Feedback from Rainbow Map Workshop Participants

Question: What could have gone better?


7 March 2020, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, UK: Commissioned and organised by Andrew Thomas, Creator of the Rainbow Map.


  • I can’t think of anything that could have been better. Maybe a reading list? You referenced quite a few authors, but I am just scraping the barrel for something to add.

    AT: I think the idea of a reading list is great, I will add that to the folder.

  • Perhaps a little more on the neuroscience bit – but not quite sure what.​

    AT: Yes I struggle with that one as in one way the Reflective Mind & Reactive Brain/Body model is a high level summary of the outcome of chemical and neurological systems that generate the interactive human system packaged into everyday language that clients and therapists appear to connect with and integrate into the work they do together and it appears into their day to day lives. (Sorry about the length of that last sentence!)

    One way I think about resolving this conundrum of balancing theory and practice in the Rainbow Map CPD is through this analogy: Many of us drive cars, its essential we know how the controls work and what the road signs mean, but how useful is to know how the fuel/air mix is managed to drive that car in a way that works for us and others in different road conditions? I think on balance most of us want to know how the controls work and what effect they have on the car the driver and other road users, but some drivers need and want to know about the fuel management system to achieve that outcome. Getting the balance right between theory and practice in this CPD will be an ongoing challenge. I am trying to address it through the pre course reading and I am thinking more about what can go into the Therapist’s resource area so those who want to dig deeper after the CPD can.

  • It was unfortunate that one of the participants felt they had to leave, but I thought as an unexpected event it was well handled.

    AT: She had returned from southern Italy ten days prior to the workshop and felt, on reflection,  it wise to remove herself from the room. She went straight to the local hospital who put her mind at rest that she had not been in coronavirus area and did not need to be tested. The group conversation about this event was very balanced imo and we all carried on with the day. I think going forwards the guidelines are getting clearer and everyone is becoming better informated about whether thy should or should not attend a group event, but it is definitely a moving picture!

  • Perhaps a bit more physical movement in the day and different delivery styles. Felt a bit static.

    AT: Yes I agree its been raised before but I did not think it through prior to this workshop. I have put more thought into it since this workshop and see some opportunities to bring a bit more movement into the room in a way that feels natural rather than forced.

  • Excellent training day. Good to be able to try it out from perspective of client and therapist. I really appreciate the folder and all the information enclosed.

  • I feel it was a very useful day and cannot add anymore. Well done!

  • I feel like I might be a little clunky when I start using in my practice, but I am OK with that and I look forward to having another good look at the website.

  • For me personally I would like to hear more about “real” scenarios in practice, working with it, real experience pros and cons etc.

    AT: Two detailed case studies are held in the therapist’s area of the website and the Therapy Today article but I agree there need to be more and will work on adding them to the website. 


22 Feb 2020, Crediton, Devon, UK. Commissioned by Claire Derby, Local CPD Group Leader.

  • I really can’t think of anything.

  • Not sure.

  • Seating. (AT: Yes the room was at capacity.)

  • A little more time explaining how to go through the trigger cycle with the client. (AT: Yes I forgot to cover an aspect of the Trigger Cycle in the first practice session. I have highlighted that in my notes to not miss again. I think all pairs got it in the afternoon practice session)

  • Not much!!

  • Its quite a cerebral model and I may adapt this to clients who don’t work in that way. (AT: Music to my ears.)

  • Nothing it was great!

  • Having more space for practice (AT: yes with 15 people talking during the practical sessions. Its about getting the balance right: if the room is too big a sense of intimacy is lost, too small and it feels too close. I think this room was about right if I had been a bit more proactive in encouraging practice pairs to use the empty space in the middle.)

  • Room a bit noisy: (AT: I think if I had been more proactive in suggesting practice pairs moved apart that might have helped. I will include that in my CPD training notes.)

  • Might have been a little more info on the theory behind it. (AT: The therapists resources section provides more of that, but you only have access to that after the workshop. So I think I will also add an additional page to the two pages of optional pre-reading for the CPD which are emailed a week before the session).

9 Nov 2019, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, UK: Commissioned and organised by Andrew Thomas, Creator of the Rainbow Map.

  • All good.

  • Room could have been warmer. (AT: yes I have asked the centre to address this issue for the next workshop).

  • I would like a little more upfront content. Maybe an overview of it as a tool to increase & some ideas of where and when as possibilities. (AT: I will be sending an email with optional reading out 7 days prior to each CPD which hopefully address this issue.)

  • I was quite curious about everyone else and would liked a little context. (AT: On balance I have enquired on this and it appears the majortiy of CPD participants are getting fed up with the mandatory individual introductions, so I am probably going to continue to just get going in the Rainbow Map CPD.  I will review this if other participants raise this issue.)

  • I would have like more on the back story on how the various theories have informed the Rainbow Map. (AT: the website provides some of this information already, the Members area offers more info and the email prior to the CPD should help as well.)

  • Decaf tea!

  • Heating control. (AT: That is being addressed at Fenwick and should not happen again)

  • Maybe a bit less talking by Andrew at the start before coffee. (AT: yes I felt that and have moved the FOPPI example later in the day to split the talking bits up.)

  • I would have liked an actual case study. (AT: Editor of Therapy today has kindly given permission to include a downloadable version of the article which has two case studies. This is available on the front page of the website).

  • We ran out of time in both practice session to complete the trigger cycle. (AT: I have extended the CPD so that the first practice session now is 60 mins long and the second is 55 mins long. This worked in the next CPD as all bar one pair participants had time to work through the whole map in the first practice session and all completed it in the second. It takes longer the first time anyone has a go with the Rainbow Map than it does in an actual session and with experience. Also some appear to choose to run it over a longer period as a catalyst for conversation as it happens which is exactly what I am hoping for in terms of integrating into each persons own way of working. Its got to fit you and your client not the other way round).

  • Working online – how to use in the room and remotely. (AT: Good idea. We don't have time for this in the workshop but I am upgrading the website to include this and will point to that in future workshops when it is completed.)

25 Jan 2019, Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK: Commissioned by Relate's Operations Manager, Hampshire.  

  • It is unrealistic to think than introduction to this approach could have gone markedly better than it actually did.

  • I think Andrew’s painstaking recording of his example “introductions” are very valuable resource on the website but perhaps would have been better delivered in person while in the room. (as Andrew said himself the recorded version is “flatter”.

  • I would have liked to discuss how to ground this with couples having created a forum for forgiveness, integrated their insights with each other. Also consider how best to use Rainbow Map for individuals.

  • Perhaps a bit more on what to do/how to work next. But I appreciate that this may be obvious after completing a Rainbow Map. Some more explanation of FOPPI not sure I feel confident yet to explain to clients.

  • Can’t think of anything I found the mutual process with partner of being either client or counsellor very useful felt “better” after the counsellor/partner session for me!

  • More discussion of next steps.

  • The content of the day was delivered at a pace that made it easy for practitioners to process and practice. Therefore, nothing to suggest how it could have gone better. Looking forward to learning more on another training day.

  • More coffee.