Were you one of the lucky fifty? Fifty what? you ask. One of those lucky enough to join us for the First Annual Minnesota Adlerian Conference on September 15-17, 2017. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, MN was the venue where Dr. James R. Bitter (NASAP President) generously shared his experience, learning, warmth, and humor with an intimate intergenerational group. The event, co-sponsored by The Adler Academy of Minnesota and the Adlerian Network, brought like-minded individuals for a weekend of sharing and caring Adlerian style.
Jim’s topic was “Helping Clients Change” and through morning lectures, personal life stories, and demonstrations he taught the principles of Adaptive Reorientation Therapy (ART), a technique developed by his friend and colleague Dr. Paul Rasmussen. Afternoons allowed participants to try their hand at applying these techniques with each other.
According to Jim: “It was the best teaching experience of my life in the most beautiful setting ever with some of the most warm, caring and wonderful people possible. It was a vacation with purpose. Thanks to all.” Considering that Jim has been teaching for over 30 years that is high praise indeed!
Jim wasn’t the only one inspired by the weekend. Participants reported: “Jim was fabulous;” “Saturday morning was worth the whole cost of the conference;” and “I really got something profound during the practice sessions; I wasn’t expecting it and I don’t think I could have got it any other way.”
Participants reported they appreciated the incredible beauty of the Arboretum – Jim told us he would have traveled here just to spend time in such a wonderful place – as well as the friendliness, openness, and helpfulness of everyone involved. People also really enjoyed the immersive “in-depth dive” into a topic, rather than the surface presentations that often occur at conferences. Though a lot of ground was covered, the pace of the conference was perfect and people did not feel burnt out even after three long days. Longer lunch times to debrief or just appreciate the flowers, trees, and water features of the Arboretum helped keep people feeling balanced.
Tom Wright noted: “The enthusiasm, goodwill, and ‘our tribe’ philosophy was like the old days when Dreikurs came from Chicago.” When she asked if we should do it again next year Sue Brokaw was met with a resounding: “Yes!”