Counselling Workshops 2023
Embrace: Creating an environment of welcome

We are surrounded by people who have seen and unseen areas of difference. This rich diversity can enrich our communities. However, there are times when experiences of unwelcome, misunderstanding or even rejection get in the way of forming bonds and relations. This blocks us from experiencing the joy, reward and abundance of thriving relationships. The morning’s workshops will focus on expanding knowledge in areas of diversity that include, gender, disability, and ethnicity.

See below for our presenters and topics.

Please note that these taster workshops are not intended as professional development for counselling practitioners.

Where Christchurch Campus
When 9:30am - 1:00pm
Cost $10
RSVP rsvp via the form below

Creating spaces to embrace

Vida Schurr has been in the education field for over 20 years. She has taught both in New Zealand and in Sweden. Her passion is seeing children thrive in an environment where relationships are at the heart of learning. She is currently a part time lecturer at Laidlaw in the Education programme. When she is not at work she is out with her family exploring New Zealand or found doing some sort of textile craft. 

In this session Vida will explore the physical space we create for our interactions which helps remove barriers and allows embrace to happen more freely.  She will draw on a range of settings where people meet and gather while explaining the concept of the environment as the third teacher. Her focus will be through a family/ whānau and children lens which can be adapted to any environment. 

Helping Men Feel Welcome and Understood

Daryl Parsons is a Counselling Lecturer at Laidlaw College, based at the Christchurch Campus. He has recently completed a Master of Counselling through the University of Canterbury, with his Dissertation based on his research ‘Exploring Counsellors’ Stories - How do 18-25-Year-Old NZ Men use their Emotional Skills in Counselling to Improve their Wellbeing?’ Daryl’s first profession was carpentry, which he still enjoys – both for doing jobs around home and because the thinking undergirds how he thinks about everything else. In Daryl’s initial counselling training he researched ‘The Identity Problems of 18-35-Year-Old Kiwi Blokes and How Counselling can Help,’ which led to providing a counselling, supervision and training consultancy called People Builders Ltd from 2006-2010. From 2010-2021 Daryl served in an agency managing, delivering and growing clinical services, professional supervision, critical incident responses and wellbeing services. Daryl loves the presence of God, football, table tennis, walking in the hills, trying new vegetables and Japanese foods, reading, and contemplative retreats. He lives in Christchurch with his wife Tomomi, two teenage sons and a cavoodle puppy.

Disability and mutual hospitality: The invitation to host and be hosted

Rev. Dr Maja Whitaker is a lecturer in Practical Theology at Laidlaw College, based at the Christchurch campus, and a pastor in the Equippers network of churches. She is passionate about spiritual formation and helping others understand how to follow the way of Jesus in contemporary cultural contexts. Her teaching centres around developing Christian leaders who flourish in ministry and vocation and who are deeply formed by their followership of Christ. Maja’s research interests include disability theology, human flourishing, and body theology. She is married to Dave and they have four daughters.

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