Workshop: The Satir Model meets "The Work"

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"The root cause of suffering is identification with our thoughts, the 'stories' that are continuously running through our minds. [Byron Katie's] The Work acts like a razor-sharp sword that cuts through that illusion and enables you to know for yourself the timeless essence of your being."

— Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now.

Learn how the simple process of The Work of Byron Katie and the teachings of Virginia Satir combine to make a powerful tool to learn more about yourself, raise your self-esteem, and find more peace in your life.

Friday evening, 25 January, and Saturday daytime, 26 January 2013

The workshop is full.  Please contact us if you would like to be added to our mailing list to be kept informed of future workshops.

What's it about?

This 1½-day workshop will show you practical ways, in a trusting environment, to step away from past negative 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 tool chest.

Under the leadership of The Work practitioner Layah Weinstock and SLCO Director of Professional Services Janet Christie-Seely, MD, MSc, FCFP, this workshop integrates the compatible teachings of Byron Katie, who developed the method of self-inquiry known as The Work of Byron Katie, and of family therapist Virginia Satir, who developed methods of helping people achieve the self-awareness and confidence necessary to make personal changes.  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.

The Work of Byron Katie, also known as Inquiry Based Stress ReductionTM (IBSRTM), is a way to identify and question the thoughts that cause our suffering.  It is a way to find peace with yourself and with the world.  The old, the young, the sick, the well, the educated, the uneducated—anyone with an open mind can do this Work.  By questioning stressful thoughts with this simple process, it becomes clearer and clearer that "the problem" is never outside of yourself or beyond your control.

With The Work, you will

  • learn to identify and question stressful thoughts
  • experience how you live your life when you are not questioning your thoughts
  • take home a powerful tool that can help you live with clarity and integrity
  • learn how to facilitate yourself and others using "The Work's" four questions and "turnarounds"
  • be offered a full experience of "The Work"

Come and experience what asking Katie's four questions, and then looking at the turnarounds, can do to any stressful thought.

You will be taken through a series of exercises that will offer you the opportunity to see how The Work can help you find more peace in many aspects of your life.

With the teachings from Virginia Satir, you will be shown how to move more easily toward your goals through understanding the Change Process, your survival coping stances, the metaphor of your personal Iceberg, and hierarchical vs. growth views of the world.

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.

Learn about your survival coping stances and how you can communicate congruently with another person.  When you communicate congruently, you will respect yourself and the other person more, you can increase both your self-esteem and the other person's, and you will have a greater chance of a positive outcome.

You're probably aware that we all have many layers, some of which we are more conscious than others.  We'll explore those layers using the metaphor of an Iceberg.  See how anger in and of itself is not bad—it's how it's expressed that can be the problem; anger can be a powerful, positive motivating force for change.

Consider viewing the world through the lens of growth instead of the lens of hierarchy.  It's a view that recognizes and promotes the opportunities that arise from the diversity and richness amongst us instead of trying to limit and control our world.

For whom is it?

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 as you.  Teachers use these techniques to more effectively communicate with their students.  And as a person, as we all are, 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.

Virginia saw people as good at their core (often despite appearances) and with a desire to grow and learn and discover a deep source of high self-esteem, which can be tapped when you know where to look. With humour, respect for people of any walk of life or circumstance, and a sense of safety and confidentiality, she created workshops for personal growth and transformation.  These workshops have continued in 34 countries since her death.

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.

What's the process?

The process is designed to cater to both your heart and your mind, your feeling and your thinking.  You'll 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.

If this is your first time at one of our workshops, you may find, at the beginning of the weekend, that you're thinking that 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 workshop progresses, you'll start to see the threads connecting these concepts.  By the end of the workshop, most people have found that they have begun to see a whole new way of living.

How much do I have to participate?

Don’t worry!  This is not a show and tell.  We know that many people are nervous about groups.  Be assured that, as a participant, you need say nothing about yourself in the group—you can learn vicariously through learning about the tools and watching other people.  You can remain an observer.  You can choose to volunteer if you want to say something further; it's your choice at all times.

A key philosophy is that we are responsible for ourselves, and that includes the right to say yes or no.


Please avoid wearing perfume and cologne, as some people are highly allergic.

Dates and Times / Location

The Satir Learning Centre of Ottawa, on the banks of the Jock RiverWorkshop dates:

  • Friday evening and Saturday daytime, 25 to 26 January 2013

Workshop registration and check-in:  Friday (6:30 PM), Saturday (9:15 AM)
Workshop times:  Friday evening (7:00 PM to 9:30 PM), Saturday (9:00 AM to 5:00 PM).  The workshop will start promptly at these times each day.

Workshop confirmation deadline:  We need a minimum number of registrants for the workshop to be effective for all.  If we don't have the minimum number by this date, we will have to cancel the workshop so that those who have already registered will have time to change their plans for that weekend.  Please pre-register by the end of Thursday, 17 January 2013.  The decision to go ahead with the workshop will be made on Friday.

Location:  The workshop will be held at the Satir Learning Centre (details) on the banks of the Jock River at the south end of Barrhaven.

Price and registration information

The workshop is full; we are no longer accepting registrations.

All attendees$75

For more information, please contact the Satir Learning Centre of Ottawa.


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