The Annual BGJ Seminar Day is an opportunity for gestalt practitioners; friends, writers and reviewers of the Journal, to engage in conversation, exchange ideas and experiences and to get involved in workshops together. This year, amongst the 118 attendees, tickets were sold to those in India, Russia, Italy, France, Poland and Ireland. It was a truly international group!
The day was led by two established practitioners who regularly contribute to the Journal, Susan Gregory and Peter Philippson. The focus on Breathing, Moving an Creating played out in various ways.
We began in small circular groups, initiated by the formation of scattered chairs throughout the room; we sat and observed one another, noticing each other's posture and breathing, and how this informed our awareness of ourselves, sitting, breathing; we adopted temporary roles of client, therapist and observer exchanging our experiences of our journey to the Seminar Day itself; we swapped groups and relayed to one another what this experience was like; and then we ended by singing aloud as a whole group, widening the scope from the intimacy of our circle into the room itself.
As we shifted from the morning workshop into lunch, it became just as important to breath; to meet ourselves and one another as we each waited patiently and hungrily in the lunch queue.
The veggie/vegan/gluten-free feast of multicoloured salad, homemade dips, chutneys, crackers and crispbreads served by Dora Johnston from the Home Grown Catering Company (www.thehomegrowncateringcompany.wordpress.com) was more than worth the wait. Savoury was followed by sweet as a large array of cakes baked by helpers and attendees themselves were unveiled. We returned to the afternoon session extremely well fed!
In the afternoon, we began on chairs that circumnavigated the room. We quickly moved from sitting to standing, to moving. Our attention was brought to the position of the standing body, and the effect this had on our ability to respond accordingly. The focus remained on bringing our attention back, time and time again, to the evolving experience of our bodies as they moved (together) in the room.
Please click here to watch a video of the experiential exercise and presentation given by Peter Philippson.
The BGJ's 14th Annual Seminar Day was more than anything an opportunity to ground ourselves in some of the most fundamental principles in gestalt therapy. It was a chance to connect with old friends and meet new faces, many of whom seemed to be fresh out of their training.
SAVE THE DATE! Next years seminar day will take place on November 19th, 2016. We will announce information on tickets sales on our website in due course.