Steve Vinay Gunther
I am by nature an optimist and a risk taker. I like to believe things will go well, and that people are basically well intentioned.
Sometimes this is true, and sometimes I competely miss the underbelly, whether of myself or other people.
I have discovered the value of examining my own Unvirtues, though it sometimes takes me a little time. Sutara is much faster on the draw in this respect.
My interest and study of psychotherapy spans 50 years. I have been in private practice for 40 years, working with individuals, couples and families. My training includes the following:
I have also trained in NLP, somatic psychotherapy and relational therapy.
My background also includes theatre and clowning, street theatre, community activism, meditation philosophy and practice. I have run several businesses, including a vegetarian cafe, a sign writing business, and a food coop.
I founded the Northern Rivers Gestalt Institute – a four year post graduate program that achieved registration with the education department. I was director of the program for 17 years, and responsible for all aspects of school including curriculum development, supervision, training and assessment.
I have developed a unique process called Career Decision Coaching™, which integrates a number of approaches in one focused session, and helps people find their ideal career path.
Lifeworks International Program
I regularly teach in the US, Mexico, China and Japan. One of my specialisations is in the area of psychotherapy and spirituality, and I was director of Spiritual Psychology at Ryokan College in Los Angeles. Currently I run a professional Gestalt program in China.
I am the author of a book for men called Understanding The Woman In Your Life – A Man's Guide to a Happy Relationship.
I enjoy my work, and find a great deal of satisfaction from helping people move through their challenges, towards self discovery and empowerment. I find teaching and training particularly rewarding, and I integrate theory and experiential approaches in my educational approach.
I have 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren. I am fascinated by systems theory and cybernetics, and am currently a doctoral student, working on a thesis about the interpersonal dimensions of power.
Why we do it
We created the Unvirtues project out of our mutal interest, both personal and professional.
We found that by acknowledging and owning our Unvirtues, a great deal of the defensiveness went out of our relationship. We could even sometimes laugh at our own foibles.
We found that focusing on good intentions is not enough. Being willing to recognise our own self interest meant that the other person felt more able to forgive.
So paradoxically, the more we own our unloving side, the more it becomes possible for love to flourish.
We found too much focus on the Unvirtues can be depressing. So we don't advocate it all the time.
We also found its important that when we listen to the other persons self revelation that we be respectful, and not act critically.
The result is a certain type of lightness, at the same time as bringing more depth to the relationship.
We encourage you to try it for yourself! All the better if you can get your partner interested. It seems that when you stop resisting your shadow in relationship, the shame that you may fear actually recedes.
We found that acknowledging our Unvirtues creates more space for the kind of virtues we do want to cultivate. We are more able to achive the best in us, by recognising the worst in us.