There is no question that there are plenty of difficult people and difficult situations out there. Perhaps we have even encountered some very stressful encounters during the holiday break. Sometimes, we can side step and defuse these hard meetings,  but there are times we are forced to deal with, to manage, or to communicate with a explosive or chaotic person or situation. How can we do this? What are the skills and attitudes that help us to navigate the terrain with such moments? What does it mean for us to have to rally our efforts and energies to be at some ease and expertise with such tensions? How can we move from being reactive to being creatively responsive in such situations?   Here is workshoop that will help you to Improve your strategies and release the stress that such encounters produce. Come to our workshop in Vancouver, Learn to be effective and efficient both in work and in your personal relationships. Dealing With Difficult People and Situations: Contact: synthcon@sympatico.ca or gcwhite@telus.net

I am writing this article from a place of what might be called a senior citizen perspective. I have been working since I was 13 years old – a total of 13 years of part time work and 41 years of fulltime work- and I can honestly say that this journey of my work life has supported my psychological growth, stamina, and resiliency and has helped me to discover the threads of my soul’s purpose. It has been a privilege to work and I am grateful for all the opportunities I have had and am still having. Overall, I see my work life continually calling me to mature and grow up and to align myself with the “spirit” behind my work. It is a consistent invitation to look at my attitudes and projections towards the idea of “working” as well as to deepen my faith in myself by examining and trusting in the truth of my own experience rather than someone else’s version of my experience. For me, working is a vehicle for discovery, exploration and expression of my particular strengths and talents, and conversely an invitation to look squarely at the obstacles within me that prevent me from a full expression of those strengths. I also regularly review honestly what motivates me to make the choices I make and what attachments and distortions prevent me from looking squarely at these choices. In these fifty-four years of working, I have been summoned to open up to qualities like curiousity, stamina, patience, endurance, reflection, wisdom, courage, honesty, etc.
I can articulate these realizations more readily now that the original angst of sorting and facing has diminished somewhat. I can say that the life lessons I have learned and continue to learn have been accumulative and it is much easier to navigate now than earlier — because I have cultivated a lot of experience at sorting and facing along my own journey.
We all need to develop the habit of sorting and facing so we don’t waste vast amounts of energy ignoring and blaming. Lessons, faced and met and integrated by us will endure and strengthen over time. And even though the types of problems don’t necessarily change, the experience of angst diminishes and the freedom and joy increases. We just get better and better at not wasting time, taking responsibility and learning from each glitch that along our path. Achieving balance is like that. We see, we face, we sort, we act, we integrate, we move on.
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This is Advanced Training for Coaches and Professionals who engage with high conflict personalities.

When you attend this interactive two-day course, you will look at your own and others experiences in dealing with challenging clients and learn about the strategies, practices and attitudes that will help unlock entrenched positions so that your work becomes more effortless.

Coaches working with people are occasionally faced with very difficult moments with challenging clients. These intense encounters, when handled wisely, can actually enhance a working relationship and move the task at hand into increased trust and productivity. On the other hand, the same moments have the potential to increase tension and reactivity so that dialogue is reduced to a defensive banter and progress slows to a grinding halt.

What happens to and in us and in our clients in these highly charged and challenging moments? What are some of the navigation strategies that can help us turn these moments into more creative and expanded problem solving opportunities?

You will:
- Examine elements of your style and explore expectations, values and attitudes you bring to your work
- Learn about types of clients who may present difficulties (for you)
- Discuss your specific case predicaments
- Gain greater understanding of how to move to increased perspective and expansion in your work
- Learn to ask the questions which flush out client motivations and intentions and which lead a client to become more clear about the issues at hand
- Learn to ask the questions which invite a larger perspective of meaning and direction for your clients

You can register by contacting the Registration Office:

604-528-5590 or 1-877-528-5591
register@jibc.ca
QUOTE: SPE128 when registering!

INVITATION Each of us is called periodically to pause so that we can take stock and observe our unfolding lives and any calling or emerging direction that can organize and orient our lives. Please join us for a day of self-reflection within a supportive environment. No previous background is necessary except a desire to open to this opportunity. Please, join us for our next two day retreat! Contact me for details.

I was just listening to a colleague speaking about the effectiveness of mindfulness training.   Although I have been formally trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy, I have practiced informal and formal mindfulness for a number of years and I cannot say enough about how fundamentally important this practice has been to my work as a psychotherapist and to my life.  Cultivating a habit of “showing up” and being present feels like the essential gift we can give to ourselves and to our relationships.

Spiritual/Global Psychology is a growing body of theory and practice, which honors and includes the spiritual dimension as central to human existence, healing, and growth. This inclusive framework has been developed and taught over the past fifteen years by Thomas Yeomans, founder of the Concord Institute. This framework provides insight and guidance regarding the psycho-spiritual development of individuals, groups, organizations within a planetary context. It embraces the various dimensions of human experience – physical, psychological, spiritual, social – and studies their interplay as it affects growth and transformation.

Spiritual/Global Psychology has many roots of which Psychosynthesis is a central one. First formulated in 1910 by the Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli and gradually developed over the last ninety-five years in Europe and North America, Psychosynthesis is based on principles that can be used to understand, and work with, both the micro- dynamics of individual development and the macro-dynamics of social evolution. It draws on both eastern and western thought to describe the process by which the Spiritual Self gradually develops, re-organizes, heals, and eventually infuses the personality and personal/social life. Other roots of Spiritual/Global Psychology include the fields of Existential, Humanistic, and Transpersonal Psychology, Psychoanalytic and Analytic Psychology, Systems Theory, Eastern Spiritual Psychologies, particularly Buddhism, and teachings from traditional cultures, particularly the Native American.    (Written by Bill Shields)

Telephone or Online Psychotherapy, Counseling and Coaching can be a possible alternative to person to person sessions. Many people prefer the convenience of being in their own homes or offices. 
I treat skype and telephone sessions the same way as I do in person. With Skype and with the help of webcams we can see each other and talk freely about your concerns and issues.  Phone sessions can be equally as helpful. While the preference for working with longer term psychotherapy issues would be in person, the shorter term counselling and coaching sessions can be effective and efficient by telephone or via skype video conference.

So, what might be some reasons why someone might attend sessions online via skype or google video chat or by phone?

• remote place with inaccessible counselling services;
• living abroad in countries, where you can’t find an English-speaking counselor;
• tight schedules with little time to travel to counseling offices;
• different time zones may suit your schedule.  Eg. when it’s 10pm in Moscow, it’s only 2 pm in Toronto!
• an opportunity to try out coaching, counselling or psychotherapy before a longer commitment;

Tips For Online or Telephone Sessions:

• Find a private space, free of distractions, free from other people. Arrive or set up your space  10 minutes before the session to settle and gather up your thoughts;
• It is helpful to use a headphone or a fast computer that has been tested to work with videochat programs;
• You may wish to have a pen or pencil and paper available;
• Make sure that your chair and the room temperature is comfortable;
• Turn off your phones (if applicable), cell phones, blackberry, email, and all other programs running on your computer other than Skype or Google if we are doing an online session;
• Make sure you will not be disturbed during the time allotted for your session;

RATES

From my experience, I have found that a 3 session commitment is the minimum amount of time necessary to establish a beginning working relationship.   Sometimes 3 sessions may be enough for the client to regroup; sometimes the 3 sessions helps to determine directions and to discover whether this is a good relationship match for future work.

My current rate for a 3 x 50 minute sessions is $375 USD, payable in advance by direct bank deposit (available in Canada) or by most credit cards via Paypal. I occasionally have low fee spaces available.  Please, feel free to inquire.

You can book your sessions by contacting me by phone or email. Please, specify your current city and time zone, available dates and time.

An Introduction to the Basic Principles of Spiritual Psychology. A weekend workshop with Catherine Comuzzi and Bill Shields. Spiritual Psychology is an inclusive framework, which honors the spiritual dimension as central to human existence, healing, and growth. It draws on both eastern and western thought and culture, and has its primary roots in Psychosynthesis, depth psychology and systems theory. This introduction to the basic principles of Spiritual Psychology is designed for individuals from all walks of life. It will be of interest to those who are interested in integrating both the spiritual and psychological dimensions of their experience into their personal lives as well as into their work. Western psychology has tended to emphasize problems and blocks focusing on the needs and integration of the personality without considering the larger context of the spiritual dimension from which our life directions spring. This basic training workshop begins to lay the foundation for self discovery and transformation by including both these important dimensions and will utilize both conceptual and experiential learning. Participants can expect to develop an understanding of the key principles and dynamics of Spiritual Psychology. No previous experience is necessary, only a desire to live creatively and in harmony with our deepest selves. Catherine Comuzzi works as a professor, psychotherapist and facilitator in Canada and Europe. Her work in psychodynamic psychology includes the spiritual dimension as a foundation for growth and integration, as well as the source of inspiration and direction for enlivening our lives. Bill Shields works as a consultant and counselor supporting the healing and growth of organizations, communities and individuals. Bill’s approach creates space for people from diverse backgrounds to engage the spiritual dimension of their experience and ground this in the realities of their lives.

The term retreat has several related meanings, all of which have in common the notion of safety or temporarily removing oneself from one’s usual environment in order to become immersed in a particular subject matter. A retreat can be taken for reasons related to spirituality, stress, health, lifestyle, or social or ecological concerns. Increasingly, organizations hold retreats to focus board and staff members on key issues such as strategic planning, enhancing communication and collaboration, problem-solving and creative thinking.
A retreat can either be a time of solitude or a community experience. Some retreats are held in silence, and on others there may be a great deal of conversation, depending on the understanding and accepted practices of the host facility and/or the participant(s). Retreats are often conducted at rural or remote locations, either privately, or at a retreat centre such as a monastery.
The term retreat implies an atmosphere of safety and usually a temporarily removing of oneself from one’s usual environment in order to become immersed in a particular subject matter. A retreat can be taken for reasons related to spirituality, stress, health, lifestyle, or social or ecological concerns. Increasingly, organizations hold retreats to focus board and staff members on key issues such as strategic planning, enhancing communication and collaboration, problem-solving and creative thinking. A retreat can either be a time of solitude or a community experience. Some retreats are held in silence, and on others there may be a great deal of conversation, depending on the understanding and accepted practices of the host facility and/or the participant(s).  Retreats allow time for such practices which encourage reflection, meditation, etc. In fact the practice of regular meditative retreats guide our inner journey and orient us to live our lives with more wisdom and creativity.

Each of us is called periodically to pause so that we can take stock and observe our unfolding lives and any calling or direction that may be trying to emerge. We invite you to join us in this opportunity for self-reflection within a supportive context of mutuality and shared experience. This women’s retreat is an invitation to connect to the deeper call that exists in all of us – a call that can organize and orient our lives towards creative embodied living. Together we will work to identify what pulls us forward and what holds us back from living a fully creative life. No previous experience is necessary except a desire to open to this opportunity for self-reflection and mutuality. This retreat is an invitation to connect to our unique gifts and to live creatively and in harmony with our deepest selves. During the retreat, we will include and experience the following themes on Creative Living:
• Exploring the soul’s journey as a creative process
• Exploring the intentions of the personality and its cooperation with the wishes of the soul
• Exploring levels of soul and personality wounding and their impact on our capacity to fully express ourselves in the world and to experience the freedom of living creatively
• Exploring various daily practices (dharma) that support the soul’s journey • Understanding attachment and surrender
• Embodying one’s intentions through voice, movement, drawing, mutual sharing, presence and understanding. This is 4 days program scheduled for the next year.
Please, sign up to our mailing list to stay tuned about dates!

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