Breaking Family Patterns

A unique 8 weekend course for advanced participants working with myth,

Greek drama & transformational theatre to heal the family patterns
that are still impacting your life today.

 We last ran this courses in 2015
8 weekends spread out over a year
McCall's Magazine Cover, family arriving in kitchen for the holidaysAre you battling with family issues and problems – issues which “by all rights” you should have got over years ago?

Or so that little voice in your head says!

For many people their experience in their family has undermined their confidence and self esteem – and have made an indelible impression on them which they can’t seem to leave that behind – no matter how hard they work on it.

You’ll know this is true when you keep on repeating the same pattern. The same situations keep on cropping up again and again.

This maybe in relationships, not necessarily romantic relationships – it could be relationships at work, relationships with friends, with authority figures, with clients, with money (particularly with money!!) or even in your living situation.

For instance:

  • you feel you can’t make headway in your career/life – it’s as if something is holding you back
  • other people aren’t respecting you or valuing you
  • you’re still deeply angry with members of your family and have no vehicle to express it – and so its sits within you as a simmering rage
  • there’s countless emotions you’ve never felt safe enough to express
  • you “always have” bad neighbours, bad luck in love, or “bad” anything or you hear yourself say “I never have/can….”
  • you’re always in a poverty cycle…. whilst you see other people sail through life in all the areas you find so hard.

Why not me?” you say. “I deserve to be successful in these areas, I’ve worked so hard. I’ve done ALL this work on myself and I’m still battling on the same thing”.

Or, “I felt I’d made a real breakthrough and I thought my life would really shift but then I found myself back in the same scenario. What is it going to take for me to really breakthrough of these issues and be done with it so I can really start living the life I want? Maybe it will always be like this – so I  might as well resign myself. At least then I don’t get false hope.”

Whilst it is disheartening  feeling you are swimming against the tide and not getting anywhere, the fact is that you are – it just doesn’t feel like it. The truth is that you probably did make the breakthrough, you probably did shift – but there was another very powerful force that has come into play. You have made a headway it’s just it doesn’t feel like it because – to stay with the swimming metaphor, a very powerful current is crossing your bow, and you’re going to have to swim like crazy just to stay where you are.

But if you give up either the tide is going to take you back to the shore – and then you really are going to be back at square 1 – and being back at square 1 after you’ve been at square 10 is a pretty painful place to be. Or even worse that strong current is going to take you out to sea and then you really are lost.


I would suggest that this powerful current are family issues and problems or a deep wounding that is not going to heal over night. And you probably already know this.

image1434174638You’ve done enough work on yourself to know that your problems all boil down to those old patterns in your family, the role you play and you continue to play in your family and other relationships.

Maybe you are aware that it goes much deeper than than – it goes back to grandparents and beyond. This is a family or ancestral pattern  – and knowing the reasons why is not going to produce the shift.

Something else is needed – something that will get at the unconscious root of the pattern and transform it.

BREAKING FAMILY PATTERNS a unique course for advanced participants working with myth, Greek drama and transformational theatre.

breakingFPchainI have set up this advanced course for people who are committed to shifting these patterns at a profound level.

This course is also for people who know that they have work to do around family issues and are looking for a creative way of working with them. You may have experiences of family constellations work. This will build on your experiences and go that extra mile.


We will be working through Greek Drama, imaging and transformational embodiment work that will enable you to shift these patterns at a fundamental level. Greek Tragedy is full of family dysfunctions that make most family problems look, positively tame. This was deliberate because the Greeks knew that this served a very useful function in society. It enabled catharsis, purging of emotional trauma and cleansing of toxic emotions.

In Ancient Greek society, the doctors didn’t give you pills to cure your unhappiness, they sent you to a Greek play. It was powerful medicine and it worked on all kinds of levels – health, emotional, mental and spiritual.

The purpose of the play was to bring about healing – usually involving the gods in which they searched for restitution and resolution so that the natural order could be reinstated, that freed the characters in the story from being on the Wheel – constantly re-enacting the same scenario over and over again.

This is why I am choosing to work with Greek Drama as a way of transforming your deep seated ancestral patterns. Each participant will have an opportunity to create their own Greek Drama, so they can see, witness the impact it is having on them and other family members. Following this there is an opportunity to bring about healing so that the natural order can return, and you can walk free from this scenario and truly create your life again anew.

See my blog article: Why tragedy is good for you


The course will consist of 8 weekends (Saturday and Sunday) spaced out over 8 months. In order to work at this level I  can only work with 8 people. If you’ve participated in previous workshops you will be familiar with the pattern of working. We will be exploring archetypes, stories including personal stories with dramatic distance – so we can work at a deep level without stirring up old trauma – so that old emotions and patterns can be released easily and even joyfully.

This is not the kind of course where participants are “falling apart” and where you need to regurgitate the old story over and over again. Healing can happen without mentioning the details.

The first half of the course will be focused on ancestral patterns – and we will also we working with a Greek Tragedy, exploring both its structure and relevance to your own Family or Ancestral Drama.

But the real work of the training will be in the second half. This is where we’ll be working with your Family Drama and transforming it into a Greek Tragedy on an epic scale.


I attended the Breaking Family Patterns training in 2011, a time in my life when my emotional dramas were a frequent companion. Those episodes were not only corroding my joy in life but even other relationships, specially my marriage.

That training helped put in perspective how what we inherit always finds ways of reproducing itself and entangle what is. It became apparent to me, via the reflection of other participants on the training, that we (subconsciously) choose to embrace what is familiar to us and reject the opportunities that new scenarios present. At some point I decided I did not want nor need replication of the old, i.e. I came into this life with the intention of liberating so why play the record? It is an ongoing process. Each realisation and experience draws me closer to whom I cherish in me. Yes, my marriage oscillates less and what my partner does or does not do is less and less my concern. In fact, what lies right before me is more and more my concern, joy and privilege. It is a beautiful day out there…

The sunlight is a reminder of the opportunities which Claire introduced to me, e.g. what is possible to create when people get together and how, given any situation, we can always play and have fun. Thank you, Claire.”
Satya Kaur, Yoga Teacher

if you are reading this you may be thinking about whether it would be right for you to take the plunge and commit to Claire’s ‘Breaking Family Patterns’ series of workshops. It’s your choice, of course, and also, I would like to share with you a little of my experience of the course.

I have to admit that it was me who put my hand up and described to Claire the sort of workshop I would like to participate in, lead by her. This is having already participated in many of the Making Moves workshops, including the Ritual Theatre Group and the Practitioner Training, as well as a plethora of weekend and day workshops including a very memorable and funny one on Alice in Wonderland. Each of the trainings that I have participated in lead by Claire have been powerful and life changing, often very challenging, and usually also great fun.

Claire’s is a unique formula of power, depth, play, fun, creativity, healing, respect, kindness, compassion, honesty, spaciousness. Anyone who can put up with my ramblings (and if it weren’t for confidentiality possibly infamously LONG ENDINGS), not to mention the amount of boredom and anger and other pesky resistances I have needed to throw into the creative pot of transformational change, deserves a medal, if not several! Claire does this all like water off a duck’s back, with such ease.

This was no less the case on the Breaking Family Patterns course. By chance (though of course nothing is by chance) we were a group of all women, and very fortuitously we had all done a good deal of work generally, including with Claire. There was a sense of sisterhood, and a gentleness which (please forgive me men…) on the whole one only can have in a group of all women.

I think one of the most powerful moments for me was when I felt I was face to face with one of my ancestors from New Zealand, my mother’s, mother’s mother. I could see her struggle, and for a brief moment our eyes met. Even now this brings tears to my eyes; I am a great believer in roots, and history, and for me the connection with family and ancestors is so important and powerful, and to be able to pass the gift of healing down the family line, now, today, in this moment.

Participating in the course allowed me to see that although I have experienced so much pain within my immediate family, as have they themselves, so much of that is now healed thanks to us all seeking our own forms of healing. Years ago I once wrote in a poem which I have yet to finish, ‘they have uprooted me like a tree, they whom themselves were uprooted’. So I experienced some of that during the weekends, but with compassion and love.

Things are still not perfect, they never are, but I was able to experience how l have so much to be grateful for. And I realised that really the challenge for me now is to go deeper, and heal the things in my heart and indeed the depths of my soul that are triggered by the step children I have ‘accidentally’ attracted into my life, and the relationship I am in, and experiences of bringing up the child that  the Universe has given me and my soul mate  to look after.
Maria Roberts, editor

I am really grateful for your work which has given me so much, year after year. It has been my life task to free myself from old, no longer functional habits.  The power of myth enabled us to reflect on archetypal family dynamics and through this process we were able to express what we had not been able to express before in a way that revealed a new perspective.

It was a huge challenge  and so it was great to find a method that enables this to happen in a gentle and manageable way. Because the sharing was in the context of creative work, I was able to deepen my trust in myself and others. By using the imagination to provide a medium unbound by past explanations and excuses, this has opened up new possibilities for autonomy.

I want to thank you enormously for providing such a beautiful experience. It will always live in me. It makes me smile and cry as I recollect it now. There was a circle of love that held us and then moved in us. The boundaries between us and the rest of creation dissolved and I felt part of the whole – or just whole. From the beginnings I felt that your groups and your approach would unlock enjoyment of life, and so it has.
Teresa Sander, retired teacher

The most obvious thing that’s come out of the weekends for me is how wonderful it has been to be with a group and be my real self, and still be accepted. It has made me realise how much I enjoy it, and how critical this is for my mental well being. It has felt like having arms around me.

I have really taken on board the message about my family and am very clear on how they view me/treat me, and how damaging this has been to me. This is ongoing and like a gentle peeling of an onion with various subtle changes/emotions going on. I know I couldn’t have accepted this truth by myself (and certainly not through a counselor). Somehow listening to all of the group’s stories and experiences, and just investing a long period of time on this area has given me permission to accept something I already knew was true.

I’ve started to get back out there and try and get a few things going, after 6 months of hiding away to nurse my bruises. I have to thank the group for that. My going out there has led to the possibility of some good things happening (voluntary and possibly a bit of paid work  a charity, who feel I have lots of skills to offer).
Simi Bailey, support worker

To register your interest: Please tell me about the reasons you wish to do the training, and why you think it would be right for you. If you haven’t worked with me before (and the training is aimed at people who have done significant other work with me) please tell me about that other work you have done. Entry to the course is through a 20-30 minute consultation on the phone (for current clients) and an individual session (£60) if you are new to me.


Dates: 28th February to 29 November 2015 (over 8 weekends)

Weekend 1 – Feb 28th to Mar 01st
Weekend 2 – Mar 21st to 22nd
Weekend 3 – May 09th to 10th
Weekend 4 – Jun 27th to 28th
Weekend 5 – Jul 11th to 12th
Weekend 6 – Sep 26th to 27th
Weekend 7 – Oct 24th to 25th
Weekend 8 – Nov 28th to 29th

Times: 10.30-5.30pm
Venue: Helios Centre, 116 Judd Street, Kings Cross, London WC1H 9NS
Tubes: Kings Cross/Russell Square/Euston
Cost: £1,200 spread over 8-12 months (£150 per weekend)

How to find the Helios Centre

I don’t know when I might run this training again. It is a huge commitment for me in terms of time, energy and the impact that this has on my personal life – as much as I love doing it. This also is not a course for the fainthearted and it is not the easiest to promote and enrol – because there are less people are willing to do that deep work. But please do leave a message about your interest – and once I have a committed group I will entertain setting dates for the next course.

In the meantime if you haven’t done any of my other courses, I recommend you participate in Breakthrough Plus. It will help on some of the issues discussed here and will enable you to get more benefit from Breaking Family Patterns.

Breaking Family Patterns - enquiry/booking

To book/enquire about this group/course please fill in this form, and I'll be back in touch as soon as possible (usually by phone Mon-Fri 9-6pm). All information you give here is strictly confidential and will not be divulged to a third party for any reason.
  • Your data is safe with me, and saves time later if you go onto book one of my courses. See my data protection and privacy policy:
  • All information is strictly confidential and will not be divulged to a third party for any reason.
  • It is far easier for me to contact you during the day as I am running courses 3 evenings a week. Or we can arrange a time when you are able to speak
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Claire Schrader

From: Claire

IMG_7657 - Version 2 This is one of the most powerful courses I offer and it is for those who's confidence, self esteem or communication issues stem from their family relationships.

People who have participated before - even those with very uncomfortable and stressful relationships with their family - by the end of the course are feeling at peace with their family and no longer triggered by how their family behaves towards them.

This is also true for people when there are family members who have died or they are no longer in touch with their family.

This is aimed at people who have participated in one of my other groups and workshops - or have some drama experience.

Please get in touch by filling in this form and we can have a chat whether this is the right course for you.

I look forward to hearing from you