Furthering Solidity & Containment:
Embodiment, Limits & Boundaries in Process Facilitation
This Training Year will be offered at the PSEN European Site in 2018-2019 and at the PSEN US Site in 2020-2021.
Furthering Solidity & Containment – Working With Embodiment, Limits & Boundaries in Process Facilitation focuses on working with ‘The Solid Ground of Our Being’ – integrating our thinking into our embodiment – to provide a strong process containment, and furthering using our embodiment and mindfulness practices to allow depth processes to unfold.
Working With Solid Ground of Being to Provide Process Containment
In this year of our training, we deepen our work with the life issues of incarnation and safety. We work the embodied experience of structure and solidity as supports, and we cultivate a more deeply felt sense of grounding through the body.
We see the need for groundedness as essential for real relationship with the self and with others. We practice repetitiously our basic capacity to be supported by the earth as well as the lower half of our body, in order to tolerate emotional expression and energetic intensity.
We address the developmental tasks and central issues of the hysteric character structure. These characters have high anxiety, high intensity, and are highly reactive, especially in relationships – they tend to approach and engage with whatever they tend to unconsciously fear. They are one on a constant quest for safety and acceptance.
The PSEN practitioner helps instill the confidence this character needs to solve problems and think clearly for themselves, and make responsible adult decisions. They consistently help this individual to integrate feeling with thinking.
Central Program Elements
We will be focus throughout this training year 0n strengthening and solidifying our presence by actively practicing mindfulness. We do this by deepening into the different aspects of the traditional Buddhist Four Foundations of Mindfulness by investigating the 5 Skandhas or Aggregates.
The Five Skandhas are form, feeling, perception, formation and consciousness. These Aggregates compose our whole mental and physical existence and are constituents of our experience. The Four Foundations of Mindfulness are the Buddhists’ way of exploring these different aspects of the body/mind.
Over this year of training we will gain experiential insight into the nature of these Skandhas. We will also grow our ability how to enrich and deepen our practicum sessions by including these particular Buddhist principles.
We will also explore the nature of resistance during our meditation practice by paying closer attention to our subtle patterns of staying away from present moment experience. In Buddhist terms, we will explore the Five Hindrances to practice. We will also work with the theme of ‘Having an Embodied Mind’ as a process practitioner.
This will be a year in which we dive more deeply into understanding the issues related to various types of trauma, including developmental traumas. We will learn more about the importance of boundaries, and what it means to provide a holding container for those we work with. Each person expresses a unique kind of gestalt or Form of Vitality that comes out of the combination of five different events: movement, time, force, space and intention or directionality (Stern).
We will learn to sharpen and refine our embodied presence to become aware of more subtle forms of Vitality (Stern), as they take shape through the coming together and interacting with one another. We will also focus on particular ways growing our ability to both give and get feedback to one another as process practitioners.
The Hysteric Character Structure
We will understand the developmental wounding and the dilemma of maturation for the Hysteric Character. The hysteric, in many respects, is the most complex character of all. We will explore the early life history, the resulting defensive and theatrical orientations, and the common traits of this particularly intriguing character – which reflect facets of chronic childlike innocence, daydreaming, and an aversion to the worldliness of adult living.
We will learn about with the hysteric character’s intense relationship with their childhood mother, and develop an appreciation of how the mother’s issues with sexual bodies are transferred and taken on by the child, who then tends to have chronic struggles with their own sexual embodiment, and surrendering their bodies fully to another. This character strives to be the “ideal boy or girl” throughout a lifetime; they are perpetually performing this child self through the body of their adult self.
This is a character whose mind tends to reflexively ‘evacuate the premises’ when experiencing tensions in the body. They tend to talk their way through their experiences, rather than actively engage in direct experiences. We will learn to appreciate the vulnerabilities and deep challenges this character has with ‘letting go and letting grow’, and we will develop a respect for the mourning processes required for maturing.
We will work throughout the entire year to appreciate and understand the character traits and defenses of the hysteric, while also providing numerous opportunities to pursue healing tasks and processes for this unique character.
“Becoming an embodied and mindful presence.”
We help students to learn that support points us towards our basic ground of our being – ‘I am’ consciousness – and that challenge points us towards the possibility of our becoming, or (‘I can’ consciousness.
We introduce working with touch as a way to support our clients deepen into their own embodiment. We practice using touch as both a support and a challenge function in depth work.
We also work with breath, movement and sounding to deepen contact with the self.
In our work, we align with the elemental force of the earth, and relate to the earth’s grounding frequencies as a living presence underneath us, and within us.
We address the emotional body by exploring ‘the anatomy of fear‘, and learn healing tasks for this potentially overwhelming emotional state.
We will continue to learn how to actively think as a practitioner, and also ‘learn how to learn’, through the support and challenge of supervision work. We will learn more about how to deepen process through our Individual Fishbowl sessions, with immediate consults available, and with post-session small group supervision sessions. We will also work in another Small Group Process Supervision format, that will rotate groups with the teaching team.
We address the challenges of completing one’s birth, and work through unresolved birthing traumas and incomplete birthing experiences through breathwork.
We practice embodiment through movement and through the practice of mindfulness with bodily sensations, as a way to explore the related and often unconscious emotional content.
We introduce the psychological functions of support and challenge, and address the ways we tend to resist both support and challenge as we wrestle with our development.
Embodiment remains a central component of our PSEN Training throughout this year. We will actively cultivate exercises and practices that support our own Embodied Presence. We will introduce new ways of understanding, approaching, and working with chronic body symptoms in our clients during process practicum sessions.
In addition, we will provide trainees with various opportunities to practice both embodying and transmitting their own presence in and of itself as a function of wholeness, vitality and health.
In particular, we will actively explore the differences between speaking generally about our experiences and speaking directly from our experiences, as we become more capable of being ’embodied presences’ who can bring forth and transmit the energy of our internal experiences.
Anatomy of Emotion
We will re-examine effective methods and things to keep in mind when processing the emotion of fear. In addition, we will explore new emotional processes, and work with the affects of surprise and startle, and also look closely at the affect of interest and enjoyment as essential emotional capacities for the healing of trauma.
The deep parts of my life pour onward,
as if the river shores were opening out.
It seems that things are more like me now,
that I can see further into paintings.
I feel closer to what language can’t reach.
With my senses as with birds, I climb
into the windy heaven, out of the oak,
And in the ponds broken off from the sky
my feeling sinks, as if standing on fishes.
Each training year is centered around a specific theme and learning purpose. In order to complete the training, the trainees are required to participate in all four training modules, over the course of four years.
Registrations and Contact Person: Verónica Lassus – firstname.lastname@example.org
Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief
turning downward through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe
will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,
nor find in the darkness glimmering
the small round coins
thrown by those who wished for something else.
– David Whyte
To be accepted in the training, and also to respect the cohesiveness and integrity of the training group and training process, the new trainee must make a minimum commitment for one full year of training at a time.