Donington Training, Helping you become more of what you would want to be, personal development training in Alvechurch, UK
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Current courses
Assertiveness Training
Helping skills
Counselling, psychotherapy, coaching and tutoring
Education For Its Own Sake
Training materials

See our Current courses for our latest course dates. Do contact us on (0121) 445 4607 or via e-mail if you want to discuss any of this.

What in your life would you would like to improve?

Would you like to:

  • Earn more money
  • Be healthier
  • Enjoy life more
  • Have better friendships
  • Improve your close relationships
  • Get on better with your neighbours
  • Be at ease when you or others are feeling upset (sad angry or frightened)
  • Control your children
  • Give better support to your children
  • Make better decisions
  • Be better at handling difficult people
  • Enhance your management style
  • Improve your ability as a counsellor, befriender, care worker
  • Be better at anything else in your life?

Donington Training offers courses that will help you become more confident, better with others, communicate more effectively and succeed in any of these.

Are you looking for training courses in

  • Counselling or Counselling Skills
  • Befriending or mentoring
  • Parenting
  • Handling anger and other emotions

We offer training for personal and professional development

Our courses go beyond what is usually on offer.

  • Participants learn an extensive range of techniques, not just ones that would be used in counselling sessions.
  • Participant learn how and when it is acceptable to use the techniques in many different situations
  • Participants can work with their own situations, learning how to use the techniques to find different ways of handling things more effectively
  • There is plenty of practice with non judgemental support so that participants become more confident and able to use the techniques
  • Everyone works at their own level, experienced and inexperienced participants, professionals and non professionals support and learn from each other.

Effective, friendly, challenging and enjoyable training

These courses are highly suitable both for professional development and for people who want to learn how to be more effective in their own lives. They are also suitable for people in almost all jobs or professions.

If you are thinking of taking up counselling or something similar as a profession, there is some background information here. The courses that I offer have advantages over most counselling training courses because:

  • They are not accredited, this means that participants do not have to learn what some external body has said is necessary, nor take any exams or write assignments to prove that they have.
  • Many people come on counselling courses because they want to learn about themselves. Our courses support this learning.
  • Learning about yourself and others, including learning to feel differently, is central to becoming better at counselling others and is central to these courses.
  • If you want to continue with a professional training these courses are an excellent way to start. They will provide you with a sound basis for further training and support to decide what you really want to do.
  • The courses offer a thorough training in models of assertiveness and helping skills to complement any other type of professional training.

The training that we offer does not just tell you what you should do, it helps you to be more of the sort of person who is good at these things.

For instance, what some people need to do in some situations is to say “no”. They probably do not need to be told that, but they find it a very difficult thing to say. We can help people to become more able to say what they would choose to say.

What we know from many years of running this type of training is that if you take part in this training you will become better at these things and the more of the training you take part in the better you will become.

The courses are

  • Relevant to your needs and situations
  • Participative, you are actively involved in the classes
  • Effective at helping you to become more how you would choose to be
  • Friendly, relaxed and supportive
  • Non-judgemental, no one is criticised, assessed or judged

You may well never have experienced this type of training. It is highly effective and based on sound educational principles yet hardly any trainers or colleges offer it.

Current Donington Training courses

Current courses are included in this list.

For more information or to reserve a place telephone John on (0121) 445 4607 or e-mail

About Donington Training courses

The type of training is based on what is called "the facilitation of experiential, holistic learning".


Literally making things easy! While the courses are challenging and transforming they are not "hard".

Learning from experience

Over 2000 years ago Julius Caesar Wrote "being instructed by experience, which is the best of teachers". He was no doubt not the first to realise this and many have written about it since.

Remember your lessons at school. Were some subjects interesting and exciting? Were others dull and boring? How did those experiences affect how you find those topics today? What we find is that it is what we experience that has the most effect on what we learn and not what we are told or what we read.

So Donington Training courses do two things. One is to make your experience of the classes interesting and enjoyable. The other is to work with your experiences, both your experiences of activities in the classes and of the experiences in your life, particularly of the things you want to change. Time is spent in the classes looking at situations that students want to talk about (you do not have to talk about anything you do not want to), seeing what can be learned from them and how they might be handled differently.

Learning to change - holistic learning

Learning is not just about facts, ideas and practice. Learning is also about how we feel and what we can imagination. It is all very well knowing how to handle a situation more assertively or how to respond to people more helpfully, but unless it feels right you will not be able to do it. An important part of Donington Training courses is learning to feel different, for instance to feel more confident and more relaxed about other people.

In order to support this type of learning you need to feel safe and supported. Hence we often sit in a circle so that everyone is equal and can be seen and heard. No one has to say anything they do not want to say. We take care to try to ensure that nothing anyone says is misused, we avoid any criticisms or judgements and personal things that people reveal are kept confidential. The atmosphere is friendly and we often have fun.

Suitable for everyone

The courses are appropriate for people with all sorts of abilities and background. A lot of the learning comes from students sharing experiences and the more varied those experiences the better. The nature of the subjects and the ways in which they are taught mean that no one will be out of their depth and everyone will be stretched, whether you have never passed an exam in your life or you have a PhD. Reading and writing are not necessary and there is plenty of scope for those who want to read and write.

Education For Its Own Sake

Donington Training is not for profit and these courses are run as Education For Its Own Sake (EFIOS) courses. This means that the courses are free of any external requirements, assessment or exams. You work with the tutor and the other students to learn whatever is appropriate for you.

The cost of the courses will be whatever you decide to pay, whatever you think the course is worth and you can afford. It is hoped that on average students will pay a reasonable amount, perhaps somewhere between the cost of local authority adult education courses and private tuition (e.g. between £2.50 and £20 per class hour). You can pay at any class in one sum or several and there will be no check on what you student pays. There will also be no legal contract between you and the tutor.

Personal development

Being successful in life has a lot to do with how we get on with other people. There are three main aspects to this:

  • Communicating to other people
  • Responding to other people
  • Our internal thoughts and feelings

Donington Training runs courses that help people to make big improvements in all of these areas.

Communicating to other people

Communicating clearly to other people what we choose to communicate is being assertive. Assertiveness Training courses cover both techniques for communicating effectively and practice in applying these to real situations in your life.

Responding to other people

This is to do with listening and it is also about helping others to communicate effectively and say what they really need to say. Often when people are talking it is about difficulties that they are having, decisions they need to make or things that have happened. To respond well usually means responding helpfully, in other words how can we help others to handle things in ways that are better for them, how to learn to handle them better. Helping Skills Training courses cover a wide range of ways of helping others to learn both in formal and informal, personal and professional situations.

Our internal thoughts and feelings

By "feelings" we mean here everything that can follow "I feel...", such as "I feel cold", "I feel like going for a walk" or "I feel like telling them what to do". They include emotions, like feeling happy, sad, angry or afraid but many feeling are not accompanied by much emotion. Often we are not aware of what we feel even though our feelings may be leading to much of what we do. Our courses help people to be more aware of their feelings.

It is all very well having information about how to communicate effectively or how to respond to others but when it comes to it we very often find it too difficult to get the right words out. We end up saying or doing what we feel we can do and end up not saying what we want to say or responding unhelpfully to others.

How we feel is mostly what determines what we do or say. Becoming more effective or being able to have more of the life that we want generally means learning to feel differently in situations. I may know that what I need to do is to say “no” to someone when they ask me to do something that I do not want to do. But I can only say “no” when I feel able to do so.

Coming to feel differently is part of learning. Learning is as much about feelings as it is about facts – learning to uses computers, for instance, involves feeling that we can do it, not feeling scared of computers and ultimately feeling comfortable with using them. Changing how we feel about things, particularly more personal things like how I feel when I get up in the morning or when someone shouts at me, is also the aim of therapy (strictly, psychotherapy).

There are many ways of learning to feel differently. Going to see a counsellor or therapist is another possibility. For anyone who is ready for it Co-Counselling is an extremely effective method for personal development.

Because Donington Training courses work with holistic learning they do lead to students feeling differently. After about 40 hours of classes on Assertiveness there is not much more to learn about the subject. Becoming more assertive after this is all about changing how we feel.

Helping Skills are partly about helping other people to feel differently. To help other people more effectively we need to learn about ourselves and as a result Helping Skills classes have a focus on students learning to feel differently. Part of the way in which this works is that students practice with each other in the classes. In other words they practice helping each other to learn and feel differently.

Another aspect of helping skills is that the subject is very broad and it is possible to go on learning more and more. If students repeat the same course it is different the next time. Although the topics will be the same the experiences students bring will be different and they will build on what they have already learned.

Updated 16th January 2022