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A Participant's Experience with the Certificate in Gestalt Group Dynamics

Why did I choose to do the Gestalt Certificate?

I had previously attended a few of the Gestalt groups that David hosts and found them to have been a great source of personal development and a place where I could feel supported and have the opportunity to practice being fully present.  In the open groups however you never know who is going to turn up which on the one hand means you get to practice group formation however it did not allow for deeper relationship building, trust and cohesion to develop that occurs when a group forms and works together over a longer period of time.  It also makes it difficult to get on the same page with the theory and practice if there are new comers.  This is the opportunity that the certificate program offers.  Other than your family and workplace it is hard to find a group that you can actively and consciously explore how you show up over time. Through the literature,  it also provided a new lens to my practice and opportunity to learn a different  perspective and philosophy of people development that complemented what I have previously studied as an organisational psychologist.

What did I get out of the program?

Over the duration of the program I was able to discover a deeper and more appreciative understanding of who I am as a person, my needs and how I show up in the world.  The group provided an amazingly safe place through challenge and support to explore both the bright side and the dark side of who I am as a leader, follower, parent, child, and human in society.  My awareness of the impact I have on others around me greatly enhanced.  It is the fact that you journey over the period of a year with your fellow participants that allows you to build a deep and trusting bond.  It is through this human connection that we were able to experience what it is like to be truly listened to, held emotionally and encouraged to continue to practice how to be fully present and show up in groups.  It is rare in life that your unconscious or unintended impact on others will get called out without judgement.  This is what happens time and time again during the program in real time from a place of care and growth.

The content of the modules combined with the experiential nature of the program means it was practitioner oriented and extremely relevant to the work that I do as a corporate coach and facilitator.  I was able to apply the techniques, having experienced them, to the individuals and groups I work with.  It not only allowed me to increase the impact and effectiveness of the groups through raising their consciousness and mindful presence, it also gave me the experience to hold and ground myself in and out of the group.  This was extremely important so that I could be effective in challenging and supporting the growth of the others whilst not colluding with my own needs.

I would strongly recommend the program to anyone who is seeking to further develop their practitioner skills in working with groups or seeking the opportunity to experience personal breakthrough and transformation.  If I were to choose one word to describe how I have changed as a result of the course it would be forever....



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