170916 Counselling level five introductory workshop day

I don’t think I’ve experienced a day quite like this in terms of experiencing and learning. Perhaps during yoga teacher training, perhaps not.

The first day nerves holding every back and making them seem uninteresting dissipated today and the depth and nature of people in the group started to emerge. We bonded rapidly and shared.

A very funny day, as in much laughter and very good holding of the group by Gerry the tutor. On arrival we did a couple of small meeting exercises with someone nearby, talking about our grandparents. Next we did some grounding exercises, breathing in for five, out with resistance of the lips for 11, and then a walking exercise being aware of each step. These really helped calm me, and the excitable nervous energy in the room. It was great that this sort of practice was included.

Then we introduced ourselves to the group of 35 by talking about how our names were chosen and maybe what it means. My voice was small but not too small and nothing like the beginning of level three. I wish I’d added some nicknames I’ve had, for humour.

Soon we were moving around the room finding others with the same star sign. It wasn’t so much about star signs but about talking about qualities and tendencies. We then had to represent these one group at a time using postures, with Gerry reflecting on what people saw and relating it back to counselling theory and practice. Us Aquariuses sat in a meditative pose back to back, linked but facing away from each other. We had a guest Leo as she was the only Leo, who prowled around protecting the introspective three of us.

We brought a shared lunch and I resisted the crap easily, just sone quiche and vegetable crisps. I also brought my smoothie along. Like last year there was interest in that.

I took a break outside alone after eating, and also took some photos including the stained glass from the early 1900s:


The afternoon was equally varied. We did a kind of speed counselling sort of thing, where we listened to and told a funny story, a worst date and other mini episodes, rotating around a circle. Later we interacted with an empty chair in mime, that chair representing an issue, in a before and after scenario. My chair represented a group or an audience, the before being absolutely terrified and not being able to look, then the after was with support and I lowered my hands from my face and kneeled and breathed in front of the chair without hiding. We did this already be then shared our experiences with someone nearby. I think this is a gestalt exercise.

Next we danced in a diamond formation of four to the Proclaimers, following the leader’s actions. When Gerry rang his bowl, we changed direction and hence leader. At the end of the song I happened to be leading our group so I jumped around like crazy, arms raised. I can only assume they followed from the smiles and puffing.

We finished at 1545 with a checkout and I was able to say what I wanted to, about feeling that I’m in the right place, excited and ready for the course. I added that it feels in the group that we are weeks in, not two days. I put this latter down to the excellent and varied exercises and to the profundity and humour we shared.

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