A DETAILED OVERVIEW OF THE GATHERING PROGRAM IS NOW AVAILABLE
EARLY BIRD RATE ENDS OCTOBER 31
Dear GANZ Members
Here is some more detailed information about the GANZ Gathering, especially the theme and program and how these are relevant to you as a Gestalt practitioner.
Theme of the Gathering
The pursuit of understanding, allowing and living our differences in a spirit of genuine dialogue is a challenge for our times.
Our world is saturated with devaluing isms, undermining phobias and multiple associated acts of discrimination. And yet across the globe we are witnessing an increasing number of transformative acts by ordinary people emboldened to challenge widespread prejudices and abuses of power.
The founders of Gestalt therapy transformed the nature and practice of psychotherapy over 60 years ago. And now, in our fragmented and disconnected modern times, from the consulting room to the broader world there are growing calls for humanity to again transform the personal, interpersonal, ecological and socio-political dimensions of our relating, and become more compassionate human beings.
One intention of our Gathering is to broaden our understanding of contemporary constraints to human development and identify the catalysts that energise meaningful change and deeper transformation. And of course, we will identify together what our radical Gestalt tradition has to offer.
How is the theme relevant to gestalt practitioners?
Gestalt therapy itself is a transformative process, and the structural flow of the Gathering program reflects the experience cycle applied to the theme, the whole community as well as to personal participation.
Our knowledge of the unified field makes it plain that even though many of us work in small rooms with individuals we are never separate from, nor immune to the influences of our wider world. Just as the human development and evolution we facilitate and witness in our work ripples beyond the boundaries of our work places, so too development that leads to transformation on a social level is beneficial to us all.
The people who engage with us unavoidably suffer from the structures and strategies of dominance and resistance in social relationships associated with class, gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, language, religion, age, nationality and world-regions. These powerful dynamics organise our relationships with ourselves as well as with others and have lasting effects on our minds and societies. Integral to our work as Gestalt practitioners is uncovering, revealing and disclosing strategies of manipulation and legitimation that contribute to prejudice and discrimination on an individual and social level.
Together as a collective of practitioners, educators, writers, researchers and students, who share a diversity of histories, theories, workplaces and experiences we will explore the challenges that arise from these powerful dynamics through words, art and embodiment, to develop a deeper understanding of how these dynamics and the suffering they cause are transformed into well-being. We will also explore our role in this process.
How could you not! Where else are you going to have the opportunity to gather with a group of people who share a passion for the gestalt approach and a desire to become more knowledgeable and skilled practitioners? This Gathering offers a great opportunity to do so, as well as keeping the Gestalt modality alive and relevant within the current regulatory frameworks of psychotherapy and its training/education.
There has never been a better time for us as a community of people interested in health and well-being to grapple with the question: What constrains, facilitates and energises the needed transformations of our time to happen?
Every person is a potential keynote speaker!
We have all experienced the usual approach to conferences that relies on a program of presenters and keynote speakers. This time, the organisers are not calling for papers and workshops as in other years. The feedback from the 2017 GANZ Conference was that people wanted more time to create meaningful connections within the community. Our two and half-days together will offer that opportunity, focussing on the Gestalt approach, and what we can learn from others, guided by the theme. The outcomes of our Gathering will also support the ongoing work of the GANZ Council.
To support our dialogue and maximise our participation, in the lead up to the Gathering you will receive a series of pre-conference activities that will guide your inquiry into the theme – Catalysts for Transformation: Diversity, inequality, dialogue and ………? The intention of these self-directed activities is to warm you up to the theme from your perspective, and to support you to contribute what matters to you in your areas of interest.
What will happen in sessions?
Each of the five three-hour sessions will be facilitated by members of the organising group and will have a specific focus related to the theme of the Gathering. Every session will:
- begin with a facilitated, novel and evocative experience to stimulate your presence and evoke an aspect of the theme (30 minutes);
- involve a self-organising discovery process with a wide range of formats that allows you to pursue what interests you in ways that relate to your style of learning (90 minutes including break) and;
- conclude with a facilitated creative process to support you to share your personal discoveries and harvest our collective wisdom in the large group (60 minutes). This will be action research at its best!
In addition, our Gathering will be an opportunity to practice the intersubjective arts by honouring difference, encouraging complexity, practicing inclusion and expressing empathy. The aim is for us to further develop and enact the values we wish to live individually and communally.
Benefits of attending: PD take-aways
What you can hope to take away from participating in this GANZ Gathering:
- A more informed understanding of diversity, inequality and dialogue and how these and other dynamics and their polarities can contribute to transform our self-understanding, human relating and social progress
- A greater appreciation of the untapped revolutionary and evolutionary ideas that are at the heart of the gestalt approach
- Shared ideas for how to apply a broader understanding of specific contemporary issues in your counselling, psychotherapy, consulting, community and socio-political contexts
- Enhanced motivation to become a citizen activist in areas of personal interest and professional practice
- Memories and learnings about relational processes from living and practicing the gestalt approach in a community gathered to explore a range of challenging ideas and have fun together
- Expanded personal and professional relationships with other participants and members of the GANZ and extended Gestalt community
- Delight at supporting the development of the GANZ community in its new form and comfort from knowing you share the world with other like-minded seekers of transformation.
The facilitation group appreciates that this gathering is different and a challenge. It is designed to be exactly that way – a gathering for this time when a new GANZ is focussed on revitalising gestalt and the professional development of its members, rather than managing regulatory requirements.
Michelle and Barack Obama in the 2016 US Presidential election, when confronted with the forces of estrangement and disenfranchisement gaining traction, encouraged participation. They declared, “Don’t boo – vote!” We now know that non-participation is costly.
Our GANZ membership has been traditionally passive. Yet, we live in a time when passivity needs to give way to passion. Our catch-cry is “Don’t bow out – come!” More than ever GANZ needs you to participate, more than ever our world needs compassionate and intelligent practitioners skilled in the art of human relating.
Experimental in design and participatory in nature this Gathering is an opportunity to participate and contribute to the future of Gestalt informed living and practice in our region.
Participation is one catalyst for transformation.
We invite you to come to the 2019 GANZ Gathering and to give expression to your intention by registering now. The early bird rate ends October 31. However, the good news is that the low student rate remains until May.
Gathering Facilitation Group
Mike Reed, Brenda Levien, Alan Meara, Gabe Phillips and Ashleigh Power