This weekend at the end of my GTO weekend, the partners were invited for a small session.
During the first 2 years of the gestalt therapy training, we focus mainly on personal growth. (And trainers show us how to work the gestalt way.)
This means that these 16 people that follow the training talk alot about their personal life, our orginal family (gezin van herkomst) and also current relations.
For the partners this personal work feels sometimes like an intrusion in their personal life. Combine this with all the time this training takes (1 weekend every month, writing the reports about the weekends, one housework evening, reading of several books, 1 exam psychology, several theroretical days a year) and this makes it very hard for partners.
So when this saturday the partners where asked to sit down together and talk for 20 minutes about the impact the training had on their families.
One thing that struck me was:
“When I came in, I had a strange feeling. I did not know anyone, but I felt that all these people knew me. Like I am a Famous Partner(FP/BP Bekende Partner). Like I am a little article they have read.”
Other feedback our partners gave in the big (30 people) group:
- They see the difference in us.(Wahoo!)
- Sometimes the weekend can become very emotional. When we come home it is not always easy for our partners. One time we want to talk about it and our partner wants to sleep (The weekends end Saturday 22 hour, it can be 1 horu later before we are home.) the next time we feel to confussed to talk about it. This can also feels strange to our partners.
- The investment is high
- The time
- The money
I was part of the group talking about the impact the training had on our life and our partners.
Things we came up with :
- the time we are away from our family. Oh yeah we know this
- the money can not be used to do fun stuff with our family
- the time constraints: because these weekends are planned so long in advance, we sometimes miss the opportunity to do fun stuff with our friends and family
- We now see things easier and we can not not see something. We don’t know yet what to do with that new knowledge. When we want to change our behavior (our =both me and my partner) then we get the remark: “don’t be my therapist.”
- The difficulty about privacy.We have promissed the group to keep everything what is said inside. (Which is the only way to create a safe environment.) This sometimes internal conflicts when we want to talk about it at home.
(Reaction of the trainer: you are not allowed to talk about what someone else did in the weekend, but you can talk about what it did to you. “When a certain person talked about her father, it made me think about my father and my relation I had with my father and…”)
This small session really was a good idea. It helped our relation and the tension there was about my training. My partner know nows better what she can expect from me. We also talked a lot about it after words. Some of the tips really helped me to know what to share and when.
I kept the best tips for last:
When you come home from a training: the partner first shared his/her day (with the kids), and only then the trainee tells about his/her weekend.That feels very familiar to me. It is talking stick for people that go to a training.