Training and Therapeutic Exercises
Originally Dr. Naranjo's groups were intended for seekers alone, and the idea of training only came in during the early years of the SAT school in view of the idea of service within the SAT community. Since the beginning of the SAT in Europe programs, however, these have explicitly offered both personal and professional development, and a great proportion of the participants are professional. Remarkably, it has interested people at all levels of professional training, ranging from psychology students and post-graduates to prominent professionals in the European therapeutic world. Dr. Naranjo has published a statement about his approach to the education of integrative therapists in the Journal of the Spanish Gestalt Association and also in his book Changing Education to Change The World, and several Integrative therapy schools in Spain have been founded by SAT alumni.
A more specific contribution to psychotherapy training, besides the exposure to a wide array of resources and a familiarization with a mosaic of ideas and techniques from various schools, has been his Psychotherapy Laboratory - one part of the SAT program - which includes both structured psychological exercises and an occasion for creative improvisation in a context of group discussions and supervision. (For more information, see section on the SAT school and its programs).
Dr. Naranjo became interested in therapeutic, and more generally, psychological exercises early in his profession, made them a part of his original work with groups in the 1960s and later had the opportunity to experiment with them his Esalen years, in the same decade.
Therapeutic exercises serve two functions at the same time: they help the growth and healing of those involved, and they also contribute to their learning to assist each other. More than that, however, they contribute to turning a group into a self-therapizing system and they provide training for those involved towards becoming professional therapists, better teachers and, more generally speaking, change agents. Some of his proposed training exercises have been presented in his books - notably the one designated as free association in a meditative context, which is discussed in a chapter of The Way of Silence and the Talking Cure, and variations on the awareness continuum exercise of Gestalt in Gestalt Therapy - the attitude and practice of an a-theoretical experientialism).
Free Association in
a Meditative Context
Chapter 6 from the book
The Way of Silence and
the Talking Cure