2015

Where’s my place in the world?  Who am I? Who do I want to be?  How can I understand others, the older/younger generations, people who are different? How can I really understand and express myself?  Let’s find the answers together!
 
 
CROSS CULTURAL COMMUNICATION INTERNATIONAL PERSON-CENTRED WORKSHOP
 
 
13-19th of July, 2015
Pécs, Hungary
 
 
 
Since 1984 this will be the sixth Cross Cultural Communication International Person-Centred Workshop in Hungary.
 

In the 80s, Carl Rogers – who had achieved international recognition by that time – organized “large groups” around the globe, typically at places struggling with ethnic or political conflicts, such as Northern Ireland, South Africa, or Austria, organized by the UN. In 1984 and 1986 he visited Hungary. These workshops initiated the country’s encounter movement.

 
In communist Hungary, a country just a few years away from the fall of the old system, the visit of the acclaimed American psychologist and the introduction of his approach was an extraordinary event. Hundreds of psychologists, teachers, scientists, university students and social workers attended. In 2009 – on the 25th anniversary of the 1984 workshop – we organized a person-centred workshop with the same title. The participants at that workshop expressed wishes to meet on a more regular basis. In 2011, we tried to figure out who we are now: teachers, psychologists, doctors, managers, students, parents – in the 21st century. What does the person-centred approach mean to us here and now? We have created a tradition: in 2013 there were plenty of faces from the previous workshops as well as newcomers. We are growing, expanding, and learning.
 
The characteristic trait of person-centered groups is that participants – with the help of facilitators animating the various processes can meet each other freely within a minimal framework, through the recognition and acknowledgment of their doubts, fears and emotions. This intensive group experience is capable of bringing us closer to ourselves and each other, identifying the similarities in others and in addition to learning to disagree in a civilized manner.
 
The meeting held with the help of Hungarian and foreign facilitators primarily offers the opportunity to experience.  Preserving the tradition, the meeting - reckoning with about 200 people - will act as the continuation of the earlier international gatherings.
 
 
Carl Rogers: An open letter to participants of European workshops
“Increasing numbers of people are finding that a satisfying and rewarding life does not depend on material possessions or having the latest gadget developed by industry. They are finding that a satisfying life growth out of a deep sense of self-worth, in sharing oneself in close relationships, out of living openly, not hiding behind a mask or a role. They wish to be members of a community. They want to participate in the decisions which affect their lives. They want to resolve problems through communication of feelings, as well as ideas. They recognize that most of today’s institutions prevent them from living this kind of a life. Our schools, our industries, our families, even our churches, often diminish self-worth, discourage self-revealing sharing, insist on roles, make life impersonal, materialistic, bureaucratic. So this growing group of persons, who object to the impersonality of our culture, are engaged in a quiet revolution. They are living in a new way and they are finding a person-centered approach a most congenial way of being. So they come together, as you come together, to build a support group, a sense of community, so that they can dare to live in these new ways. I believe that by so doing they constitute an important step toward the inevitable transformation of our society. Consequently, I believe that what you do here, and what you experience together, has significance not only for this group in this time and place, but has a larger meaning. I believe you constitute a part of a growing network of change, a network which believes in the person, is learning to create a climate in which persons can grow. It is thus part of a worldwide change in our way of living and being. As part of this global network of change, and as persons, I wish you well as you carry on.” (Rogers, C.: An open letter to participants of European workshops, 1986)
 
 
What is the effect of non-directive approach? 
Because of the unstructured nature of the group, the major problem faced by the participants is how they are going to use their time together. Often there is consternation, anxiety, and irritation at first - particularly because of the lack of structure. Only gradually does it become evident that the major aim of nearly every member is to find ways of relating to other members of the group and to himself. Then as they gradually, tentatively, and fearfully explore their feelings and attitudes towards one another and towards themselves, it becomes increasingly evident that what they have first presented are façades, masks. Only cautiously do the real feelings and real persons emerge. The contrast between the outer shell and the inner person becomes more and more apparent as the hours go by. Little by little, a sense of genuine communication builds up, and the person who has been thoroughly walled off from others comes out with some small segment of his actual feelings. Usually his attitude has been that his real feelings will be quite unacceptable to other members of the group. To his astonishment, he finds that he is more accepted the more real that he becomes. Negative feelings are often especially feared, since it seems certain to each individual that his angry or jealous feelings cannot possibly be accepted by another. Thus one of the most common developments is that a sense of trust slowly begins to build, and also a sense of warmth and liking for other members of the group.
 
The Person Centred Approach and the encounter groups could be useful for everyone who is trying to find a place and purpose in world - to identify and express their feelings and thoughts. 
 
Come and join us for this extraordinary event!
 
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