Evolutionary Perspectives on Attention and Self-Awareness

Legend of the Nile  - Paul Klee, 1937

John D. Wymore LPCC & Dr. Paul J. Watson
An Overnight Campout Workshop

April 24-25, 1998

Time: 5:30 pm April 24 until 6:00 pm April 25th.
Location: The home of John Wymore, Placitas, New Mexico
Enrollment: Maximum of 15 participants.
CEU's available: Nine hours.
Fee: $150.00 individual; $265.00 couple - $50 deposit per person required to register.
Please RSVP to John Wymore or Paul Watson no later than April 20th.
A packet of introductory materials will be sent.

Our whole life is the product of our attention - what we pay attention to and how deeply into our awareness the impressions we take in via attention penetrate. The purpose of this workshop is to study the nature of attention and awareness. Our work will entail extended, guided self-observation, followed by interactive open discussion our findings. Workshop activities involving practical interpersonal interactions and experience in the natural environment will be arranged that help support profitable observation (more information will be delivered upon registration).

The workshop leaders will offer interpretations arising from a critical cross-referencing of their experience and understanding of the teachings of certain contemplative traditions and Gestalt psychology with emerging insights from evolutionary psychology. We shall concentrate on explorations of the implications of our findings and interpretations for personal growth and personal growth counseling. The also implications touch importantly on diverse personal and interpersonal domains including male-female relationships, parent child conflict, friendship, cooperations, altruism, morality. Discussion of such topics will be guided by participant interest. Our observations also will provide a basis for introducing a novel model of intrapsychic organization that may be useful across diverse approaches to mental health care.

This workshop begins at 5:30 on Friday evening and will end between 5 and 6 on Saturday. Participants must bring camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, etc) or camping vehicles for Friday night accomodations. Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast and Saturday lunch will be provided. Upon registration, participants will be given directions to the workshop venue and detailed instructions on what to do after arrival.

We have designed this workshop to be as experiential, as empirical, as possible. However, there is considerable didactic material to present. Introductory materials will be sent upon registration. "The Moral Animal", by Robert Wright is also highly recommended reading for those wishing an introduction to many of the relevant concepts from evolutionary psychology.

Send your registration information and $50.00 refundable deposit to:

Gestalt Center of New Mexico
241 Camino de San Francisco
Placitas, New Mexico 87043

Phone: 505-867-1370


A bit about the workshop leaders

John Wymore:

  • has a BA in Anthropology from California State University - Northridge and an MA in Counseling from Webster University;
  • has trained in psychotherapy at Gestalt Institute of New England and consultation skills at National Training Laboratories (NTL);
  • is certified by American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT);
  • was an organization consultant to Digital Equipment Corporation for 10 years where he led 5-day residential workshops, designed and facilitated large change and transition projects, and taught counseling skills to managers and supervisors;
  • led groups at McLean Hospital, Belmont Massachusetts (Harvard Medical School) and Heights Psychiatric Hospital, Albuquerque;
  • is director of the Gestalt Center of New Mexico;.
  • is in private practice in Albuquerque.

Paul Watson:

  • is a practicing behavioral ecologist and evolutionary biologist, with a BA in Zoology from the University of Montana and a PhD in Behavioral Biology from Cornell University;
  • has done postdoctoral work with key empiricists and theoreticians in behavioral ecology and evolutionary psychology at the University of New Mexico and the University of Oxford;
  • is a member of the research faculty at the University of New Mexico where he does research on animal and human behavior;
  • has graduate and undergraduate mentoring duties in behavioral biology at the University of New Mexico and the University of Montana's Flathead Lake Biological Station;
  • has a long interest in cross-referencing the psychologies of Buddhist, Sufi and gnostic Christian traditions with evolutionary psychology, in part, to help formulate more effective and growth oriented methods of psychotherapy;
  • is currently working on professional papers and trade books about unipolar depression, the therapeutic alliance and evolutionary appraisals of psychotherapeutic methodologies.
Go to John Wymore's Gestalt Center of New Mexico Home Page
Go to Paul Watson's Home Page

Keep an eye on this home page for updated workshop dates and information!

This page last updated 29 March 1998