Monday, March 21, 2011

Steve Gilligan Teaches about the Hero’s Journey, Creative Consciousness and Connection in the Therapy Process

By Liz Goodwin

- Rumi

On the night when you cross the street
From your shop and your house
To the cemetery

You'll hear me hailing you from inside
The open grave, and you'll realize
How we've always been together.

I am the clear consciousness-core
Of your being, the same in
Ecstasy as in self-hating fatigue.

That night, when you escape your fear of snakebite
And all irritations with the ants, you'll hear
My familiar voice, see the candle being lit,
Smell the incense, the surprise meal fixed
By the lover inside all your other lovers.

This heart tumult is my signal
to you igniting in the tomb.
So don't fuss with the shroud
And the graveyard dust.
Those get ripped open and washed away
In the music of our final meeting.

And don't look for me in human shape,
I am inside your looking. No room
For form with love this strong.

Beat the drum and let the poets speak.
This is the day of purification for those who
Are already mature and initiated into what love is.

No need to wait until we die!
There's more to want here than money
And being famous and bites of roasted meat.

Now, what shall we call this new sort of gazing house
That has opened in our town where people sit
Quietly and pour out their glancing
Like light, like answering?

Last weekend I attended Stephen Gilligan’s annual local supervision in Leavenworth. A group of us, mostly therapists, nestled into cabins on the Wenatchee River to learn and study with Gilligan. The model he teaches is rooted in the work of Milton Erickson, Buddhist philosophy and practice, archetypal Jungian elements, some psychoanalytic parts and pieces, and, at its foundation, somatic and subconscious intelligence. Once called Self Relations, I believe his model is now termed “Generative Psychotherapy.” Gilligan’s latest book is The Hero’s Journey and the Generative Self.

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