18 September 2016

Conference Day 4 - Deep Talk

I've been hearing about it for years, but today I finally got a handle on what Deep Talk is. I knew it was something that Tuula Valkonen had developed based on Godly Play, and that she took it to corporations and businesses, but how- what- What?!? I didn't really understand.

Today I went to her conference workshop and experienced it for myself.

There is a cloth on the flloor covered in sand. Little wooden figures representing people have been placed in the sand, and a hand is reaching out to place yet another.

Jerome W. Berryman calls it "an adaptation of Godly Play ... to help work communities develop in creative ways". It's been adopted by the University of Sheffield chaplaincy as "a chance to explore with others by joining a wondering reflection, conversation and discussion... allow[ing] for quick, honest and deep reflection".
A piece of fabric covered with sand is on the flloor. Someone is holding their hands over the sand, close but not touching it. In one hand is a crystal or prism.It had elements in common with a team-building day my university department once participated in. And it had elements of Godly Play, of course.

Based on today's taster, I would say that it's primarily a way to facilitate group communication and encourage good group dynamics. It's designed to appeal to secular organisations, while retaining a subtle Christian element - not imposed but available to those who wish to take it up. If used in a church setting that could obviously be enhanced. In secular use Deep Talk might be a bridging activity, creating links between church and community, making the church feel more accessible and welcoming to those outside it, and showing that we can offer "practical" help beyond our own walls.

I bought Tuula's book today, and look forward to learning more.

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