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Changing Things for the Better

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

If you’re like me, you wish you could change things for the better. You wonder where we’re going in a world that seems ever more polarized, where news stories are dominated by tragedies, bitter divides, and partisan politics. Where everyday problems – no matter how real and important – seem dwarfed by tales of hardship and suffering almost too deep to fathom. It might seem that bringing positive change to the world is too great a challenge.

But you know GISC and you know we also inhabit a world of hope and optimism. You know that we believe people are capable of growth and that learning comes from the meeting of differences. You know firsthand that learning best happens in an environment of safety and trust, and that when we move toward resistance in ourselves and others, something unexpected and even magical can happen. And you probably know that for each individual GISC touches – whether a leader, coach, consultant, psychotherapist or member of a family or couple – there is a positive impact on many other people who are connected to that individual.

GISC has been transforming the way people live and work in the world ever since the Nevises and a small cadre of colleagues founded GISC over forty years ago with a shared ideal of helping others learn, grow and thrive.

Your gift this year can continue that legacy and shared ideal.

Like many who attend GISC, when I first discovered the Center, I had no idea what it would mean to me now, eleven years later. I, like many who come through our doors, have grown over time – learning in trainings and the months that followed about my own idiosyncrasies, preferences, strengths – and, yes, developmental edges. Like many who sit in our meeting room and struggle with nerves or new ways of seeing, or tentatively yet courageously test new skills in practicum groups, I gained confidence and made small shifts in how I spoke up, or asked questions, or dared to try new ways of being. Looking back, I know now I am different than when I arrived in 2008, even if, like watching our own children grow day by day, I couldn’t see it happening along the way.

Now, for the past three years, the board has entrusted the Center to my leadership. Perhaps more than that, I’ve entrusted the Center to my leadership. It did not come easily or quickly, and it is still a daunting challenge to live up to the ideals of our founders. But like many leaders, I am learning every day and rely on so many skillful, caring people around me for their own leadership, action and expertise in making this organization thrive. People like…

  • The talented organizational experts, Gestalt faculty and instructional designers who created a world-class leadership development curriculum this past year. This series of programs takes the best of GISC theory and practice to provides maximum impact for leaders at every level from individual contributor to senior executive.
  • The volunteers and diverse community members who planned and gathered for the second annual Learning Camp last June to explore the idea that “Gestalt” is a way of life and not just an approach to therapy, leadership, or effecting change. This was explored in a number of creative workshops on art, cultural competency, sexuality, African dance and drumming, laughter therapy and more – all accompanied by food, fun, and friends.
  • The participants from throughout the region and around the world – from New Zealand, to the UK, Sweden, Mexico, Canada and beyond who earnestly undertake the brave job of becoming better coaches, consultants, leaders – and humans – in the Cape Cod Training Program, combining deep personal exploration with professional skill development.
  • The many volunteers, faculty, board members, donors and friends who so generously make it possible for our small nonprofit to achieve more than it could on program income alone and to reach those who could not otherwise participate in our offerings.

To you and to all these people, thank you. I am both humbled and proud to lead this organization and to be a part of this remarkable worldwide community.

Please know that GISC needs you in order to grow and thrive. We rely on you for your unique gifts and insights. And we rely on you so that we can share the precious gifts of connection, learning, and transformative growth with others.

This year, we invite you to:

  • Attend one of our trainings or annual learning camp
  • Refer your friends and colleagues to our life-changing programs
  • Volunteer, and share our emails and social media postings
  • Donate generously and maintain an annual membership

Please give what you can to allow us to promote our programs, fund scholarships and continue to develop programs to meet the changing needs of our community. With any donation of $125 or more you are entitled to an annual membership and subscription to the Gestalt Review.

You’re a member of the GISC community for a reason. I hope you will continue, with me, to pursue a life of connection and meaning – of helping others – and of generating the awareness, courage and skills to bring about the kind of change that’s important to us all.

With warm wishes and deep gratitude,

Laurie Fitzpatrick
Managing Director

   
Gestalt International Study Center
P.O. Box 515, South Wellfleet, MA 02663
Phone: +1 555 123 4567