Silent Echoes workshops can meet the needs of many. It is a forum for women of African and Caribbean heritage to discuss personal experiences and to become aware of their role in society. Many women will have difficulty in accepting steroetypical prescribed roles and will find that their feelings and frustrations aren’t unique but are shared by others.
Silent Echoes challenges the premise that women of African and Caribbean heritage are often conditioned to adjust and defer to the wishes and opinions of others. Often they may discount their own feelings and opinions.
The workshops are co-facilitated by experienced psychotherapists Dee Albert and Samantha Carbon. As you can imagine everyone is bringing into the room their pains, hurts and wounds. For some women, the uninterrupted time in the workshop may be the first time anyone has indicated to them that their ideas; opinions; thoughts and feelings are valuable.
Silent Echoes provides some essential ingredients for the development of a healthy personality. It is a human tendency to feel that our problems are unique and often insurmountable. The goal of problem-solving groups for women is to strengthen the weaknesses that exist. By helping women to learn to nurture themselves; use their intelligence; trust intuitions and feelings, they can soon find ways to not listen to their internal critical parent as well as society’s, which is often the source of their internal oppression.
Women are encouraged to give themselves a a pat on the back for an experience she had which caused her to be very proud of or pleased with. The rationale for this procedure is that many women are programmed to not acknowledge or take pride in their accomplishments. We believe praise is intended to break through this conditioning. Giving praise and positive strokes can combat the negative messages against self-nurturing, especially those messages which say “don’t be yourself; don’t like yourself and don’t be you”. It’s important that women recognize their own praiseworthy acts and to acknowledge them in a way that reinforces their self-esteem.
Often a woman who is doubting her own role or who is angered by prejudicial injustice feels she is in some way abnormal. When she finds her voice in the Silent Echoes workshops that others have the same doubts and anger, she is encouraged to view these feelings as healthy and normal. We believe a positive aspect of the workshop is that it allows women to recognize the depth and pervasiveness of women’s oppression and they feel less alone. Most women will identify personal problems associated with each topic presented and may also discover problems not dealt with.
Finally, the workshops helps women to learn to trust and like other women. Women are conditioned to compete against each other covertly over such things as men, attractiveness, which can lead to suspicion and distrust.
Remember as women we are not too much or too little, we are enough.
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Psychotherapist – MSc Psych, PTSTA (P), CTA (P), UKCP, MBACP
Clinical Supervisor & Coach