This week we continue with our series of posts re-introducing the GANZ Council members to the wider Gestalt Community, with the intention to make GANZ and the GANZ Council more visible.
This week it is the turn of Anthony Jones (Vice President)
This re-introduction is a little unusual as I also wish to mark to GANZ members the beginning of my farewell to my time on the GANZ Council. I joined the Council in 2017, first in the Community and Membership role, and then moved into the Vice President’s role, which I have held for 2 years. It is now time for me to step down from the Council, which I will do at the AGM later in this year. Making this announcement early is part of my intention to find ways to do endings well and to give time to people who may be curious about joining council.
It is my hope that as I prepare to leave this role that I can find ways to communicate that I value and respect my colleagues on Council; that the work we have put in together and that I have contributed to is worthwhile; and to honour the losses that arise from my decision to step away from this role for now. I also have a keen interest in supporting the Council’s transition through the elections that will be held at the AGM this year, and support the continuing members of the Council, the new people who will join, and the stable functioning of the organisation itself. It is my hope that although my inhabiting the role of Vice President will cease, this ceasing will not be an abandonment of the people of the Council, of GANZ itself, nor of my interest in Gestalt Therapy.
I offer the following reflection on my reasons for joining the Council and my work for GANZ in part as an invitation for GANZ members to consider what might motivate them to contribute to GANZ, either by joining Council or volunteering time for GANZ projects.
After being a somewhat passive GANZ member for many years, I was conscious of several reasons for wanting to joining the Council. I had gained much from my training in Gestalt Therapy, and wanted to support the continued availability of Gestalt training. I also I wanted to get to know other Gestalt practitioners better, and for them to get to know me. And, I had arrived at a time in my life where my attention and therapeutic interest had returned to Gestalt Theory. Importantly, I also had the time then to volunteer to GANZ.
Somewhat unexpectedly, it was only after joining Council that another reason became clear to me. I found I was engaged with wanting to strengthen the sustainability of the Council and organisation itself. I wanted to find ways to reduce the administrative load on the people on Council, and to make sure the systems that support the operate of GANZ work well. I also wanted to find systems that were not too dependent on any particular person, so that new people coming on to council do not have to re-invent the wheel. And I had a growing awareness that the time, thought, emotional investment and commitment given by people who joined Council was a considerable gift. To me, this meant that I would like that people who completed terms on Council would think of their time on Council as a being a good experience overall.
Finally I wish to alert members that the GANZ Council President position is currently vacant. After I step down, both the President and the Vice President role will be vacant. Without people in these roles GANZ (in the form that it is now) will not function. Please do not be put off by the implied hierarchy and individualism behind the terms “President” and “Vice-President”. In my view, GANZ operates best when the Council has a flat power structure, with leadership shared relationally, as this best reflects the nature of the organisation and it’s relationships with members and the broader Gestalt Community.
I will write more on the roles of Vice President and President, but for now, I invite you to consider joining the work of supporting Gestalt Practitioners and the development of Gestalt Therapy by nominating for Council when the AGM comes. If you are interested, I recommend talking to a Council member about what it is like to be on Council, and the typical time commitments involved.