Satisfaction (and celebration!) at the Community Day

By Dawn Gwilt

This year we tried something different on the day of the UKAGP AGM. In previous years we have held either a one-day (or three day) conference with a guest speaker or facilitator to run the day. This year we tried a bold experiment – no facilitator, just coming together as a community to see what emerges on the day.

For me, the open format of this day enabled something important to happen that I don’t think would have happened in the usual facilitator-led format.

While sitting in community and listening to what others shared, a need came into my awareness that I’d been completely oblivious to. I realised I was bringing a different self, a different me to this day, as at the previous conference in July 2015 I was working on my dissertation, and since then I have become qualified and gained my UKCP registration.

During ourcommunity meeting I suddenly realised I wanted to celebrate and to be affirmed and witnessed by this community that I am part of.

Becoming qualified is an important rite-of- passage that deserves noting, honouring and celebrating. And that’s what happened! I expressed my need to the group, stood up, and there were cheers, applause and high-fives. It felt great! This was especially important to me as there has been no graduation ceremony at my training institute, which for me feels incomplete.

There was something about being witnessed by the group that represents my professional community that felt very powerful and empowering. And I think the celebration was a two-way thing – with me being welcomed and the community doing the welcoming. My hope is that this can become a tradition at UKAGP gatherings, and that other newly qualified practitioners can experience what I felt – being welcomed whole-heartedly into this new stage by elders, trainees, and the wider Gestalt UKAGP community.

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