Me, my body and i | Free Workshop | 15 Aug 2020

Free Virtual Workshop for Gay Men.

163 reviews
Aug 15 - 15, 2020
Group size: 1 - 50
Me, my body and i | Free Workshop | 15 Aug 2020
Free Virtual Workshop for Gay Men.

163 reviews

Aug 15 - 15, 2020
Group size: 1 - 50

About this trip

'Me, my body and I' is a virtual retreat programme exploring a gay man's relationship to his body. In partnership with Dr David McLaughlan, an award-winning medical doctor specialising in mental health and wellbeing. This isn’t a group therapy session. It’s a facilitated space to openly share and learn from each others past experiences. It's an opportunity for you to acquire the necessary tools and understanding for growth, and personal development. 

This three hour taster workshop will just give a flavour of the workshops included in the two-day virtual retreat experience.

Is this the right programme for you?

If you're asking yourself...

Why do I care so much about my image? 

Why am I obsessed with body perfection?

Why do I feel like I’m never enough? 

Why do I constantly seek approval from others?’re not alone. This programme is for you.

As gay men, the shame we experienced growing up has likely shaped the way we now view the world, each other and ourselves. Once we understand WHY we behave a certain way, we can use that knowledge as fuel to instigate positive change, becoming more powerful with the decisions we make, and the actions we take. We take an active role in shaping our own lives, and lead the way forward for others. 

Questions that may come up for you.

What are my underlying beliefs?

How have they influenced me so far?

What are the coping skills I’ve utilised until this point?

How have they served me?

How is that working out for me right now?

What changes do I need to make?

The Programme.

During this virtual retreat program, Dr David McLaughlan will empower participants to identify common cognitive distortions related to body image. In doing so, participants will be coached in practical techniques and exercises to help them to recognise and challenge toxic thoughts, feelings and behaviours. The programme is carefully designed around tried and tested powerful psychological and holistic techniques. We play with different combinations of creative exercises, self-exploration tools and transformational techniques to re-define your relationship with your body.. These are interspersed with expansive teachings and group discussions. 

This three hour taster workshop will just give a flavour of the workshops included in the two-day virtual retreat experience.

Places on the full-retreat are limited to fourteen participants.

Teaching and personal growth tools.

Our trained medical professional will be explaining the background and context of each discussion throughout to give you a deeper understanding behind the psychological concepts presented. The self-analysis techniques that we use enable participants to go into deeper modes of personal enquiry and development. We tap into undiscovered truths, underlying beliefs and highlight pre-existing coping mechanisms. 

Group work and sharing.

No one is forced to share anything they don’t want to, or anything at all if they don’t feel comfortable. Sharing has a proven benefit to processing experiences and emotions. These breakout and group sessions are intended to allow participants to learn from each other.

Holistic practices.

We guide participants through these sessions, as a way to start slowly connecting the mind and body. It’s not a Barry’s Bootcamp workout, but more practices that incorporate elements of breathwork, body scanning and mindfulness.


Ahead of the retreat a recommended reading list will be provided along with a tool-kit and a short ‘pre-retreat worksheet’. This is not 'compulsory', but it may benefit your long term learning and development. At the end of day one, participants will be provided with further homework to help with process and reflection. Again, this isn't compulsory, but it has been designed to maximise your experience. 

Our trusted team.

We personally design, organise and facilitate each of our retreats and workshops; partnering internationally with leading industry professionals in each sector. Throughout the duration of the retreat, you’ll work in close collaboration with each of the team members in respect of their given workshop. There will be a lead figure present throughout, whose role will alternate as facilitator and supervisor of each workshop. They will not be offering any counselling or diagnoses relating to psychological issues that attendees may be experiencing throughout the retreat. In the case of significant distress, additional or subsequent support will be sign-posted or referred as required. We will send more detailed information on the specific team closer to the workshop date.

Dr David McLaughlan, is our Lead Facilitator. He's an award winning medical doctor specialising in mental health and wellbeing. David has carved out a respected academic and clinical career whilst increasingly becoming a prominent voice promoting mental wellbeing within the LGBTQ+ community.

David will be joined by Georges Hann, a movement artist and teacher. Georges has a firm belief that through improvisation we’re able to deepen our physical self awareness to find further freedom in movement and mind. During George's workshop, he will lead a short, simple visualisation and body scan. These are calming tasks to bring focus to our mind-body connection.

Our guest speaker, Ajay Pabial, is the founder of his own not-for-profit Arts Organisation – Art Clubbers CIC. His incredible work there is dedicated to helping budding creatives achieve a sustainable career within their chosen industries. Ajay is also on a personal mission to shine the light on creative individuals from culturally diverse backgrounds and LGBT+ intersections. By giving these individuals visibility within the community, he hopes to one day provide aspirational role models for everyone within the creative sector.

Ajay has kindly agreed to open up and share some of his personal experiences on the workshop.  

"For a long time I've been fed images portraying 'the ideal portrayal gay man'. The inner emotional and mental conflicts would often lead me to putting my body through torture. It's only lately that I've started to wash away the layers of overly fantasised mental images of body image to reveal a truer and authentic me." Ajay Pabial

About our approach.

We're not a rehabilitation or intervention centre. Nor are we providing one-on-one medical or psychological advice. We are certainly not providing a ‘cure’, and this isn't a therapy session. We are however offering a safe space to get curious, open up and discuss with others, aspects of your life you’re finding challenging. Naturally it is a completely confidential space, where individuals can openly share their feelings and thoughts with the option of anonymity. 

This two hour taster session will just give a flavour of the workshops included in the two-day virtual retreat experience.

Your safety comes first.

Your safety is our main priority. For this reason, we will need to ask participants for some personal medical information, before we can confirm your place on the workshop. These are standard questions, there to protect your safety and everyone else involved. This information will only be shared on a need to know basis and will be GDPR compliant. We will also be undertaking other necessary safety measures, during and post-retreat.

We would highly recommend individuals with concerns relating to pre-existing mental health conditions, substance misuse and related disorders to seek immediate professional help. 

About the organiser.

This retreat series has been designed by Create Space and partners. 

Michael Stephens

Michael spent over 10 years working in senior creative leadership positions for some of the world’s most respected British brands within the fashion, travel and retail industries. After a series of life changing events, Michael diverted from this career path, becoming a mental health and LGBTQ+ advocate. Now the founder of Create Space, a retreat and workshop business, he promotes the importance and value of self-care, specifically within the creative and LGBTQ+ communities.

“As a gay man who has struggled with my sexuality and identity most of my life, I believe it’s so important that we now openly encourage each other to share and learn from past experiences to develop resilience in the face of our adversity.” Michael Stephens

Read more about Michael's story here.

For more information on Create Space, please visit out website.

Need more information?

About dates, schedule or book your place on the two-day virtual retreat?  Get in touch.

For details on other workshops please visit our website.

What’s included

  • Workshops
    All group workshops and activities. This three hour taster session will give just a flavour of the workshops included in the two-day virtual retreat experience.
  • Tools and Workbooks
    Pre-reading, workbooks and continual development resources.
  • Admin Support
    Should you require any help completing the pre-assessment and questionaires
  • Additional Support
    We will provide additional support in the form of signposting to relevant services only.
  • Confidentiality
    All participants will be asked to conform to our agreed privacy terms and conditions. Places on the full retreat experience will be limited to 14 participants.
  • Medical Insurance
    Suitable and relevant medical insurance to be provided by participant.


Who am i?
Virtual Retreat Itinerary.

Saturday 15th August

09:00 - 12:00

·  Introductions.

·  Visualisation.

·  ‘Speed date’.

·  Conversation with Guest speaker. 

·  Workshop. 

·  Breakout group sessions. 

·  Breathwork.

·  Group share.

·  Closing. 

Ahead of the session, a recommended reading list, tool-kit and pre-worksheet will be provided.

At the end of the day, participants will be provided some 'homework', to help with process and reflection.

This three hour taster session will give a flavour of the workshops included in the full two-day virtual retreat experience.

Your Organizer

163 reviews
We Create Space is the self-empowerment platform for Queer Leaders, Change-Makers and LGBTQ+ Professionals. We're a non-profit social enterprise helping individuals with becoming the most impactful version of themselves - inside their own communities and organisations.


A really thought provoking workshop and it was great to hear other peoples stories.
By Alexena C for Play Your Self | Free Workshop | 15 May 2021 on 18 May, 2021
Thank you for the experience and everything you do!
By Jessica G for Play Your Self | Free Workshop | 15 May 2021 on 18 May, 2021
Thank you I felt safe in a healing environment, and took away many new skills
By Troy F for Play Your Self | Free Workshop | 15 May 2021 on 17 May, 2021
Once again, Create Space provided a fantastically engaging, creative and wholesome workshop. The unique sense of community, mutual respect, compassion for eachother’s perspective, and the welcoming of individual story was as ever - beautiful and powerful. Create Space always manages to transcend the often limiting power of zoom/online sessions seem elsewhere. Its workshops marvellously still enable people to connect in a meaningful way - even through the screen. In fact the online nature of the session means that even more people from around the word, in different time zones and diverse different cultures are able to come together. This further elevates the organisations commitment to creating a space and community that is accessible and inclusive to as many people across the LGBTQ spectrum as possible. Thanks as ever to Michael, the CS team and all of the participants for 3 hours of joy and learnings that I can take forward day to day!
By Liam O for Play Your Self | Free Workshop | 15 May 2021 on 17 May, 2021
If you are looking for a journey inward - this is a great place to begin. The weekend is packed with so many opportunities to uncover gifts you may have overlooked, discovering new ways of being you might not have stopped to think about. It is a chance to open the door to your inner self and examine what obstacles you are faced with and what learning you can take from them as you overcome each one to create a new sense of being. The breathing and meditation components are a perfect alignment in allowing all of this to come together seamlessly.
By Sonny T for Who am i? | 24+25 Apr 2021 | GBTQ | US on 14 May, 2021
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I took part in a weekend Who Am I? retreat and highly recommend it. The group size is intimate so never feels too daunting and you're able to build connections well. Maylis was a fantastic organiser - felt there was great communication from pre-booking right through to afterwards. Michael is a fantastic host, he leads the retreat with from a place of kindness, vulnerability and openness I find really commendable. Whether you're new to self exploration or a seasoned pro - I think this is worth doing.
By Jamie M on 01 Sep, 2020
I attended the Who Am I retreat in early June to explore my identify as a gay man. I found the retreat a life-enriching experience. The communication before the retreat was excellent and I particularly enjoyed the pre-retreat call. It was an intense two days - and virtual because of lockdown - but the conversations were enriching and inspiring and I thought that the structure and content was very well designed. Recommended!
By Freddie B on 30 Jun, 2020