The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

After closing, there is separation

It’s already quite a while ago, that our group celebrated the end of our common journey as the first cohort of KDVI’s Group Coaching Practicum (GCP).

The GCP was one of those learning experiences which might never have happened without the pandemic. People from all over the world had come together to develop their group coaching muscles online.

The last day was one of celebration and consolidation. It was a day allowing to reflect together on the journey. A reminder of many details to look back at and giving ourselves, once again, a fertile soil enabling our learning to continue to settle and grow.

One of the rich elements of our GCP was the invitation to put our learning into practice and write a reflection paper on that intervention. Many of us shared how that writing had been a treasure trove in itself. It had become an individual investment. One that most certainly led to the desire for individual closure of our GCP that emerged on our last day as a group.

Being invited to choose between written or oral feedback from my supervisor, the evident choice for me was to look forward to a personal conversation. It happened a few weeks ago which allowed me to see my own experience from a different perspective, thus enriching it. During that conversation, we also asked ourselves if that feedback marked the end of our GCP and thus closed the Gestalt.

It seemed to me that it had done the job.

And yet, I’ve since been asking myself if it truly had. I found myself hesitating to celebrate the certificate with a post and wondering what I would be writing about. Beyond the certificate, I received a paper summarizing all of our interventions as well as a collection of the material created and used during our journey. Every time I was going back to it I was noticing a new detail, a different reflection, and a shift in my experience.

The Gestalt wasn’t closing, it seemed to stay there to remind me that the learning will never end.

But both of us had also committed to meeting up in person. Having the opportunity to do this today I re-experienced the force of being able to connect in person as a contrast to learning to know someone virtually. I knew that we had built trust and felt a connection, but the reality of taking the time to look one another in the eye cannot be replaced by anything virtual.

We didn’t spend much time looking back at the GCP, but we did look at how we had separated the feedback exchange from our meeting. As we explored the possibilities to continue to work together it dawned on me, that closure is also a letting go of the unfilled. A closed Gestalt is built on the idea that the whole doesn’t need to be complete and yet becomes complete once we allow ourselves to let go of it by seeing it as a whole.

That is when there is separation.

It’s the separation that allows taking full benefit of what we’ve learned. That is, it enables us to start a new experience having integrated a previous one.

It might be one of the most important learnings I took away from the GCP. The start is incredibly important as it enables us to engage as well as possible in the journey. The journey itself deserves special attention to make it memorable. But without a proper end, somehow, the journey doesn’t come into “proper” existence.


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