Where’s my place in the world?
Who am I? Who am I want to be?
How can I understand my parents, the older/younger generations, people who are different? How can I really understand and express myself?
Let’s find the answers together!
The person-centered approach, hallmarked with the name of the outstanding American humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers, has had a worldwide influence on helpers, the healing of the mentally ill, pedagogical practice, on the notion what comprises an efficient managerial style, doctor-patient relationships and the lives of individuals....
Although many things can be learnt from books on the person-centered approach, its “mastering” requires personal experience. An exceptional opportunity lends itself in the summer of 2015 to acquire such a “personal experience”.
In 1984 and ‘86 a one-week person-centered meeting of an amazing effect was held in Szeged, Hungary with the participation of Carl Rogers and his colleagues. In 2009 and 2011 we tried to find answers to who we, teachers, psychologists, doctors, heads of companies, students, parents, are today in the 21st century and what the person-centered approach means to us now. A tradition evolved. These gatherings – just like the group experience of 1984 – proved to be pivotal in the lives of many participants: we had a chance to feel the enthralling taste of liberty and at the same time the responsibility it meant.
The characteristic trait of person-centered groups is that participants – with the help of facilitators animating the various processes (but also taking part 100 % as participants rather than “leaders”) – 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. All participants can apply to be facilitators (previous experience required) as well as theme group leaders.
Preserving the tradition, the meeting - reckoning with about 200 people - will act as the continuation of the earlier international gatherings.
“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.”
From: Rogers, C.: An open letter to participants of European workshops (1986)
In: McIlduff,E. & Coghlan,D.: The Person-Centered Approach
and Cross-Cultural Communication. Vol. 1.
Based on the previously detailed informations, this person centered group experience can give us a huge effect to our self-knowledge, helps us to find our own voice, recognize and express our feelings, helps to understand other’s feelings and toughts, teaches us empaty and shows a way of being: living as an honest, congruent, empatic, socialy sensitive, opened, cooperate and egalitarian person.
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