Polarized to Optimized: Supplementing “OR” with “AND” for Sustainable Change - April 27-29, 2018


Polarized to Optimized: Supplementing “OR” with “AND” for Sustainable Change - April 27-29, 2018


Date: April 27-29, 2018
Time: Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm; Saturday, 9:00am-5:00pm; Sunday, 9:00am-5:00pm

Tuition: $828.00
Early Bird: $720.00 (before 4/13/2018) - use promo code: optimized

Continuing Education (CE): 18 contact hours 

Location: Gestalt Institute of Cleveland

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Barry Johnson, PhD
Peter Whitt, MSW
Lindsay Burr Singla, MS

In this time of increased polarization, new ways are needed to effectively address the tensions between race, gender, religion, class, police and community, and liberal and conservative perspectives. These tensions are present at all levels of societal interaction - individual, interpersonal, family, organizational, community, and national. By supplementing Either/Or thinking with Both/And thinking, these polarizations shift from intractable to transformational.

This three day workshop will take a deep dive into developing the skills that will enhance a practitioner's capacity to intervene at all system levels. Participants in this workshop will leave with an expanded capacity to influence high tension situations, resolve complex issues, and an ability to effectively communicate the necessity of diverse individuals in creating greater community. Participants will also be able to manage and interrupt root causes of tensions, rather than only treating repetitive symptoms. By the end of the course, participants will leave with concrete Action Step and Early Warnings for their own work in mitigating bias, and clear plans to influence their spheres.

We will draw parallels between Gestalt Resistances, Cycle of Experience, Paradoxical Theory of Change, unconscious bias, and Polarity Thinking.  

This workshop is appropriate for professional development, organizational transformation, coaching applications, and community engagement. 

This workshop is designed/appropriate for all professionals including: Counselors, social workers, psychologists, physicians, nurses, art and music therapists. Coaches, managers, supervisors and others interested in exploring these topics are welcome. 

Learning Objectives
Participants completing this workshop will be able to:

  • Describe how Gestalt theory combines with Polarity Thinking to become an effective resource;
  • Recognize how  this powerful combination can use polarization in the service of positive change;
  • Experience personal biases and create action steps to mitigate them;
  • Examine how our basic instincts in conflict can promote and dismantle our deeper values and shift our thinking and actions;
  • Discuss how any effort to interrupt racism, sexism or poverty will be radically undermined if we use “OR Thinking” without its sister, “AND Thinking.”; and 
  • Apply concepts learned both at the personal level and with larger levels of systems.