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Winter/Spring Workshops:

We are monitoring the situation carefully. The Gestalt Institute of San Francisco will remain open.

Workshop 1: March 14th – March 15th: The Empty Chair
Leaders: Morgan Goodlander & Galia Schechter
The Empty Chair is the technique that made Gestalt Therapy famous. It is so powerful that even a brief introduction can be enough for psychology professionals to find significant value for their practice. Unfortunately, most just take the low hanging fruit and never really learn how to properly use the process or really understand what is happening in the deeper levels. This weekend is a deep dive into the nuts and bolts of the Empty Chair and how it is used to integrate disowned parts, finish unfinished business, identify splitting, work with polarities, and mirror blind spots in awareness. Significant time will be spent on when the process is most valuable and when a more relational stance would be better or provide additional support. This workshop forms the background for the Relational Gestalt workshop on May 30th. The two workshops together will provide a strong understanding of both intra-personal and inter-personal gestalt process as one might use them in relation to trauma or other extreme states. Participants can expect to learn valuable tools to work with their clients intrapersonally. This workshop is 80% experiential and 20% theoretical.

Workshop 2: April 25th  – April 26th: Gestalt & Trauma
Leader: Galia Schechter:
At the heart of most psychological and spiritual trauma is often a core experience of disconnect from the flow of life, and a sense of the self as deficient and separate. In fact, one of the greatest human paradoxes manifests in the way our deep longing for love, acceptance, and belonging coexist with our individual and collective wounding of self judgment and self alienation, all too often perpetuated by powerful cultural conditions of worth. It is often our deep desire to belong and be accepted that leads us to suppress and contract against contact with parts of our self that we perceive as “bad” “unwelcome” and “shameful”. And yet, it is the process of exiling and rejecting the self that unintentionally contributes to unnecessary human suffering and disconnect from our true nature. Perhaps the greatest antidote to such self alienation is the experience of self-compassion and awareness of common humanity. To authentically embody self compassion is to awaken a direct knowing that our inner experiences, however feared or “dark” or “shameful” are shared universally, and that in fact all of our experiences point to a fundamental longing for love, belonging and the freedom that are shared by all.  This workshop will invite participants to explore individual, familial and intergenerational trauma in the Gestalt spirit of loving kindness and compassion by engaging with Gestalt informed inquiry and Here and Now, emboawareness based practices and process experiential individual and group based healing work.

Workshop 3: May 30th  – May 31st: Relational Gestalt
Leaders: Galia Schechter & Morgan Goodlander
“Here and Now, I and Thou”  is Gestalt Therapy’s primary mantra. This workshop goes beyond the intrapsychic process of the Empty Chair to reach out into relational space and make another gestalt maxim ” Contact is Curative” come to life in the ongoing presence of the group. Group participants will learn to shuttle between the inside and the outside, between contact and isolation, between seeing and being seen, hearing and being heard. A here and now phenomenological stance will be presented to help practitioners somatically identify projective and transferential issues while at the same time leveraging the unfinished business of the client into the present relational situation.  The experience of “we” vs “I” will be explored and the development of a new awareness of an inter-subjective field will be encouraged. Participants will move beyond individualism and work to discover a co-created “moment of healing ” where health becomes a relational state rather than an individual act of maturity. Participants can expect to learn valuable tools to work with their clients relationally. This workshop is 80% experiential and 20% theoretical.

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