elen web-page contents will be updating till January 2019
elen web-page contents will be updating till January 2019

The structure of the experiential groups and the framework of the lectures

THE LECTURES (the broader design)

The central idea of all lectures is the different relationships with the Other: eros, love, desire.

Each presentation is autonomous, touching one aspect of the main theme of the program. The presentation is a stand-alone event, but it can be accompanied by an experiential workshop under the same subtitle.

All 5 lectures, as a whole, form a sequence developing as a continuum including parts that are firmly articulated between them. So, the theme of each one lecture, even if it is covered during the event, is in a way extending also within the whole chain of the 5 presentations. 

Their language and style are non-Academic and non-didactic. However, the direct and comprehensible language used does not affect the depth and validity of their content.

Each one lecture is enriched in several ways that enhance the direct experience of the audience.

The duration of each one lecture is about 1.30 hours.

However, after its end, there is always some time for discussion on its theme or on the whole chain of the lectures, since their ideas interconnect in several ways.

Thus, the overall duration of each event may reach 2.30 hours, or even more.

The goal of all lectures is not to “teach” or “train”. Rather, it is to stir to the listener the so important theme of the relationship, not just theoretically, but also regarding his/her personal reality and life field.

THE EXPERIENTIAL GROUPS (the broader design):

the design of an experiential group working as an autonomous workshop or as a chain of meetings on the themes included in this material

….. The group works through seminars-workshops that can be autonomous or articulate between them forming a whole, regarding their topics as well as the continuum of the participants’ experience.

….. In case that there is a series of meetings, the group is preferably closed (it goes on only with the original participants without accepting new members in each meeting). Yet, it can be designed to remain open – new participants may come in each new meeting, and the participant is not committed to follow all the workshops.

….. The group may be realized in several structural versions. One of them includes periodical meetings during one or two years. Another version, the most usual one, includes 5 periodical meetings of 16 hours each one, usually 8 hours for each one day (or 10 and 6 hours), on Saturdays and Sundays. Intervals (how many and when) are decided by the group.

….. The group’s core thematic is the relationship and its dynamics in different situations and choices. So, the topics of the group’s work have to do with the overall title: “The eyes in which I was mirrored”. In the case of the 5 meetings, each one ha its own subtitle, corresponding to the accompanying lecture. If the group is only one independent event, the meeting may have its own title. And if it is a group of several meetings, it simply works with whatever may inspire the overall title of the program. 

….. The group works in a way based on one hand, on the philosophy and methodology of Gestalt therapy, which is an existential, holistic and humanistic approach. Any kind of work in the Gestalt perspective, means respect to personal boundaries, to the uniqueness of each being, to the personal reality; it also means focusing on how each one experiences such issues. Important Gestalt therapy aim is the development of the individual’s self-support, so we may creatively adjust in different situations to universal fundamental existential issues: any kind of loss on a physical and psychological level, vanity, loneliness, responsibility of choices.

On the other hand, the group’s way of work is enriched by Theodorou’s personal approach named PSP (Process-Stage-Praxis: embodied interaction based on the stream of the personal experience).

This approach is a complementary tool that may be potentially useful to anybody working in any frame and in any way with awareness and the flow of personal experiential process. In PSP, the Gestalt therapy perspective is integrated with movement, embodied work, improvisation. PSP today functions also on a training level, in a form of a “school”.

Gestalt therapy and of course PSP too, see the human being in a relational and holistic way, interacting live with the environment, since we all are indivisible interconnected parts of a bigger whole.

In this whole, nothing can be considered isolated from anything else, so nothing exists “objectively” or is more valid than anything else.

….. The group, in each meeting, works through freely alternating zones of warm-ups, experiential exercises (usually including improvisation and embodied interaction), sharing of the experiences, work on group dynamics, short summarizing parts that are mainly framing what emerges by the group’s work.

The term “experiential” means that the group is not some kind of a class in which some syllabus is taught as a lesson or advices are offered. It means that we focus on what is directly happening, on the live flow of our experience, on the present of the group, and from this position each one explores the landscapes of her personal world. Finally, since there are some misunderstandings about what is an experiential group, it is underlined that nobody is obliged in anyway to say or do anything that she is not willing to say or do. 

….. The group is addressed to anyone interested to work with one’s self, with self-knowledge and personal growth regarding the program’s topics in the safe and confidential group’s space.

No previous relevant experience is required.

Furthermore, the professional or student in any kind of discipline having to do with the human psyche in any way (psychology, psychotherapy, education, social work, etc), will have the chance not only to develop her/his personal growth but also to enrich her/his professional tools by seeing how this program evolves. 

…. The group’s aim is to mobilize the participant regarding anything that has to do with her/his relationships. Like the lectures, this mobilization is intended not to be just theoretical, but also embracing the participant’s personal reality as it is shaped in her own life-field.

The participant in such a group works:

….. (a) individually, and

….. (b) also in the unique “matrix” of the group’s collective power, further enhanced by the several interactions through the overall existential perspective of the program.

….. By working in these two modes, the participant has the chance to explore any relational issues touched by the group’s each time topics. Generally speaking, the participant can explore:

**Several subtle nuances of loving, of “being in love” (eros), of the pain following the end of eros and of love.

**The delicate balance between happiness and disappointments when being a companion in a long and intimate relationship.

**The fragile difference between our inherent need for safety and the need for transcending our boundaries through meeting in several ways the Other. 

**Moreover, the obscure areas of desire, lust, passion, dependancy.

**The multiple dimensions and polarities of our existence; as sexual organisms earthly grounded, yet as individuals able to love and be loved tenderly; as beings with personal boundaries, yet seeking constasntly the Other.   

**And of course, the risks, the fears and the joy when attempting to transcend one’s individual world, motivated by the mystery and the magic that arouse when meeting the Other in his/her infinite aspects.

….. So, the participant may benefit things such as:

**A personal experiential approach of the relational topics that are explored by each one meeting.   

**Awareness development, as well as steps in self-knowledge and growth regarding the program’s relational themes. issues on the broader program’s theme.

**Perspectives and tools that may potentially be useful in any kind of relationships in one’s everyday life.

**And, if the participant follows the corresponding lectures, he/she may get familiar with an idiosyncratic existential approach to the nature and dynamics of human relationships. It is noted that the short group’s life in the 5 meetings version of the program is not a full psychotherapeutic cycle. However, it is long enough for somebody to explore in effective ways not only her/his relationships but also the table of contents” on basic life issues and her/his responses to them.

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