Skip to main content

WHAT I LEARNED AT THE PSYCHOTHERAPY NETWORKER SYMPOSIUM

Nicholas Wolff, LCSW, BCD, TEP
     The 2010 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium in March was a marathon of consciousness-raising led by Networker editor Rich Simon and his first-class panel of keynote speakers, who leveraged the not-so-good-news about the social, environmental and global problems we face with evidence-based recommendations about what we can do to turn things around. One thing was clear: complacency is not an option. Dan Goleman  -author of Emotional Intelligence, among other books, and whose writing for the Science section of the New York Times I long admired - talked about why the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a Texas-sized sort of island of plastic items out in the ocean – which the Wall Street Journal argues is maybe not really that big and even if it is that big, but what’s the big deal – should matter to psychotherapists. Because it is just one of many signs of world-class problems that we can all do something about if we expand our focus. Psychotherapy as a field is often disconnected from these issues in its focus on individuals’ private struggles. Dan Siegel – author of MINDSIGHT reassured me that group work will grow in relevance with his research about interpersonal neurobiology, but I left with a sense of urgency that I hope to channel into useful, creative innovations in my work that reach beyond the consulting room.

     What I learned at the symposium is (not only) this: Groups are essential to heal personal trauma and pain, but also have the power to damage, degrade and delude us. The skilled, mindful, and socially aware group psychotherapist can promote healing of personal trauma and loneliness, and also raise consciousness about the world around us. Good groups make us honest. Skilled group psychotherapists can contribute a great deal to the future we all create – for ourselves and for the generations coming up.

Nicholas Wolff, LCSW, BCD, TEP offers a weekly psychodrama/experiential methods training group from September - June. This training is an approved provider of re-credentialing Continuing Education by the New York State Office of Alcohol & Substance Abuse Services, National Association of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors, and National Board of Certified Counselors,and for credentialing hours approved by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy. An individual meeting with the trainer is required for admission to this group - contact him to discuss this or for more information: 631-366-4265 or by email at lifestage_2000@yahoo.com with TRAINING GROUP in subject line.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Improvisation Games & Exercises For Developing Emotional Intelligence

Since September Lifestage has been offering a monthly training workshop exploring the use of improvisation to develop Emotional Intelligence. These workshops have been geared toward the work done by clinicians, educators and trainers who guide the process of personal change or professional development, but as it turns out we have enjoyed some interesting diversity among the participants -  managers, business owners with both employees and customers, community activists, and performers. 
    Below is a collection of the exercises we have used in the workshops, accompanied by some studies that supports their use. 


Why Improvisation?
Improvisation is a powerful way to become aware of mental habits and patterns. Reflecting on our inner experiences after engaging in an improvisation exercise provides an opportunity to decide whether our mental habits are effective and useful or self-limiting and obsolete. The tensions of the creative process and this kind of interpersonal interaction are a fa…

WARM-UP EXERCISES FOR GROUP WORK - For Therapeutic, Educational or Training Groups

Nicholas Wolff, LCSW, BCD, TEP, Director of Training at Lifestage, Inc and Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, RMT, CGP, Trainer/consultant and writer/performer. Follow on twitter @JuTrWolff


   “To begin assembly one must have the right attitude,” goes a Japanese instruction for assembling a particular object, as quoted in Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance. The "right attitude" is one that best serves the action we are preparing to engage in, just as an athlete warms up his/her muscles before using them in the stress of a work-out or game. Psychological and emotional "muscles" that are properly warmed up will perform more effectively and make it less likely that we will experience strain or allow fear to produce a shut-out when things get rolling.
    The right warm-up makes everything learned in a training situation or classroom more accessible and immediately useful to the trainee/student. New skills and knowledge - in education, personal growth or a professional train…

IMPROV RULES: Social-Emotional Development From The Classroom To The Consulting Room Using AI

"I think improv helps people become better humans. It makes people listen better. Improv rules are life rules. And so, if a lot more people are taking improv, a lot more people are being thoughtful in their daily life about how they interact with each other....We could say that saying 'yes' is the foundational thing, but really its listening and hearing what the other person is saying. Then building off of that rather than waiting for someone to stop talking so you can say your thing. That's the hardest thing to learn as an improviser-its to listen. And I think that's one of the hardest things to do as a person." 
Learning To Listen, With The Help of Improv, on Atlantic.com
Improvisation can be a seemingly magical experience from the perspective of both improviser and observer. People with little or no actual knowledge about one another, in an empty space, create a world, a relationship, a story with neither script nor director nor defined outcome. It can appea…