Vitalizing The Therapeutic Encounter

  Workshop Format and Content

Enacting A Vitalizing Presence:

Engaging Spontaneity & Passion in Service Of Change & Growth

This workshop explores using vitalizing interventions that are enriching and transformative in their lived experience, rather than simply reflecting on one’s own process.  

The practitioner’s ability to enact their own embodied and vitalized presence depends on participating in unconsciously driven, spontaneous and viscerally felt encounters with their clients.

We must be capable of setting aside being helpful in order to be useful. We work with ‘active witnessing‘, capable of entering into the lived experience of another, then digesting & reflecting back to them internal conflicts and dilemmas in ways that can both empower them and move their lives forward in new ways, thus becoming better able to live.

This is challenging but rewarding work: supporting the client’s growing ability to develop by facing paradox, tolerating uncertainty and complexity, and   accepting ‘what is’.

“Transformative change is not a consequence of a logical, sequential, reflected upon process, but of conscious, pre-conscious, and unconscious, mutual penetration.

The goal is not insight or understanding alone, but rather a transformation, a radical change in people’s nature as they come into contact with the frozen parts of themselves that are yearning to be reached, known and recognized –  a change which is always a result of an interaction.”

– Boaz Shalgi

Examples of Vitalizing Themes 

Embodied Presence

Our most essential and fundamental skill for containing the possibility of novelty and aliveness, when we can be individuated and ‘other’ to our clients.

Orienting To Aliveness

Requires the ability for our bodies to have a felt exchange with the flow of life, and our minds open up to new possibilities in the presence of risk.

Holding A Vital Mind

Only the passionate mind of the therapist can engage the client’s deadness and fears, and truly help someone transform their darkest fears.

The Generative Unconscious

Grow a deeper appreciation for how the unconscious core of both therapist and client are in constant communication, is always a mystery, and surprising us.

CounterTransference Contains

Understanding how our own internal reactions to what a client brings holds within it a rich transformative potential for both the client and the therapist.

Deepening Into Processes

Learning how to join with & enter the client’s surface issue; hold the trouble in both mind and body; move beyond knowing into wonder; embody reverie.

Workshop Content

Here are some samples of essential clinical material to be presented.

Growing Our Capacities For Complexity, Paradox & Surrender

These characteristics are embedded in essential therapeutic encounters, which are imbued with profound personal implications for changing both therapist and client.  Ghent says that ‘surrender is not an act performed, but a letting go’ in order to become whatever is being created in the moment.  It is the most basic need of the human psyche.

Understanding A Radical Approach To Transformation and Change

This approach offers a straightforward, mutual and unexplained spontaneity, which is unconsciously driven, and requires the vulnerability of surrendering fully, in body and mind, to an encounter with our clients.  This process vitally and ruthlessly moves life forward.  And it can happen ‘in any given moment’, all at once.

Working With The Three Essential Components That Validate & Transform Human Experience

Bion’s three dimensions of experience and existence are needed in the therapeutic encounter in order to transform the human condition – the domain of the senses, the domain of mythand the domain of passion.

The Workshop Format

Mornings In Large Group

Our primary way of working together for all embodiment and mindfulness practices, and for all training lectures, & demo sessions.

Small Peer Group Breakouts

Usually 5-6 group members who lead their own support group. Helps to integrate fresh learning, and to stay connected to the community.

Vitalizing Dyad Sessions 

Used daily during the training week.  Consists of individual client and practitioner ‘practice sessions’ to work one’s developmental edge. 

Afternoon Reflection Group 

Consists of client, practitioner and observer.  Helps to deepen the work by providing practitioner with feedback and support.

Morning Hikes or Movement

Optional segments before breakfast each morning.  Hiking, short high-intensity workouts, yoga or kundalini breathing options.

Evening Community

Supportive and integrative communal sharing each evening after dinner to solidify connection and deepen mutual enjoyment.

Let’s Learn Together

The best and most lasting insights

and possibilities for real and meaningful change

emerge out of ‘mutually wanted’  learning spaces.