Emphasizing Play

In November I attended the East Coast USA Allies to Young People Workshop led by Jenny Sazama.[1] Jenny was both funny and completely serious as she led a fabulous workshop.

She reminded us how important play is for young people and for all of us. We use play to make contact with each other, build safety and trust, have light sessions on fear and embarrassment, and pave the way for deeper sessions. To challenge where we adults forget this, Jenny put play in prominent places on the schedule. For example, before introductions we had a rousing game of partner tag, before support groups we got to do special time,[2] on Saturday afternoon the entire workshop had physical counseling[3]/wrestling sessions, and on Saturday evening we had a dance party before we met in topic groups and had open questions.

The emphasis on play and Jenny’s challenge to use counseling to its fullest meant that we played hard and discharged hard. We arrived at topic groups and open questions feeling connected and well discharged. We were able to have excellent conversations. We thought about challenging topics—building RC Communities with young people at the center, the environment, pornography, technology, homework, schools—with lightness, laughter, and intelligence.

Tresa Elguera
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Reprinted from the e-mail discussion
list for RC Community members

[1] Jenny Sazama is the International Liberation Reference Person for Allies to Young People.
[2] “Special time” is an activity, developed in RC family work, during which an adult puts a young person in full charge of their mutual relationship, as far as the young person can think. For a specific period of time, the adult lets the young person know that he or she is willing to do anything the young person wants to do. The adult focuses his or her entire attention on the young person and follows his or her lead, whether the young person tells, or simply shows, the adult what she or he wants to do. Adults can also give “special time” to each other, following these general guidelines.
[3] “Physical counseling” is counseling in which a Co-Counselor, who has been trained to do it, provides aware and thoughtful physical resistance for his or her client to push and fight against.


Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00