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One Year Diploma in Group Facilitation and Leadership Skills
This experiential, creative facilitation and leadership course aims to qualify practitioners to work competently with large and small groups.
We offer participants learning through: theory, explorative practices, practical and adaptive facilitation, and practicing leadership tools.
The training draws on our experience at NAOS with groups over 50 students and highly recommended by community leaders such as HH Dalai Lama, Lord Patten, HE Cardinal Archbishop Vincent Nichols, HG Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Marina Cantacuzino MBE at the Forgiveness Project
Participants will be supported in exploring the overlap between their inner experiences, their professional life, and collective dynamics, both on a small scale and in the world at large. Skills of being (awareness and presence) will be as important as skills of doing (techniques and tools).
We facilitate outer change by focusing on inner change first, to strengthen working with the intentional use of self. We developed an idiosyncratic approach (Clarkson, 2010) to working with groups that operates from thinking on our feet, talking our walk.
It will be a year-long exploration, spread over 10 weekends.
Participants will learn practical skills, exercises, and tools to facilitate meetings, work with groups, organisations, individuals and much more.
There will also be in-depth experiential work exploring the themes of power, community building, conflict facilitation, leadership, and a systemic approach to individual and group awareness.
Who is this training for?
The training is open to anyone interested in working as change agents within groups or organisations, be that as team leader, counsellor, alternative health practitioner, artist, politician, clergy, community leader, CEO, organisational consultant, social justice campaigner, group worker, mediator, educator or coach within human rights and peace-building organisations, NGOs and charities.
We aim to challenge the divide between individuals (“I’) and the larger collective (“all others”). Hence this training programme aims to bring together people from a wide range of backgrounds, including counselling, small systems (such as couples) and larger systems such as teams, groups and communities.
Students are supported throughout the course through individual tutorials (upon request by the student), peer group meetings, seminars, peer work in pairs and live supervision.
Any student experiencing difficulties will be offered additional time with course tutors to explore ways in which the learning experience can be enhanced.
In class, face to face: September 2023 to July 2024. Times: 09.30 – 17.00 hrs. 10 weekends, 20 days in total.
Weekend 1: 9th and 10th September 2023
Weekend 2: 7th and 8th October 2023
Weekend 3: 11th and 12th November2023
Weekend 4: 2nd and 3rd December 2023
Weekend 5: 3rd and 4th February 2024
Weekend 6: 23rd and 24th March 2024
Weekend 7: 20th and 21st April 2024
Weekend 8: 11th and 12th May 2024
Weekend 9: 22nd and 23rd June 2024
Weekend 10: 13th and 14th July 2024
The course will be delivered by experts in the field of group facilitation, creative arts, group facilitation, movement practices, leadership, and social justice. These methodologies may be used to facilitate work in prisons, NGO’s, schools and universities, community groups, the NHS, organisations
Mark Hamlin (course director), Raggi Kotak, Mark Rietema, Meg Fenwick, Marina Cantacuzino, Nontokozo Sabic (tbc), Ana Rhodes, Joy Warmington, Tuomas Lehesaari
Mark has worked as a group facilitator for the last 6 years. His focus is on building resilience and community by navigating and exploring difficult dynamics. He currently delivers workshops exploring the UK class system, white identity and racism.
Mark is also part of a team delivering online forums and symposiums exploring the different themes connected to environmental collapse and climate justice.
He practices as a trauma-informed therapist, working for a charity based in Manchester, supporting male survivors of rape and sexual abuse.
He has co-founded and co-run a crisis support service offering free online and phone counselling sessions for people who otherwise find it difficult to access counselling and psychotherapy.
Mark is and advanced student in process-orientated psychotherapy (process work) and registered with the Gender Intelligence Network for therapists and counsellors.
Raggi Kotak is the Director of JEDI Consultancy, offering award winning, transformational approaches to addressing the dynamics of oppression, within a social justice framework. She facilitates dialogue and transformation for individuals and organisations. Her work is built on a solid foundation of legal dexterity, as a human rights barrister working for more than twenty years.
Raggi’s work is cutting edge and unique. She can adapt work to meet the needs of any audience.
Mark is a registered Psychotherapist (UKCP), Somatic Movement Therapist and Group Facilitator. Besides practising psychotherapy, he works as mental health social worker in the NHS, as well as offering workshops and talks related to Embodiment, Creative Practice and Wellbeing. Mark has an MA in Community Arts and has performed in and designed performance projects and community performances.
As a Kings College Associate he collaborated on a number of projects related to dance and well-being for medical students. He also regularly teaches as faculty member for Embody Move UK, facilitates retreats for frontline workers and collaborates with universities internationally.
As a facilitator Mark has experience of large group facilitation through consensus models and through Process Oriented Psychology. He is passionate about what he does and offers a creative, personal, humorous, and emphatic approach to his work. He does this with a blend of embodied knowledge, clinical practice, open mindedness and curiosity.
Joy began her leadership career over 30 years ago designing ground-breaking learning programs for marginalised communities. After that she had senior leadership roles in education, local authority and civil society, including 19 years as brap’s CEO, one of the UK’s most progressive equality and human rights charities. brap seeks to rethink our approach to equality in order to make “real” change.
brap’s impressive work portfolio covers research, evaluation, community support and organisational and individual development. Joy’s insights into making equality a reality are sought after by organisations seeking solutions to exclusion and inequality.
In 2019 Joy was awarded an MBE and named one of 50 “Women to Watch” by Cranfield University. As a lifelong learner and recent graduate in process work –a psycho-social method to democratice spaces and address conflict– Joy brings her unerring curiosity and appetite for change and creativity to her work. Areas of specialty: inclusion, anti-racism, organisational change, leadership development, conflict management.
Tuomas Lehesaari runs his own private psychotherapy practice in Finland, working with individual, couples, families and groups.
Tuomas has been passionately studying ways to work with the psyche for over 20 years and has been using process oriented inner work in his daily practice for almost 10 years. Tuomas is always curious to map out the inner dimensions of himself, others, and the society. His own interest in different inner work methods arose from a need to process difficult mental health issues when he was 19.
Tuomas has a special interest in altered states of consciousness and is passionate about making them understandable and useful for everyone in everyday life.
Tuomas is also a father, a jiu-jitsu practitioner, and an active participant in a creative community.
Meg’s primary training is in theatre and comedy, using creativity as a therapeutic tool to address some of the most edgy, complex issues. With a BA and MA in Contemporary Arts. Meg has used theatre of the oppressed for the last 25 years in some of the most challenging of settings. Meg shares with us resilient practices which both create a safe environment to those who have experienced trauma and an understanding that an element of risk will always be present.
Not satisfied with taking theatre into prisons, education and community settings locally, Meg recently presented her theatre work to the House of Commons. A unique project designed to tackle the national rise in sexual assault at universities.
Meg currently has her own UK based, private practice in relationship and intimacy coaching, working one to one, as well as with couples or group conflict.
Meg has facilitated a large variety of groups all over the world. Her ability to create a permissive, playful space, with much heart, means participants and her clients feel comfortable sharing, enlivened by her creative approach and deeply held by her empathy.
Marina’s background is journalism. In 2003 she started collecting personal stories of atrocity and terrorism which drew a line under the dogma of vengeance. The stories formed a body of work in the celebrated F Word exhibition and led to Marina founding The Forgiveness Project, a UK based organisation that uses story-telling to explore how ideas around forgiveness, reconciliation and conflict resolution can be used to impact positively on people’s lives as alternatives to violence and revenge.
In 2020 Marina has been awarded an MBE for services to victims of trauma and abuse in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.
She published 2 books on forgiveness:
The Forgiveness Project: Stories for a Vengeful Age (2016) and Forgiveness: An Exploration (2022)
Ana Rhodes Castro has been living and working in the Findhorn Foundation since 1994. During this time she has worked in a variety of areas within the organisation. She has been a member of the Central Management team over the last nine years, six of those spent being responsible for the area of Spiritual and Personal Development. This consisted of internal trainings, conflict facilitation, supervision and other internal structures that support the Findhorn Foundation to function gracefully and efficiently at an individual and collective level. In February 2009 she stepped into the role of Chair of Management/Focaliser of the Findhorn Foundation.
One of Ana’s greatest passion is maximising the inherent potential of individuals, groups and organisations in a way that is supportive and enhances the natural leadership that lives in people.
Ana is fluent in both Spanish and English and regularly runs trainings and offers consultancy in Spain, the UK and South America.
Ana is an organisational consultant, trainer and supervisor, working with individuals, teams and systems of up to 400 people.
She is the founder of a center dedicated to the Transformation of Human Conflict in Madrid (CTCH www.transformaciondelconflicto.es) in Spain, which runs long term trainings in conflict facilitation, leadership and escalated violence.
Nonty Sabic (tbc)
Nonty is from South Africa, currently living between Europe and South Africa. She is a teacher of Indigenous Knowledge Systems of South Africa.
Nonty is a workshop leader and a dynamic speaker. Her goal is to send a message of empowerment, service, indigenous wisdom, sustainable living and the importance of building community and ecovillages into modern society.
She has a background in business and events management. She also explored different collaborative mythologies in facilitation, project and group management.
Next to this Nonty is trained as a hospice counsellor and body therapist. Her personal journey includes an initiation in the shamanic ancestral traditions of her tribe, an ongoing study in Buddhism and experience as a novice Buddhist nun.
Nonty is a member of the commons of Europe, currently involved in various organisations that promote sustainable and regenerative ways of living. She is an advocate for climate and social justice, community living, diversity and North-South healing and reconciliation.
In line with this Nonty has been involved since 2013 with the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN). She also served as a co-president for ECOLISE.
Nonty is co-founder and director of RISE (Revivers of Indigenous Spirituality and Ecosystems)
In the premises from the University of West London, St Mary’s Rd, London W5 5RF
£3,750 (incl VAT) The fees may be paid in 10 equal instalments of £350 and a deposit of £250 to secure your place. A number of bursaries are available.
For those paying in one lump sum upfront We offer a 2.5 % reduction. A limited amount of bursaries is available
These are testimonials from an earlier training on Group Facilitation and Conflict Resolution
“This course demonstrates a solid foundation in the understanding of leadership, conflict resolution and community building skills.
I learnt more about why humans need connection to others and to question what kind of connections sustain or destroy building bridges between people. As a leader I learnt that no one leadership style fits all, that the ability to flexibly use a range of leadership styles is essential depending on the context. I also learnt the importance of being aware of oppression and of what I can do to heighten equality and mutuality. I learnt to look at my part in this in new ways.
Above all I was reminded of the value of hope and trust in the human potential for benevolence. I learnt new ways to build resilience and hope in the face of conflict.
I thoroughly enjoyed this course and would highly recommend this training to anyone seeking to gain insight into these complex subjects.” – Kate Llewellyn, student 2015/2016
“The conflict resolution course was life changing for me. I’m now planning life in my sixties, seventies and beyond where I can contribute to the world on my own terms, backed by the weight of arguably the most empowering and inspiring course I’ve ever attended.” – Sue McAlpine, student 2015/2016
“By taking part in the course my intention was never to be a therapist. I was hoping it would be an opportunity for self exploration and to learn about myself and my relationship with others and the world around me. How I could be more self reflective and learn to create spaces in my life to live a more fulfilled life and therefore connect better with others. Through some wonderful experiential learning and through the continuous sharing of the other participants I can honestly say that I have learnt more about myself on this course than ever before. Highly highly recommended.” – Shad Ali, student 2015/2016
“Life learning at NAOS is inspiring, abundant and creative. A place where teachers and students share their stories, make friends, learn together, find new ways of being and meeting each other in ‘the field’ of knowing.
NAOS courses are transformative, heart-expanding, loving, challenging and yes, often fun! :-).” – Vera Waters, student 2015/2016
“I can whole heartedly recommend this diploma course. It has quite literally changed my view of life and has therefore changed me for the better. I am far more community minded. I feel a closer connection to our joint humanity. Through what I have learnt on the course I have achieved positive change for my community.” – Student 2014-2015
“The course challenged my ideas on forgiveness and justice. The course directors Bernd and Jaap hold space for the group with dedication and deep compassion. They are truly wonderful tutors who create a supportive and enjoyable learning environment. I am very grateful to them for this enlighten course. Long may it run!” – Susan Abimbola Aderin, student 2014/2015
“This course not only adds much to your skills bank if your are or aspire to be a facilitator or work in conflict resolution. Anyone who works in a job requiring the ability to negotiate and develop solutions with complex and multi-cultural stakeholders will benefit enormously from participation. And, maybe more important than all that, you will leave this course as a more rounded person, understanding your own psyche a lot better and as a result interact more successfully on both the private and professional level.” – Christian Wisskirchen. Head of Policy, International Bar Council of England and Wales. Student 2014/2015
“I particularly wanted to thank you both for your levels of care and nurturing (symbolised by flowers, sweets and satsumas). Jaap, you were there throughout, and I really valued your gentle and calm approach; always allowing us to go at our own pace and ‘holding’ us while we did our individual and collective learning. Bernd, your energy and whacky, refreshing style was a perfect counter-balance! It was a fantastic group of people, and the experience has been hugely positive.” Yvonne Rose, student 2014/2015
“I got more than I signed up for! Knowledge, education, information, new skills – for starters. Then I got love, affection, care. I have never felt so much human warmth, human kindness and goodwill in all my life!!! This was all evoked by 2 Fantastic! facilitators Jaap and Bernd from my peers! all the course facilitators gave me something ” Terry Driscoll – student 2014/2015
Words for pub – ” A brilliant journey of self discovery through ragged oceans with skilled helmsmen & fully engaged crew.” Student 2014/2015
“I have really enjoyed the course in spite of it not being what I had initially hoped for. In fact it turned out to be much more than I had hoped for and has helped me significantly in my journey of self-discovery.” Chris, student 2014/2015
Testimonials earlier years
“Just wanted to say a huge thank you for what transpired to be an amazing opening to the diploma, Jaap & Bernd are 2 of the most incredible facilitators I have ever met and I can say my experience was one of an assortment of words including, openness, newness, differences and I could go on and on!” Tracey Ford, Founding Director JAGS Foundation
“One of the most rewarding experiences of my life. More challenging and fulfilling than you could imagine”. (Student 2011-12)
“The course offers a rare opportunity to learn about conflict resolution from a number of hand-picked, highly inspirational people. The support given throughout the course is excellent and the safe environment created at each session is truly exemplary.” (Student 2011-12)
“I am very impressed by the course so far and I can be very cynical and arrogant when it comes to training as my previous career was designing courses for years (for the legal profession which is different but I can tell a good course from a badly designed one). You definitely got the balance of practice versus theory right but also my God you all know so well what you are doing!! You and Bernd are great, you really know how to communicate and push our boundaries but create a safe environment at the same time. Difficult balance to strike… If all your guest speakers are as good as you guys and him, we will have a great year.” Yeshim Harris, Director Engi
“I am absolutely loving the course!!”
“Overall, a potentially life-informing course.” London-2012
“Blew my socks off” The course tutors are utterly magical.” N.A. London-2012
“One of the most extraordinary years of my life.” R.H. London-2012
The Diploma has attracted a number of patrons supporting our work and us in securing funding for the course; this is particularly with our low income students in mind.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Justin Welby writes:
‘I would like to offer my prayerful support for this new venture at Ealing Abbey. Given the richly diverse society in which we live, the skills that participants will learn on this course have never been more urgently needed. I commend this programme to anyone who is looking to develop their skills in this challenging field of conflict resolution and am pleased to see a wider recognition of the immense value that religious communities and community living can bring.’
The Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek, writes
“It is very good to hear of this exciting initiative at Ealing Abbey. Our world is much in need of learning how to live with difference and within that to navigate places of conflict in a way which values relationship and respects the identity of others . This innovative training programme will provide an amazing opportunity for individuals to grow in experience and increase their skills in this area. It is my hope and prayer that this will enable participants to be catalysts for change within their own contexts in the future.”
Ability to work at higher education level. Capacity to/experience in working with people. Personal resilience: the course is demanding on a personal level.
Our methodology includes Gestalt, Processwork (Mindell), drama, creative arts, conflict resolution methods to include forgiveness, personal and collective trauma, systemic work and non-dualistic teachings. Lectures, story-telling, movement, meditation, tutorials and experiential teaching, skills training in small groups, observation of large group processes, case studies and guided reading.
All course participants will be provided with a course handbook containing codes of ethics, assessment forms, guidance of submitting a written research project, reading list, handouts and more.
Students must have a minimum attendance of 85% and successfully complete the year to gain the Diploma and progress to accreditation. the graduation piece is a 5000 words case study on planning and executing a group facilitation. A minimum pass mark of 50 per cent is required.
Applicants are required to complete the application form (click here). Please indicate your professional background and motivation for undertaking this training at this time.
This will be followed by a short telephone interview. If offered a place, a course contract will have to be completed and an initial deposit of £250 to secure a place for a Masterclass or the full training. The remainder may be paid in one lump sum (£3,500.00) or in 10 equal instalments of £350.00.
Weekend 1 – 9th & 10th September 2023
Power and Rank, Processwork theory
Facilitators: Mark Hamlin & Raggi Kotak
Weekend 2 – 7th & 8th October 2023
The use of the body in group facilitation
Facilitator: Mark Rietema
Weekend 3 – 11th & 12th November 2023
Creativity in leadership and group facilitation
Facilitator: Meg Fenwick
Weekend 4 – 9th & 10th December 2023
Using the arts for social change, Theatre of the Oppressed and Community Building
Facilitator: Meg Fenwick
Weekend 5 – 10 & 11th February 2024
Leadership and Intersectionality
Facilitators: Joy Warmington & BRAP
Weekend 6 – 23rd & 24th March 2024
Exploring the Creativity of Inner Work
Facilitator: Tuomas Lehesaari
Weekend 7 – 20th & 21st April 2024
Working with Archetypes and Roles within groups and organisations
Facilitator: Anna Rhodes
Weekend 8 – 11th & 12th May 2024
Saturday: Aspects of forgiveness, the meaning of restorative storytelling, Navigating the Trauma Healing map
Sunday: Judith Herman’s model of trauma and recovery
Facilitators: Marina Cantacuzino & Mark Hamlin
Weekend 9 – 22nd & 23rd June 2024
Collective trauma dynamics and trans-generational trauma. Feedback and Group process.
Facilitators: Raggi Kotac & Mark Hamlin
Weekend 10 20th & 21st July 2024
Laboratory, a setting for students to experiment, to present skills and projects, using new skills, sharing techniques and awareness
Facilitator: Mark Hamlin
Please complete the Application Form online(click here).. Add all relevant information about yourself, such as prior learning, work experience and accreditations. We will then contact you for an interview. We will also need 2 references.
In case you wish to apply for a bursary, we will ask you to write to us in more detail about the reasons why.
This will be followed by a short telephone interview. If offered a place, a course contract will have to be completed and an initial deposit of £250 to secure a place for a Masterclass or the full training. The remainder may be paid in one lump sum (3,500.00) or in 10 equal instalments of £350.00.
“When we are truly centred in who we are, both vulnerable and strong, we can have a great impact on our personal and professional relationships. This enables us in leading and facilitating each other to improve the world together.”