Boulder Psychotherapy Institute

Advanced Training in Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP)

An Experiential Psychodynamic Gestalt Approach   •   Boulder, Colorado


Register for This Workshop

Module I: AEP Theory: The Philosophy Behind the Therapy

Betty Cannon, Ph.D. and Robyn Chauvin, M.A.,L.P.C.
Saturday, June 11 2022 - Sunday, December 11 2022

 
  • Gain a solid grounding in AEP Theory that will guide you in your practice.

  • Explore the way in which AEP integrates existential and psychoanalytic insights with interventions drawn from Gestal, experiential, and body-oriented psychotherapy.

  • Discuss original philosophical, psychoanalytic, Gestalt, experiential, and body-oriented therapy texts that are sources for AEP.

  • Discuss articles by Betty Cannon and Reed Lindberg on AEP.

  • Understand the relevance of AEP theory to work with clients.

  • View videotapes that provide examples of AEP principles in action.

  • Participate in experiential exercises that demonstrate AEP work.

The Training: This training is the first in an accelerated series of training modules that we will be offering over the next 4 years at BPI. The series of 6 modules will be co-taught by Betty Cannon, Ph.D., founder of AEP and President of BPI, and Robyn Chauvin, M.A., L.P.C., BPI Senior Trainer. AEP Theory and AEP Individual Training are required for later modules since they lay the foundation for the later classes. The series is tentatively scheduled to run from June 2022 to April 2026 and includes 48 hours of training for each module (288 total for all classes). The theory class is scheduled for twice a month on Saturday afternoons, 1:15 to 5:15, June to December of 2022 (with a break in September). We will either meet by zoom or at the Boulder Psychotherapy Institute, depending on the state of the world in June of 2022. If there is enough interest, we will offer a second section on zoom for international students on a different day and at a different time. Let us know if you are interested. Check out the other five modules on our Workshops link at the top of the BPI home page.

Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP) interlaces the insights of contemporary existential and psychoanalytic approaches with techniques inspired by Gestalt and other experiential therapies. This class explores the theoretical background to AEP, especially its grounding in the existential phenomenology of Jean-Paul Sartre. We will explore the theoretical background of AEP - including roots, philosophy and clinical theory. Sources will include Betty's book on Sartre and Psychoanalysis along with many articles, videos, and book chapters on existential philosophy and therapy. Demonstration Video Clips and experiential exercises demonstrate and provide examples of the importance of theory to practice. Students should come away with a thorough understanding of the importance of having a coherent philosophy of what it means to be human and how change occurs in psychotherapy and everyday life. This should help immensely in choosing effective interventions to help facilitate growth and change in the moment to moment practice of therapy. Learning to practice psychotherapy in the "spirit of seriousness" rather than the "spirit of play" (the topic of a book Betty is currently writing on AEP) should also help to address therapist issues such as burn-out and other outcomes of an overly "serious" approach to therapy.

When: June 6 - Dec 11, 2022 (no meetings in September)

Where: Zoom or Boulder Psychotherapy Institute (depending on state of COVID pandemic next summer)

Time: Saturday Afternoons twice a month - 1:15 to 5:15 pm (Group starts at 1:00 pm for social and gathering time if we meet in person)

Cost: $1440

Discount: 10% if you register and pay by May 11, 2022

Credit Hours: 48

The Trainers: Betty Cannon, Ph.D., Boulder Psychotherapy Institute President and AEP founder, is a licensed psychologist and certified Gestalt therapist. She has worked with individuals, couples and groups in Boulder for over 40 years and trained and supervised psychotherapists for over 30 years. She is professor emerita of the Colorado School of Mines and Senior Adjunct Faculty at Naropa University. Betty is a member of the editorial boards of three professional journals: Sartre Studies International, Existential Analysis, and Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry. She is an internationally known author, lecturer, and workshop presenter. She is the author of many journal articles and book chapters on existential psychotherapy. Her book, Sartre and Psychoanalysis, is often considered a classic in existential psychology.

Robyn Chauvin, M.A., L.P.C., is BPI's most Senior Trainer. She is a music therapist and musician as well as a Gestalt Therapist and AEP therapist and trainer. She has been working in private practice in Boulder and Longmont since 2008. Her previous work was in in-patient psychiatric contexts and hospice, and she brings a wealth of insight and examples from those contexts as well as private practice to her teaching. Robyn offers supervision/consultation, practice, and process groups as well as trainings at BPI. A prominent member of the LBGTQ community, she is currently writing about gender identity, developmental issues, and the practice of psychotherapy. She is well-known in the BPI community for her humor and wit as well as her Dream Process Groups and the Dream Training Module she teaches at BPI. She has taught and co-taught (with Betty) many other training modules at BPI.


  • From the Spirit of Seriousness to the Spirit of Play: Toward a Psychology of Freedom

  • Search for a Method: Existential Phenomenology versus ‘Scientific’ Positivism

  • Consciousness as No Thingness: Freedom, Relationality, and Meaning-Making

  • How Shall We Know Ourselves? Modes of Consciousness, Forms of Self-Reflection

  • Temporalization: Past as Ground, Future as Meaning, Present as ‘Presence to Being’

  • Embodiment: The Lived Body and the Body For Others

  • The ‘Look' of the Other: Intersubjectivity, Conflict, and Authentic Relating

  • The Construction of the Ego, the Denial of Spontaneity, and the Origins of Self-Deception

  • The Defenses as ‘Boundary Disturbances’: An Existential View

  • Exploring the Past in the Present: Transference, Countertransference, and Enactments

  • Nothingness, Change, and Play: The Psychological ‘Instant’ of Radical Reorientation

  • Intervening in the Spirit of Play: Therapist as Facilitator, Client as Agent


Register for This Workshop

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