Peter Cartwright

Training & Group Work

I started training people in 1993 when I volunteered to run bike maintenance classes for cyclists in Wandsworth. For several years now I’ve tended to specialise in two areas:

1. Training professionals, workers and volunteers about all aspects of families affected by someone else’s drug and alcohol use. I also deliver similar training to those families themselves. Much of this work is for Adfam, the leading organisation in Britain working for families affected by drugs and alcohol, and for DrugFAM, a charity supporting families in Buckinghamshire.

I’ve written and deliver training in: how to understand family dynamics; how to support the families of people who use drugs or alcohol; how families can support someone who uses drugs or alcohol; setting and keeping boundaries; coping with conflict; understanding drug use; substance-related bereavement; how to set up and run a family support group; and how families influence drug and alcohol treatment.

2. Training counsellors to counsel people who are bereaved. From 2012 to 2020 I trained the counsellors for  Lewisham Bereavement Counselling service. I also train other counsellors to counsel people who are bereaved through a drug or alcohol realted death; who are depressed; overly anxious; using medication, street drugs or alcohol; or who are traumatised.

The training I write and deliver balances key ideas and theories with practical material and approaches to facilitate helpful change. Therefore my training courses are experiential, with a high degree of participant involvement, to develop their knowledge and skills. Each course has a clear aim and set of measurable learning outcomes. Participants consistently evaluate my training courses very highly.

I have been facilitating groups since 1996 when I ran a personal development group for men in Wandsworth Prison. Since then I have run a variety of groups:

  • Chair and facilitator of the national working group that produced the first guidelines for working with people bereaved through a drug or alcohol related death (see section on Publications).
  • Chair and speaker every year at DrugFAM’s annual bereaved by addiction Conference.
  • From 2018 to 2022 facilitator of a monthly group for family members affected by a loved one’s addictive substance use and co-occuring difficulties (such as mental health difficulties, being neurodiverse, childhood trauma, etc.)
  • From 2009 to 2019 facilitator of a weekly group to train and support familiy members affected by a loved one’s substance use, in Greenwich for the charity Adfam.
  • From 2008 to 2014 facilitating a weekly support group for family members affected by a loved one’s drug or alcohol use.
  • A two month men’s group for Greenwich Mind.
  • A monthly clinical supervision group for family support workers for Adfam.
  • A support group for men in Wandsworth Prison.
  • Various groups for people that stammer at The City Lit.