Why an “Opening to Grace” Healing Retreat?
As an experienced Gestalt Therapist I have long held a desire to integrate Gestalt therapy with contemplative spirituality and to offer a new style of spiritual / healing Retreat. We call this new synthesis Transformational Gestalt and the main thrust of this contemplative perspective is working with embodied process – an unfolding in the present moment of what is essentially a deep healing process. This is as much a spiritual process as it is emotional and psychological, and moves us toward growth and profound healing. This is the place of deep healing, grounded in relationship, and open to what is greater than our ‘small self’.
When Barry and I were in the process of developing our ideas about this synthesis of Gestalt and contemplative spirituality, we came across a book, Consenting to Grace, written by Tilda Norberg, a New York Gestalt Therapist, who has developed Gestalt Pastoral Care – a combination of Gestalt and spiritual companioning from a Christian perspective. I was blessed to spend several weeks with Tilda in New York in 2015 and attended one of her Gestalt Pastoral Care Retreats, co-working with participants and soaking in her generous wisdom. I came away from that Healing Retreat with a growing passion to continue to develop our own particular synthesis of Gestalt therapy and cobntemplative spiritual healing.
In early 2016 we offered several Opening to Grace workshops, and in October 2016 held our first 3 day spiritual healing Retreat at Kincumber on the Central Coast, NSW. We held our third ‘Opening to Grace’ healing Retreat mid 2019, and hold a vision for yearly spiritual Retreats and further development of the Transformational Gestalt model. The Retreats are such a deeply profound and sacred time together, it has increased our desire to offer the OTG Retreats to everyone who is drawn to this healing work. There is an openness and spontaneity in the work that allows every Retreatant to participate as they desire, and to unfold their own healing process, with compassionate community support and encouragement.
Update 2021: Dealing with the Covid-19 situation in 2020 meant that we were unable to physically hold our Retreats. We hope to commence physical Retreats again in 2022 watch this space …