Published on May 31st, 2018 | by Nancy O'Brien


Ridgewood Therapist Offers Spiritual Workshops for Women

by Nancy O’Brien

Women are social beings and show compassion and love as a product of their genetic makeup. They thrive in the presence of supportive people, such as a forum, where they can be vulnerable, safely express emotions and be comforted and reassured when in distress. Participants of women’s’ support groups typically report that they enjoy being around each other. Sometimes, women have a history of difficult relationships with other females. Others have lost like-minded friends or companions and are in need of support. The issues are diverse.

Gerti Schoen says, “We utilize tools like meditation, hypnosis and imaginal healing journeys to help overcome past trauma and to strengthen boundaries. Women, more like the opposing sex, tend to give too much and end up depleted and depressed. We need to learn to say no in the face of too many demands or exaggerated notions of caretaking. We begin to reenergize in the presence of understanding people that raise our energy and recharge long-depleted inner resources.

“Overwhelm and anxiety can be remedied by expressing our concerns to women that know what it’s like to feel overextended. When there is a feeling of unfailing support, we increase our self-esteem and learn to avoid the pitfalls of worrying too much.

“There exists an additional dimension that helps women to feel more balanced and fulfilled: tapping into the spiritual energy of group work. When we are taught exercises that enhance our intuitive skills, it is easier to make decisions that are right for us. Tapping into the strength of our authentic, intuitive selves helps to build better relationships, including our relationship with ourselves. Being cheered on by others lends the support we need to go after our dreams.

“Small spiritual groups can go beyond what a conventional support group is able do.” In her new book The Power of Eight, spiritual leader Lynn McTaggart describes her work with small groups of six to 12 people. By tapping into group consciousness, she shows that when individuals in a group focus their intention together on a single target, a powerful collective energy can emerge to heal certain medical and emotional conditions, mend fractured relationships and even rekindle a person’s sense of purpose.

“When measuring the brainwaves of participants in one of these groups, an almost instant quieting of the brain is seen. The greatest changes occur across a part of the brain that distinguishes our sense of self from everything that is not self. The person’s attention begins to merge with the object of contemplation and the brains of the participants appeared to operate as a greater whole. These changes take place in a healing session just 10 minutes long. A sense of oneness seems to have come easily for these group participants. It shows that they function not only to support each other or to learn from each other, but also to heal one another.

“Spiritual unity is also the intent of the two-hour forest bathing walk in nature that is part of each women’s workshop. The ancient practice of mindfully walking through the forest offers us the opportunity to deepen our relationship with the natural world. By slowing down and carefully observing with all our senses, we begin to notice incredible connections to nature that may have eluded us our whole lives. Forest bathing has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and depression, boost immune and cardiovascular strength, and improve cognitive functioning. Due to its healing properties, it has become part of the national healthcare system in Japan and Korea.

“On a typical walk, participants may be invited to take in the subtle movements of nature, gently touch the surface of a tree or a pond and imagine themselves becoming a part of the forest. At the end of each walk there is a tea ceremony, and the group will enjoy fresh tea foraged from local herbs, and cookies.”

Gerti Schoen is a licensed psychotherapist and certified couples counselor in Ridgewood, NJ. She offers a six-week course, Heal & Thrive, which includes energy tapping and energy psychology. For more information or to register for the workshop, call 917-607-4525 or visit GertiSchoen.net.

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