Building bridges, undoing knots…


Building bridges, undoing knots…

I have facilitated therapeutic groups in one form or another for over a decade, adolescents, eating disorders, addiction, personality disorders (not for the faint hearted)… But last night was the first time I was part of a mixed gender group that had gotten together for no other reason than to share our lives with each other. The group was born out of a real need that exists to get men and women in the same room where they can begin to explore and interrogate real and/or imagined similarities and differences between the sexes.

As confidentiality is essential to group cohesion I will not discuss content, but the process was really encouraging.
8 relative strangers came together, understandably anxious at first, curious and courageous. As the night wore on, the collective trepidation began to lift and we soon began to catch glimpses of each other, the fact that we were different genders began to fade under the recognition that our stories, injuries and experiences have no particular gender. We all have our story. What became reassuringly apparent was that underneath our individual identities made up of roles and narratives, lies the collective. A consciousness that is bigger than gendered identity and when this space is reached through sharing our vulnerability and we are privy to the wounds of others, we begin to empathically resonate with their suffering and the borders between us thins. In a world that is so deeply scarred by division, last night felt like a single step towards reconciliation.

About the author

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Jamie Elkon http://shrinkrap.co.za/

The author can be found rummaging through life looking for nourishment in the early hours of the morning. He is slowly going sane by using his actual life and relationships to wake up.He lives in Cape Town with his teenaged daughter, two bassett hounds named Thelma and Louise and Digit... the cat. He hugs trees, has experienced numerous dark nights of the soul, collects incorrect Chinese packaging and tracks curious things to their lair.