Gestalt and Social Justice Learning Programme

Be part of NGV’s flagship 18 month “gestalt and social justice” learning programme

We want to encourage a gestalt practice that’s active in our world – one that is grounded in social justice and in combatting different forms of oppression. Our programme brings together theory, contributions from those actively working to challenge oppressive social structures, and experiential learning/development through dialogue.

Contribute

This programme is an online experiment in a mix of structured learning, personal process and group development. Our focus is on “Gestalt in the World” – the contribution of gestaltists as ‘citizen practitioners’ (Parlett) in response to challenges to our ecology and in relation to social justice. We explore the contribution of gestalt in relation to ideas of citizenship, the state, and the economy. We will read, and hear from the contributions of philosophers, economists, sociologists and other fields.

The programme is not just for those with experience of gestalt – we wish to foster a co-learning environment in which contributors from different professional fields who share our interests can learn together.

The programme runs Jan 2021 – June 2022:

(running times will work for Europe and the US / if there is sufficient interest from Australia/NZ/East Asia we will explore running a parallel track making a live learning environment available to you)

Ordering of topics may vary somewhat from the below programme:

16th Jan 2021 – What is Social Justice? a primer / and introduction to the programme approach

13th March 2021 – Unpacking the dynamics of power, privilege and oppression.

24th April 2021 – The state and citizenship.

12th June 2021 – Sustainable business/economies (beyond capitalism/ or the “idea of capitalism”)

11th Sept 2021 – Approaches to change, and working with complexity.

13th Nov 2021 – Exploring our personal capacity for leadership.

15th Jan 2022 – An unequal world. Postcolonialism, migration, and the impact of climate change.

26th Feb 2022 – The personal and the political. Where do we find support?

16th April 2022 – The politics of the body – (trans)gender, sex and power/ and using our bodies for social change.

18th June 2022 – tbc

  • Meet as a whole group 10 times for 1 day over 18 months. (50 direct learning hours)
  • Invite in a mix of presenters/contributors – gestalt and non-gestalt; individuals who are contributing to challenges around social justice/ecology – e.g. those working in political change, black liberation, local democracy and activism and campaigning.
  • Support participants with their ‘living of this’ – report back and receive challenge and support
  • Encourage smaller ‘process’ groups to meet monthly.
  • Explore gestalt theory and intersections with other bodies of thought such as sociology, political theory, and philosophy, particularly as they relate to what Paul Goodman called ‘socio-therapy’

The programme will create an environment in which beginners and those with vast gestalt experience can learn together. We bring in people from both ends of their gestalt journey to our team. The NGV approach esteems development at the group/community level (hence this is not a ‘personal’ development group as such). Having said this, our personal experience shapes the collective, which in turn forms our individual experience.

We will use Gestalt theory as an orienting tool, and in turn we regard this programme as key to NGV’s aspirations to develop a gestalt practice fit for the challenges of our times through living it together, and by including that which may not be directly present – the planet’s fauna and flora for example – as well as that which is present but so obvious that it is overlooked, which is the case with privilege.

We particularly invite those who live on the edges – or outside – those who struggle in groups, or those bringing marginal experience including race, sexuality, and disability as having something unique to offer that we can grow by. We will turn our attention to the wider structures of power, influence and oppression that form the background against which much therapy and social change work is conducted.

We will build relationships and foster a “chosen” support community that will ‘over- time’ allow different choices to emerge for us as individuals, whilst engaged with issues experienced at community and planetary levels. (Max 24 places, 6 reserved for free places/non-gestaltists)!

Cost £1100 UK [can be paid over 18 months – and 6 subsidised/free places available]

Amongst other things this is a supported place to:

  • Explore challenges around being part of a group, community, society, planet
  • Share our narratives, life stories & the recurring patterns that we are working through and that specifically form an obstacle to our being with others.
  • We will be meeting online from our homes, so we welcome contribution from partners, children and those who are precious in our lives
  • Use gestalt theory as an orienting tool & in turn improve our understanding of gestalt theory in relation to current social justice and ecological challenges
  • Learn with others with different life & professional experience and theoretical orientations
  • Offer up what we don’t understand
  • Build safety for those parts of ourselves that do not easily fit
  • Make a place for difficult self-process like narcissism, shame, jealousy and marginal experience including GSRD, religion, ethnicity, class and race.
[Programme Faculty: Bernadette Latuch, Kamila Bialy, Toni Clarkson, Badr Hajjani, Laura Martinelli, John Gillespie.]

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