Today was Women’s workshop… five joined on site and six joined via Skype… four men and seven women. The theme was “My Sanctuary”. The idea was to draw a picture of any place in your life that is important to you, such as a space where you feel comfortable just the way you are, or a relationship that ensures your safety and security, and explain it to everyone.

JAFAREC Women's Workshop

An Japanese inn on a trip, a grandmother’s place, or a JAFAREC shelter… Some of the participants told me that this workshop was a sanctuary where they could talk honestly with everyone.

In any case, they feel that sanctuaries are places where they can be accepted as they are, without criticism or attack.

However, people who have not had such experiences and have been constantly tormented by anxiety and stress tend to lack a sense of self-trust and self-affirmation, and find it difficult to assert themselves, which often leads to a personality that is dependent, easily controlled, and vulnerable to abuse.

In the Workshop, by speaking freely, accepting the words of others, being exposed to diverse values, and gaining the approval and sympathy of many people, our minds gradually grow and we are able to express ourselves and live freely. These are not tasks to be taken in as knowledge. Nor is it something that can be obtained by listening to an expert or learning from a famous book. It is not work in the rational realm of knowledge, but work in the sensory, unconscious, and emotional realms. Therefore, a certain level of facilitation skills is required.

I’ve been doing facilitation and counseling for about 25 years, evolving from the men’s movement, and I’ve been able to grow as a person through my relationships with my friends and clients, and Men’s counseling is the result of that. I have been able to continue to provide support with a focus on personhood, which is difficult for other therapists to do. As such, I am proud to say that I am now able to provide therapy for the re-growth of many people, regardless of gender.

By the way, for me now… wherever I am is a sanctuary. I am grateful for that.

JAFAREC Women's workshop dinner
After the workshop, we chatted endlessly… until dinner.

Originally posted on February 24, 2021

English text translated with DeepL (Japanese to English) and checked by Mina.

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