Contact as an awareness of prejudices

Contact as an awareness of prejudices – on applying Gadamer’s hermeneutic phenomenology to Gestalt large groups

Date(s) 20 September 2013
Location: Kraków, Poland
Event organised by European Association for Gestalt Therapy

About the event


This workshop will both summarise my research into the Gestalt dynamics of large groups over the past two years as well as provide an opportunity for experiential work with own prejudices. Derived from a critique of the phenomenological approach, I will emphasise the importance of cultural, political and societal backgrounds to our experiences.

The prejudices and assumptions we all have provide a window into our communities’ cultural traumas. Understanding this opens our heARTs and allows for a more authentic and compassionate being part of a diverse community. Large groups are a unique opportunity to raise awareness of our cultural heritages by co-creating the dynamics of the community we live in. These dynamics can be attended to and transformed through dialogue.


This interactive workshop included:

•Gadamer’s critique of phenomenology
•Gadamer’s political and societal views
•A brief overview of large groups currently taking place in the world
•Introduction to large group dynamics
•The application of Gestalt theory to working with large groups (from field theory to group dynamics)
•Definitions of cultural/contextual/collective trauma
•Reflections on working therapeutically in a diverse European city and facilitating Race Equality Cultural Capability Training for mental health professionals
•Outcomes of my hermeneutic research with students of the Gestalt Centre on diversity and large groups
•Guided visualisation aiming at raising awareness of cultural heritage
•Implications of the above on Gestalt theory and practice


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