Sensuous Facilitation Residential Workshop

Sensuous Facilitation: A Residential Workshop for Experienced Facilitators
Whatton Lodge, East Lothian
Friday 21st to Monday 24th April 2023
with Ted Bowman, Valerie Gillies, Sukhema (aka Larry Butler), Penny Stone
Cost £247 – £290
Early Bird discounts for applications received by 15 February
To apply please complete and return this form
Sensuous Facilitation appl-form

Join us for an extended Residential Weekend

Facilitating groups has been described as both art and craft. However considered, one can always refine, deepen, broaden, and enrich her/his facilitation. This advanced workshop is an opportunity. Picture yourself not only skilfully guided by the leadership team but also surrounded by other experienced facilitators… all seeking to extend and deepen their skills in using reading and writing for wellbeing, and sharing all sorts of creative activities for recovery including music/songs, visual art and dance.

Advanced, in this case, means that the registrant has attended a previous Lapidus Scotland basic facilitation workshop or residential; has led several reading and writing for wellbeing groups in past years; or has a diploma that includes attention to facilitation of groups.

This residential will include perspectives and tools for enriching both content and process of facilitation. Projected topics include:

  • Balancing content and process
  • Building a repertoire of literary resources
  • Responses to personal disclosure
  • Ethical issues related to boundaries
  • Meeting challenging behaviours
  • Clarity about purpose and what is allowed
  • Co-leadership and consultation with colleagues
  • Giving feedback to oneself and to co-leaders
  • Moving groups to deeper considerations
  • Balancing diverse needs of individual members
  • Responding to offensive comments or prejudice
  • Diversity in its many variations: (age, race, country of origin, spiritual, sexual orientation, etc)
  • Versatility in facilitation

The weekend will be a rich mixture of experiential and reflective processes exploring all our senses and including demonstrations by the very experienced course leaders; plus opportunities for practice, feedback, discussion and the sharing of resources. By the end of the three days, you will have gained skills and confidence as a facilitator and an understanding of your individual strengths. As an organiser, you will feel better equipped to set up and manage a words for wellbeing programme and to support those delivering it.

Who is this for?

The workshop is for people who have:

  • attended a previous Lapidus Scotland Introductory facilitation workshop/residential; or
  • have experience of leading reading and writing for wellbeing groups; or
  • have a diploma that includes attention to facilitation of groups; and
  • people who organise and support words for wellbeing or would like to do so.

NB Lapidus Scotland reserves the right to reject applicants on the basis of their experience and qualifications.

What previous participants have said

This is our fourth Lapidus Scotland residential workshop at Whatton Lodge. Here are some comments from previous participants:

‘A wonderful creative experience’
‘Really welcoming’
‘A great weekend for recharging, sharing ideas and benefiting from the wealth of experience of our three facilitators’
‘Great meeting people with shared interest’
‘Helped build my confidence when working in a group’
‘Very stimulating’
‘Learnt a lot’
‘House is lovely and exactly the right venue for this experience’
‘Food great, accommodation great, view and location priceless!’
‘Thank you for all the wisdom and discussion’

Course leaders

Ted Bowman (pictured centre), poet, editor, and grief educator. For five decades, Ted has facilitated groups addressing disruptive changes, the resulting losses and grieving, with steps toward healing, resiliency and renewed hopes. He was also an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota and the University of Saint Thomas. His books include Loss of Dreams: A Special Kind of Grief; Ambiguous Parables: Prose and Poems about Loss and Renewal, and co-editor of The Wind Blows, the Ice Breaks, a volume of poems by Minnesota poets addressing loss and renewal.

Valerie Gillies (right) is a poet and non-fiction writer, the author of eight books. She was the Edinburgh Makar, poet laureate to the city, from 2005 to 2008. Recently, she was an Associate of Harvard University. She is the facilitator of courses in creative writing at Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre, Edinburgh. Valerie has made a journey to the healing wells and springs of Scotland and Ireland, to write The Spring Teller (Luath, 2009). Her book The Cream of the Well: New and Selected Poems was short-listed for a Saltire Award. In 2022, together with the Orkney-based photographer Rebecca Marr, Valerie created a website with words and images to be used for healing purposes.

Sukhema aka Larry Butler (left) is a poet, editor, researcher convenor for Lapidus Scotland, teaches tai-chi for health, leads expressive writing, journaling, and life story at Maggie Cancer Care Centre; publications include Butterfly Bones (Two Ravens), Han Shan Everywhere, Arts on Prescription (Greater Glasgow Health Board). He leads writing retreats and edits pamphlets for PlaySpace Publications. His latest book There Are Others, is still in the making! And recently he became a grandfather and a knitter.

Accommodation & catering

The residential will take place in Whatton Lodge in East Lothian. With stunning views over Gullane Bay towards the Firth of Forth, it is the earliest of a group of three houses in Hill Road built in the Arts and Crafts style. We will have sole use of the Lodge which comprises several twin bedrooms, a large sitting room, a library/TV room, a lounge, a dining room seating 32 and a large fully equipped kitchen, plus laundry, toilets, bath and shower rooms. It has extensive gardens facing the sea with a private gate to the beach. The Lodge is wheelchair friendly with an electric stair lift to the upper floor bedrooms. In addition to the Lodge, we also have an adjoining cottage for our use which has four twin bedrooms. All our meals will be prepared for us by our resident cook. Expect lots of delicious home-cooked fare.

Getting there

Whatton Lodge, Hill Road, Gullane, East Lothian EH31 2BE

  • By public transport: There are buses from Edinburgh to Gullane, or you can get the train from Edinburgh Waverley to North Berwick (33 minutes) and then a taxi or bus.
  • By car: The journey is about 45 minutes from Edinburgh.

Lapidus Scotland can organise car sharing and taxis if needed. 


Full price £290 / £276.50 (5% discount for Lapidus International members)

Early Bird (form returned by 15 February 2023) £260 / £247 (5% LI discount)

20 places only available. Early application is recommended.

To apply please complete and return this form by 31 March 2023 Sensuous Facilitation appl-form


2 thoughts on “Sensuous Facilitation Residential Workshop

  1. So excited to see an in-person return and I hope I can return to Whatton Lodge in April. It was nourishing experience, on the first occasion, where my mind, body, soul and love of words, inspired. I attended the online course, and whilst lovely, I missed so much being in the room and freedom that being in-person, in a supportive setting brings to my creativity. I will be making an EB application this weekend 🙂

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