Why Now?  How the conference theme emerged...

At the Gestalt Institute of Ireland, we have a tradition of living, working and learning together in groups and community during our programmes.  In recent years, we have been reflecting on the ways we, our clients and community are relating in a world that has paradoxically becoming increasingly connected via technology yet feelings of disconnection, isolation and dread prevail.

In the midst of a climate emergency, pandemic and war, there is a fracturing in the contact-creating capacity between persons. The world of neurobiology and neuroscience indicate our bodies know the score, but such intellectual knowledge whilst immensely helpful, tends to leave the messy, carnal, rupturing experiences of the lived body of our co-created relationships aside. The wisdom of the animating lived body appears to have gone underground. Yet, there is a longing for being-with another; to sense and feel our existing in the reciprocal movement of giving and receiving, gesturing and responding, touching and being touched, moving and being moved body to body, accompanied and witnessed by the animating sensitising presence of others. As an institute and community committed to the exploration of contacting that is emergent of relationships and an intersectional field, our desire to co-create a space to explore the conference question; “How can our Moving-sensing- feeling bodies contribute to the renewing of hope in a fracturing world” in community, became compelling.

More About the Conference: 

From our earliest years of life, it is through our bodies-in-relation to other bodies that we make sense of experience.  In an increasingly fracturing world affected by wars, climate crisis, and migration of people from their homelands, we will explore how our embodied knowing can permeate the relational situation to instil Hope.

Building on these themes, our conference gathering aims to…

  • Offer creative ways of paying attention to a moment by moment, movement by movement unfolding of our contacting with each other, attending to the embodied vitality of hope.  

  • Create a space to dialogue and explore, how our bodies are implicitly shaping, and being shaped by, relational possibilities.

  • Explore what we can learn from adjacent disciplines about our embodied intuition of a fracturing field, moving and sensing before and beyond languaged experience. 

This Conference will be of interest to Gestalt, Humanistic, Integrative Psychotherapists, Supervisors and students.

Our speakers will offer exciting provocations and embodied explorations for those of us interested to (re)turn home to our bodies, a moving emergent body that is of a relational situation and a field. 

We hope you will join us in co-creating possibilities for renewal, restoration and hope in the midst of a fracturing world replete with pain.

We will create a space to dialogue and explore in process groups how our subtle moving, affective, sensing, feeling, kinaesthetic bodies are implicitly being shaped and shaping relational possibilities in our fracturing world. As therapists, supervisors, and therapists in training, we are part of these suffering situations. Our conference speakers and convenors will offer creative ways of paying attention to a moment by moment, movement by movement embodied unfolding of our contacting with each other to reveal the vitality of hope in a fracturing world. Indeed, we will be looking at adjacent disciplines to explore what our bodies may reveal of a fracturing field before we think and use the language of words. 


On behalf of the Gestalt Institute of Ireland and the conference convenors, we wish to extend a warm welcome to you, and we look forward to coming together with you in Limerick in October.  


Billy Desmond

Sinéad Kavanagh

Gill Leo