Welcome to issue 3
Wow. 2020 has been an interesting journey so far.
There have been many things happen since our last newsletter! We had every intention to write to you all sooner. For us at GTB it has been tricky juggling this ever changing 2020. But we are here and you are always welcome to reach out to us at any time.
We want this newsletter to be useful for you and allow you to stay in touch during these times. Our goal is to connect with you and help you connect with the community in Australia and Internationally.
If you are interested in studying Gestalt, fulfilling your professional development needs or even if you are busy running your own private practice. We hope to help keep you informed, connected, and engaged.
We have a number of topics we want to share with you each issue from upcoming local Gestalt groups to International Gestalt events. We hope you enjoy our news & updates!
What has been happening at GTB
We have zoom’ed A LOT!
Like many other providers, we at GTB have had to move a lot of our education and professional development events to an online format. We have students based all over Australia studying toward their Master of Gestalt Therapy. This has meant that instead of meeting at our premise each month for their education, each year cohort has had to come together online with zoom hosted by their teachers and guest presenters.
We’ve experienced so much success, when at first we did not know how we would make this major change. Experiential would certainly be the key word used in April when we moved everyone online.
Together we can get through this unusual time!
“Real creativeness, in my experience, is inextricably linked with the awareness of mortality. The sharper this awareness, the greater the urge to bring forth something new, to participate in the infinitely continuing creativeness in nature. This is what makes out of sex, love; out of the herd, society; out of wheat and fruit, bread and wine; and out of sound, music. This is what makes life livable and incidentally makes therapy possible…” – Laura Perls
Always Remembering Maria Vogt
I honour the memory of Maria Vogt as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of her death. I honour the time I shared the leadership of Gestalt Therapy Brisbane with her. Our journey began years before, when we were leaders of two separate institutes, the Brisbane Gestalt Institute and the Gestalt Association of Queensland Inc. At this stage we were competing for students from the same population yet at all times we were able to respect one another and collaborate with one another. On a number of occasions, we pooled our resources and efforts and invited Gestalt therapist from overseas to conduct workshops for both of our institutes. This formed the base of a good working relationship so in 2007 after we had both attended a Directors of Training meeting, I proposed to Maria, in the Qantas lounge and asked her if she would be interested in merging and forming one institute. She was gracious in her ready acceptance.
Forming a new institute was an amazing adventure of collaboration and negotiation. I discovered Maria’s care, toughness, gentleness, and stubbornness. We sat together once a week for almost 12 months working through how we would work together and how our new Gestalt institute would work. It was a beautiful time envisioning the new. In this process we aimed to take the best that both institutes had to offer and bring them together into something amazing. We discussed all aspects of the curriculum and shaped a program that met both our needs and aspirations. We laughed, fought, cried, and truly met one another. I admired the Gestalt therapist, businesswoman and friend that I met in Maria. Maria knew how to collaborate with me in a way that I have never experienced before or since. We worked together so that what we produced was insightful and creative and satisfying to both of us. In the process we build a deep respect for one another. We reflected that it took two woman to join two institutes at a time when the predominate story of Gestalt institutes was division.
Maria and I shared with others two significant rituals. One was in 2008 when we celebrated the opening of GTB, and the second was in 2010 when Maria knew she was dying, and we celebrated her life. The photo was taken in 2008 at the GTB opening. This was a time of great joy and promise. The promise was readily realised with our student numbers quickly growing and the quality of our beginning Gestalt therapists successfully showing their skill within the community. The second ritual was the celebration of Maria’s life. I honour how Maria met the certainty of her death and the humility that she accepted the acknowledgements of her beauty and sensitivity. She was very sick on the day of this honouring, yet she maintained her strength and courage to be there to accept the gratitude from so many who loved her. Maria and I shared after this event that it happened just at the right time as she would not have had the strength at any later time. This gathering was a true gift of Maria to the community. It was a beautiful event.
I am deeply grateful to have worked side by side with Maria. She knew how to share leadership in a mutual way and in fact insisted on it. In establishing GTB at Holland Park we had an agreement that no decision, purchase, or change would be made without us both agreeing to it. This simple agreement set the scene for a satisfying and successful relationship that was in place until she died. I also learned how to move into the role of a businesswoman from her. She had an edge that demanded that our work as Directors of GTB was rewarded financially. I appreciated this practical side of her and was in awe at times when she called out students who had not paid their fees! I also loved her toughness when students demanded more of us than was reasonable. She knew how to call out poor behaviour, stay in relationship and ask for more respect.
I continue to mourn Maria’s death. I have continued to communicate with her as I have gone about leading GTB as a sole Director and a Co-Director over 14 years. Every year once our Year 1 numbers have settled I have said to her, while looking at her photo, “We have done it again Maria! Our numbers are good, and I wish you were here to see our success.”
Blessings on you Maria Vogt
Firstly, Thank you to our governance committee members!
It has to be said. Thank you to our governance committee members! GTB relies on the support of dedicated and generous people who volunteer their time and expertise for GTB to exist.
Many of our committee members have been around for a long time. Last year Mike Donoghue resigned from our Corporate Governance Body (CGB) after many years of supporting GTB. After five years of service, Melanie Manton extended her time as the head of our CGB for another year to help us through our year of leadership transition and COVID. Alan Meara`s ongoing support as a secretary has been crucial for our Academic Governance Body (AGB) and our Gestalt Education Process committee (GEP). Alan is our unsung GTB hero!
Despite this year`s challenges we have been lucky to attract new members to our governance boards with an amazing set of skills and perspectives to bring into our field. Ellen Deardon and Jeanenne Wilkinson are the new members of our CGB. Ellen has a background in organisational psychology and has been a teaching and learning project officer for UQ. Jeanenne has a background in law and management. Also, Peter Howie and Jelena Zeleskov-Djoric recently joined our AGB.
Peter is a Psychodramatist, educator and academic. He has recently published in several well-regarded journals on transformative learning. Jelena is a strong advocate for Gestalt Therapy. She brings her experience as an academic as well as her experience as an overseas trained Gestalt therapist with a passion for Gestalt research. It has been wonderful to be part of the forming of a new support structure for GTB.
This year has been a year of new possibilities, creative adjustments and also a year of making contact! We decided that we will adapt our professional development workshops and we were supported by our brave local and international presenters who entered into the world of zoom with us. Most impressive was the brilliant 82 year-old Janice Gerard who had no hesitation whatsoever to deliver her workshop Relational Gestalt: Immersion in Complexity via zoom!
It is a pleasure working with all of these beautiful presenters this year and to experience their support and warmth towards our community. It feels like we have made valuable connections with our international GT community this year as well as refreshing our connection with Tony Jackson from Gestalt Therapy Australia and Ashley Power from the Relational Institute Australia. Above all, our students and academic staff have been wonderful in managing this years’ challenges and working with us towards a year that is different, not how we wanted it, yet still valuable and full of possibilities.
With gratitude from Tine and everyone at GTB, thank you!
Our Education Manager
You may know Sharon Gray in her many capacities, her ongoing contributions to the community, as a previous Director of GTB, and as a long-time teacher/coordinator of our Year 2 students. And there are so many more.
Sharon has been operating in a new role as Education Manager at GTB since the beginning of this year. As Education Manager, she oversees our higher education operations and supports GTBs academic staff and students.
Sharon is involved in our Academic Governance Body (AGB) and Gestalt Education Processes (GEP) committees. This year Sharon has been involved in the planning for our education weekends which has involved bravely dealing with the challenges of this ever changing COVID situation.
Sharon will be moving into the role of Year 4 teacher/ coordinator next year and will continue to be an invaluable support to us at GTB.
Our Student Representative
At GTB we have been trying to find a way to engage students further in student matters, while keeping things manageable for all of us busy people. We are delighted to share that Nick Jolly has agreed to represent students and attend the meetings of our Academic Governance Body (AGB) this year. Nick is a year 3 student at GTB and works full time in his role as a Product and Marketing Manager for a global corporate business in the construction industry.
Nick also has a background in coaching and worked with personal and industry clients before embarking on his Gestalt Journey! He brings a wealth of work experience and a commitment to supporting our work at GTB.
This week we have been able to lock in Sally Denham-Vaughan to present supervision for supervisors during October.
Sally is a Qualified Supervisor, Trainer and Psychotherapist. She has a background in Clinical Psychology and was the Consultant Clinical Lead for Primary Care Mental Health Services in the County of Worcestershire, UK.
Tuesday, 15 September: Dr. Ruella Frank presents Moving into Meaning: Introducing a somatic & developmental approach to psychotherapy [ONLINE]
Saturday, 19 & Sunday, 20 September: Dr. Janice Roosevelt Gerard presents Relational Gestalt: Immersion in Complexity [ONLINE]
$250.00 discount price ends 31 August.
Thursday, 8 & 15 and Wednesday, 21 September: Dr. Sally Denham-Vaughan presents Supervision for Supervisors: Knowing Me, Knowing You, Finding the Other [ONLINE]
Saturday, 17 & Sunday, 18 October: Tracy Santos presents Being with Grief and Death [planned as FACE to FACE in Brisbane]
We are offering discount bookings for practitioners who are working with concession clients and persons impacts by the pandemic. Please contact us for more details.
We have just hosted our second community event. We had 40+ community members register and join us online for our July session with guest speakers Linda Sawrey & Rosemary Bower. Thank you to them both! They covered some amazingly inspirational content and it was a pleasure to be there with you all and share stories.
Last night we had our second conversation with 20 guests. We even had a GTB graduate attend from the US and a psychology professor from India!
Our next Conversation is on Thursday, 24 September at 7:00 PM (AEST).
This months conversations will focus on Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning or Facilitation as a modality and some of the areas it is being utilised in our communities with a number of guest speakers including Sue Lamond a Gestalt Psychotherapist and practitioner trainer from Norther Rivers Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Lisa Toman from Wild by Nature therapies.
We are looking forward to many more conversations with our old friends and new friends!
Please join us this September. This event will be online via zoom. All are welcome!
Greer begins to say Goodbye
It is time for me to move away from Gestalt Therapy Brisbane. I have already resigned as a Director and at the end of this year I have resigned as an academic staff member. I have had a wonderful journey leading the education of Gestalt therapists in Brisbane and have fully appreciated the support of so many. It has not always been easy. The demands of accreditation have been relentless, the response to student need never ending and the task of holding the integrity of an ever developing program arduous. And I know I do not regret a moment from the time I met up with Maria until now. I have what Maria never had, the privilege of retiring, passing the responsibility to others and focusing on life without the leadership of Gestalt therapy education. When I first made the decision, I was full of grief and it was hard to let go; however, now all I am experiencing is relief and delight at what my life can now offer.
So, I begin the process of saying goodbye to you all over the remainder of this year. I will not be too far away. I am continuing to be a Gestalt therapist with a small private practice, and I will work at GTB in my established room. This is something I have never had the opportunity to be, just a Gestalt therapist. In my final year of training I was invited on the Gestalt Association of Queensland training team. I know that I have rewarded the people who saw my promise with good leadership for the development of Gestalt therapy over more than 20 years.
I wish to all who continue to develop and study Gestalt therapy in this area of the world every success.
Dr Greer White
Greer, thank you for your contribution to Gestalt in Australia!
Would you like to participate in a supportive Gestalt peer process group online?
This year GANZ has been offering online support to the community of practitioners and students in Australia and New Zealand. These groups are offered free of charge to GANZ members and usually a fee of $25 for non-members. However, currently we are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic by offering this support free for both members and non-members for 2020.
These support groups are not training, therapy or treatment but rather offer a safe trauma informed space to practice the principles of Gestalt with peers.
The groups are coordinated by Annie Garrety (Research Chair GANZ) and currently there are two groups of between 7-9 members who meet every four weeks at 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM on zoom. Shortly we will be starting our third peer support group which will service those who can attend a 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM zoom meeting. Again, this will meet every four weeks at this time.
Thus far, the participants report feelings of gratitude for the opportunity to both deepen their awareness practices and experiences as a member of a group and bond with others in support in their professional capacities. We ask that you join three and see and then the group transitions to being a closed group to allow greater development and processing. The groups will run for 12 months and then be reviewed.
PLEASE CONTACT ANNIE GARRETY on firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or jump on the GANZ website and place an order to become a member of the next support group. You may be interested in participating the new day group or in being on a wait list for the next evening group.
• GANZ did you get the GANZ newsletter? Check out their news page. There is plenty of good information being shared. View now!
Gestalt Centre Melbourne
Tony Jackson, Managing Director at Gestalt Centre & Lygon Therapy and his team have been working hard to adapt to the changing situation in Victoria and will now be doing some of their own online hosting with Sally Dehman-Vaughan to deliver an introduction the her Relational Organisational Gestalt (ROG) model over three evenings in Nov-Dec. For more information and to enrol please Contact their office.
International Gestalt Events
Gestalt News and Notes will be published in September, this will include all that is Gestalt across the globe.
“News and Notes” is a joint publication of The Gestalt Journal Press and The Gestalt Therapy Network. Published irregularly, it reaches more than seven thousand readers via email worldwide and contains information of interest to the Gestalt community ranging from employment notices to workshop announcements, to requests for information and references.
For information about submitting contributions to News and Notes, send an email to Becca & the team.
Stay in touch
Connect with us via Facebook page @gestaltbrisbane and stay in touch between issues via our News & updates page on our website.
If you have something you want to contribute or share please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Have a lovely weekend from everyone here at Gestalt Therapy Brisbane!