Boulder Psychotherapy Institute

Advanced Training in Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP) — since 1989

An Experiential Psychodynamic Gestalt Approach   •   Boulder, Colorado

Currently Scheduled Trainings and Workshops

Trainings (listed as class modules below) may be taken separately or as part of our Advanced Certification Program in Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP) by mental health professionals and graduate students. Each training offers a Certificate of Completion. Some guest workshops are open to the general public as well as to mental health professionals and graduate students. Call us at 303 494 0393 if you have questions or would like more information.

Coaching in a New Key: An Applied Existential Approach

Sat, Mar 12 2022 - Sat, Oct 22 2022

Betty Cannon, Ph.D. and Robyn Chauvin, M.A.,L.P.C., BPI - 303 494 0393

Have you found during the pandemic that you actually like working online? Then you might want to consider adding existential coaching to your professional repertoire. Unlike therapy, which is limited by state laws, coaching can be done across state lines or actually anywhere in the world. This class will help you retool some of your existing knowledge for coaching. Since existential therapy is already attuned to life issues, this is a transition that is easier to make than the transition from more medical-model approaches. But there are some important differences between coaching and therapy. You will learn to use specific existential coaching interventions with individuals, couples, and groups or organizations. Since the coaching relationship tends to be more egalitarian than the therapy relationship, there will be plenty of room for creativity for both client and therapist. The training is both didactic and experiential. We will talk about principles and techniques, demonstrate them, introduce experiential exercises, and ask you to practice with each other and/or practice clients outside of class. Participants who complete the class will receive a 48-hour Certificate of Study in Applied Existential Coaching.

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Future Trainings and Workshops — Dates TBA

Module I: AEP Theory: The Philosophy Behind the Therapy

Date TBA

Betty Cannon, Ph.D. and Robyn Chauvin, M.A.,L.P.C., BPI - 303 494 0393

In February of 2023, we will begin a streamlined version of the 6 modules required for Advanced Certification in Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP). AEP Theory is the first in the series and must be taken along with AEP Individual Training before proceeding to the rest of the sequence. Applied Existential Psychotherapy, an approach founded by BPI President Dr. Betty Cannon, 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. Sources will include Betty Cannon's book on Sartre and Psychoanalysis along with many articles, videos, and book chapters on existential philosophy and therapy. Demonstration videos and clips, live demonstrations, and experiential exercises provide examples of the importance of theory to practice.

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Module II: AEP Individual Training

Date TBA

Betty Cannon, Ph.D. and Robyn Chauvin, M.A.,L.P.C., BPI - 303 494 0393

AEP is an experiential therapy that interlaces the insights of contemporary existential and psychoanalytic/psychodynamic approaches with techniques inspired by Gestalt therapy and other experiential approaches. Many psychoanalytic approaches ignore the body, while many experiential approaches fail to take into account defenses, transference and countertransference issues. AEP takes into account the full spectrum of human experience - body, meaning, emotion, the impact of the past, and the choices that need to be made to create a different future. Module I offers intensive experiential training in AEP individual therapy.

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Module III: AEP Relational Training

Date TBA

Betty Cannon, Ph.D. and Robyn Chauvin, M.A.,L.P.C., BPI - 303 494 0393

Research shows that couples and relationship counseling is the least effective form of therapy. 
We offer an approach, based in a profound philosophy, that avoids some of the pitfalls of other therapies. Applied Existential Psychotherapy supports and elaborates the conclusion that John Gottman came to through longitudinal research with couples: Facilitation and support for individual and mutual meaning-creation is (or ought to be) at the heart of relational therapy. Using Jean-Paul Sartre's existential phenomenology, we teach you to invite clients to explore the twin poles of human existence: freedom and facticity (the circumstances of our lives) as these impact our relationships and ourselves.

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Module IV: AEP Group Training

Date TBA

Robyn Chauvin, M.A.,L.P.C. and Betty Cannon, Ph.D., BPI - 303 494 0393

Working with groups is both an art and a science. This workshop combines techniques inspired by Gestalt, existential, psychodynamic, body-oriented and systems approaches to group. We will also add some interventions of our own. Group members observe and experience groups and practice leading the group in a safe learning environment. Group Therapy is a largely untapped resource for private practice building. It is more cost effective for clients and highly effective as a modality for therapy - if you have the training and experience needed to keep groups going. This class is both didactic and experiential. You will learn about the principles of group therapy, watch videos and live demonstrations, do exercises designed to increase your skill level, and get an opportunity to co-lead the group.

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Module V: AEP Approach to the Body, Character Strategy, and Trauma

Date TBA

Betty Cannon, Ph.D. and Robyn Chauvin, M.A.,L.P.C., BPI - 303 494 0393

AEP works with the lived body to explore ways in which meaning shows up in body stance, movement, gesture, facial expression and voice. We will explore Reichean/bioenergetic approaches to character strategy--looking at the ways in which our ways of living our lives show up in and help fashion our bodies. We will explore various modalities for working with trauma, adding to these an existential perspective on trauma as loss of meaning. We will also focus on integrating work with the body and trauma within a broader therapeutic perspective. We will pay particular attention to choosing appropriate levels of intervention (body, emotion, meaning) in working with clients with different character strategies. We will also consider the question of when cathartic work is appropriate and when it is not - a question that students studying trauma approaches frequently ask.

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Module VI: The Dream as an Existential Message: An AEP Approach

Date TBA

Betty Cannon, Ph.D. and Robyn Chauvin, M.A.,L.P.C., BPI - 303 494 0393

This training provides practitioners with hands-on experience working with their personal dreams and facilitating others's dreams. We will demonstrate dream work and review the AEP dream process as well as coach participants in facilitating one another's dreams. Professional issues in dream work are discussed alongside the existential, personal, and transpersonal scope of the dream. We will explore various creative approaches in working with dreams.

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Ongoing Groups

In addition to training groups and workshops, the Boulder Psychotherapy Institute offers a set of small groups as part of our Advanced Certification Program in Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP). Ongoing Practice, Process, and Supervision/Consultation groups (limit 4 to 6 members) meet on a number of different days and at a number of different times. When there is an opening in a group, new people may join. We also start new groups from time to time. See link below for a fuller description of how these groups operate and what they offer.

All groups are led by licensed senior BPI Faulty Members. Check the BPI Student Calendar for meeting days and times for existing groups. These groups have each named themselves for an animal or composer to make it easier to find them on the Calendar. If you put in a “search” in the upper left corner of the Calendar with the name of the group and dates from Jan 1 to Dec 31 of the year you are searching, you can get a list of meeting dates for the year.

We frequently add new groups or have spaces come up in existing groups so contact us if you are interested in joining one of these groups. They count toward advanced certification at BPI and provide Continuing Competency Credits for most Colorado licenses. Supervision/Consultation groups may also meet group supervision hours toward licensure – provided the leader’s license meets the requirements set by your state board (Psychologist, LPC, LMFT, LCSW).

Call us at 303-494-0393 or send us an email for more information or to arrange an interview.

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1140 Lehigh Street, Boulder, Colorado 80305  •  303 494 0393

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