Events »»» HeartTouch - Bristol - June 24-25th 2023

HeartTouch

Mindfulness & Compassionate Touch Training for Anxiety, Emotional Pain & Trauma.

An experiential training for Psychotherapists / Clinicians, Shiatsu / Bodywork therapists, Couples, Family Members & Experiencers of Emotional / Mental Distress.

As well as facilitating personal transformation and self learning, this workshop explores the embodied foundations of co-regulation and trauma-informed care essential for assisting people experiencing any level of emotional distress, up to and including complex trauma.

Subud Hall, 29 Wesley Pl, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2YD. June 24-25th 2023 10am-5pm

Anthony teaching HeartTouch in London September 2022

Embodied Mindfulness is a way of being in which you are fully connected with your body and you feel safe.

Your mind is quiet and present to your experience of life happening that moment and your heart feels warm and open to yourself and to those around you.

This is a state of well-being and good feeling.

We will explore together how mindfulness & touch based connection practices can help us to move closer towards this state of well-being whether as an experiencer of challenging states or as someone who cares for people in these situations.

We are not looking for 'cures' or 'fixes'. Whatever our 'role' we are learning to be with ourselves and to be ourselves. Just as important we are learning to be fully present with others.

As we transform the way we relate to ourselves, our experiences and the world, symptoms which distress us may also change.

Along the way everyone involved will enhance their capacity to hold safe space for others.
And this will touch everything we do in life from then on...

The Vision:

The Oak Tree at Poulstone Court Retreat Centre appeared in some of Anthony's Inner Journeys

The HeartTouch project is about inspiring and empowering people to facilitate HeartTouch groups with those they resonate with and care about in our society.

Groups may form of diverse nature and membership, located in community spaces or in psychiatric services and serve people in distress or not.

The simple act of connecting authentically through compassionate touch with another human being nourishes something in the soul that makes life worth living.

I hope people with lived experience can play an equal role alongside specialists with bodywork or psychological training.

About Anthony:

Anthony Fidler

I had my own journey first with anxiety, panic attacks and mild depression while in my final year at Cambridge University in 1991.

This continued during my work as a financial auditor, where I experienced chronic stress and then as a software programmer where I went into a meltdown of physical and mental fatigue. A serious breakdown / burnout.

Despite massive efforts to heal myself, this journey continued in 2001, with me entering non-ordinary states, we can say spiritual psychosis perhaps.

After an 8 month period in the psychiatric system, I came off anti-psychotic medications and took personal responsibility for my own well-being. This journey continued for the next 8 years with me going in an out of challenging non-ordinary states until I stabilised in 2010.

Over time I've become a qualified Mindfulness teacher, Tai Chi & Qi Gong teacher and have been teaching since 2015. I am also an experienced student of the late Akinobu Kishi , the founder of Sei Ki and teach his amazing touch therapy in my own way. I've spent twenty-five years exploring these fields with total dedication.

I found my own ways to recover and live a full life and now share what I learnt with others experiencing extreme states, trauma, broken nervous systems or simply chronic stress situations and misery.

This is what I do...

Click here for more on Anthony's background and experience

Details:

The event is being hosted by Anthony Fidler.

This workshop is open to anyone who cares for or supports people experiencing challenging emotional or mental states: psychotherapists / clinicians, shiatsu / bodywork therapists, mindfulness teachers, family members as well as those at times experiencing anxiety, emotional pain, trauma and what may be considered psychosis by some.

It is also open to couples wishing to enhance their capacity to connect and support each other through times of stress and distress.

Nb. Therapists: Please leave your hats at the door! In this work we are all just human beings with our life journeys, difficulties, beauty and pain.

Nb. Experiencers: I request people experiencing serious difficulties to book a short personal appointment with me , so we can get to know each other, before you attend the workshop.

Workshop size: Maximum 20 people hopefully with a reasonably equal balance of mental health clinicians, bodywork therapists, family members and experiencers.

Covid: We request attendees complete a lateral flow test before attending out of consideration to others.

Pricing: *Early bird pre May 24th

  • Individual Fee: £160, Early Bird: £140
  • Couple Fee: £300, Early Bird: £260
  • Parent with Experiencer Fee: £220
  • Concession Fee: £80, limited places

Nb. There are some concessionary price places available for those in an unwaged / low waged situation. Please contact me to discuss.

For those requiring a pre-workshop 1-1 chat I will charge £25 / half hour for this. I know from my own experience this can make a big difference anxiety wise before entering a group.

Cancellation / Refunds: 50% when notice is given at least 1 week prior to the workshop.

Places are limited to 20 so please book early to be confident of attending.

Registration Process:

The event is by invitation. The application process is as follows:

  • We request that people apply by contacting us
  • Then once we confirm there are places available, complete the application form
  • We will then come back to you and may suggest a short online 1-1 session.
  • We will then confirm your place on the workshop once you've paid.

Nb. The intention with the application form is to provide an opportunity for you to communicate personal needs so we can hold the space well for you. It also allows you and us to reflect whether you are in a good enough 'space' to benefit from the practices being offered with the support we will have available on the day.

Non-experiencers, please be patient. It feels appropriate to ask all attendees to complete the forms if any do, but answers may be succint as appropriate. It is an opportunity to reflect on why you wish to attend the training and communicate this with me along with any personal needs.

Pre-workshop 1-1 sessions, while adding cost to the workshop are invaluable in my experience in terms of allowing us to establish a personal resonance before you enter the group environment.

Thank you, Anthony.

So please get in touch if you would like to attend: Contact EasternPeace

Testimonials from previous HeartTouch workshops:

I thoroughly enjoyed the day and the teaching and presentation from Anthony was excellent.

I felt anxious when I started but that disappeared throughout the session.

Everyone in the group was really friendly and got on well.

I'm going to practice this in my own time and with others as we have started our little group, as I find this helps a great deal with my mental health.

I recommend Heartouch to anybody who suffers from any kind of mental illness.

Alex, Bristol

This course helped me see the need to consider space.

As a newly qualified Shiatsu therapist my instinct is to connect and enquire through touch, but this course opened my mind and body to the value of allowing space: to sit; to breathe; to be; before connecting.

Jacqui (Shiatsu Therapist), Scotland

Thank you for rich and inspiring workshop and for the follow-up.

I feel well equipped to start introducing elements of HeartTouch into my practice.

A good result!

Teresa (Psychotherapist), Bristol

Accessible introduction to HeartTouch providing a variety of experiences.

Gentle and safe. Good pace - not rushed.

Emphasis on comfort and self-care.

An essential workshop to broaden experience and perspectives on health, with focussed attention on the body in a safe and accepting environment.

Louise (Psychotherapist & Ex-Psychiatrist), Bristol

This course brought me back to the importance of the basics.

In a world where we are constantly trying to adhere to a variety of societal rules, we end up withdrawing and becoming lonely in a room full of people.

Remember, when you were children, and our mother would hug us, and all your problems and worries would disappear?

This is how I felt in the heart touch class.

I feel that we have to go back to the basics, and to give importance to hugging, to let ourselves be hugged in a safe way.

We all need touch, but we have forgotten it, or are afraid of it.

During the heart touch course, we learned how to create safety through consent, how to put rules for safe interaction, so we can let ourselves be vulnerable, and become able to give and receive touch.

And through this touch, create a sense of safety and belonging.

I would recommend this course to anyone who would like to learn how to create a safe space for physical contact, and to learn to be open and vulnerable with themselves, an opportunity to learn how to hold others and let themselves be held.

Juliana, Talk for Health HeartTouch Day, London

Anthony's teaching was exceptional and this short course was wholly transformative both personally and professionally.

We were able to spend an entire morning regulating our own nervous systems via several grounding exercises such as qigong - most entirely new and transformative for me.

From this embodied and grounded base we were then able to hold and receive others in the afternoon session.

On arriving in the morning, I was feeling particularly vulnerable and there was an additional feeling of anxiety about what the course might entail.

The title 'Heart Touch' therefore summoned feelings of intrigue mixed with dread!

What might happen in the space? Would this be something nourishing and informative or open up even more vulnerability and anxiety...?

Anthony is an incredible human being with a deep awareness of the human experience.

He openly shared much of his own journey with us from his earlier traumas to his personal healing -via a medical health system than failed him.

Anthony has committed to years and years of exploration of self-healing and the healing of others - and you will feel that in his sessions.

I felt completely safe, supported, nourished, conscious and held, and now have a new toolkit for my own personal well-being and the well-being of others.

Thank you Anthony!

Lucy, Talk for Health HeartTouch Day, London

What I appreciated about the training was experiencing a way to connect, communicate and meet the other from meeting myself first.

Anthony facilitated this by applying himself what he asked the group to do and the language he used to accompany the physical process

His work opens up a different way of connecting to ourselves and others; it's down-to-earth, interactive, skillful;

Gerda, Talk for Health HeartTouch Day, London

The technique that Anthony Fidler shared with us felt an essential in the took kit for self care and for authentic relating to one self and to others, as well as a potential to build more conscious community.

I appreciated the pace of presenting, the integration of practice and theory, the modelling of the technique and the way I felt connected to myself , the person I did afternoon exercise with an the whole group.

I live with persistent pain. I felt this technique really helped my body and mind to regulate and regain balance.

Pilar, Talk for Health HeartTouch Day, London

It is a good tool for connection and possibly for healing as well.

Pak, Talk for Health HeartTouch Day, London

I never thought I could slow down my body, breathing and movements in just one workshop!

I learnt so much about my own body and how to breathe for relaxation.

I really felt a weight had been lifted off my body!

I enjoyed working with touch and how wonderful it can feel to receive and give light touch. It's amazing how you feel

Linda, Talk for Health HeartTouch Day, London

Hearttouch is a practice of connection, respect and exchange of energy - so essential on this era when people don't interact in this form anymore.

We can give more.

Thank you Anthony, I had a great day.

Paula, Talk for Health HeartTouch Day, London

Anthony's honesty about his own problems and personal experiences made it possible to relate to him more easily and to value his instructions.

He presents himself as a companion on the way.

Ernest, Talk for Health HeartTouch Day, London

Anthony really opened my eyes to the reality that I was living - too driven by fear, feeling trapped in my life, in my body, and living without touch.

His way of explaining was very authentic and straight from the heart, and it made me feel very secure.

I went home and asked permission of my family if I could touch them on the shoulder now and again, and they said 'yes'.

Even after a few times, it made me feel much more connected, more grounded, not so alone. Thank you Anthony

Gina, Talk for Health HeartTouch Day, London

Thank you for a day that gave me an awakening to return to exploring my experience of deafness.

I felt held which I appreciated.

Thank you for the notes and handouts.

There is lots of richness/depth being offered in your work, thank you

Emma (Core Process Psychotherapist), Edinburgh

Thank you Anthony.

I really enjoyed and valued the day that you presented.

Not that you need it, but I am heartily recommending your approach to anyone that I think may benefit or be interested.

Achalavira (CPP, Karuna Institute Tutor), Edinburgh

If you've tried everything else and the medical model is no longer serving you, Anthony's workshops offer a great taster for his practice.

If you like Butekyo breathing, Thai Chi, Yoga, Qui Gong you'll definitely get something out of the sessions.

Pete, Lothlorien Therapeutic Community

A huge thank you to Anthony, and James (Safely Held Spaces) for coming to stay with us to deliver the HeartTouch workshop.

All were supported and felt safe in the space created by Anthony.

The practices were beautiful and helped us all to connect with ourselves and to each other.

We each took something positive from your visit and will be integrating the techniques into our daily habits 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Anthony held the space so beautifully. We cannot recommend these workshops enough.

Lothlorien Therapeutic Community

Anthony Fidler has remarkable qualities and much valuable experiences of creating safe spaces where we can together explore difficult things.

This happens through movement, touch, breath work and so much more.

He has a very instinctive approach that can tune in to what people need regardless of their circumstances and needs.

I can thoroughly recommend people to join his workshops especially for families who are struggling with emotional distress.

Jen (Soteria Network UK), Skipton

I came to HeartTouch through a posting that was shared with me online. Wasn't quite sure what to expect, but as I do a lot of work in Mindfulness and have been interested in Reiki and being a massage therapist, I thought I'd give it a go.

This work is about the individual opening up to the power of touch and flow of energy in the body.

That is it... there is nothing magical or out there about it.

The weekend we spent together was tribute to the power of this way of being.

No matter what you have going on, physical, mental, emotional... this work is so important.

Not only receiving the touch, but also offering the touch.

I am looking forward to taking this work of touch as well as mindful movement into my daily life and sharing it with whomever is open and interested in it.

Thanks Anthony!

James (Oxford Mindfulness Tutor), Bristol

Anthony is a very engaging and enthusiastic presenter, he has a deep, uncompromising love for his practice and an unstinting generosity in sharing his knowledge.

His workshop has helped me to refresh my Qi-based practice and develop my understanding of this fascinating work.

Elise (Shiatsu Student), Bristol

Anthony creates a welcoming and safe space, and he is very open about his own past mental heath struggles.

This enhances trust and a sense of community for participants who have faced/are facing mental health challenges.

Furthermore, it creates a sense of equity and democratises (as much as possible) the therapeutic space where participants are considered *experts* of their bodies and experience.

Dina (Peer Mental Health Researcher), Bristol

I would certainly recommend people give Heart Touch workshops a try.

It's simple and affective treatment almost anyone can learn. I came away feeling empowered in body, mind and soul.

Peter (Core Process Psychotherapist), Bristol

This is a great workshop for all those who wish to learn how to be there for themselves!

I've always struggled to soothe myself when others aren't available and I've been implementing new things that Anthony confirmed was useful, giving me further tools to practice on.

We also learnt other ways for others to be there for us and that was very interesting too.

"I've learnt nothing" is probably right, as I've learnt so much by very simple, but often missed, things to which Anthony guide us back towards.

Anna (Shiatsu Student), Norwich

Anthony has this wonderful skill to make practices powerful but simple enough so I can use them in every day life.

I very much appreciated learning a technique of safe touch to soothe and release emotions, which I will certainly use with my clients.

Silvija (Psychotherapist), Luxembourg

The Heart Touch Training was completely new to me.

I hoped this might be another step in helping me deal with some childhood trauma that I am currently working on from different angles.

The training was focussed on grounding and coming back to your own breath and turning towards your inner being, finding this deeper connection with oneself in the first place and all of this in a safe place, and yes, it worked!

I felt immediately at ease and was able to feel the connection and calmness coming over me.

This training gave me some precious tools that I will surely use on my personal journey.

Annick, Luxembourg

Anthony was really engaging and down to earth with this workshop.

There was plenty of practices to try out and opportunity to reflect.

I learned a great deal which will inform both my own personal growth as well as my practice as a shiatsu practitioner.

I intend bringing some of the practices into my own personal and professional practice.

Thanks to Anthony for his compassionate presence, honesty and heart opening quality to his creative heart-touch approach, may it continue to grow in our communities where it is so needed . Corrinna Bain, shiatsu practitioner.

Corrinna (Shiatsu Practitioner), UK

Anthony's engaging and authentic teaching style provides a very grounded approach to this work, inspired by his own experiences and work with Akinobu Kishi

Elaine (Co-Chair Board of Shiatsu Society), UK

The work helped me immensely.

I have not felt so calm and grounded for a very long time.

I feel the work gave me some valuable tools to calm and ground myself.

Really grateful for the safe and welcoming space that Anthony created and held throughout the day.

Dina (Peer Mental Health Researcher), UK

I would highly recommend Anthony's training to anyone needing to down-regulate their nervous system and wishing to be better able to connect with others.

Anthony's practices are unique, grounded in decades of training with Eastern masters.

Through these he has discovered what helps him in his moment to moment experience of life.

He embodies his experience with complete authenticity and this is what makes the training so powerful.

I felt really calm and revitalised by the day's workshop and look forward to attending another.

Anon, UK

I attended Anthony’s HeartTouch workshop not quite knowing exactly what to expect, and to be honest I was just the slightest bit apprehensive about how it would be to be touched by or have to touch someone I did not know.

But for some time now as a parent of a son with psychosis and as an advocate for compassionate healing outside of the coercive psychiatric model, I had a hunch that this work might be important.

Anthony has also worked with my eldest son online with really positive results, another reason I wanted to see the workshop practise for myself.

Within moments of arriving the space was so welcoming as was Anthony himself.

There were flowers that filled the room with beauty, and the dojo itself was light and airy.

We had tea and by the time we started the meditative walking practise I was fully present and grateful to be doing this work.

We chanted together, which I found so enriching. The touch work happened in the afternoon when there was a sense of safety and camaraderie that Anthony had created from the morning session.

The afternoon offered me a way to connect deeply to my own sense of self and also to the partner I was working with.

I think that the profound effect of touch cannot be overestimated. I wish that I had been able to use it when my son was distressed as I think it would have deescalated some of his fear.

We all need to learn to live in our body and to come back to the breath and to remind each other to do so.

The mind and body are but one organism as this workshop reaffirmed for me.

Thanks Anthony. I will be back and will put to use what this teaching has given me.

Tanya Frank (Author & Mental Health Campaigner), UK

I found the day really valuable.

It was structured and paced in such a way that one activity naturally moved to the next with increased intensity that always felt safe and healing.

Thank you Anthony.

Jo, UK

Simple yet such incredibly powerful work.

Exploring these practices in our society which is grossly touched deprived as a means for supporting each other is necessary now more than ever.

Thank you Anthony

Andrew, UK

The Heart touch training was an opportunity to develop an understanding of and participate in compassionate based bodywork.

It gave me an understanding of how therapeutic touch can soothe the nervous system and open the human heart.

Joan, UK

I would recommend Anthony's workshops and approach.

His focus, exploring our self perception and how to develop and work with this in relation to supporting both ourselves and others, I feel to be very effective.

Adam (Board of Shiatsu Society), UK

The HeartTouch workshop was held in a beautiful Zen healing space, and we warmed up into the bodywork practices very gently.

Thank you.

Emily, UK

Your workshop was very useful because it gave me a lot of tools to help me relax in a more profound way, acknowledge my feelings and come back to my body.

I also loved the compassionate touch practices.

I found them very rewarding, a great way to connect with other people and to honour our basic humanity.

Monica, Luxembourg

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