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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Report from E-H Institute's Experiential II Spring 2014 Session

EHI Experiential II Spring 2014 at Angela Hall in Santa Rosa
See More EHI 2014 Experiential II Photos on EHI Gallery Page
by Juanita Ratner, EHI Advanced Certificate Student

I recently returned from a retreat-style experiential training course, a part of EHI’s certificate programs in Existential-Humanistic Therapy. It was held at the Angela Center in Santa Rosa, CA. In a retreat environment a field was created and maintained, thanks to the closed, intimate setting.  The work was able to go much deeper; discussions were more open, thanks to the level of trust created; and the shared search proved fruitful. We were all quite enthusiastic about the learning that went on, the bonds created, and the support for our individual practices. Also included were guest presentations by Ilene Serlin on dance/movement in therapy and Sonja Saltman, executive director, on working with dreams in therapy. Kirk Schneider, a core teacher, guided us through an exercise on bringing dimensions of awe into the field of our counseling, and Orah Krug, director of the certificate programs, helped us to experientially deepen our awareness of how our own context can affect our therapeutic interactions.
There were many opportunities to work in dyads and practice with each other, with faculty observing. I was struck by how much everyone had grown in their openness and ability to stay with each other since the first experiential training. I found myself able to do some good inner work that was perhaps just ready to be done. It seemed others around me and in the dyads I worked in were also truly searching within and with each other.  We were able to see in concrete manifestations the principles and constructs we had read about—but now they came alive in the moment; for example, how one’s context manifests in the way we enter into (or avoid) the therapeutic encounter; the experience of being, of presence. We practiced attending to both the intrapersonal and the interpersonal.
This has been my second year in the program; I’m currently pursuing the Advanced Certificate.  I completed all the work for the Foundations program at the beginning of January and was ready to receive that certificate.  We were all in a circle for the closing.  People offered their heartfelt impressions and gratitude for the work together.  One of us sang a lovely song, appropriate for the moment and somehow also integrating the poignant energy of leaving and going on into life.  As I walked across the circle to receive my certificate from Orah, someone began to hum Pomp and Circumstance.  Everyone joined in and I made my way around the circle collecting hugs from each participant. It was a beautiful moment; so full of good wishes that I’m sure the memory will remain with me the rest of my life. I looked around the circle at the faces, expressions all radiant.  During the brief three and a half days we had let go of so much, found so much, and learned to enter into the realm of unknowing together.  I heard many vows to remain in touch, to come back next year for more, perhaps every year.
Plans are already firming up for the next two experiential courses to be held in the fall and spring at Westerbeke Ranch, which not only provides a wonderful setting in the rolling hills of Sonoma County but delicious food!  Deposits are needed - see Certificate Programs Travel and Lodging page for details as they become available. 
EHI Experientials I & II are held Fall and Spring consecutively...The next dates for the Fall 2014-Spring 2015 Sessions are: 
Fall Experiential I - 

Oct 31 to Nov 4, 2014. 
Spring, Experiential II - 
March 25 to March 29,  2015. 

For more information about the certificate programs that EHI offers which includes the certificate program offered jointly with Saybrook, see the EHI website at:

The Saybrook website has information only about the EHI/Saybrook certificate program. Go to:

**Note that the Foundations Certificate is included in Saybrook PII tuition, though travel and residential fees are additional. These experiential courses offer students’ training in the application of Existential-Humanistic theory, and opens the individual to the depth of their being as only a shared experience can facilitate.

Contact EHI at info [at] for more specifics on registering for next upcoming Experientials.

To see Westerbeke Ranch, check out:


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