Community Gestalt Therapy

Who Should Apply

Community Gestalt Therapy (CGT) is an advanced training for mental health professionals who are engaged in community work and drawn to Gestalt Therapy. Participation in this program will provoke emotional courage, expand appreciation for the complexity of human experience, and sharpen critiques of political and economic discourses. The training consists of narrative, theory, live practice, and group process. All teaching will be grounded in practices that demonstrate a cutting-edge application of the Gestalt paradigm.

The Challenge

This training supports practitioners to identify and interrogate the social, political, and economic implications of the systems in which they work. It also highlights opportunities to experiment with new strategies congruent with ecological principles. The call to service comes in many forms. Often it is the plea we hear when others are in distress. Yet people in pain move us not only to comfort them, but also to take action. A community approach requires action that affects the larger context. When we witness a relentless stream of systemic conditions carving through communities, the required action is clear. The people swept up in that stream need us to pull them to shore and tend to their injuries. Still, more action is needed…action that compels us upstream.

The Solution

The Community Gestalt Therapy advanced clinical training program invites practitioners upstream with the use of prevention and promotion strategies, in addition to therapeutic tools. We want to create health (rather than wait for illness). This takes a shift in culture. Fortunately, influencing culture is what Gestalt was born to do. Combined with some effective peer education tools, a culture-building approach can equip people to work together to change conditions, create more humane systems and promote the value of mutual care. To encourage culture shift, this program trains practitioners to use The Relational Center’s key peer education tool… Stories of Connection.

How It Works

The training schedule includes four 2-day intensives in which participants engage in theory discussion, live-supervised practice, personal development work, and group process. Peer group meetings are also available to offer participants an opportunity to build a sense of community.

Four 2-Day Intensives

  • humans: the radically prosocial animal
  • pragmatism: what works, for real?
  • constructionism: a relational phenomenology
  • diversity: rising to the challenge of complexity
  • embodiment: our instruction manual for nature
  • sustainability: applying for the role of steward

October 8-9, 2016
December 3-4, 2016
February 4-5, 2017
April 1-2, 2017

The Relational Center will also be hosting 10 optional peer group sessions (roughly 2 per month during the training calendar), during which participants will have opportunities to build and sustain a sense of community, practice skills, and deepen their learning

Interested In Applying?