martin clearly provided this quality for the group, as she paced the content well and included enough space to reflect and assimilate our feelings and thoughts on the subject.

Briony provided some background on the various writers, theories and techniques which apply to managing and understanding anxiety.

The group thought about the client in the therapy room presenting with anxiety issues and how anxiety resonates within us, as therapists.   I learnt that anxiety seems so personal to each of us, presenting in different ways and being expressed uniquely too.   We performed a few reflective exercises to help us connect with our own anxiety and to think about our own sense of a compassionate image of ourselves.   We discussed the bodily expressions of anxiety and how we can use our bodies and minds to self soothe. 

We talked about the wider issues of anxiety and their sources, levels and types, for example chronic versus acute, the way it manifests in each of us so differently.  Hyper vigilance rather than hypo (depression) and its source of being a natural emotional response to danger – fight/flight/freeze/fawn or flop.   The connection with trauma which often underlies anxious states of mind and behaviour and the presence sometimes of panic attacks, OCD and obsessions were also explored.

Self care and self awareness of our physical and emotional selves will assist us in the coping of acute or chronic anxiety. Finding techniques to manage and self soothe ourselves were discussed, for example; exercise, relaxation, breathing and mindfulness.

Learning to lessen the heightened state of anxiety, we thought about how compassion in the therapy room can be very effective in being alongside the anxious client, in a containing and non-judgmental manner.   Facilitating an environment of compassion where the client can learn about their “Resonant Self Witness” – accompanying, witnessing, naming, noticing, attending and nurturing – a shared experience of therapist and client compassionately resonating with the anxious part of themselves.

The seminar provided me with further techniques and the confidence to work alongside clients with anxiety and offer them a compassionate experience, where anxiety is embraced.

Anxiety was embraced in this seminar, it was contained and explored and most importantly, treated with care and calmness, the essence of a beneficial therapeutic offering.

by Jo Turner, Psychodynamic relationship psychotherapist – April 2019


Feedback from delegates

The average scores and comments for ‘Working with Anxiety with Briony Martin’ are as follows:

For the organisation: 4.76 out of 5

For the Speaker: 4.88 out of 5

as an average score from 25 feedback forms


Written comments

‘All in all I benefited very well, I gained insights into the cause of my own anxiety and ended up feeling excited about my own practice’ – Diana Burr

‘I particularly enjoyed the exchange of ideas and experience that was generated by the subject matter.  It was a very interesting and lively day exploring issues which seem to affect us all to a greater or lesser degree’ – Louise Andrew

‘I enjoyed the opportunity to listen and talk around anxiety.  It was a fab venue and knowledgable speaker’ – Heather Kapelko

‘Great content, well presented experienced group which was enlightening in my trainee counselling capacity’ – Kathy Crowhurst

‘I particularly enjoyed finding my own compassion and skills techniques and was happy with training – felt engaged throughout’ – Sally Harris

‘The inclusivity of the workshop and how it became a discussion rather than a slide show was enjoyable’ – Madeleine Duncan-Booth

‘I enjoyed all of it – lots of content but well paced.  The speaker was confident and open in presenting and engaging the audience’ – Jane Thompson

‘Well planned and held.  Speaker gifted in imparting own ideas and knowledge and incorporating group input.  The venue works really well. Briony is an exceptionally gifted speaker facilitator – perfect mix for me of authority and humility’ – Judith Vaughan

‘The location was easy to find.  I enjoyed the speaker and her presentation style.  The topic was very informative’

‘I enjoyed the open, interactive nature of the workshop.  Briony approached this topic with huge sensitivity and openness and I particularly appreciated her sharing her personal experiences’ – Mel


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