Getting familiar with the PSP employment (being “trained”) in any kind of process and awareness work, unfolds in the form of Programs regarding two levels: a Basic and an Advanced one. Advanced Programs have to do with systematic further deepening and practice on the contents of a Basic Program.
Basic Programs introducing PSP regard:
(a) Thorough both theoretical and practical introductions of all the PSP aspects, through:
alternating zones of theory and practice,
discussions and sharing on the training experience and its effects,
especially designed kinetic, embodied and improvised interactions between the participants,
several kinds of practicing PSP employment in virtual projects as well as in participants’ projects that are currently running.
(b) Appropriately structured work so that the participant may cover a very important kind of “AXIOM” that is common in all kinds of body work: if as a co-ordinator I get involved in any kind of body work connected with process and awareness, I shall definitely meet (very soon) with my own ways to relate and be aware of my own body.
So, nobody can think to use anything from PSP unless she/he is familiar her/himself with her/his own body (and body issues) and unless she/he develops body awareness as it is meant holistically in PSP.
Such a kind of awareness is meant both as one specific zone of awareness as well as connected with all zones of awareness.
In other words, who is going to employ PSP has to personally be able to do what she/he is going later to ask from others to do when employing PSP in her/his work.
Other features of Basic PSP Programs are:
*** The fact that they are very flexible in their goals and duration (they usually last 80 – 120 hours).
These hours can be spread in two-days or one-day or even three or four-days meetings (“modules”).
The exact number of meetings, the periods between them and the final contents of the “modules” can be defined depending on the participants’ needs, the areas of their professional practice and the motivation to be introduced in PSP.
*** It is noted that if the participants originate from different areas, it means that they have different motivation to be introduced in PSP, so they usually cannot be “grouped” in the same Basic Program; an exception is when their professional fields are close enough.
*** For someone to get acquainted with PSP, generally, related prior experience is not a prerequisite.
The Basic Programs do not aim to equip the participants with “ready made” tools of any kind.
They are rather an introduction to the fundamental “logic” underlying the work with awareness in PSP.
It could be generally said that these Programs are addressed to all kinds of coordinators whose professional practice involve any kind of process and awareness work. The various forms of the PSP introductory Basic Programs target:
(1) First of all professionals or trainees of any approach accepting the basic humanistic ideas in psychotherapy, psychology (clinical or not) and counseling, who wish to further develop their own awareness and their already acquired skills, or to get familiar with additional complementary tools that will enrich what they are doing or what they are currently being trained to do. And of course, it is easily understood that PSP, because of its philosophical fundaments, may be of special interest to Gestalt therapists.
It is once more underlined that PSP by no means substitutes whatever tools a psychotherapist is learning to use during the educational program of his chosen approach; PSP is an adjunctive skill that rather complements such tools.
A psychotherapist, professional or trainee, may also benefit something more if introduced in PSP. No matter if he/she works with the Gestalt therapy approach or not, he/she has the chance to get familiar in experiential and innovative ways with many of the fundamental principles permeating most of the contemporary humanistic approaches.
(2) Someone professionally interfacing with other people in any way and in any frame: advisors, coaches, people working in helping and teaching professions, different kinds of services, etc.
For example, a PSP training cycle (appropriately shaped) may be of some interest to a clinical doctor, social worker, someone involved in education, a manager, a director, someone coordinating the work of other people from a special position, someone involved in arts, in areas related to self-knowledge and personal growth, in areas that have to do with children, adolescents, older people, animation, supervision groups, training other trainers, rehabilitation and several kinds of social interventions, with populations that have distinct characteristics and needs, and so on.
(3) Someone involved in performing arts and especially in Playback Theatre, who wishes to deepen and renew her/his perspectives. Furthermore, someone starting a course in these arts and wishes to start on a very solid introductory basis of relevant theory and philosophy as well as effectively acquired advanced praxis.
(4) Someone who wishes for her/his own personal reasons to get theoretically and experientially familiar with core principles of the Gestalt perspective beyond its psychotherapeutic applications.
(5) Someone who simply wishes to expand her/his personal education and experience, by working with her/himself in a safe setting in which improvisational embodied interaction with others is encouraged.
The coordinators in different fields of practice involving any kind of process work and awareness development who wish to get introduced to PSP, may potentially find useful the following points.
(1) Several aspects of their own “personal growth”:
(1a) Enhancing all zones of their own awareness continuum.
(1b) Getting more familiar with their own bodies and movement by exploring how they connect with several aspects of their physical dimension.
(1c) Following and supporting their own experiential flow by employing simple techniques on physical grounding and the mental imagery skills (however, it is reminded that PSP is not some technique for meditation).
(1d) Enhancing authenticity of presence and creativity in whatever they do in their work field.
(2) Learning to support people with whom they work to:
(2a) Develop the overall “range” of their awareness by integrating all aspects of their experience (mind, senses, feelings/emotions).
(2b) Manifest in often unexpected ways “lurking” aspects of their potential.
(2c) “Expand” their awareness also towards the wholeness and liveliness of the relational “space” (of the field) created each time that a live encounter with the other occurs.
(3) Development of skills and tools potentially useful to integrate in a unique way collective and individual levels of work in group settings.
The result is that:
–while all the group is active as a whole “organism”, at the same time,
–every group member works also on a personal level.
This “style” of integrating collective and individual levels of work, springing from the wholeness of the PSP modality, is one of the more powerful points of any PSP employment, with often surprisingly deep and strong effects.
More specifically, when such ideas of the PSP approach to group process work are appropriately applied in practice, there are several possible benefits:
(3a) The group works vividly, pulsating, attempting to create its own rhythm and “breath”, spontaneously overpassing “blockings”.
(3b) Group empathy develops quickly and on high levels, so the more hesitant members are much supported by the wholeness of the group – “organism”.
(3c) Group members are highly motivated to explore the dynamics with which they relate between them as well as the personal issues they wish to work on.
(3d) The “un-blocking” of possibly “stuck” group processes in any phase of the group life is supported in innovative ways.
(3e) The group field grows quickly and effectively; this happens even from the very first steps of the initial openings when the participants are simply introducing themselves, even during initial “warm-ups” (experiential exercises aiming to stir the process of the group members), even in some little moments of the group sharing process.
(3f) Especially when speaking of autonomous “weekend” workshops, the limited time of the group life is used in its maximum potential – exactly because the group works both on a collective level (as an “organism”) and on an individual, personal one, for each one of its members.
(4) Development of skills to devise directly, “on the spot”, by employing creative imagination, ways to:
(4a) stir the personal process in individual work settings
(4b) stir the personal as well as the group processes in group work settings,
(4c) structure (in both individual and group settings) appropriate ideas and inspirations that can be used as “experiments” (“exercises”) supporting some at an instant emerging individual and/or group need.
(5) Inspiring the coordinator to enrich his/her perspectives while roughly “pre-planning” how to work some theme in an oncoming event of her/his professional practice.
Most of the times workshops, seminars and various events having to do with process and awareness work aim to explore a certain theme (they have a “title”). So, the co-ordinator usually somehow “pre-plans” his/her way to approach the theme of an oncoming workshop (or other event). Being introduced in PSP is a great stirring of creative imagination and one gradually starts using it in more and more effective ways during this phase of “pre-structuring”.
We can understand better this benefit if we simply think that any group becomes immediately very much differently alive as soon as its members start even very slightly working bodily and interactively. So, the conductor may possibly enrich her/his ways to pre-structure her/his oncoming workshop or event by discovering new possibilities and pathways.
However, it is noted that this proposal complements and does not substitute the basic perspective and methodology with which any coordinator usually works; moreover, it does not underestimate the use of verbal communication during any activity and sharing of the group members.