'Who am i?' is a peer-to-peer learning and personal development programme exploring identity as a gay man. This isn’t a group therapy session. It’s a facilitated space to openly share and learn from each others past experiences. It's an opportunity for you to acquire the necessary tools and understanding for growth, and to develop resilience in the face of adversity.
What’s really motivating me?
Why do I feel this way?
Why does nothing ever feel enough?
Am I being my authentic self?
Do I need to make changes in my life?
How do I move forward?
Who am I?
As gay men, the shame we experienced growing up has likely shaped the way we now view the world, each other and ourselves. Once we understand WHY we behave a certain way, we can use that knowledge as fuel to instigate positive change, becoming more powerful with the decisions we make, and the actions we take. We take an active role in shaping our own lives, and lead the way forward for others.
Questions that may come up for you.
What are my underlying beliefs?
How have they influenced me so far?
What are the coping skills I’ve utilised until this point?
How have they served me?
How is that working out for me right now?
What changes do I need to make?
The workshops are carefully designed around tried and tested powerful psychological and holistic techniques. The programme will vary slightly based on the team who facilitates. We play with different combinations of creative exercises, self-exploration tools and transformational techniques. These are interspersed with expansive teachings and coaching practices.
Developmental coaching and personal growth tools.
The coaching and self-analysis techniques that we use enable participants to go into deeper modes of personal enquiry and development. We tap into undiscovered truths, underlying beliefs and highlight pre-existing coping mechanisms. We then teach the necessary tools to safe-guard valuable resources, such as our creativity, intuition and personal resilience.
Group work and sharing.
No one is forced to share anything they don’t want to, or anything at all if they don’t feel comfortable. Sharing has a proven benefit to processing experiences and emotions. These breakout and group sessions are intended to allow participants to learn from each other.
We guide participants through these sessions, as a way to start slowly connecting the mind and body. It’s not a Barry’s Bootcamp workout, but more practices that incorporate elements of breathwork, body scanning and mindfulness.
Ahead of the retreat a recommended reading list will be provided along with a tool-kit and a short ‘pre-retreat worksheet’. This is not 'compulsory', but it may benefit your long term learning and development. At the end of day one, participants will be provided with further homework to help with process and reflection. Again, this isn't compulsory, but it has been designed to maximise your experience.
We personally design, organise and facilitate each of our retreats and workshops; partnering internationally with leading industry professionals in each sector. Throughout the duration of the retreat, you’ll work in close collaboration with each of the team members in respect of their given workshop. There will be a lead figure present throughout, whose role will alternate as facilitator and supervisor of each workshop. They will not be offering any counselling or diagnoses relating to psychological issues that attendees may be experiencing throughout the retreat. In the case of significant distress, additional or subsequent support will be sign-posted or referred as required. We will send more detailed information on the specific team closer to the retreat date.
We're not a rehabilitation or intervention centre. Nor are we providing one-on-one medical or psychological advice. We are certainly not providing a ‘cure’, and this isn't a therapy session. We are however offering a safe space to get curious, open up and discuss with others, aspects of your life you’re finding challenging. Naturally it is a completely confidential space, where individuals can openly share their feelings and thoughts with the option of anonymity.
Your safety comes first.
Your safety is our main priority. For this reason, we will need to ask participants for some personal medical information, before we can confirm your place on the workshop. These are standard questions, there to protect your safety and everyone else involved. This information will only be shared on a need to know basis and will be GDPR compliant. We will also be undertaking other necessary safety measures, during and post-retreat.
We would highly recommend individuals with concerns relating to pre-existing mental health conditions, substance misuse and related disorders to seek immediate professional help.
This retreat series has been designed by Create Space and partners.
Michael spent over 10 years working in senior creative leadership positions for some of the world’s most respected British brands within the fashion, travel and retail industries. After a series of life changing events, Michael diverted from this career path, becoming a mental health and LGBTQ+ advocate. Now the founder of Create Space, a retreat and workshop business, he promotes the importance and value of self-care, specifically within the creative and LGBTQ+ communities.
“As a gay man who has struggled with my sexuality and identity most of my life, I believe it’s so important that we now openly encourage each other to share and learn from past experiences to develop resilience in the face of our adversity.” Michael Stephens
For more information on Create Space, please visit out website.
Saturday 18th July
09:00 Mindful movement class
10:30 Guest speaker
11:00 Workshop and breakouts
13:00 Group share and closing
13:30 End of day one
Sunday 19th July
08:00 Recap with Q&A
08:30 Creative workshop
09:00 Breakouts and group share
11:30 Final group share
13:00 Integration and closing
13:30 End of day two
Ahead of the retreat, a recommended reading list will be provided.
At the end of day one, participants will be provided with a workbook, to help with process and reflection.