The chore of acquiring continuous professional development (CPD) hours has had a facelift over the past few years. Rather than being force-fed old, often white male, stale theory, it is now a space for us to be nurtured and feel connected. Connected to our peers who share the same niche interests and feel part of a community for a couple of hours.
We can now access new, creative wisdom, enthusiastic trainers, ideas and theory that can transform our client work.
At the start of lockdown 2020, my in-person workshops were all cancelled. Then, one day in April 2020, a lady called me who was due to attend one of my workshops. She was planning to fly from Belfast to work with me in Newcastle. She asked me, ‘Lorna, I want to learn about trauma in the body; we need this information now. Would you do it on zoom?’ So I did. I took a risk and wondered if anybody would attend. They did. People from the UK, Australia, Malta, South Africa and America appeared on the zoom screen.
I attended many online CPD trainings to figure out what good looked like. It was weird at first. The fumbling lack of tech knowledge. How do we take this training online, does it even work online? On reflection, we were all panicking together. It was strangely comforting.
Here we are two and a half years later, and for most of us, CPD online is still our preferred option, way outselling in-person workshops.
We can now access trainers with fresh eyes and enthusiasm for their niche, who share their new ways of thinking and working with us. And I can have Babette Rothschild and Bessel van der Kolk live in my living room.
The shorter shot of a two or three hour online workshop allows us to avoid boring trainers, death by PowerPoint, transference and group process. This new way of learning enhances our client work. Enabling us to access new movements and trends in therapy and integrate them into our work. We can grab the diamonds of wisdom and be on our way.
I'm always watching for something new and exciting to cross my path that connects with my client work and my desire to learn. Yes, I get busy and tell myself I can't afford it this month. Yet, part of me looks forward to having that little space to receive and nourish myself with a group of people I will never see again.
Most recently, I boosted my knowledge of working with women with ADHD. The CPD instantly helped me in my work, and I could share this new knowledge with my clients.
The world has changed, and we must keep up to date as a community. We must all now understand how to navigate working with race, gender, trauma in the body and neurodiversity. Questioning and updating traditional theory fed to us by older white men and finding space for new voices, female writers and passionate, creative trainers.