“People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don't find myself saying, "Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner." I don't try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.” (Carl Rogers)

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Temenos Conference Presentation: Colin Lago

2 degrees of connectedness
Looking backward and moving forward – from therapy to diversity, groups, supervision and mistakes.
This was a wonderful, passionate, humorous and warm presentation, which skipped gently from topic to topic like a butterfly from flower to flower. In similar vein, these are just some of the impressions, thoughts, ideas, nuggets of wisdom I gleaned (not even attempting to do justice to the glory of the presenter and the presentation):

  • Irish proverb: this room is not full of strangers, this room is full of potential friends.
  • Story about Japanese woman giving an impromptu and generous welcome to Colin, giving her fan. What sort of welcome do we give to people? I want to be more welcoming, and giving – I like giving, so I will try to give more. 
  • Sacred spaces – classrooms/the online space – personhood
  • There wasn’t a chance, but I wanted to ask how Colin responded to critics of his imputed naivety as a person-centred practitioner whilst a young man – what did he say and what would he say now? 
  • Colin spoke about connectedness – 6 degrees of separation or rather turned on its head, degrees of connectedness – and because Colin was present at Carl Rogers’ 70th birthday address to the American Psychological Association (and no pussycat, he railed at them to get out there where people are!) I am now only 2 degrees of connectedness from the great Carl Rogers – that is pretty amazing to me and I’m grateful to Colin for having been there, then and now. 
  • Mental distress is all about errors in communication or connectivity – reference? Carol? Also wrote modes of meeting rogers buber
  • Relatedness is powerful, the quality of the relationship is all.
  • Back to Rogers at the conference – he was attentive but not defensive – focus on the quality of communications. 
  • Diversity – 108  nationalities live in Sheffield – how many in Brum? 
That’s it. A series of impressions. Colin is so passionate that he was in tears at the end (I’m afraid I missed the text that he was reading at that point, so absorbed was I in simply sharing his humanity by this point – and that’s okay) – I have felt the same way before and have previously tried to bottle it up – but how beautiful to just let it flow and feel the universe’s beauty in the mystifying mixture of too much joy and happiness mixing with sadness and pain and all just coming out in salty tears. Thank you so much to Colin for sharing his humanity and thank you so much to Temenos for sustaining and developing the person-centred approach.

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