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made them focus on their feet – what if shoes could talk? What would they say? – stroke of genius. But it wasn’t just a laugh. T ough I could never have said so at the time, there was something between us, hard for a man like me to admit, I might almost admit to fancying you in that dress – there’s others that did. Bit of a challenge for us all – it’s not always what you see is what you get. T ey made that point alright.” Lola: “‘Simon’ to you, Charlie my f iend – just for tonight! Lola’s takin’ it easy; been working overtime, needs a break. But she’ll be up and strong again to face a new day, never you fear. Mmmm – this workshop. T ey’ll have

got en some of the fl avour of the pie. Most of them looked like they might share more with you Charlie than with me. Still, as we well know, looks can confuse. Take us, Charlie. Which of us has the

upper hand? For that mat er, what would either of us want with the upper hand? T ere you are – part of the ‘long tradition’. Success. Respectability. Predictability. You think you know exactly where you’ll be tomorrow night. You and your Dad, you had your script. Fit ed you like a glove – shoe in this case! Well, I had to make my own way. Struggle to be seen; to be heard. T at was my Dad’s dilemma. Lost his voice and his pride when he came here. Kept his head down, tried to fi t in. Swallowed his anger, his humiliation. Except with his young son! He couldn’t stomach my naïve joy, my bid for air, to be myself. And yes, shoes were my salvation too, Charlie. From that moment on Clacton Pier, swirling on Mum’s shiny red pins, I knew I was gonna spring out of those chains that hemmed me in and shackled my Dad. Yeh – a boy – a black boy – a poor, black boy – a poor, black, sexually ambiguous young man. Lola! Ecstatically and ambiguously erotic! I was gonna rock that complacency, that status quo that kept me down, expose the papering-over, the great Equality Lie. And how I rocked your boat, Charlie! T ose wonderful Queen boots I dragged out of you! I kicked ass all right, let you all know who was boss. Yet, truth be known, I felt most at home in your cut ing room, Charlie. T at’s me – an off -cut, a rough-cut, spilled onto the cut ing room fl oor, just looking for a space to fi ll. We both know the value of shoes, Charlie. But tonight, let’s kick ‘em off – put our feet

up together.” Deb Moore and Cathy Taylor

Context February 2012

Ordinary training for extraordinary practice – a meeting of counselling and psychotherapy

Billy Hardy and Kieran Vivian-Byrne Presenters: Kieran Vivian-Byrne and Billy

Hardy I was delighted on the fi rst evening of the

conference to meet Kieran Vivian-Byrne and Billy Hardy who ran the above workshop at the recent AFT conference. My colleagues who had been trained by them at The Family Institute had spoken enthusiastically about their experience in Cardiff and, on meeting them, I could understand why. I cheekily – at fi rst as part of my “inner conversation” (Rober, 1999) then later, as my confi dence grew, out loud – likened them to the two ‘hairy bikers’, quickly adapted by Kieran to the “hairy therapists”. This wasn’t just to do with them being men of a certain age and appearance (though looking more closely at photographs of the hairy bikers, I admit the similarities are tenuous!), it’s also about their enthusiasm and passion for their

work and the skill and humour they bring to it. As well as wanting to do a workshop led by

these trainers, I was also drawn because of my background as a person-centred counsellor, coupled with the recent completion of my family therapy training. Throughout my training at the University of Leeds, I had to consider how these two therapeutic worlds converge and separate in the context of my practice. I was intrigued to have an opportunity to be part of a conversation in which two systemic trainers explored their own issues and dilemmas around the meeting of counselling and psychotherapy; particularly in the context of family therapy. The Family Institute at Cardiff has run a

BSc in systemic counselling since 2005; the course is accredited by BACP. I was drawn to the description of how the course is run, engagement a main focus – “With, within and


AFT National Conference workshop reports

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