I believe that we all long for a place where we can be truly and fully ourselves. Unfortunately, most of us grew up in environments where we were frequently corrected and told to be something else. As a result, we have developed powerful parts of ourselves that are devoted to monitoring, evaluating, and criticizing our own actions and being. These parts are reinforced by a culture that is critical of anyone who does not conform to its ideals and norms. What we need is a new culture, a space, a community, where the norm is acceptance and non-judgment. There we can discover the beauty and wonderfulness that we already are, when we stop trying to be something else.
How much energy do we spend hiding and protecting our secrets and withholds? Our graying hair, expanding ass, unique way of expressing sexuality, competitiveness, occasional stupidity, frequent ignorance, terror, and neediness? The parts of us that take pleasure in hurting others, that would be right at all costs, that feel worthless, that feel better than others, that want someone else to take care of us, and that judge everything and everyone? Using Internal Family Systems (IFS), we bring these parts out of shadow and shine the light of acceptance on them, till we realize that they are not who we really are. Using Core Energetics, we fully embody these parts and let them express, helping us understand what drives their behavior. The shame that we feel cannot last when we cease our silence.
What would your life be like if you could just be you? If you dropped the old programming that drives you to be perfect, lovely, compliant, or demanding in order to avoid abandonment? If the judgmental people in your life drifted away a little and you attracted new relationships that honored and accepted all of you? Wouldn't that alleviate considerable amounts of anxiety and depression? Wouldn't it free up copious amounts of energy that could be better devoted to worthwhile commitments?
Because our defenses, the parts that need to hide us, are so dedicated to their jobs, it takes practice to let them drop. It takes a space where acceptance and non-judgment is the norm. It takes risking rejection over and over again, and repeatedly finding that speaking our truth makes us more lovable, not less. Nothing fulfills me more than contributing to such a space.
Participants will experience a safe and supportive, but challenging, container in which to expand, take risks, and discover more of who they really are. Core Energetics, Internal Family Systems and other techniques will be used to help participants unravel their defenses, improve their relationship skills, and achieve new insights that they can bring into their daily lives. And we will have fun.
I led such a group in NJ from 1994 until moving to NC in 2012. We started up at the Fairview space on 3/21/19 and held two rounds of six sessions, meeting every other week. As we finish the second round in August, the group wishes to transition to an ongoing format.
Our plan is to start again on September 19 and meet on the first and third Thursday evening of each month, beginning at 6:30 and ending between 8:30 and 9:00. Once we know who will be participating, these details could be adjusted with everyone's consent.
This is a "closed" group, as opposed to a "drop in" group, so members are expected to attend each meeting. This increases the strength of the container and the safety for taking emotional risks.
As for fees, I use a sliding scale of $100 per meeting down to $50. If you have insurance, we should be able to get some coverage for group therapy. Current clients are welcome to join instead of individual sessions, or in addition.
Feel free to contact me at 828-338-5020 or send an email if you would like to discuss your suitability for the group.