A Reflection on Adult Learning from ICPPD
Dear Precious Being,
Many years ago, after receiving a report from our academic validating body QQI, Quality and Qualifications Ireland in which ICPPD failed to satisfy the panel of experts who vetted us, I wrote in my journal at that time –
“Initially I reacted to the feedback given. In my disappointment for all concerned and identification with the report on our course at ICPPD, I struggled and wrestled with its meaning and purpose. Then sitting with it all, mind, body and spirit, finally throwing my arms up and asking whoever or whatever transpersonal energy there is, to give me an answer, a sign as to the way forward. I came back to the table with openness, curiosity and hopefulness, even innocence and vulnerability and a wish to connect with wisdom on this matter.
I see the work of therapist as healing, accompanying a client on a self-discovery journey that is, perhaps beyond and more than counselling and psychotherapy today. I see this as my work as a therapist and the work of our trainee counsellors and psychotherapists. To facilitate the client’s tapestry as they journey home to wholeness is the work we are involved in.
Providing a learning environment
This is what we at ICPPD contract with our learners – that we will guide them, provide a learning environment where they can examine, explore and practice being in touch with their unique psyche-print, its direction and inner guidance so that they will wish to meet the core-self in their future clients as a therapist.
I am sometimes saddened by the lack of acknowledgement of difference and the need to sanitise our work, so it is acceptable to others who may not appreciate its depth. It feels like going to a teacher who requires me to learn as they do. Yes, I agree, I am asking ICPPD learners to do it ‘our way’, and they have a choice, if it doesn’t resonate with them, they can choose to go elsewhere.
From the beginning, I have a sense that this marriage might be difficult, and I had hoped it would have a unifying centre. Surely psychotherapy represents the union of male and female aspects so there can be synthesis and integration. This is at the level of the human being and is reflected also in the profession of counselling and psychotherapy and in society itself. Until we as educators and therapists recognise and appreciate the complementary right and left brain, we are doing a disservice to both.
ICPPD is mindful of this when designing its courses. How to integrate theory, skills and reflective practice. How do we facilitate and present beauty and creativity with the wonderful theoretical framework and concepts involved so that they are woven into a way of being, a combined expression of gratitude for having both parts represented and voiced appropriately? Surely both enrich the experience of learning and personhood. In a profession when the primary subject of study is the person, how can we dismiss anything. Assessing, measuring this kind of non-tangible, heart-centred education and work has its own difficulties.
A reflection on Adult Learning
I’m left with a hope that the person, the learner, the trainee therapist, the client has a place and space where their experience counts for something, and that is not dictated and controlled by other’s agendas. I hope for an encounter and relationship where the healing process is not evaluated by norms and tools that are not appropriate and are underdeveloped for the task and process at hand.
Rather than a given prior to the exchange in adult learning, is there an opportunity for the learner, trainee, client to say on completion of this time and space, the following are some of my learning outcomes?
I am better able now to –
o Think critically and remain open to new views that support my evolution as a person
o Reflect on my situation in relation to the context, people and circumstances involved
o Adjust and accept differences both within myself and within others
o Act in ways that respect myself and others as a growing organism
o Know myself as a unique being
o Validate and empower myself on this learning curve that is life itself
o Take care of myself, my environment and have a sense of belonging as a global citizen
o Engage with adult learning, and support my future academic and professional development
o Appreciate all types of intelligences and endeavour to integrate them from an interpersonal and intrapersonal perspective
At ICPPD, we encourage learners to – dance to their own drum… we want a chance to do this also as an organisation, as an institute of education and training in the field of holistic counselling and psychotherapy.
Dear Precious Being,
May you listen within to your heart’s desire and follow your dream. May ICPPD do the same!