By Adam Kincel & Melinda Best

Welcome the first post of our blog at Gestalt Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice. We decided to make the blog to promote mental wellbeing we believe in. We would like the blog to act as a centre for exchange between our practitioners, our friends and colleagues as well as wider audience of Internet users. World Wide Web is getting more and more full of psychological and pseudo-psychological knowledge making it more difficult for our clients to find valuable source of information about current practice as well as general guidance on psychological wellbeing.

We are going to present here our interests in psychotherapy, outlines of research we undertake as well as share what we think is interesting and beneficial for people looking for personal development.

Today we would like to share with you a talk entitled “The power of vulnerability” by Brené Brown (2010) who is a professor at the University of Houston. Very generously she shares not only the story of her research into psychological wellbeing but also personal struggles on this journey.

From Adam

The content of her research is similar to what various Gestalt thinkers were discussing for some time. The connection between relationships, shame and vulnerability was described by various writers such as Lynne Jacobs, Robert Lee and Gordon Wheeler to name a few. Indeed trying to do everything just by ourselves and an old Western psychology believe that self-sufficiency is a sign of a good psychological health do not give us necessary support to create meaningful lives. It feels very accurate to my experiences both from group and individual therapy when Brené Brown says that people who are in relationships believe they are worth to be in relationships. I feel often moved by the number of connections clients feel able to do whilst staying in long term relationships (this includes therapeutic relationship).

From Melinda

I found Brene Brown’s video on Vulnerability very inspiring. She has thought very deeply about the subject and presents her audience with a wealth of meaning (six years of research and a book). I am reminded of the Gestalt Psychotherapist Carl Hodges who said during a workshop “Lead with your vulnerability”(or your vulnerability is your leadership). When I heard Carl’s statement the way that I understood it was that he was speaking of strength – that vulnerability at times can open a door that leads to connection with others. I didn’t take it as vulnerability being a weakness, more like a starting point of which to build upon, with others.

When I sat down to write something for our first blog I realised I had my laptop, and my mobile phone and ipod nearby. And the person beside me had their Ipad and phone out. Although all of this technology can help me to connect to others in one way, it doesn’t at all make up for any meeting place that can bring me together face to face with another person.

Written by

Melinda Best and Adam Kincel


5 Responses to Vulnerability and connection

  1. Thank you for sharing this wonderful video. Brené Brown talks in a very down to earth and humorous manner about what is paramount in life: relationship, vulnerability and love. Her talk is an essential viewing for everyone!

  2. LisaG says:

    Wow, what a wonderful video. So warm and funny, but so important and it was like she was talking directly to me and who I am.

  3. Kerry Shipman says:

    Hi Adam and Team,
    I was just looking up the web for information on Gestalt and vulnerability for our regional AAGT gathering in November. The theme is ‘Vulnerability & Transformation – a Gestalt Perspective’ and look what I found! Well done all of you and I look forward to checking it out on a regular basis.

  4. Adam Kincel Adam Kincel says:

    Thank you Kerry. I am glad that our blog had reached Australia. Thank you for your encouragement and appreciation.

  5. Bonny says:

    Silvan Tomkins was the first in the modern era to write with authority on shame in the 1960s and many have taken his research and awareness and built on it. Brene never mentions him. It’s worth looking at his source works which the Tomkins Institute continues to curate to this day. Donald Nathanson worked with Tomkins and developed the Compass of Shame idea into a model that is now the principle model that informs Testorative Justice.

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