Working with Chaos, Uncertainty & Complexity
Training Year 2020-21 Europe
This Training Year will be offered at the PSEN European Site in 2020-2021.
Working with Chaos, Uncertainty & Complexity Training Year
This Training Year is aimed at addressing the needs of the current times. Collectively, we have stepped into a time of profound uncertainty as to the future of our lives, both personally and as a society. We are now facing multiple challenges at the same time – from the pandemic to economic and social inequality, to rapid climate change, to wild-fires, and the loss of biodiversity. In times like these, the cultivation of psychological and emotional well-being is of vital importance, and very much needed. We will dedicate this year of learning to becoming more able to be deeply present and resourceful when dealing with our clients’ sense of loss, uncertainty, perhaps breakdown and disintegration.
Working With Chaos, Uncertainty & Complexity
This upcoming Training Year is aimed at addressing the needs of the current times. Collectively, we have stepped into a time of profound uncertainty as to the future of our lives, both personally and as a society.
We are now facing multiple challenges at the same time – from the pandemic to economic and social inequality, to rapid climate change, to wild-fires, and the loss of biodiversity.
Many of us are feeling a profound disorientation, eliciting a deep anxiety at our core. This level of anxiety will make us want to retreat, contract and protect ourselves.
We are at risk to over-defend ourselves, and lose track of the necessary risks and responses that we will need to summon in order to move forward with our lives.
We are asked to become more able to meet the changes we are facing with a deeper level of mindfulness, presence and resilience than ever before, if we want to ride the tides of change safely and with integrity.
In times like these, the cultivation of psychological and emotional well-being is of vital importance, and very much needed.
We will dedicate this year of learning to becoming more able to be deeply present and resourceful when dealing with our clients’ sense of loss, uncertainty, perhaps breakdown and disintegration.
We will also focus on becoming more present and resourceful with our own anxieties and feelings of helplessness.
We will challenge the deep-rooted belief that change requires a certain kind of “doing” the way we are used to. We will summon the courage to step more deeply into the unfamiliar and tolerating the unknown.
Working with Chaos, Uncertainty & Complexity Training Year 2020-2021
Central Program Elements
In our mindfulness practice this year, we will come to rest in the body and in the experience of the body more fully. As we slow down and rest within the experience in the body as it arises each moment, we enter a territory where the deeper language of the body reveals itself to us.
We notice that Soma is always communicating, through feelings, sensations, emotions. At the same time, resting within the body with an unconditioned openness gets us in touch with the boundless nature of everything. We become radically present in the present moment and the wholeness of its embodied experience, while at the same time being able to reach down and in, and to respond to the world from the felt wisdom within.
We will explore the many ways in which we resist the present moment, as if there was some other land somewhere, better than the present moment. However, these times require of us to strengthen our resilience with how things are, as we come to terms with the fact that we cannot have them the way we want them to be.
This radical stance will enable us to become more willing and able to be present with difficult emotions, our own and those of our clients, such as hostility, anger, violence, envy, guilt and shame, without needing to judge or change them, just letting them be and letting yourself be present with them and responsive in your body and mind.
In our Process Teaching segment, we will return to being a holding container, which is more important than ever with the Paranoid Character.
The Paranoid Character has major issues with trust, a sense of trust will be enabled over time by the facilitator’s consistent and non-judging presence, even when facing hostility and aggression from the client. We will explore the following process teachings in more detail:
- Slowing Down
- Tolerating the Unknown
- Staying at the Working Edge between the known and the not-yet-known
- Tracking the Process
- Making Process Observations
- Keeping the Trouble in the Room
For this year, we will focus on two separate areas of professional development as practitioners. The first is the development of our Practitioner’s Mind, where we practice thinking about the session as it unfolds in the moment, and also how we learn to reflect and think about the sessions afterwards.
We will also practice how to “think” about our sessions, not from our linear minds, but from the felt embodied experience happening in the moment between practitioner and client, as an ever-evolving process.
The second area of growth that we will focus on is Professional Practice. This year, we will address the specific structures and parameters that support both the establishment of ongoing work with clients, as well as sustaining the ongoing work we do with clients.
The Paranoid Character
The essence of the Paranoid Personality organization is the habit of dealing with felt negative qualities by disowning them and projecting them onto others. These disowned attitudes then become a felt external threat.
- We will examine closely the formative experiences of threat, humiliation and projective processes in the family system that shaped our clients’ paranoid personality organization.
- We will gain an appreciation for the intense feelings of anger, resentment, guilt and fear that a person with a paranoid character may struggle with.
- We will explore and meet the deep terror of annihilation, the terror of falling apart, being destroyed, disappearing from the Earth.
- We will also examine the defense mechanisms of the Paranoid character, such as projection of one’s upsetting feelings onto others, denial, as well as reaction formation.
- We will also explore paranoia as a way of defending against uncertainty, especially during the current times, as an attempt to establish a sense of control.
RELATIONAL MINDFULNESS – as we actively develop our ‘Practitioner’s Mind’, we learn how to better think about the dynamic nature of an unfolding process that is not just taking place both within the client, but also includes the inter-personal aspects happening between client and practitioner.
We will explore what it means to have a ‘an engaged and compassionate mind’: a heartfelt, sincere, passionate, imaginative and engaged way of thinking about a client’s interior world, as well as about the practitioner’s ways to bring new life and encounters to the client.
WORKING WITH DEVELOPMENTAL EDGES – We will create opportunities for all practitioners-in-training to get feedback on their facilitation skills. We will also use the concept of one’s ‘development edge’ to help clarify the specific psychological and emotional work that needs to be happening for the client; and for helping the practitioner to keep thinking about this edge, allowing it to inform and guide both the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of their interventions with clients.
EMBODIMENT PRACTICES – we will continue to strengthen our grounded presence in the body.
We will keep deepening the practitioner’s tolerance for body sensation, while bringing more dialogue and conscious integration to our embodied presence while in dialogue as practitioners.
We will practice embodied speech with our clients, speaking more specifically and directly from our embodied experience of our clients, and not just about our experiences, which is more distancing and general.
This year we specifically focus on understanding and making use of the facilitator’s body at work. We will learn to listen more deeply to the subtle messages that our bodies pick up in response to our client’s body, and we will learn to take those messages seriously and make use of them during the flow of the session.
We also focus on the flow and pace of a session, feeling more clearly when to hold back and wait, when to slow down, and when to offer a direct intervention.
We’ll actively cultivate exercises and practices that support our own Embodied Presence and provide trainees with various opportunities to practice both embodying and transmitting presence, as we explore the difference between speaking generally about our experiences and speaking directly from our experiences.
Anatomy of Emotion
This year, we will be exploring the Anatomy of Overwhelm – based on the recent work of Avgi Saketupoulou. The experience of being driven into an escalation of ‘more and more’ is called overwhelm. In its essence, the experience itself is neither traumatic nor self-destructive, though it could lead one into those realms.
Entering into overwhelm can be viewed as a necessary risk. On the one hand it can lead to unsafety where things can ‘go off the rails’; on the other hand, it can lead to transformative experiences, if properly supported by both the self and the practitioner.
TUITION FEES Europe 2020-2021
New students: 2.400€
Returning Students: 2.400€
PSEN Graduates: 2.200€
For more Information and Registrations please contact Verónica Lassus at:
TRAINING DATES 2020-2021
October 10, 2020 – Online meeting with the staff and full student body.
Week 1 – ONLINE
New students: November 3– 8, 2020
Returning students: November 4 – 8, 2020
Week 2 – RESIDENTIAL if possible due to the current global situation
All students: February 24– 28, 2021
Week 3 – RESIDENTIAL if possible due to the current global situation
All students: May 26 – 30, 2021
The residential training weeks will take place at Hotel Eden Roc in Sant Feliu de Guíxols – Girona, Spain.
Sant Feliu de Guíxols is a small town in the Costa Brava, 90 minutes north of Barce lona. There is a bus service from Barcelona airport and Barcelona city connecting with Sant Feliu de Guíxols.
While it is certainly our desire to hold a residential training in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, at this point it is clear that the first training week in November will have to be online. We will keep our hotel reservation for February and May, and make adjustments if necessary.
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 – [email protected]
Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose
from all else and electing a world
where you go where you want to.
Arbitrary, a sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell you where it is and you
can slide your way past trouble.
Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path — but that’s when
you get going best, glad to be lost,
learning how real it is
here on earth, again and again.
– William Stafford