Gestalt Therapy International

A community of dialogue

Programs around the world

Facilitating authentic living & working

10 Professional Workshops Available

#1 Personal Growth & Spiritual Growth

#2 The Unvirtues: A non-shaming exploration of self-interest in relationship

#3 Shame and Belonging

#4 Leadership and Power

#5 Family Constellations

#6 Authentic Dialogue

#7 Gestalt process oriented model of working with couples and families

#8 Phenomenology and the therapeutic use of awareness

#9 Field Theory

#10 Gestalt therapy

#1 Personal Growth & Spiritual Growth

Content of the activity and a detailed outline of the event

Life is a journey involving the evolution of our soul. The fields of both spirituality and psychotherapy offer support in this process; but what is the difference? What does spiritual growth really mean, and how is it related to the personal growth achieved through therapy?

These questions will be examined and answered in this workshop by looking through the lens’ of principles, practices and experience. 

Because it is so easy to get lost in esoteric ideas, the emphasis is on achieving clarity through heightened self awareness and movement into dialogue on the topic of spirituality.

Transformative experiences hold the key to a personal understanding of the topic, so these are shared and explored in small groups. A safe container is created in the groups, so the intimacy of self revelation can be supported, building connection and an I-thou experience.

Participants are guided to examine their own beliefs systems in regard to personal and spiritual evolution. Core values and experiences reveal the deepest parts of ourselves, and often lead to conflict or misunderstanding when shared. The workshop creates a safe and supportive atmosphere in which to examine each person’s deepest questions and reflections.

It is essential that abstract and esoteric ideas get grounded through application; the aim in this domain is to energise practical action for participants lives as a result of the workshop. The practices for transformation that each person uses are identified. Spiritual and therapeutic practices are compared and contrasted, and then linked to the previous explorations of personal beliefs and experiences.

The ground developed as a result of this exploration is used to explore the topic of religious wounding.

Religious wounding occurs when the spiritual realm is contaminated with oppressive and hurtful experiences, often stemming from the abuse of power in relationship. People come to therapy to deal with their pain, but rarely consider religious wounding to be a subject for therapeutic work.

By using therapeutic tools to work with spiritual issues, blocks to both personal and spiritual growth can be cleared. Doing so in a group context creates a setting for profound healing and transformation.

The workshop provides a clear template for work with clients. The topic is explored step by step, based on a Gestalt approach to addressing unfinished business, and promoting dialogue.

The workshop combines didactic presentation, group discussion, demonstration experiential work, and small group explorations of the following areas:

  • Spirituality and field context
  • The core nature of spiritual experience
  • Providing a safe setting for spiritual belief systems
  • The place of spiritual practices
  • Differences between spiritual and personal growth
  • Religious wounding
  • The application of therapeutic process in working with each of the above domains
  • The use of focused awareness, dialogue and creative experiment in working with issues related to spirituality
  • Supporting and empowering the client to develop their unique and personal spiritual orientation

Resources will consist of an extensive list of questions which will be used for reflection and discussion in the training, and can be utilised on an ongoing basis for both self exploration and as a tool with clients.

Learning outcomes

By the conclusion of this seminar participants will be able to:

  • Understand the interface between the transpersonal and the personal domain of development and growth
  • Understand how to explore and utilise a client’s spiritual field context
  • Dialogue and work with a client’s spiritual belief system with the framework of a therapeutic session
  • Understand the role of spiritual practices in a client’s growth and development, and know how to support that in a therapeutic context
  • Recognise the existence of religious wounds, and understand how to address the accompanying trauma
  • Understand the application of therapeutic techniques in working with spiritually related issues
  • Have a basic grasp of one’s own spiritual ground, and identify personal issues of religious wounding

Seminar schedule

  • Introduction to the meta model.
  • Personal story as example of field context
  • Small group exploration of the field context of spirituality; Larger group discussion of the influence of the field, and ways to work with it in a therapeutic context
  • Spiritual experience as a core marker for spirituality
  • Personal story of spiritual experience
  • Small group exploration and sharing of unique experiences; larger group discussion.
  • Definitional perspectives on spirituality, referencing impressionistic approaching, research on transcendent experience, and relating to therapeutic theories.
  • Spiritual belief systems: personal exploration, small group sharing, large group reflection and discussion. application to therapeutic process with clients.
  • Spiritual practices: personal exploration, small group sharing, large group reflection and discussion, application to therapeutic process with clients.
  • Demonstration of therapeutic applications with the 4 areas so far introduced.
  • Spiritual growth and personal growth: exploration of differences: reflection on experience, drawing of larger conclusions, identification of role of support.
  • Contrasting spiritual and therapeutic concept/practices: places of conflict and choice.
  • Religious wounding: definition of sources of trauma.
  • Demonstration of therapeutic work with religious wounding; deconstruction of principles and practices used to do this effectively.

How will participants benefit from attending this seminar?

  • Focus and clarify your own ground of spirituality as defined by practices, experiences, context and beliefs.
  • Learn ways to work with clients’ spirituality using therapeutic processes
  • Understand the points of difference and similarity between spirituality and psychotherapy, and the implications for both fields

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