A Practical Introduction to Working with Small Toy Figures in Counselling & Psychotherapy with John Barton, Lower Hutt

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Date(s) - 08/08/2019
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

WellStop Training Room, 1st Floor


Small figure work is a powerful and effective method of working with adults, adolescents and children. Clients quickly understand themselves from new perspectives and find themselves thinking in new and creative ways.

This workshop will focus on working with adults in the one-to-one setting. The work
can be directly applied with couples and families, in supervision and in workplace/
management settings.

Participants who work with children will need to modify the work to suit their

Using small figures enables clients to:
Express and understand their knowledge of the family and social systems they

Experience themselves and their stories from both internal and external

Connect with feelings and understanding that are held in nonverbal memory.

Concretise and thus more fully experience their hopes and wishes for the future.

Day One will cover:
• General principles of small figure work and of combining this work with talkbased methods.
• A specific way of using small figures to work with a client who has a difficult relationship.
• A specific method for bringing to life the memories, feelings and actions of functional roles. This is particularly useful with depressed clients.

Day Two will cover:
• A way of exploring the history of a relationship. This is useful in grief work. It can also be used to celebrate a relationship and to allow expression of things previously unsaid. The teaching will include the use of simple psychodrama techniques.

Plus: Several items selected from the following:
• A way of looking at the client’s social system and the nature of their relationships at earlier times in their life.
• A way of looking at the client’s current social system and their relationships.
• Action Genogram. Making a genogram with the figures and then using them to find further meaning.
• Working with unwanted repeated behaviour. This has some relevance to addictions.
• The Diamond of Opposites: A way of using the figures to assist in making a decision.
• The Empty Chair: Using the figures to enable the client to have a conversation with another.
• How to obtain small figures.

The workshop will be experiential and limited to sixteen participants.

Participants will have the opportunity to be both the client and the therapist. There will
also be demonstration and discussion of practical and theoretical aspects of this
work. The workshop is likely to be enjoyable and to heighten participants’
appreciation of themselves.

John Barton is a psychotherapist, psychodramatist and Balint group leader.
He was a GP for over thirty years, in Taihape, Huntly and inner city Melbourne.
He uses small figures in his own practice and has run this workshop in New
Zealand, Australia, USA, Europe and Asia.

He has a warmhearted teaching style which shows his enthusiasm for small
figure work and his joy in the practice of psychotherapy.

The workshop is designed so that practitioners from different backgrounds
can make sense of using small figures in terms of their own training and thinking.

Cost: $300 (Concession for students and unwaged: $180).
Attendance for one day $160 ($100).

Morning and afternoon tea will be supplied, there will be a one hour lunch break each day.

It is recommended that participants attend both days. It is possible to attend one day only and the first day gives a good introduction to the work.

To register, contact John Barton:
Email: jbarton672@gmail.com or
Phone (09) 634 1916

Further information on this work contact John Barton as above or visit his website:

Much of this work was developed by Dr Carlos Raimundo and is called Play of Life.

NB It is expected that all participants will take responsibility for self care if they uncover personal material that is difficult, for instance through access to their own therapist or supervisor.

At the end of the workshop the figures used in the workshop (Playmobil toy figures) will be for sale to the participants.