Survey Results – UKAGP

A huge thank you to all who took the time to respond to our survey in the winter newsletter. The findings of the survey can be found here. It’s gratifying to know that our newsletter, UKAGP Connect, and our conferences are the primary sources you use to stay connected. We will keep these going. We also recognise that “community” is the main reason members join UKAGP, to connect with other Gestaltists: through meaningful dialogue and familiarity, to learn from each other, develop professional understanding, receive support, and experience a sense of belonging. If you aren’t already a member, we hope our community sounds like one you’d like to join. You can find further details of upcoming events later in the newsletter.

One area I really want to respond to is that some new voices have reported not feeling heard; they can feel ‘intimidated’ by a ‘culture of seniority’. As a community it’s important everyone feels their voice is welcome and heard. We have heard several new voices in recent newsletters and encourage you to consider contributing in a way that suits you too. We have also considered your feedback in our upcoming conference design, providing various different spaces, activities and ways to connect with others over the weekend.

Reflecting on my own experience as a new voice, I remember my first conference as a first year trainee. I was in awe and overwhelmed by the experience of meeting so many people I saw as experts – potential supervisors, tutors, authors, theorists etc. I found their presence intimidating and felt out of place – what could I possibly offer as a first year trainee? I put those who had more experience on a pedestal, one I later realised they did not ask to be put on. And so the exploration of my relationship with power began … I started to lean into my introjects, projections, imaginings and transference and learned that I could offer a lot as a trainee, the folk on the pedestal are as interested in my voice as I am in theirs.

I share this as I want to assure other new voices that it is common to notice seniority in our community, after all it brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and connection to our Gestalt roots, the weight of our historical field. But your voice also has a place; you are a valued part of our current field.

Now in my fourth year, and having recently joined the organising committee (we have vacancies if you want to join me), I experience the community very differently, I have learned not to put people on pedestals they don’t want to be on, and to share more of my voice. So my encouragement to you is… don’t settle for an intimidating culture of seniority; lean into your experience with power, insist on being met, lean into the community and share your voice. My experience is that you will be met well.

Whether you are a new or old voice, if you feel your voice isn’t being heard, please contact me, Hannah at [email protected] so we can understand more of how we can support you.

Hannah Turner
Publicity Lead – UKAGP

Hannah lives in Hampshire, United Kingdom and is part of our UKAGP Organising Committee and Editorial Team. Having recently switched to private practice following a 20 year corporate career in Human Resources, Hannah is an Executive Coach, Gestalt Psychotherapeutic Counsellor and Trainee Gestalt Psychotherapist with Metanoia Institute.