Before I begin, I must declare that I’m a bit set in my ways. I like to think that I know what works for me. Furthermore, in writing this I must confess that, where conferences are concerned, I approach them with an air of mild reluctance.

This year’s Private Practice Conference was different. Quite apart from it being held during what is probably the most profound period of change and disruption that most of us have experienced in our lifetimes, it was an online conference. Aside from some concerns around the possible technological glitches, my interest was piqued.

It turned out that my technological concerns were groundless. Everything worked seamlessly. The ‘live chat’ was both stimulating and thought provoking. It was a joy to hear or read the thoughts and comments of practitioners from all over the UK. I was quickly immersed in the content and surprised at the feeling of community.

Of the two streams on offer, I stuck with stream 1 on the understanding that I would be able to catch the other workshops later. I was particularly drawn to Sally Brown’s presentation on dealing with parents of young clients. As a former teacher I work with a number of young people. Maintaining confidentiality for young people whilst at the same time fielding the questions and concerns of (understandably) worried parents often provides us with ethical dilemmas, so to hear the thoughts expressed during this workshop was particularly helpful.

What surprised me most was how inspired I was by William Pullen’s presentation on Dynamic Running Therapy. The thought of working outside of my consulting room had not been one that I had considered before, however this workshop really got me thinking. So much so that I am tentatively proud to say that I now have my first ever walking-talking client. This is a new client who (with COVID-19 in mind) is struggling to be indoors in any setting. They asked if we could work outdoors. With William’s workshop in mind we agreed that this would be an ideal way to provide some support. I’m happy to report that it’s going very well.

Perhaps I’m more capable of change than I thought, who knew?

You can catch up with the on-demand recordings from the 2020 Private Practice Conference - 'Communication: can you understand me' until 11 January 2021.