Public event

We are very excited to be able to invite you to our Pluralogue CPD event, Practitioner self-care.

With: Laura Monk

Date: Sunday 27 October 2019

Venue: Room 2, Elizabeth House, 39 York Road, London SE1 7NQ

See map

About the topic

“Self-respect: fostering the practitioner’s self-knowledge, integrity and care for self”

BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions 2018

In the BACP’s Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions 2018, self-care is considered an aspect of self-respect, which is one the six core principles that direct attention to important ethical responsibilities as stated above. Therefore, we in the counselling professions may be considered unethical and, even, not fit to practice if we are not respecting ourselves by fostering self-knowledge, integrity and care for self (self-care).

There is a plethora of information on self-care to be found in articles, books, courses, workshops, websites, etc. Largely, these emphasise the importance of self-care, warn of the implications of not making time for self-care and, generally, provide endless catalogues of activities/behaviours/rituals we might (should?) engage in to improve our self-care. The lists can often become overwhelming and the over-burdened practitioner may be at risk of finding self-care has become another chore to feel bad/guilty about if it not attended to.

In my experience, when life events impact practitioners to the extent that self-care becomes diminished past a certain point, especially to the point of exhaustion and burnout, there can be a reluctance to admit to the levels that self-care has sunk to, or to talk about just how bad things have become. This is hardly surprising if one’s livelihood depends on practice, in which one is obliged to self-care but is failing to do so. This can feel uncomfortably close to being unethical and, subsequently, fear of being found out, isolation, embarrassment and shame might follow.

Something along these lines happened to me recently, following a unbelievable number of terrible and distressing life events. I didn’t know what to do because, in addition to dealing with these, I was in trouble financially. I needed to work and earn money despite the state that I knew I was slipping into. I began to look around for somewhere I could retreat to in order to recover. I knew all about exhaustion, burnout and vicarious trauma or compassion fatigue. I did not need or want to read a book on it or learn about it – I wanted to do it but couldn’t work out how. I had developed a training programme for professionals as part of my PhD that highlighted these problems, so I knew all about them – yet here I was suffering from them myself. I wanted a safe space where I would not be judged or penalised but rather supported and helped to reconnect with my self – and what self-care meant to me.

I did not find what I was looking for and this led to me designing my own practitioner self-care retreats, with a model based on just what I had been looking for. Having led my first retreat in May this year, I was just blown away by how transformational it was for my guests and for myself. It was quite loosely structured and organic but there were no lists of things to do and no pressure to do anything except a request to check-in and checkout at the start and end of each day. It was all about reconnecting with the self, and with our intuition, and about re-engaging with what feels right in life, and recognising what no longer serves us. We shared our own favourite ways of self-care, which was truly bonding and special, as well as joyful, playful and loving.

I invite you to this Pluralogue on practitioner self-care to explore these ideas further in an experiential afternoon that will reflect my practitioner self-care retreats.

About Laura Monk

Laura teaches Humanistic Counselling Practice at the University of Nottingham and has a private practice in Nottingham, London and Bedford – where she lives. Laura has worked in the fields of domestic and sexual violence, and with abuse and trauma for many years – as practitioner, researcher and conference speaker.

More recently though, she has began to withdraw from these areas, and move more into post-traumatic growth, positive psychology and human flourishing. Laura is enjoying her own personal and professional growth alongside the development of a more heart-led, intuitive style of practice that is evolving through a UK training in Tantra and a US coaching in running retreats. 

See Laura’s profile on Relational Spaces.


1pm–2pm: Lunch

2pm–3pm: Exploration

3pm–3.30pm: Tea break

3.30pm–5pm: Discussion

Booking information

Places cost:

  • £35 for Relational Spaces members
  • £45 for non-members

To confirm your booking please email us at and we will reply with details of how to pay.

Please use your name + PL26 as reference.

Cancellation policy

Please note we do not offer refunds for our Pluralogue events. However, if you ask to cancel your booking more than 7 days before the event, you’ll receive a one-time use (no-cancellation) credit for a future event.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Warm regards,

Darren, Dianne, Doron and Cressy

07848 013 328
07426 336 322

Image by Doron Levene.