Workshop: See life through a new lens - new ways to communicate

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Workshop series synopsis

Looking at Life through a New Lens is a pair of weekend workshops that focuses on the Satir Model, Virginia Satir's sometimes humourous - and very effective - collection of ways of looking at life's day-to-day situations through a constructive lens. The two workshops can be taken independently or together. Both of these workshops are designed for both therapists and non-therapists.

In part 1 (May 30-31, 2009), we teach you about ways of viewing the world, how to communicate with others congruently (especiallyafter you've just had a big fight), the stances we take on when we are under stress (and what causes them), and about using the metaphor of the Iceberg (also known as the Kaleidoscope) to understand our layers that are "below the waterline" of our consciousness.  Finally, we cover how to run a meeting (whether it's a family meeting or a business meeting) much more effectively.

In part 2 (October 3-4, 2009), we teach you how to look into your personal history to better understand why you cope the way you do, view your individual parts via a Parts Party, and work at a deeper level with sculpting.

Life's questions

Let's take a look around...What if you could find a way to look at your life differently?

What if you could find the key to understanding yourself and why you repeatedly experience the same challenges in your professional and personal relationships?

What if you could get past any anger, hurt, and fear in your life?

What if you could learn how to feel great about yourself and become aware of the power you have to reshape your life?

A new lens

Come to an intensive, transformational weekend workshop for individuals and families based on the work of pioneer family-systems therapist Virginia Satir.  Learn tools for self-discovery, raising self-esteem, and relating to others.

This two-day weekend workshop will show you practical ways in a trusting environment to step away from past negative family patterns. Consider looking at life through a different pair of glasses, where you'll have the opportunity, at your choice, to listen, to watch, and to interact.  The workshop combines lecture and participatory exercises that will let you leave at the end of the weekend with new tools in your personal self-awareness toolchest.

The Satir Model has a way of helping people achieve the self-awareness and confidence necessary to make personal changes.  The workshop focuses on the origin of self-esteem and its essential role in how we view ourselves and others.

At this workshop, you will be taught a range of life and communications skills that can equip you to create and handle change in all aspects of your life.

Learn how the Satir Model's congruent communication method can build self-esteem.  See yourself through the metaphor of the Iceberg (also known as the Kaleidoscope).  Explore your life situations with the Ingredients of an Interaction, which clarifies and cuts short explosive conflicts.  Experience sculpting (guided acting) that helps you learn at a deeper experiential level and helps you understand the origins of self-esteem issues and problematic communication. Learn how the Change Process can let you see a life crisis as positive and healthy, not unnerving as we see it so many times.  See how anger in and of itself is not bad - it's how it's expressed that's the problem; anger can be a powerful, positive motivating force for change.  Finally, you'll be able to try Temperature Reading, a different way of running meetings (at home or at work) that ensures all get heard.

Who is it for?

People come to SLCO workshops from all of life's circumstances.  Whether you are prepared for a little change or a lot, you will find yourself among friends in a safe and supportive environment.  If you are at personal crossroads in terms of your job, at odds with a family member, recovering from an illness, experiencing grief or simply looking for new solutions in your life, this workshop will start you on or enhance your journey of self-discovery and change.

If you're a parent, you can learn different ways to be with your children.  If you're a therapist, you can learn new ways of working with your clients.  Learn how to see your parents on an equal footing with you.  Teachers use these techniques to communicate with their students more effectively.  And as a person, as each of is, you can use these lessons to change how you are in the world.

You'll find a mix of new people and people who've been to our workshops before, people who are part of our community.  As people gain a better understanding of themselves, many find it useful to return and view these concepts from their new place of understanding.

Our workshops are designed for both therapists and non-therapists.  Virginia was one of very few therapists to explicitly teach that the therapist-client relationship should not be hierarchical.   In fact, her Growth Model emphasizes that hierarchy is a key source of both low self-esteem and non-congruent communication.  She taught that congruence (honest but considerate communication in which what is conveyed on the outside matches the internal feelings and perceptions) comes from and enhances high self-esteem, and respects the other, oneself and the context.   Thus, her workshops were open to therapists and non-therapists.  She believed that, for therapists to be effective, they must work on themselves and learn congruence.  The Satir Learning Centre follows this model and also has a built-in training programme for therapists.

Workshop process

During the workshop, we'll introduce to you the tools of the Satir Model described above.  You'll have a chance to discuss these both in the whole group and smaller groups during the day.  You'll also experience what it's like to be in a warm, loving, and open community during the weekend, where care and respect for one another is paramount.  The process is designed to cater to both your heart and your mind, your thinking and your feeling.

A full lunch will be provided both days.  During the breaks, snacks will be available, including a wide variety of beverages.

If this is your first time at one of our workshops, you may find yourself feeling that, at the beginning of the weekend, there's a lot of information being presented to you.  You're not alone:  many people who have come to these workshops have felt that way.  As the weekend progresses, you'll start to see the threads connecting these concepts.  By the end of the weekend, most people have found that they have begun to see a whole new way of living.

How much do I have to participate?

Many people are nervous about groups.  Be assured that, as a participant, you need say nothing about yourself in the group - you learn vicariously through learning about the tools.  You can remain an observer.  A key philosophy is that we are responsible for ourselves, and that includes the right to say yes or no.

Dates and Times / Location

The Satir Learning Centre of Ottawa, on the banks of the Jock RiverRegistration deadline for early bird): Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Registration deadline: Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Workshop check-in:  Saturday, 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM.
Workshop: Saturday and Sunday, 30 and 31 May 2009, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM both days.
Reconnect:  A follow-up meeting Wednesday, 3 June 2009, from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM is recommended.  There is no cost for this additional session.

Both the weekend workshop and the Wednesday follow-up meeting will be held at the Satir Learning Centre of Ottawa (details), on the banks of the Jock River at the south end of Barrhaven.