Neil Young: Moving Beyond ‘Them & Us’ – conversations about power & difference inside & outside the therapy room

Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

This online workshop will run 10am – 4.30pm. 

Come join Neil for a rich day, grappling with our sense of identity and power, as he offers a safe, warm space to dive into this important work together. It will include opportunities to be curious about experiences and parts of ourselves that we wish to give attention to – such as our gender, sexuality, faith, disability, class, culture or something else entirely.


We are all unique and different – even when we can imagine our lives are fairly ordinary. As therapists we regularly work with clients who are struggling to accept themselves and who face resistance from their families and wider society: many of us have also faced similar challenges in our own lives.

This workshop is an exciting opportunity to have open dialogues about sameness and difference – to sidestep the social media pressure to quickly take ‘sides’ in a black and white way, whilst reflecting on our experiences and beliefs. We will sit with how prejudice – when feelings such as aggression, shame and sadness are disowned onto others – have touched our lives and those of our clients’. Rather than imagining that we are experts or blank screens, this is a chance to work collaboratively to understand the lasting impact of prejudice.

We will work with this awareness to work with questions, such as:

  • How can we explore power and privilege in the therapy room without worrying about getting it wrong or feeling out of touch?
  • How do we allow clients to bring their knowledge of their identities, while having the courage to challenge their internalised prejudice?
  • How can we enjoy working with difference and prejudice and be more of an ally to our clients?
  • What norms and assumptions have been made about us and how has this affected who we feel we are expected to be? How might we have been encouraged to do this with others?

To support our exploration, Neil will share some of his own experiences growing up with the group: how family dynamics, attachment styles and wider societal norms and prejudice shaped who he felt able to be growing up as a working class, queer boy. By being open about the ups and downs of his own life, Neil will encourage us to connect with how our upbringing and adult lives may affect how we see ourselves and others.

We will then use creative exercises – supported by time working on our own, in pairs and as a whole group – to explore and celebrate our own unique identities, including healthy and challenging experiences related to our gender, sexuality, race, class, culture or disability. We look forward to you joining us for this exciting event.

 What previous participants have said:

‘It was a really valuable session, brilliantly and safely facilitated. I really enjoyed the personal development approach rather than just giving us loads of information.’

‘The group activities were so powerful – emotional and yet so much learning and reflection for all – a great day and I took away so much for myself both personally and professionally’

 ‘I loved it and came away feeling much more confident in my practice.’

 ‘I especially loved the interactive and creative aspects of the training day. I really, really had so much fun with it and I felt like I learnt something about myself from it too, so big 10/10 from me!!


Neil is an experienced integrative art psychotherapist, facilitator and youth worker with a longstanding interest in exploring gender and sexual identities.

Neil designs and holds creative spaces in which children, young people and adults – and the professionals who work with them – can explore their diverse experiences and identities, against the persistent impact of anti-LGBT prejudice, in safe and interactive ways. For professionals, this includes trainings, lectures, workshops and embodied performances working with therapist, counsellors, youth-, social- and mental health-workers and other professionals and organisations.

Neil’s background also includes 25 years’ experience as a researcher and queer community advocate, including founding Mosaic LGBT Young People’s Trust in northwest London and working as an LGBT advisor to the first two Mayors of London.

In 2017 Neil published ‘Young People: Not Straight, Not Narrow’  in the BACP University & College Journal after interviewing counsellors, therapists, academics and youth workers across the country. The article explores ongoing, emerging trends in gender and sexual identification among children and young people and offers advice for affirmative therapeutic practice.

Neil currently works 4 days/week as an integrative arts psychotherapist in private practice in London and teaches at the Institute for Arts & Therapy in Education (IATE)

CPD Access Pass

This workshop counts as 6 CPD hours as part of the CPD Access Pass 12 hour allowance. The Access Pass is a key part of The Sunflower Network’s commitment to providing affordable and accessible high quality CPD to our peers, and can be bought by individuals who have joined our free Sunflower Hub multi-disciplinary resource.



The ticket price includes any handouts the trainer may wish to share with you – which will be sent out AFTER the event has taken place – and a CPD certificate.


It is a requirement that all participants adhere to ethical conduct in the context of events including:

  • Respect for Sunflower staff, trainers and other attendees
  • Adherence to policies and procedures
  • Maintaining confidentiality and privacy
  • Sensitivity to complex issues being discussed

Anyone in breach of these threshold requirements may be removed from an event and could be unable to attend further events in the future. This is to safeguard the staff and participants as well as to enable quality assurance for the safety and wellbeing of all attendees.

In booking an event these criteria are agreed to in principle and committed to in practice.


Therapeutic trainings can work with complex and emotive topics that may be deeply personal for some delegates, depending on their lived experience. There will be breaks included on the day and one to one support will be available if needed, but please do reflect on whether you feel able to attend.  Your safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance.


Please note – The Sunflower Network does not record events for purchase or view at a later date nor permit recordings of the event to be made. All our events are ‘as live’. This is to safeguard the nurturing and contained environment we create online in order to maintain our culture of safe, private and supported interactivity and sharing.


On behalf of the trainers we work with, we do not allow content shared during our CPD days to be replicated or used in any way without due credit to the copyright owner. Doing so without previous consent may result in exclusion from further Sunflower events.


It is possible to arrange payments for tickets to our events in instalments on the condition that the full balance has been received no later than two weeks before the chosen event takes place. We also offer discounts for groups / teams of 3+, discounts for individuals booking multiple events, and to arrange invoices for your place of work to way for you (advance payment required).  To discuss or arrange any of these ways to pay, please email [email protected]


All bookings to be paid in full except where private arrangements have been made to pay in instalments and agreed by us. Tickets &/ or any instalment payments are non-refundable once payment has been made. You can re-sell or transfer your ticket to another attendee up to 24 hours before the event opens – as long as we have notice in writing with their name. On request The Sunflower Network Ltd. may be able to help advertise and/or facilitate any re-sales but this will incur an admin fee of £15.00 to cover our costs including subsequent charges we receive from the ticket providers. Please note The Sunflower Network Ltd. cannot ever guarantee a successful re-sale and responsibility for finding a new purchaser remains with the original ticket holder at all times. No transfer or refund will be considered for a ‘no show’ on the day of the event for whatever reason.

If you are booking a ticket as part of a discount offer, only ONE discount can be applied to a ticket at any one time.

The Sunflower Network Ltd. reserves the right to make changes to the booking terms and conditions, the timetable, content and/or any events at any time due to unforeseen circumstances. In the event of cancellation by us and if we cannot offer an alternative date, we will refund the cost of the ticket price for the event in full. We will not be responsible for any further cost incurred by you in relation to your booking.


24 June 2023
$50 – $85