Workshop descriptions

…more contributions are still being finalised and we look forward to announcing them soon, so pass by from time to time to check for updates!


Psychotherapy and Emotional Support in Belarus from Queer and LGBT perspectives.
MAKEOUT Collective – a Belarusian feminist anti-discriminatory project about gender and sexuality that seeks to heighten the awareness, promote mindfulness, and strengthen the LGBTQ-community and other vulnerable groups, which face sexual and gender identity discrimination.
Description: This session will consider psychotherapy and emotional support in Belarus. Using personal case studies, members of the MAKEOUT collective will explore their personal experiences with the therapy, and on the basis of these stories, discuss the possibility of combining queer and LGBT activism and psychotherapy. The goal is to discuss personal experiences and the possibilities and limitations of psychotherapy in terms of queer and LGBT activism.


The Collectivization of Discomfort
Germán Torres. Ulex Project, Xarxagam, De-liberaciones.
Description: Sharing five years of experience from a network of mutual support groups of survivors of psychiatry in Catalonia.
Since 2012 we have been gathering dissidents and fugitives of the psychiatric system with the purpose of caring for each other and politicizing our discomforts. We created a group of mutual support, without hierarchies or professionals, a group of people who wanted and wanted to speak in the first person (of the plural) of health and how we got mad and also how to self-manage and fight for our lives. We give importance to the politicization of discomfort, rejecting the concept of self-help and placing ourselves in the commitment of one to another and of denunciation to the psychiatric system.

Drama Theatre and Other Creative Methods as a Fight Back Tool for Self.
Tony Cealy
Description: This will be a range of creative arts workshops and events over the duration of Deep Water that aims to (1) explore the issues and (2) theatricalise our collective ideas and practises into performances that raise awareness and challenge our thinking around psycho-emotional health in the context of working for social justice. The workshop uses a wide range of ‘applied theatre’ approaches and is best suited for this group to meet regularly throughout the week to build towards a final sharing at the end.

As people attending Deep Water develop the trust and confidence to share stories, the work will progress from empowerment to offering tools for mobilizing and organizing people and communities to fight for social justice. Participants will learn games and exercises that can be taken back to their organizations, communities and constituencies to use in their mobilizing and organizing campaigns for radical transformation.

Regenerative Energy for Trauma Work
Description: The goal of Regenerative Energy is to dissolve energetic blockades in our bodies and augment our energy levels. The so called Regenerative Energy is stored, they say, in the crystals (Hydroxylapatit) of our bone structures. That is also where our traumas block basic energy flows. Regenerative Energy (therapy) aims at dissolving these blockades.

Sharing bodywork practices for daily health
Description: In this session we will share a daily practice which is great for stabilising body and mind energies. I also had good experiences getting out of states of anxiety via these exercises.

Relaxation Exercises for treating running, fast minds
Description: This technique, which has some similarities with Craniosacral Therapy, aims at lowering our brain activity to a Hertz-(frequency)-level which lies between sleeping and being awake, a state of oneness, the frequency of brain activity children usually have (5-8 Hertz). It enables a person to relax fully within a very short time and can thus be useful whenever someone finds herself in an anxious, nervous or hyperactive state of mind. It is also a way to explore our bodies, pains and wounds from within.

Emotional Labour
Description: A presentation and discussion which will explore emotional labour – what it is, how to recognize it, how it has become such a very gendered thing and why that sucks. Including some general pointers on how to do it if you’re not used to doing it.

Emotional Labour for men*
Description: This is a workshop for men* on how to do emotional labour – exercises for recognizing it, noticing it, and doing it in different kinds of settings.

Emotional Labour for women*
Description: This is a workshop for women* on how to take back your power to do or refuse emotional labour – how to draw and defend boundaries, recognize when you are being sucked into doing it, and resist the automatisms that are associated with it, so that you can do it out of your own free choice if and when you want to (or not)…

Embodied self-care practises.
Lisa Fannen
Description: Basic meditations, movement practises and bodywork for grounding, centering, resting and connection. A session to explore ideas that can be good personal or exchanged tools/resources in the body. It will include some simple ideas for exchanged touch through clothing. With the choice to sit anything out that doesn’t speak to you.

Herbal Medicine and Psycho-Emotional Health
Lisa Fannen
Description: A session to look at some of the basics of herbal medicine, to share one in-depth group herb study and look at a range of herbs that can be useful as support/allies for emotional support & resilience.

The Politics of Experience
Lisa Fannen
Description: A look at some of the history of psychiatry in the US & UK, and anti-psychiatry movements & progressive alternatives from the 1960s to the current time. A consideration of historical & cross cultural understandings of consciousness. Also discussion about deconstructing diagnosis and conversation about navigating and finding meaning in our lived experiences. This space will be for info exchange, questions, collective dialogue and solidarity.

Dialoguing With Our Different Voices
Elisabeth Svanhomer & Rufus May
Description: This workshop will explore different ways we can become more aware of different parts of ourselves. This voice dialogue approach can be useful for understanding and negotiating conflicts between different parts of ourselves and with others. There will be a chance to try out an exercise where we can ask parts of ourselves questions.

Connecting with the Resources of the Body
Elisabeth Svanhomer & Rufus May
Description: Trauma, overwhelm and stress of daily life can disconnect us from our bodies. Grounding techniques reconnect us with the here and now, with the body and the resources we have naturally available.

Cultivating Mad Gifts
Ken Paul Rosenthal
Description: This session will explore how we can manage the deep sensitivities inherit in being an artist and maintaining wellness in the face of triggers that arrive during creative process, particularly when making mental health-themed work. Clips from a mental health documentary will be screened as a touchstone for addressing the intertwined threads of madness and creativity.

Crooked Beauty: Producing Poetry of Resistance
Ken Paul Rosenthal
Description: This session will present fresh possibilities for articulating personal and first person narratives in mental health-themed documentaries through the regenerative power of nature. Not just for filmmakers, we will discuss how to collaborate with the natural world for images that embody the speaking subject and screen the radically poetic film, Crooked Beauty.

‘Madness & Mindfulness: Films by Ken Paul Rosenthal’
Ken Paul Rosenthal
Description: An opportunity to re-watch Crooked Beauty with more time for discussion, and/or watch two entirely different films from Ken’s Mad Dance Mental Health Film Trilogy: In Light, In! and For Shadows. Mad Dance Mental Health Film Trilogy

Gestalt Awareness Practice and Social Change
Description: This session is offered to people who want to raise their awareness in the here and now with regard to how they exist, relate, act, think about themselves (microlevel) and to-with each other(macrolevel). Developing awareness in the here and now can be used as a basic self help and therapeutic tool.. We will also practice some extra tools that can be used also as self help. All this will be under the umbrella of the awareness of our social-political reality, which we try to raise so that people can be active beings who can exist in this environment and do the best for themselves and others under the idea of solidarity. We will use exercises, games, gestalt therapy and awareness process to trigger and enter to what is here and now our experience and be able to share it with each other – a process that can roll from comfort to discomfort, to be honest.
Please note, this session is open to anyone interested in the description. The only necessity is that people realise that the session will involve exploring a method of awareness with others under a facilitator which means there are some rules that might seem new to people so the facilitator will kindly try to maintain the following of this method. Some of these rules include: speak personally from the ‘i’ and not in general, talk about the here and now not past or future, don’t interpret or judge, no ping pong way of talking and so on…

Time for Myself? Self-Care as an Activist
Kalle*,  Life’s a Beach Collective
Description: Maybe you are noticing that being an activist has lately become too demanding and that you need some time off to rest and relax. Maybe you are just looking for a way to never be in that situation and to leave space for yourself in your life while engaging in the struggle for another world. We want to discuss norms regarding productivity, achievement, and efficiency within activist communities. We want to get in touch with our own needs and learn from each other, how to find more time for ourselves and reduce stress.

Who’s Allowed to Feel Safe? Caring Communities, Privilege and Structural Discrimination
Kalle*Life’s a Beach Collective
Description: When do I feel safe and a sense of belonging in communities? Does it depend on my position as being un_privileged? Do I remember being part of a community where people cared for each other and where solidarity was more than a mere slogan on a t-shirt? Do I remember being part of a community where exclusion of marginalised identities was addressed and where the needs of minorities were taken seriously? Looking back on our own experiences in activist groups and communities, we want to develop a deeper understanding of caring communities. Beyond simple conceptions of harmony, we want to talk about the need to challenge internal structural discrimination to create safer spaces.

Surviving Queer Fear
Queertopia Collective
Description: Heteronormativity, struggles and support. Where and when am i anxoius_scared as a queer person? How are queer fears connected to existing power structures? How am i dealing with it? How can i deal with it in a different way? How can we support each other? We will approach these questions using conversations and methods of body work and theatre of the oppressed. If we want to we can make up a performance and present it later to the other participants of the gathering.

Boundaries, Borders and Breaking free
Mama D
Description: This session will be experiential and enable us to explore together the expression of those of our core values that contribute to the building of either connections or disconnections and how we may negotiate these to live freer, more autonomous, yet more positively connected lives.
This session will explore a sense of borders and boundaries and the ways in which these are things we constantly contribute to breaking or reinforcing in ways that either harm or heal our relationships, with ourselves, with each other and the wider world. Using ‘technologies’ that are a blend of the indigenous and the adaptive, explore and create linkages between the self and other across the boundaries and borders that we have, do and will create to bring about a sense of control and power. We will share and co-create new forms and processes that connect and express meaning related to interdependence whilst thriving. Nature aided.
If you are intending to or thinking about attending this workshop we are asking you to please bring a pebble or a small stone from your ‘home’ location, from a place that represents somewhere you feel anchored in some reasonably profound way. They need be no larger than 2-3 cms width, length or thickness! Be able to talk about your stone or pebble, if you can.

Sexological Bodywork
Presentation with discussion
Leni Kastl, Sexological Bodyworker, Austria
Description: Can sexual healing contribute to social justice? Can a sexological bodywork tool like Mindful Masturbation grow into a grassroots activity?
Sexological Bodywork was developed by Joseph Kramer in California with elements of various bodywork methods, at the time of the AIDS crisis of the 1980ies. This grew into a therapeutical discipline by the time.
I’m interested to reconnect to the communitiy oriented roots by trying to do a class on Sexual Self Care in this week.
This will be an introduction of the method Sexological Bodywork, an outlook to the practical workshop on Mindful Masturbation and Selftouch this week, and a discussion about how sexual healing is needed for social justice.

Sexual Self Care and Sexual Healing through Mindful Masturbation
Leni Kastl, Sexological Bodyworker, Austria
Description: Practical workshop for adults.
No physical contact, the workshop includes erotic self touch in the group.
Tender to all gender, especially I want to invite female*, LGBTI and nonbinary people
please bring blanket and sheet and cushion with you.
You will get to know a practice of mindful masturbation and meditative self touch. It can be done alone, as a couple or in a group.
Our sexuality is something we have learned. One of our first experiences is masturbation. Many of us are made to let go of being sensual with ourselves. After early times of self exploring masturbation grows into a secret, quick and shallow routine. Arousal is created rather by fantasizing than by fantastic touch. Or the interest in sexual activity decreases. Touch becomes a thing in which we grow dependent from others. And there are further facts too, that make us draw back from feeling.
Mindful Masturbation is a practice, to break up these patterns. Teaching mateial views various ways to touch our bodies and genitals. Exercises on body awareness and breathing deeply will help to focus on our body again. By doing this regularily we can grow into an new grounding connection to our body and to our sensuality.
In this class we will learn all about the concept of Mindful Masturbation and Selftouch and step by step we will practice in the group.

Trans health and competency
Otter Lieffe
Description: This workshop will provide basic trans-competency training for anyone – including holistic health practitioners – allying with trans, intersex and non-binary folk around health. We will focus on respectful use of language and sensitivity around discussing the health of trans and non-binary people. This workshop will be led by a trans woman holistic therapist who will speak from her own experiences. If there’s time, we’ll also hold a discussion around the use of herbs in supporting transgender, intersex and non-binary people.
As trans-competency is a wide and complex subject, this workshop will be just the beginning of a conversation and there will be limited time for questions and answers at the end. For safety we wish to state that, in keeping with the rest of the gathering, this space will not tolerate transmisogyny, transphobia, derailing or other disrespectful behaviour of any kind. The workshop will be directed towards cis health practitioners but trans and non-binary people are also invited to contribute. The voices of trans, intersex and non-binary people will be prioritised throughout.

What is the hearing voices movement ? (Movie screening and Presentation)
Description: The Hearing Voices Movement offer perspectives of radical social change that cross and exceeds therapeutic, political and spiritual patterns.
It is groundbased of people experiences. Some are commonly understood as symptoms of a mental illness, but the ways we express and transform ourself (coping strategy, mutual support, art, activism…) leads to a deeper understanding of our whole being.
The welcoming of who we are, even the usually denied parts is a revolutionary process that offer another practical sense of self and community.
What is hearing voices movement:
The french Hearing voices network is the R.E.V
Intervoice – The International Hearing voices Network:

Self help & mutual support – sharing experiences and tools
Miran & Val
Description: What is self help? How we practice it? What kind of support do we need? How we define it? How we get it? How to found our allies? How to start a mutual support group? How to sustain it? How to balance self help and mutual support?
With examples of different mutual support groups (Project Icarus, Voices Hearer group and others…)
The website of the Projet Icarus ( French Icarus Project)
The international Icarus Project:

Healing voices movie screening
Description: HEALING VOICES explores the experience commonly labeled as ‘psychosis’ through the stories of real-life individuals, and asks the question: What are we talking about when we talk about ‘mental illness’? The film follows three subjects – Oryx, Jen, Dan – over nearly five years, and features interviews with notable international experts including: Robert Whitaker, Dr. Bruce Levine, Celia Brown, Will Hall, Dr. Marius Romme, and others, on the history of psychiatry and the rise of the ‘medical model’ of mental illness.

Sharing tools about how to cope with our extreme states
Description: “Extreme” could refer to something close to the end. We self define what is extreme. Mostly we don’t know or we can’t cope because of this “extreme” perception. It means too much for now and we feel there is no way of getting trough it. By listening and sharing our experiences of the extreme states we can find a way to connect our own resources to better know, cross or integrate what we call “extreme”.

How to help someone in psycho-emotional distress
Miran and Val
Description: How can I help? Why do I think this person in particular needs my help? How deep am I concerned by their distress? How to be a good ally? How to sustain someone respectfully? How to help someone who doesn’t ask for help? What to do when the situation seems dangerous? How to find a good distance? How should I deal with the feeling of being useless? And other similar questions…

Dead, words and meaning
Description: When we live through a big loss, when we support someone dying, when we are facing death…
We experiment such things that don’t always fit in our usual understanding or beliefs. It’s often difficult to talk freely about this because of social norms, language, conformism and lots of other reasons… We (the living) may have problems to listen to them (the dead) as we have to listen to the voices of voices hearers, the deep emotions of wounded parts of ourselves, or the basic needs of minorities. We need to let go all dogmatic theory and start at the point where we don’t know.

Social and systemic violence: how it works, what about consequences and how to prevent it
Marta – polish psychologist; focused on psychotraumatology and positive sexology; social activist and antifascist
Description: Process of dehumanization is fundamental in social and systemic violence. People tend do display violent attitudes and submit to totalitarian authority. What is the psychological background of this phenomenon? This presentation is about how I see the causes of rising fascism, but what is more important is what happens afterwards: What it means to be a victim? How to work with people who experienced dehumanization trauma? What is psychotraumatology and what it has in common with antifascist education?

For dignity! Polish social movements fighting for mental health
Marta – polish psychologist; focused on psychotraumatology and positive sexology; social activist and antifascist
Description: Condition of mental health in Poland is bad. Society stigmatizes those who use psychological help. People with psychological difficulties are siscriminated against. Quality of services provided by public health ninstitutions is horrible. Within the limits of social insurance one can use almost only psychiatric hospitals which are not so helpful. There is no prevention of psychic crises. Good psychological help is provate, non-holostic and very expensive. In 2016 people organized to collectively fight for better care of mental health. Social discontent of both workers and beneficients of public institutions started grassroots movement that organized the First Congres of Mental Health in Poland (2017) which in turn gathered over 1200 participants and its online version spread among thousands more. In this presentation I will also describe in detail this and a few other initiatives that are currently trying to improve polish mental healthcare.

Burning Out. A film by Jérôme le Maire
Description: Burning Out is literally a drama about life and death. For two years, the Belgian director Jérôme le Maire followed the members of a surgical unit in one of the biggest hospitals in Paris. Constantly under severe stress, understaffed and subject to severe budget cuts, employees fight each other for resources. Meanwhile the management imposes ever more stringent efficiency and profitability targets.
All over Europe burnout has reached epidemic proportions among employees in the public and private sectors. Will we end up killing ourselves? Or will we be able to find meaning and joy at work?
the film contains occasional graphic images of surgical procedures
Official Website

The screening will be followed by a discussion around the topic of burning out.

Psycho-emotional experiences around flight and migration: open discussion for the people having these experiences and supporters
Description: the idea behind this session is to have a space and time assigned for people with the experiences of flight and migration or around support and solidarity groups.
The idea is to open up a discussion around these topics depending on the people who will attend the session – they can decide on the exact content, format and the necessity of more meetings like that.
It’s an open discussion without pre-assigned moderators.