I remember the first graduate course I signed up for: a course in Gestalt Therapy. I thought the description was awesome. I was going to learn all about the theory and practice of Gestalt Therapy experientially. Granted this is going back to the 70’s and it was touchy feely time. I was thrilled that I could have a head start on my graduate program and I wanted to learn everything I could about Gestalt Therapy before the course began. I was fascinated and intrigued, especially the part that identified exercises in which I would access MY feelings, a notion which hit me as novel , seductive and terrifying. On some level I knew I was anxious, yet I was also convinced that the experience was going to be awesome…and it was.
Getting there…walking in the door…. was harder than I anticipated. As the week approached, I started to experience funny sensations in my body, which I could neither name nor identify. It became harder for me to breathe normally. I had trouble sleeping, yet on the surface I was ready to go. On the morning of the first day, I woke up with hives on my face, neck and arms. I’d never had hives before. Given that I was having such a difficult time articulating and naming my feelings, my body did the job for me. Well, Fritz Perls had one phrase that I loved: “Anxiety is excitement waiting to happen.” And it’s true. That workshop/class was the beginning my journey to being in touch with myself and being a psychologist. It was the first time I could go inside myself without judgment and let myself be. The thing that struck me the most is that it was safe to do the exercises and to have people beside me. The group and process gave me courage. I felt less alone. The lesson I learned was that when there are people with me, I can accomplish more and be more.
Hold Me Tight is a workshop that focuses on attachment and connection in a deep and meaningful way. We connect to partners because we love them, we care about them, and we want to feel safe and secure with them. When we have any kinds of losses ( and who hasn’t), when we have been hurt ( and who hasn’t), we protect ourselves, and then we often miss out on feeling close, safe and secure with our partners. Our messages about our wish for connection are often distorted to protect our vulnerable underbelly. Hold Me Tight is a workshop that helps translate our distorted messages into ones in which we and our partners can access. It is scary to take that leap. Yet I do believe that leaps of faith are the only way to travel.