A Seven-Day Residential Workshop Presented by The Fool’s Dance Gestalt Company.
The Slí an Chroí Centre, Kiltegan, Co. Wicklow, February 13th to February 19th, 2016.
Why should I (or anyone) do a Workshop on Death? Because living our lives in the full awareness of our inevitable death (and this is not the same as being morbidly obsessed with death) offers us a more realistic and enriching perspective on life itself, on the decisions that we make and on how we choose to live. Up until the late 19th and early 20th century death was always very close at hand and very visible – in the 1700s, for instance, one child in three died before their fifth birthday. In modern times improvements in living standards and advances in medicine have prolonged life very significantly. Everybody still dies, of course, but most do so in old age and – considerately – in private, in hospital rather than in the bedroom upstairs, in the house next door or in the street outside. This extension of life and the increased privacy surrounding death, however, comes with a psychological price-tag. It is now so much easier for us to banish the reality of death and, especially, of our own death to some vaguely-imagined and – naturally – comfortably distant future. For much of the time we manage not to think about our death at all and many of us almost never talk about it. Outwardly (and, sometimes, even inwardly) we live our lives as if we were immortal. Psychologically this avoidance of such an important feature of our lives is really unhelpful, given the inevitability, the unpredictability and the overwhelming significance – to us, at least – of our death. Following the success of his first two ground-breaking workshops – ‘The Hero’s Journey’ and ‘The Lover’s Journey’ – Paul Rebillot became interested in this issue and the result was a new therapeutic structure, which he called ‘Death and Resurrection’.
The ‘Death and Resurrection’ workshop offers you an opportunity to:
- Confront your own death, that ultimate taboo of today’s culture.
- Explore ways to move creatively through life’s transitions, letting go of what binds you negatively to the past while courageously welcoming the future.
- Use a combination of ritual and Gestalt process to prepare for your death by reviewing your life, completing unfinished business, writing your will and planning your own funeral.
- Examine your life process with the focus on its ending, thus discovering what is – and what is not – genuinely important to you and illuminating the true meaning of your existence.
- Gradually let go of your attachments to persons, things, and self-images until, at last, you are able to die and then be reborn to create a new life the way that you wish.
- Discover how you might complete your life beyond the workshop so that you can go forward towards your eventual death, no longer seeing it as an interruption, but rather as the fulfilment of all that has gone before.
Before 1988, because of the seriousness of the topic, Paul offered his ‘Death and Resurrection’ process relatively infrequently. In that year his partner, Stanford Cates, died and Paul’s experience of Stanford’s dying convinced him that ‘Death and Resurrection’ was actually one of the most important of all his workshops. He saw, with renewed clarity, that to acknowledge and honour the fact that we are always in the process of our own dying and to look at our life as if we were shortly to leave it is, paradoxically, the key to living a richer and a fuller life.
PAUL REBILLOT was born in 1931 in Detroit, Michigan. Following a successful academic and professional career in the performing arts as a musician, writer, actor, director and teacher he changed direction and trained as a Gestalt psychotherapist at the Esalen Institute under Dick Price (an influential early pupil of Fritz Perls) and where he also met the mythologist Joseph Campbell. From these two influences – together with his own uniquely creative insights – Paul developed the ‘Hero’s Journey’, the first of a unique series of therapeutic structures which drew on both his training in Gestalt and on the skills and insights of his former career in the world of music, art and theatre. From 1991 to 2008 Paul presented a series of very successful annual workshops in Ireland, including ‘The Hero’s Journey’, ‘The Lover’s Journey’, ‘Owning the Shadow’ and the present workshop, ‘Death and Resurrection’. In March of 2008 Paul retired from work in Europe and he died at his home in San Francisco on February 11th, 2010, aged 78. The Fool’s Dance Gestalt Company – the Paul Rebillot School In Ireland is a group of people in Ireland who have worked with Paul Rebillot for many years, graduated from his Advanced Training and have been licenced by him to present his workshops. We came together with the aim of continuing Paul’s transformative work in this country by offering opportunities for participation in his unique therapeutic structures.
FURTHER INFORMATION: This workshop is suitable for anyone with an interest in self-exploration or personal development. Although rooted in the Gestalt approach to psychotherapy no previous experience of Gestalt is required or assumed. To request a more detailed printed brochure with booking form or for other queries telephone Fergus Lalor 021-4505711 (answering machine) or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org