Summer Encounter 2018
July 15 - July 21, 2018
I always talk about the importance of participating in encounter groups. For many of my friends, colleagues, even clients, it is no surprise that for several years participating in such events, specific to the Person-Centered Approach, is part of my personal development process, but especially professional.
For several months, the idea of organizing such an event closer to home has been outlined and I am excited to announce that it will take place in mid-July this year. Bernie Neville will be the facilitator of this group, and his enthusiasm to come to Romania confirmed to me once again that despite the organizational difficulties, this group will take place.
I would like to thank my colleagues who supported the idea, came up with proposals and had the patience to listen to me both in moments of enthusiasm, but especially in those of doubt.
The event website is ready, registrations have started and I invite you to reflect on the possibility of participating in this event and I want you to extract from this experience what you need.
I spent most of my life in the university academic environment training teachers and counselors. When I began my doctoral studies in 1970, I intended to study the usefulness of “sensitivity cultivation groups” in teacher education, but after reading “On Encounter Groups” by Carl Rogers, published in the same year, I changed the focus of my paper to me on the study of Rogers’ theory and practice. I started by getting involved as a facilitator in “encounter groups” with a few colleagues as part of our education and counseling programs.
During the 1970s, the potential of encounter groups was viewed with great enthusiasm, but they became unpopular in Australia in the following decades. Fortunately, interest in these groups seems to have revitalized and people seem to be rediscovering their potential.
I was delighted by the invitation to participate as a facilitator in an encounter group in Romania. Firstly because I always discover significant perspectives and also for the friendships created within these groups, and secondly because Romania is a country that I have wanted to visit for several years.
Before deciding on organizing a meeting in Romania, my needs to participate in such a group change from year to year. I started participating in these groups with a multitude of “external” hopes and needs. I wanted to know about other perspectives of being a psychotherapist, about how this profession evolves and changes in other countries, about access to other books, articles and people who were in direct contact or even clearly guided by Carl Rogers. Later, I found myself learning more about myself, my limits and perspectives, my fears and visas. I learned that I can study them, that I can make myself give up on them or take advantage of them with every interaction. The essence for me now was the interactions; how sincere, authentic and spontaneous I could be with myself and those around me, how much one can accompany the other in his own discovery. All these puzzle pieces helped me personally and gave me a unique professional maturity. The most meaningful understandings and lessons about how they can truly be present to the other that they have remained in participating in these groups. I wanted this experience closer to me, closer to my world so I decided to do something about it. This experience must be shared and must be especially accessible to anyone who wants to broaden their horizons.
I first met Bernie in 2015 as a group facilitator. When we met for the second time, in 2017, I bravely allowed myself to invite him to Romania, as a facilitator. I was very pleased with his availability and enthusiasm. I invite you to take advantage of this opportunity, to experiment and to extract from this experience exactly what you need.