The Deep Play Institute’s Summer 2022 Retreat is an opportunity for artists, therapists, healing-arts practitioners, coaches, and facilitators to gather, share resources, build skills, grow, and relax in the beautiful setting of 300 acres of rolling hills in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. This retreat is designed for anyone with a relational practice (i.e. a practice where you facilitate others in some capacity) who is interested in exploring the edges of this practice. Perhaps you are a therapist learning about somatic work, but you aren’t comfortable enough yet to try it with your clients. Perhaps you are a coach who wants to try integrating tarot or divination readings into your practice. Perhaps you are a performance artist who wants to explore an intimacy practice for an upcoming performance. Perhaps you are a facilitator who has worked in conflict mediation, and you want to integrate a new therapeutic modality you are just starting to learn. This is an opportunity to experiment, to play with your practice, and to lean into an edge in support of growth.
Our retreat will commence with our staff sharing practices (examples include: Internal Family Systems, Psychodrama, Circling) that help the group connect, set agreements, skill share and inspire the group’s creativity. After the first day, there will be dedicated blocks of time each day in small groups where the focus will be facilitating and receiving relational experiments. These small group blocks will change each day, and will be composed of pairs, trios, and foursomes, giving everyone the chance to work on one “client,” a couple, and a small group. It is the responsibility of each retreat participant to come to the retreat with some ideas about ways in which you would like to conduct these experiments. You are welcome to be highly specific and consistent, or to try many unrelated experiments, or anything in between. In the application we will request some proposals of what you will work on, but we welcome and encourage you to change course and improvise during the retreat. In addition to the small working groups, there will be optional workshops and evening activities offered each day. The final day will include a closing ceremony intended to help integrate the experience and acknowledge the intimacy we will have built with one another.
Our retreat will take place at the Rochester Folk Arts Guild in Middlesex, NY near the Finger Lakes region, named for a series of 11 long glacial lakes that resemble human hands. The Guild, set on 300+ acres of rolling hills and farms, is an intentional community, crafts center, and practicers of the life-teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff, a philosopher and mystic of the early 20th century. On the property itself, participants will have ample space to explore outside, as well as work in two indoor workshop spaces (movement friendly) and various smaller indoor spaces. There is access to wifi throughout the property, a pond to swim in, and an outdoor sauna.
Applications for the retreat are due by May 5th. Our program will be limited to 15 participants to ensure a workable sized group. We will be accepting applicants who display capacity working within intense and emotionally risky containers, and who have a moderate level of experience in their relational practice. In other words, this is a retreat for people familiar with the demands of relational work, and will require some level of learnt skills in this regard. In addition, this retreat will demand that we all take on a certain level of interpersonal and emotional risk. Because we will be experimenting with our practices, there is a good chance for unexpected emotional fallout. We ask that applicants consider whether they are up for advanced relational practice and the self care and mutual care that comes with it. While staff are trained in emotional regulation and grounding tools and will have some availability for emotional caretaking, there will be limited staff capacity to attend to emotional needs. All applicants will undergo a brief interview process to inquire about these aspects of the retreat. The point of this application is not to judge applicants based on the merit of their work and experience, but rather to assess one’s capacity to be in this container.
Aaron Finbloom is a philosopher, artist and pedagogue. He is the co-founder of The School of Making Thinking (SMT) and the founder & director of The Deep Play Institute (DPI). His practice involves expanding transformative inquiry through games, performance art and structured play. With training in Circling, Authentic Relating, and Psychodrama, he also facilitates experimental individual and group sessions inspired by these practices. Finbloom has presented works internationally at venues which include: The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Gallery 151 (New York), Maschinenhaus Kulturbrauerei (Berlin), UNAM (Mexico City), and MainLine Theatre (Montreal). He holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities & Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montreal, and is currently teaching Philosophy at the City College of New York and The University of Portland. finblooming.com
Netta Sadovsky, MFA, LSW (she or they) is an artist and therapist living in Philadelphia, PA. She provides group and individual counseling specializing in alternative sexualities and relationship structures at West Philly Therapy Center, and is a teaching artist at Center for Creative Works. Netta is a student of Internal Family Systems, Tavistock Group Relations, Relational Psychodynamic Therapy, Mindful Facilitation, Theater of the Oppressed, and Psychodrama, and makes artwork that borrows from and experiments with these practices under the moniker Suso Phizer.