Tag Archives: Hakomi

Here are two couples retreats you won’t want to miss this summer!

Three gifted marriage counselling facilitators/therapists are offering two separate couples retreats in BC, Canada this summer (2018). I’ve worked with the presenters and can confidently recommend them: Judith Ansara and Robert Gass’s Sharing the Path Couples Retreat, and Beth Falch-Nielsen’s Keeping Love Alive Summer Camp for couples.

Sharing the Path – Judith Ansara and Robert Gass

Robert Gass Judith Ansara Hollyhock

I assisted at last year’s Sharing the Path couples retreat and I came away with a lot of respect for Robert and Judith and their teaching team. Read my takeaways from the experience – “What I learned at the couples retreat – 7 key takeaways from ‘Sharing the Path’ with Judith Ansara and Robert Gass at Hollyhock retreat centre” > click here.

August 5-10, 2018
Hollyhock Centre
Cortes Island, BC, Canada

Rekindle and deepen your experience of love and connection. Several thousand couples have attended our profound couples’ retreats. Many report that the experience was life-changing. Virtually all found their relationships infused with renewed passion, more skillful communication, enhanced mutual respect, deeper friendship, and greater joy and pleasure.

In a respectful and safe way, you will be both challenged and supported to break out of old unskillful habits and be guided in the practices of conscious relationship—authenticity, self-responsibility, empathy, appropriate boundaries, sacred sexuality, deep listening and effective problem solving. You will practice with the content that is most relevant to you and your partnership, thus tailoring the retreat to meet your specific needs. Our time together is also infused with play and fun–something many couples report wanting more of. And of course, simply time dedicated to just the two of you! You will go home with important skills and tools to continue creating a life you love.

For those who already share a good and loving connection, this retreat is an opportunity to develop your skills, and discover new levels of intimacy. For those who are feeling more challenged in partnership, Sharing the Path offers healing ways to rekindle and strengthen your connection and love.

All couples welcome.

(From the Hollyhock retreat centre website – click for more info.)

Keeping Love Alive Summer Camp – Beth Falch-Nielsen (with Richard Klein and Yogita Bouchard)

Beth Falch-Nielsen is a lead trainer with the Hakomi Institute and has been a friend and mentor for over a decade. I’ve done her workshop personally and recommend her wholeheartedly.

August 24-29, 2018
Mountain Waters Retreats
Nelson, BC, Canada

Join us for a unique 5 day Couples Retreat that will breathe new life into your relationship. You will have afternoons to enjoy the many recreational activities that Nelson has to offer, or to just rest and catch up with each other. In the six hours of daily course time (morning and evening) you will get both the tools, and new experiences together, that will allow you to change the unconscious dynamics that underlie conflict, opening the door to more connection in your relationship.

Having the right tools and reconnecting to what is really important can change relationships profoundly. Whether you are in crisis, just stuck, wanting to enrich what you already have, or find yourself at the beginning of your relationship and want guidance in how to “do it right from the beginning”, this workshop will give you a deeper understanding of relationship dynamics and effective tools to support you to create the alive and loving relationship you want.

This workshop will:
1. Offer experiential exercises that will give you concrete skills to take home. It is an opportunity to stop doing what isn’t working, and to start doing something that will.
2. Provide an opportunity to have a different experience – to re-connect, to shift attitudes, and to learn how to nourish and care for your relationship.
3. Help you, if you are in crisis and trying to make a decision about the life of your relationship, by providing models and tools to help you use a different lens to filter your decision through, and by assisting you to connect to a deeper, wiser, and less reactive part of yourself to make that decision from.

(From the Mountain Waters Retreat Centre website – click for more info.)

[Note – I have no financial interest in either of these events, nor am I involved as an organizer or presenter. Please contact the organizers directly for registration and information.]

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Campbell River Marriage Counselling Justice Schanfarber Trying to grow, fix, change, understand or save your marriage? I provide couples therapy, marriage counselling, coaching and mentoring to individuals and couples on the issues that make or break relationships – Sessions by telephone/skype worldwide. Email justice@justiceschanfarber.com to request a client info package. www.JusticeSchanfarber.com

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Dilemmas, confusion and the spiral nature of growth – Why dual impulses are natural, “good” advice is relative, and one person’s poison is another person’s balm

Dilemmas, confusion and the spiral path of growthTwo basic impulses –

Virtually every message that tells us how to live has one thing in common. It champions one or the other of two fundamental dual impulses. One is the impulse to merge – to connect or be one with another, an orientation toward “other”. The other is the impulse to separate – to be autonomous, an individual, an orientation toward “self”. These two impulses, or “sides” of ourselves appear everywhere in our lives as polar opposites –

  • Hold on vs Let go
  • Trust yourself vs Trust others
  • Take charge vs Surrender
  • Stay the course vs Embrace change
  • Try more vs Try less
  • Listen to your head vs Listen to your heart
  • Take vs Give
  • Rational vs Emotional
  • Simplicity vs Complexity
  • Individual vs Group
  • Self control vs Self expression

At various life stages we will each, rightly, favour one impulse over the other. Over the course of a lifetime, we will likely change how we orient to these two impulses many times over. We may also simultaneously favour one impulse in one aspect of our lives, and the opposite in another. Cultural biases, gender roles, personality patterns and other factors all have a role in shaping the process.

The trouble with advice - yin yangNeither impulse is essentially better or worse than the other. In fact, each ultimately holds the seed of its opposite. (The yin/yang symbol illustrates this beautifully.) We all align with each impulse at different times in our lives because we have developmental tasks that call on either “togetherness” or “separateness” at each stage of life. Each of these tasks is associated with one side or the other of the two poles. We move back and forth between poles as we mature, honing one, then the other. Head, then heart. Self, then other. Hold on, then let go. As we successfully attend to one aspect of our development and then the other, our expressions of each become more mature, and we become more healthy and whole, with greater capacity to appreciate and respond to all that life hands us.

As we fulfill the developmental tasks associated with one pole, it will miraculously, sometimes painfully, give way to the other. A client, Christopher, was stifled by extremely strict parents as a child. When he came to see me he was face to face with the task of finding his own self expression, his own voice. It was awkward and messy for a while. He hurt people around him and created chaos as he learned to un-censor himself. Eventually, as he fulfilled his task sufficiently, life began providing clues that it was time to orient back toward self-control, self-discipline. But this new version of control/discipline was different from the version that had been inflicted on him as a child. It was of a higher level, healthier. This illustrates an important point – Each pole has a spectrum of expressions that can be seen as more healthy or mature on the “higher” end, and less healthy or mature on the “lower” end. Imagine moving up a spiral as you mature through your life. You move around the spiral from one side to another (self then other, independence then connection) but each revolution also moves you to a higher level. Thus, a six year old’s expression of self, or other, will (hopefully!) be different from a sixty year old’s.

Gaining maturity and developing healthier relationships to both sides of ourselves allows us to loosen our grip on a particular point of view. Our self-righteousness relaxes. We experience greater flexibility and choice in our beliefs and our actions. Our relationships improve. Eventually, through hard-won experience and insight, the dual nature of the poles begins to dissolve. The rigidity of either/or gives way to the flexibility of both/and. Self AND other. Freedom AND responsibility. Connection AND autonomy. Contradiction gives way to its wise elder, paradox. Until this happens, we have a tendency to reject the parts of ourselves, and others, that represent the other side of the spiral from where we currently reside. If we’re presently tasked with growing the cooperative, generous, other-oriented side of our self, we’re likely to be biased against self-reliance and independence in all its forms, seeing them as “selfish”. If, instead, we happen to be currently developing healthier levels of individuation and self-orientation, we might view acts of generosity as manipulative, and all urges for connection as weakness or co-dependency.

A recent marriage and relationship article I wrote sparked intense response and debate from readers on both sides of the poles. For readers longing for deeper connection, the article was balm… a deep soulful YES. For those currently orienting toward the value of independence, the message felt toxic and untrue. While both poles are ultimately valid and important (in marriages and in all aspects of life) the messages we get can feel alternately challenging or validating depending on which pole we currently favour, and how healthy or mature our own expressions of “togetherness” and “separateness” are.

Here’s a scenario to further illustrate the point –
A new client comes to see me. They feel perpetually stuck in a co-dependent relationship pattern. Through therapy we discover that they feel torn between a familiar (but tired) impulse for togetherness, and an emerging (but frightening) impulse for autonomy. Are they being called to cross the pole over to independence? Or are they ready to explore a more mature form of togetherness? Should they leave their co-dependent relationship? Or should they attempt to transform it?

The core dilemma for each of us, at any juncture, is essentially this – Do I now focus on healthier expressions of my current orientation, or is it time to cross the spiral? More simply – Take this path further, or take a different path? We’re wise to be wary of simplistic, universal answers to this question.

It’s useful to remember that the inner compass that provides direction to our lives is not merely a product of applied willpower and rationality (forces well sanctioned and preferred by our culture), but rather arises from some deeper congruence of body, mind and spirit. Unconscious aspects of our path may remain hidden from us until we are ripe to recognize them. Many useful tools, insight practices and wisdom traditions are available to help ripen us in this regard. Jungians work with archetypes, myth and dreams. The enneagram provides a map based on different personality types. Attachment theory and family constellations therapy help us understand appropriate boundaries and developmental timelines. Cognitive and narrative therapies help clients piece together congruent views of self and others through examining beliefs in the face of evidence. In Hakomi we use mindfulness to notice those subtle aspects of our experience which point toward the next step of our healing, growth and integration.

Choose whichever tools suit you, take advice with a grain of salt, and be prepared to change your focus many times as you move between dual impulses on your life path.

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The Re-connection handbook for couples - by Justice Schanfarber - web box2

8-week Relationship Intensive - Justice Schanfarber

Campbell River Marriage Counselling Justice Schanfarber Trying to grow, fix, change, understand or save your marriage? I provide couples therapy, marriage counselling, coaching and mentoring to individuals and couples on the issues that make or break relationships – Sessions by telephone/skype worldwide. Email justice@justiceschanfarber.com to request a client info package. www.JusticeSchanfarber.com

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Hakomi Workshop at Ocean Mountain Yoga Feb 28, 2015

Campbell River Hakomi counselling workshop Feb 28 2015What: Hakomi Workshop
When: 12 noon – 2pm, February 28, 2015
Where: Ocean Mountain Yoga, Campbell River
REGISTER HERE: Hakomi Workshop at Ocean Mountain Yoga – Registration Page

Assisted Self Inquiry:
An introduction to the Hakomi Method

Hakomi is a mindfulness based, body centred modality favoured by counsellors and therapists who value a holistic approach to healing. Rooted in principles of non-violence, organicity and mind-body integration, a Hakomi session has the therapist acting as a collaborator and guide, gently helping the client deepen into their present-moment experience where insights and resources can naturally emerge.

This is a rare opportunity to witness a full length one-on-one Hakomi session. A volunteer will be selected in advance to be in the client role. Participant observers will get an introduction to the method before the session and will have an opportunity to debrief and get their questions answered afterward.

This event will be especially valuable for those facing life challenges of their own, for wellness professionals interested in the method, and for anyone curious about using mindfulness therapeutically or for their own insight, healing and growth.

Note – If you’re interested in being in the client role for the demonstration please contact the presenter using the contact information below. Many people have the found the experience of doing a session in front of a supportive group to be very gratifying. There’s no cost to the client volunteer.

Justice Schanfarber, CHT
Phone 778 996-3821
Email justice@justiceschanfarber.com

REGISTER HERE: Hakomi Workshop at Ocean Mountain Yoga – Registration Page

To view the workshop handout click here or on the image below – Justice Schanfarber Counselling – Ocean Mountain Yoga Hakomi workshop handout (.pdf)

Justice Schanfarber Counselling - Campbell River Hakomi handout

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