Soul Care Workshops

Four individual or CPD workshops for those who tend their own soul, or who help to care for others’ spiritual wellbeing

Saturday Afternoons  1.30pm – 4pm at St Columba’s by the Castle, Central Edinburgh

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28 September 2019: The Masculine Soul


Can masculinity be both wild and sacred? In a post-Weinstein, ‘me too’ world, can poet Mary Oliver’s soulful exhortation to “let the soft animal of your body love what it loves” truly apply to men? Nick Thorpe believes so. Here he offers an interactive workshop that seeks to go beyond the often-binary media narrative in search of the distinctive gifts and spiritual needs of men, and to explore how men and women might experience ‘the masculine soul’. This event is open to all, and all genders are warmly welcome.

Nick Thorpe is an award-winning writer, coach and speaker on subjects ranging from risk-taking to male rites of passage. His delivery of the Scottish Government’s Year of the Dad campaign in 2016 highlighted the emotional development of men and boys as a win-win for gender equality. A passionate and involved adoptive dad, Nick has spent the past ten years learning from men’s circles and 1:1 client work. A keen kayaker and spiritual searcher, he lives by the sea in Edinburgh, where he often coaches clients in midlife transition.

23 November 2019: Right Use of Power


When power is often misused to manipulate and control, how can we develop heart-filled, power-positive skills to bring restoration, goodness and change? In this workshop we will use Webinar material from Psychotherapist Dr Cedar Barstow, to explore our personal and positional relationship to power; how our own experience as client, learner or directee can help build sensitivity and awareness to the use of power and influence in the roles we have for others. For all who offer soul care e.g. faith leaders, spiritual teachers, pastoral carers. Suitable as a CPD event, certificates are available on request.

Elizabeth White is a spiritual director and senior accredited pastoral supervisor with APSE. She holds a diploma in cross-professional, creative supervision, and a graduate certificate in group-work. Having formerly coordinated the adult learning programme for the Diocese of Edinburgh, she now offers group and individual opportunities for spiritual reflection on life and work. Elizabeth also co-ordinates a project exploring a national accreditation pathway for spiritual directors; supporting best practice, heartening ethics and enlivening accountability.

1 February 2020: The Dynamic Ignatian Exercises


Designed as an introduction to the dynamic of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, this event will include input, guided reflection and interactive ‘stations’ to open up an overview of the Exercises’ scripture-based themes. It is for those who are simply curious, those who would like to revisit their experience of making the Exercises, and those who offer them to others and would like to practice some visual and creative ways into the material. Experience of receiving Spiritual Direction is helpful but is not a requirement. Open to all, with a maximum of 18 participants – book early!

Elizabeth White works with a variety of individuals and groups – in Edinburgh and online – including Pithead Time for Pastors, Reflection for Life and Edinburgh Presbytery’s supervision team. For several years she was involved in training others in Spiritual Conversation/Direction, and based her supervisory diploma project around the use of creative methods to teach the Ignatian guidelines. She first used this material with spiritual direction trainees in 2016 and is now delighted to offer it over a spacious afternoon.

25 April 2020: Exploring Spiritual Abuse


What is spiritual abuse? What are the key characteristics that lie behind this difficult label? And what impact does the experience of spiritual abuse have on people’s lives? Through input from current research, small group discussion and plenary, this workshop will help ‘soul care practioners’ to consider the definitions and implications of these questions for their work. Brief pointers may be given for accompanying those who have experienced abuse, but the main emphasis will be on what we need to be aware of as we hold safe, sacred space for others. This event is open to faith leaders, spiritual directors, therapists etc, particularly those working in 1:1 or small group settings. Suitable as a CPD event, certificates are available on request.

Anne Solomon is an experienced spiritual director and supervisor working in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Also a Chartered Psychologist AFBPsS with an MA in Religion and Society, and Divinity awards, she works and writes within the fruitful dialogue between spirituality and psychology. Always in this work Anne carries a particular heart for ethics and standards in soul care settings. She tutors on the ecumenical two year Gloucestershire spiritual direction training course, supports other formation programmes and runs workshops for experienced spiritual accompaniers.

Venue All events are held at The Hall, St Columba’s by the Castle, 14 Johnstone Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2PW.

This is close to The Hub at the top of the Royal Mile, 15min walk from Waverley Station and Princes Street. Please note it is a BLUE door (there is another St Columba’s with a red door!)

Access The venue is wheelchair accessible by lift, with an accessible toilet. There are blue badge parking spaces on the street outside.

Booking Each session is £25 including tea, coffee, cake and fruit. Bookings are via Brown Paper Tickets online system, see individual web links overleaf; the ‘https’ web address signifies a secure connection for Credit/Debit cards or PayPal. Workshops can be booked at any time during the year, however each event requires a minimum number to go ahead, so please book in plenty time to ensure the event runs. If the event is cancelled by Reflective Spaces your booking will be refunded. In all other cases places are non-refundable.

Discounted places Two places at £10 are available for each event, intended for those on very low incomes. Please book via Brown Paper Tickets and choose that option, subject to availability.

Two FREE places are available at each event in exchange for help with either chairs/set up, or tea/coffee. Please enquire directly to Elizabeth White for more details

These workshops are offered by Reflective Spaces

Reflective Spaces facilitates spiritual reflection in life and work and is rooted in a broad, contemplative Christian tradition; those from other spiritual traditions are very welcome at these events. More general information at