I want to thank you all of you who have worked, studied, learned, grown, laughed and played with us over the past years. We have been around for many years in a number of different forms and creations. This institute was originally established in 1969 as an experimental and teaching Institute that was originally called the Gestalt Institute of Denver. Over that time period many came, learned and went about their lives, most hopefully changed for the good. In the 70’s there was a transition and Beth Protho along with George Dovenmuehle established the current Institute, the “Gestalt Institute of the Rockies”. After a few years Beth and George moved out of state, the Institute waned a bit and eventually I picked up the pieces and re-established the Institute under the same name in the mid 80’s. Since that time the main people involved in teaching have been Duane Mullner, Victoria Story, and myself. A few years ago Duane took a year sabbatical and Victoria retired from teaching at the Institute. We asked Joan Rieger to join us as a co-director and teacher and more recently we asked Stephanie Wolff to join us as faculty. We have been through many transitions, wonderful people have come through our doors and we are now in another transition.
As I sit here and write this brief history I am touched in many ways. I am touched by the length of time we have been around in one form or another, I am touched by the other faculty that I have been privileged to work with, I am touched by the students who have come through our training and the level of skill that they have left with, the incredible level of skill they have developed way beyond what they learned here. I am touched knowing we have changed peoples lives in so many ways and touched by the community we have been a part of for so many years. I am touched by the memories of certain people as they sat in the circle, sometimes smiling, sometimes in awe and sometimes with eyes full of tears. I am touched by people sharing that this Institute changed and in some ways saved there lives. One of the things that has effected me the most has been the frequent statement that the training here is what has helped them become a truly competent therapist. I am touched by the transitions we have made through the years to keep pace with the changing world of therapy
This past year has brought a change and transition once again. In November we began the process of examining our direction and format. As we examined we determined we wanted to make some changes. Some of these changes are based on our own growth as people and professionals, some based on what we want to offer in training. On the personal level I am moving away from the everyday running of the institute and will be focus on the teaching aspect, writing, The Coming Home Project, deepening my equine work and integrating nature based work into my personal work. As an institute we are creating a new structure, a new website, new marketing, a new location, new monthly blogs and most importantly new energy to move forward with bringing this work to the world.
As I have traveled and taught throughout the US and parts of the world including the Middle East, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia I am deeply aware that what we offer is substantially different that what is being offered in other trainings and modalities of therapy. We offer something unique, expansive and creative. We ask that you delve into your own process as a person and therapist. We ask you to experience relationship not just talk about relationship as a thing to attain. If you were to ask any therapist if they are relational with their clients they would say, of course. I believe that how we promote this level of contact and work with healing relationship is qualitatively different than what is expected in most training programs, most therapies and in fact, most relationships in general. We ask you to be affected as much as your client, we ask you to create openings for the other to step into, we ask you to be the “I” or the “Thou” in all relational interactions of your life. Substantially there is no real separation between therapy and life. We only really have one “hat” to wear and that “hat” is ourselves.
We invite you to share in this transition, growth, and creative process with us as offer something that is beyond the tools in a toolbox approach to learning, therapy and living in this ever evolving world of therapy and life itself.
Duey Freeman, MA, LPC