Dwelling Together Around Global Issues – Peggy Natiello, Carol Wolter-Gustafson, Colin Lago, Keemar Keemar, & John Wilson

….total reliance on dispassionate analytical rationalism is a certain path to the wrong answer…..the real...

Last updated 24 June 2024

….total reliance on dispassionate analytical rationalism is a certain path to the wrong answer…..the real pursuit of learning is to discover the wholeness/unity of life (Senge et al, 2004).

The future is unknown and unknowable, and we can no longer depend on historic ways of making sense to find our way forward. We must ‘imagine’ a creative way to move through the chaos, and we believe that a person-centered group, focusing on the theme of global issues may shift consciousness and yield new truths.

Rogers suggested that in a psychological climate that allows people to be,
….perhaps we are touching the cutting edge of our ability to transcend ourselves, to create new and more spiritual directions in human evolution (1980, p.134). Our mission as conveners is to support such a climate and trust the wisdom of the group too (to) contribute to new directions in human evolution.

In this session, we dwelled in our current ideas about the change and growth that occur in person-centered large groups like “Going Global, November, 2015”. We looked forward to engaging with you as we moved into undocumented ideas.

Going Global 2015

In his tireless efforts to bring peace to feuding groups, Carl R. Rogers predicted that members of the world community will find that there are ways of being that do not involve power over others….that harmonious community can be built on….mutual respect and enhanced personal growth (A Way of Being, 1980).

Carl R. Rogers was an influential American humanistic psychologist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. He developed client-centered therapy and searched for ways of being that are conducive to creating constructive change.

Toward that end, we invite you to join us in an international gathering devoted to creating a more compassionate future, and finding personally and socially constructive ways through the chaos we face on this planet.

Each of us on this workshop facilitation team have experienced the potency of Rogers’s transformational approach in large groups. It is a potency that allows each person to find their own unique way in this complex and interconnected world.

Some participants have described the experience as one that inspired them to live more authentically and compassionately, and empowered them to use their to challenge prevailing social and political systems and structures.

The Learning Process in Large Groups

The diverse residential community will serve as a learning laboratory where we can better understand our use of power and control. Our personal, global, and spiritual concerns, arise from the free-flowing turn of events rather than from an imposed agenda. The facilitators will have the role of learning partners, rather than experts. The carefully structured but undirected process will enhance participants’ ability to suspend established ways of seeing, strengthen the courage to implement solutions to our runaway global crises, and nurture the seeds of social change.

Course Content

Dwelling Together Around Global Issues – Peggy Natiello, Carol Wolter-Gustafson, Colin Lago, Keemar Keemar, & John Wilson


Carol Wolter-Gustafson

Carol Wolter-Gustafson received her Doctorate from Boston University’s Department of Humanistic and Behavioral studies. She taught graduate courses in client-centered theory and practice, philosophical foundations of education, and human development.

Her work in the Person Centered Approach is focused on the theory and practice of using its inherent power to help us cultivate pathways away from the divisive us/them thinking and rhetoric that are personally and systemically destructive and traumatic, and towards facilitating more inclusive perspectives and practices necessary for constructive personal and social change.

She has advanced these themes at International PCA Conferences and Forums, at invited lectures, at University programs in Mexico, the UK, and Brazil, and in journal articles and chapters published by PCCS Books, Springer, and Sage. Since 2011, she has co-facilitated Going Global workshops in the UK, Italy, the USA, and online. She maintains a psychotherapy practice in Boston.

Colin Lago

Colin Lago, D. Litt, was Director of the Counselling Service at the University of Sheffield, U.K., from 1987 – 2003. He now works as an independent counsellor/psychotherapist, trainer and supervisor. Trained initially as an engineer, Colin went on to become a full time youth worker in London and a teacher in Jamaica before becoming a counselling practitioner. He is a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Deeply committed to transcultural concerns within psychotherapy, he has published articles, videos and books on the subject. To balance professional demands he loves to run, bike and dance!

In relation to this talk, Colin notes that he was fortunate to come into the profession in its early days, 1977, the same year as BAC emerged from the Standing Conference! Colin first came across the work of Carl Rogers whilst initially training as a youth worker in his early twenties, (some seven years before he trained as a therapist). He found Carl’s books by accident whilst perusing the college library shelves and was immediately impacted by the resonance inside himself of these ideas ‘which spoke to him directly’. They helped to affirm his own confidence in his beliefs and approach to others.

Inevitably, there are many strands to this developing story, as with everyone’s biography, but Colin was fortunate in joining with his new colleague who already had worked with Rogers in international gatherings. Inevitably, attendance at international conferences and large group experiences soon followed, enabling Colin to meet colleagues from many parts of the world. Such connections form the background against which this presentation will be based.

John Wilson

I have been facilitating in Counselling & Psychotherapy programmes in the UK for more than 10 years.

I am currently the director at Temenos Education and have a private practice where I offer online Psychotherapy and Supervision using video and chat communication platforms along with virtual environments. I am also the co-founder of onlinevents which has grown to be the world’s largest library of online video and audio content with instant certification and a learning log.

I am also a past chair of the Association for Counselling & Therapy Online (ACTO) and have served for 6 years on the board of the World Association for Person Centered & Experiential Psychotherapy & Counselling. My passion to bring online learning into the field of Counselling & Psychotherapy has also led to the development of online experiential learning within the Temenos programme, facilitating the exposure of Temenos students to external tutors who are located in different parts of the world. Along with the inclusion of experiential learning of online Counselling & Psychotherapy for Temenos students so that they qualify with knowledge and practice in online communication and relationship.

You can read an article I co-authored about online group facilitation here:

Keemar Keemar

I have over 20 years experience as a therapist, supervisor, and trainer in private practice and large organisations. My specialism is in creating environments where the growth of the organism becomes inevitable. This is true whether the organism is an individual or an organisation.

I have a passion for creating these environments through my understanding and implementing a fusion between philosophy, theory, and practice of person-centred Psychotherapy.

Peggy Natiello

I worked closely with Carl Rogers from 1978-1987 on many person-centered staffs. Dr. Rogers served as my major doctoral advisor and mentored my dissertation on the nature of learning that occurs in person-centered experiences. My doctoral and post-doctoral research and writing have addressed significant questions about the person-centered approach.

Known for my person-centered group work, I am an international consultant, serve on the graduate faculty at Prescott College, and have written many articles on client-centered therapy and the person-centered approach. My book, “The Person-Centred Approach: A passionate presence”, was written to clarify and demonstrate the importance of this often misunderstood and quite a radical approach to psychotherapy, counseling, education, and group work.