How I discovered Radical Honesty
Back at the start of last year, roughly halfway through a diploma in Integrated Counselling, I had become more than a little obsessed with the subject of shame. Having watched a number of TED talks by a fascinating lady called Brené Brown and read some of her books, I had begun to consider the idea that the root of most of the issues I'd been in therapy for for the last 2 years (and struggling with for most of my adult life), had to do with a seemingingly inexplicable fear I had of being 'caught out' or discovered in some way to be someone other than I was. It happened at about this time that one of my favourite authors Jon Ronson released a new book on the subject of public shaming and, in the midst of eagerly devouring it, I found myself captivated by his description of a workshop he had attended as part of his research. 'The Shame Eradication Workshop' told the story of a bizarre two day stay in a hotel, during which a small group of people - led by the founder and author of a movement called 'Radical Honesty' - were asked to reveal everything they were thinking and feeling about other members of the group, as well as highly personal details of their own lives, in order to 'out' their secret inner life and so free themselves from shame.
Intrigued, I did some research online and found the details of the workshop Ronson had attended and started looking around for therapists in the UK who had knowledge of this thing known as 'Radical Honesty'. The idea of being so entirely open and honest about what I thought filled me with fear and excitement, and I became determined to find a workshop I could attend to discover more. After a few emails back and forth to a therapist in Ireland who had trained with Brad Blanton (the author of 'Radical Honesty') I was finally able to secure a place on the only workshop Mr.Blanton was running in Europe; a 5 day course based in the mountains of northern Greece at the 'holistic education centre' Kalikalos. My week at the workshop run by Brad (and chief RH-trainer Taber Shadburne) in July 2015 represented a huge shift in my attitudes and understanding of myself, as well as providing me with an invaluable group of new friends who continue to love, support and travel with me on our journey towards our individual goals, and who I will always grateful for meeting. My discovery of the cult of 'Radical Honesty' has brought me so much happiness that - just like any right-thinking obsessive cult-member - I am eager to indoctrinate other members of the general public. Since attending the Kalikalos workshop I've gone on to attend the '9 Day Intensive Course in Honesty' in Virginia, which incorporated training for those of us who want to go on to teach the fundaments of 'Radical Honesty' to others, either through workshops or as part of our work as therapists. Keen to incorporate the lessons I have benefitted from into my work as a Person-Centred/Gestalt Therapist, I hope to use this blog to educate other in the UK about Brad's work, but also as a means of publicising any workshops that myself - and other members of the growing RH community here in the UK - will organise in the future.
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