Elysian Space to Breathe Programme

We are very proud, privileged and excited to facilitate the Space To Breathe Programme at Westland Farm near Guildford, Surrey.

Space to Breathe is facilitated by its creators who are three highly accomplished professionals working across a variety of  alternative approaches to self-development and personal growth. 

The Space to Breathe programmes overall aims and objectives are centred around space to reflect, space to practise self-care and nurture, self-exploration and development. Depending on the theme of the Space to Breathe day you attend this may include expanding your sense of yourself and your relationships with others, reflect on your family system, yourself and those you are responsible for/to. Other aims include reducing stress and anxiety, improving communication, self-regulation, balance and harmony. The self-nurturing aspect of the workshops will help participants to improve aspects of their self-care, which aims to improve sleep and the immune system.

Our Key words:

Resilience   Breathing  Mindfulness    Sustainability         Creativity   Coherence

Well Being   Meaning            Purpose         Identity                    Gratitude

In every Space to Breathe Workshop you will have the opportunity to benefit from evidence-based psychological methods of self-exploration using therapeutic exercises through mediums or art, play and Equine/Animal Assisted therapy to help develop your internal curiosity.

Space to Breathe Programme Details

This programme targets participants who are in life situations where they spend a large majority of their time taking responsibility for others.

The theme of this programme is to connect with others and self-nurture. And although the individual focus for each participant will be something personal to them, we will also cover and make personal discoveries on themes based around Co-dependency, Identity, time for self – What does happen when you are not there? / responsibility for others and repeat patterns of behaviour.

We will be helping you look at your personal resources so that you have energy for looking after your children (or people to care for) but also explore your sense of self.  Seeing yourself as an important resource which needs nurturing is key for successful parenting/caring for others.  There will be space to talk about and share concerns about parenting/caring for others and to find laughter in our shared foibles and explore ideas for more successful communication.

The day is split into exercises, with space to reflect and absorb between the exercises that the facilitators support.

Below are some of the exercises described by the facilitators that participants will experience on the ‘Busy lives’ programme:

  • A breathing and heart focused meditation exercise .
  • A ‘Meet the herd’ exercise, an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy exercise, supporting grounding and reflection, and encouraging self exploration.
  • A visualisation exercise to help people focus on the age of your child/person you are caring for (particularly one you have concerns about) and then remember what was happening for them when they were that age.
  • A drama therapy exercise around any concerns you have.
  • An inquiry based process exercise which involves sharing in pairs matters of the heart based on self-appreciation and self-care, using painting.
  • An Equine Assisted Psychotherapy exercise called ‘My world’, exploring own need and the support around you.


August 13, 2019

August 20, 2019

November 9, 2019

December 20, 2019


Programme runs from 9:45 AM – 4:30 PM



The theme of this programme is self-nurture and networking/connection. It is a day of focusing on you as an individual, whilst learning from and networking with others. You may be someone with a busy life who wants to take an opportunity to focus on your own needs, or an individual with a keen interest in self-development. You may wish to learn more about therapeutic approaches through this experiential day filled with opportunities to express yourself and expand your understanding of what makes you the unique individual you are.

The day will focus on your connection with yourself, connection with others – in a ‘community’ experience, Me time, Increasing emotional/self-capacity, and there is potential to explore what you need in order to restore, bring balance, and identify your own milestones.

The day is split into exercises, with space to reflect and absorb between the exercises that the facilitators support.

Below are some of the exercises described by the facilitators that participants will experience on the ‘Busy lives’ programme:

  • A ‘Meet the herd’ exercise, an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy exercise, supporting grounding and reflection, and encouraging self exploration.
  • A breathing and body exercise using mindfulness and sound to help you locate within yourselves. This will be outside if the weather allows.
  • An Equine Assisted Therapy exercise exploring current challenges and barriers to focusing on own needs, working with large horses in the grass arena
  • A series of arts based activities, using clay (latex gloves can be provided if needed). We will begin with you creating your sphere which will then be passed around in the group circle and will come back to you. From there you will work on your clay sphere to create your seed and use a water colour process to explore and reflect on your own needs. There will be time to share and reflect throughout the process.
  • A Jungian visualisation to help you think about your unconscious view of your life.


August 14, 2019

August 21, 2019

October 12, 2019

December 21, 2019


Programme runs from 9.35AM – 4:30 PM



Laura Joanknecht - Elysian Space to Breathe Facilitator

Laura Joanknecht

Laura Joanknecht has a Diploma in Counselling (1998) a Degree in Psychology, Post Graduate Certificate in Education, Masters Certificate in Supervision and further qualifications in Psychosexual Counselling, EMDR and Sex Addiction.

She works with couples, individuals and groups. As well as being a therapist, Laura worked for a long time training people to become counsellors.

She has developed her own model of counselling which aims to address marginalisation in society and empower people by helping them focus on their own felt sense of their experience and find a way of making choices that strengthen themselves and others.

Laura has specialised in working with survivors of sexual violence since 2002.

Aya Husni Bey

Aya Husni Bey

Aya has over 20 years experience working wth clients in creative ways,  this has included counselling, utilising art, play and mindfulness. Aya works with individuals and groups of all ages with a range of challenges. These include: anxiety and stress; depression and apathy; relationship issues; trauma; abuse; low self-esteem; as well as overcoming many other adversities. This has included working with a range of abilities and diverse cultural backgrounds

Aya’s work started in 1999, with supporting children through challenging family situations in Lebanon; where she was employed by the UN. She has since worked in Laos, Italy, Libya, and the U.K. in a variety of therapeutic disciplines including: the Carl Rogers school of person-centred counselling (PCT); holistic and mindfulness practises; therapeutic play; coaching; and spiritual retreats. Professional qualifications include: HeartMath Coach, Transpersonal Art Counsellor, City & Guilds Level 7, Holistic Counsellor, Associazione di Categoria Professionale (S.I.A.F. Italia), 2017, Therapeutic Play Practitioner, Canterbury Christ Church University, Waldorf Early Years Teacher, Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree.

Charlotte Williams - Elysian Space to Breathe Facilitator

Charlotte Williams

Charlotte is a founder and Director for Animal Assisted Therapy and Learning, and has worked in a variety of roles in social care settings for many years. Charlotte has worked across ages, with individuals and groups, with emotional well-being and mental health needs.  Roles varied from working in an Early Years setting to managing children’s homes, a ‘Family Specialist’ role and managing Children’s Rights and Mental health crisis service for children and young people in Surrey  Many of these roles have included training, facilitation, management and supervision.

Charlotte’s Qualifications include: Foundation Bsc Psychology and Counselling, BA (HONS) Psychology and Youth Studies, BA (HONS) Social Work, Post Grad Cert Managing in Health and Social Care, Post Grad Cert Critical Practice with Children and Young People, Advanced Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling, Animal Assisted Therapy Level 3 Practitioner, Certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAGALA), PRINCE2 Project Management Advance Practitioner, Crisis Intervention Trainer, First Aid, Health and Safety level 2, Safeguarding, supervision and other relevant and certified training in health, social care and therapy areas.


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