Embodied Experience: How We Practice Existential Therapy
Out of an abundance of caution, to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19, our events will move to a virtual platform for our 2020-21 Series. More updates will be posted here and on our mailing list.
How Our Truths Emerge: An Embodied Dialogue
Ming Chang, LMHC and Wendy Sharak, LMHC, ATR
Respondents: Marcos Rosenbaum, LICSW and Glen Freiband, LMHC
The four-part NECET training series for 2020-21 is entitled Embodied Experience: How we practice existential therapy. Five experienced clinicians will be showing how they think about the practice of existentially informed psychotherapy. While each of these presentations addresses a different dimension of the work and is unique to itself, there are common themes that unite all four talks. One of these themes is emphasizing the unity of body and language. Another is appreciating the existential and the intersubjective points of view. Presenters will often be referring to the ideas of the philosophical psychologist Eugene Gendlin who was pivotal in developing these interrelated positions.
Our first presentation will be entitled How Our Truths Emerge: An Embodied Dialogue. Ming Chang and Wendy Sharak were to have presented this in the Spring of 2020 as the final talk of our series on truth. In the crisis response of the pandemic, their talk was postponed to the Fall and has now been refashioned to be both a talk about truth and a talk about embodied dialogue. This talk will highlight powerful connections between culture, body, art, and language.
In the second presentation, Bob Fox will present Gendlin's Ongoing Challenge to Conflict Models: Challenge as a Carrying-Forward. Gendlin's critique of psychoanalytic dialectics will be explored, and the locus of the creative tension of authentic experience and psychotherapy will be understood through the hermeneutics of his process model.
In the Winter, Robin Chalfin will present Gendlin's Ongoing Challenge to Cultural Models: Language and Body as Inseparable Power. Gendlin's certainty in the direct "felt sense" of the body will be considered in conjunction with the circumscribing power of cultural norms. In this tension, the possibilities for self-determination will be explored in the psychotherapeutic process.
In the Spring, Bryan Smith will make his first presentation to the NECET community, entitled the Intersubjective Ground of Recovery: Addiction and Existence. This presentation will center itself on understanding addiction as an impermanent holding ground in relation to existence through Heidegger’s concept of “enframing”. Gendlin’s theory of the “felt sense” alongside aspects of Winnicott’s “holding” perspective will aim to shed light on recovery as an intersubjective process of discovery between the therapist and client that holds the tension of the paradoxical structure between connection, desire and longing.
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