Blend & Balance: Working with 'opposite' dynamics @ Blacktown, NSW

Date: 28-Mar-2019

    Blacktown RSL, Blacktown, NSWThursday, 28th March 2019 from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

    BLEND & BALANCE is actually a fairly simple, yet extremely powerful way of approaching the important ‘things’ in people’s lives; grief and loss, hopes and dreams, hardship and joy. It is also an approach which is perhaps not always embraced because it is risky. And it is indeed risky to deliberately enlist laughter as a way of managing grief, to see challenge as an ally in helping a vulnerable person flourish, to look towards fantasy as a way of embracing reality. Yet this is both the nature of life and the approach of this workshop. Laughter may not be the first thing to consider when a person has experienced a tough moment in life; and it may never fit for some people in such times. But for others, approached carefully and sensitively, or perhaps even outrageously, laughter brings relief. And it is working with powerful and risky dynamics such as this which is at the core of this workshop.

    Dynamics of opposite create an atmosphere of the unusual; of juxtaposition, of paradox, of contrast and comparison; which bring into sharp relief what is and what could be; what is being noticed, and what overlooked. The ‘softer’ ‘lighter’ aspects of these dynamics create relationship and connection; and an openness to experience the new, the fresh, the adventurous; both within ourselves and with the world around us. And standing next to the more ‘challenging’ aspects, they together create ‘Readiness’ and ‘Receptivity’ in hearts and minds - the chance to review self and life and embrace fully what is, or to explore what might be. Sounds a bit fanciful. It’s also true.

    We will cover these core elements of:

    • Engagement
    • Readiness
    • Receptivity.

    And we will explore the enabling concepts of:

    • Juxtaposition
    • Jaradox
    • Contrast
    • Comparison
    • Contradiction.

    At the process level, that is ‘how’ we approach any topic, issue, concern, tragedy, fear, hope in a group; it’s about balancing and blending:

    • Support with challenge
    • The playful with the serious
    • Questions with statements
    • Thinking with feeling
    • Movement with stillness
    • Conversation with reflection
    • The simple with the complex
    • ‘Noise’ with silence
    • The real with the imagined
    • The imagined with the real.

    At the content level, that is, ’what’ we can actually explore with group participants around the specifics of their lives; opposites are equally endless:

    • Grief with celebration
    • Despair with hope
    • Acceptance with defiance
    • Fear with courage
    • Confidence with uncertainty
    • Joy with sorrow
    • ‘Hanging’ on with ‘letting go’
    • Tragedy with triumph
    • Scepticism with wonder
    • Realism with optimism.

    This is an experiential workshop which will take you through the strategies attached to the thinking: physical movement, guided reflection, ‘scaffolded’ conversation, imagery, video….

    When: Thursday, 28th March 2019 from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

    Where: Blacktown RSL, Second Avenue, Blacktown NSW

    Cost: The early bird booking is $275.00 if registration occurs before 28 February (GST included). The fee for registrations after the 28 February is $330.00 (GST included). Morning tea and lunch are provided.

    To register: Register and complete payment below. A Tax Invoice will be emailed to you. The payment needs to be completed before the workshop occurs, for the registration to be fully confirmed.

    Facilitator: Peter Slattery

    Peter has worked with individuals, families and communities for over 30 years. He lives in Sydney, but works throughout Australia as well as Asia, Europe and North America. He has written 'Youth works’ and produced the training DVD 'Conversations with young people', and most recently the group work resource ‘THOUGHTPICS’. He strives constantly to find or develop new, exciting and ever more useful ways of helping people explore what troubles or inspires them. In this quest, he calls on anything that might be helpful; physical movement, theatre, storytelling, drawing, what might be called ‘humour’ and really, anything at all that might add something to this process. Peter says "what a totally challenging joy all of this is"!


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