Thérapie par le Jeu et la Créativité

Welcome to this English section of my website.

The section is divided into

Back to French section




Creaetive Existential Therapy


A two year training for therapists working individually with children, adolescents and adults.

For qualified psychotherapists, clinical psychologists and child psychiatrists.

The plan to open up training in English has been postponed. The following information is a short outline of the 2 year course in France, in French.

For an introduction to this approach read Verity J Gavin:  Creative Existential Therapy for Children, Adolescents and Adults (with special reference to training)in Existential Analysis 24.2, Journal of The Society for Existential Analysis, July 2013; Creative Existential Therapy with children : Tom in his therapy world Case studies in Existential Translating Theory into practice, Ed Simon du Plock, 2018; Moving on Adults Creativity in Existential Analysis, Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis, 2018. 



The main objectives

The main objectives of this training are

1. to introduce a conceptual framework for thinking about the therapeutic relationship from a creative existential perspective;
2. to give ample experience and practice to gain confidence and rigueur in creative therapeutic relating with children, adolescents and adults with a wide range of difficulties;
3. to introduce many possibilities and ways of working with different creative media for clients of different ages and difficulties;
NB: there is no need whatsoever to be artistically gifted for the course. It is about the process of creating/relating, not about the aesthetic production.
4. to encourage a personal creative exploration for trainees linked with the existential and subject themes of each session; enabling a gradual enrichment of all 4 dimensions of experiencing;
5. to introduce over 50 Creative Propositions (a little like Winnicott's squiggle) to assist therapists in their facilitating of non-verbal (and verbal) communication and experiencing in their clients around particular issues and themes;
6. to propose creative schemas for note taking, alternative perspectives on assessment, collaboration with parents and much else;
7. to encourage an ongoing Creative and Corporal Personal Development.



My training is inductive, experiential and highly creative.

As each group comprises professionals from two or three professions – psychotherapists, child psychiatrists, clinical psychologists - working in different contexts, coming from different schools of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, psychology, medicine etc. and with varied experience, it is important that I ensure

* everyone has a new experience and a wider conceptual framework that encourages an opening unique for each person and yet common to all, but with no sense of obligation to adopt everything nor all at once. The training is a gradual, progressive process;

* that three levels of the students' creativity are addressed so s/he can best encourage these in their client:
   - personal innate creativity, which is not a question of artistic or aesthetic "anything";
   - the interpersonal creativity of the therapeutic relation, which changes
progressively over time;
    - the capacity to live creatively and profit from participating in, and receiving from, our cultural world.

Over time I have realised that a training pedagogy that itself recognises and facilitates the four dimensions of human experience (the natural body sensations; the social wider relations; the personal emotional and intimate relations; the meaning dimensions) will facilitate openness in the therapist's potentiality to be, and to be creative, therapeutically in relation. Having opened a creative space the therapist must learn not to then intrude or interfere in the potential space "between". Yet there is need to learn ways of creatively exploring and at times confronting restricted ways of being as the therapeutic process progresses.

During the training the therapist will gain the confidence to creatively confront, for her / himself, the existential issues that are underlying so many of their clients' problems.

The training group is in no way a therapy group, nor supervision group, or focussed on an analysis of group dynamics. The mutual respect and containment that is generated does allow however for a rich professional creative and transformative experience.

An outline of the Course Contents is available from secretariat ( mentions some of the subjects that will be explored in each session. Throughout the course experiential work progressively introduces the Creative Existential Therapy therapeutic relationship, concepts and creative practice.

Practice with different CREATIVE MEDIA is introduced in each session, for example puppets, construction with recycled stuff, water tray, doll's house, painting. Some, like play with sand and clay, reappear throughout the course.