Autumn 2017


In This Issue:

Fourth Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation Conference

May 13th and 14th, 2018 in Malibu, California


Oaklander Model Used by an Arkansas Minister to counsel children in the Local Elementary School


The Oaklander Model Worldwide:  

 Poland, Prague, Portugal, and Lithuania


The Fourth Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation Conference

May 12st to May 13th, 2018 in Malibu California

I am thrilled to announce the fourth conference sponsored by the Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation (VSOF). This conference will bring the Foundation's Founding Members together for a reunion, as well as provide a forum to share ideas and expertise about Gestalt Therapy with Children & Adolescents. I am happily looking forward to an exciting weekend gathering of fine therapists,

excellent teachers, and good friends.

-- Dr. Violet Oaklander



The Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation’s first three Conferences took place in Malibu at the beautiful, hilltop, ocean-view Serra Retreat where our fourth Conference will take place in May 2018.  VSOF Conferences are held every two years,  have a capacity of 60 people, and have been full or nearly full in previous years (2012, 2014, and 2016).  You can register now at

Here is what Violet had to say about the Foundation’s first three conferences

“The Foundation conferences are very well organized and very special.  I am not able to attend all day, both days – I am now 90 years old – but I stay for as many of the presentations as I can and I am always very impressed— each presentation is different and presents various aspects of my work.

I am very pleased and very proud to see my work being carried on.  I love and appreciate how each person presents my work in their own way and their own style.  The Conferences makes me proud that VSOF bears my name.  

Everyone at the Foundation Conferences, including nearly all of the organizers and all the presenters, pay the full conference fee and donate their time. The funds raised are used to promote my work and for scholarships.”  

 Dr. Violet Oaklander


Registration for the conference begins at 8:15 AM on May 12th.  Presentations will be given from 9 AM till 5 PM on Saturday, with an hour break for lunch.  Following the presentations on Saturday, there will be a wine and cheese social hour and special entertainment.

Sunday’s presentations will run from 9 AM to 4:30 PM.  

Attendees may register to arrive Friday night and stay overnight at the retreat and enjoy breakfast before the conference begins on Saturday morning.

For more information, registration and conference speaker schedule, go to


Oaklander Model Used by an Arkansas Minister to counsel children in the Local Elementary School

Violet often gets emails from folks around the USA and around the world that are using her work. Below (with permission) is one she received recently:


Dear Dr. Violet,


I am a minister for the Church of Christ in Harrison, Arkansas.  I have read your life-changing book, Hidden Treasure, and am developing my own style of Gestalt Therapy in working with children.


Your book was personally very moving and interesting. Because of your inspiration, I have begun to use my own intuitive sense and my heart as the guiding forces of my counseling.  I have tried to read everything that I could find that you have written in order to learn and grow. I must admit that I have searched for many years to find a counseling style (orientation) that fit me. I found myself frustrated until reading Hidden Treasure. It was only then that I felt that I had found a counseling approach that made sense and fit well with my own personality. I love counseling children and I have now fully embraced Gestalt Therapy as my own approach. Currently I am reading and outlining Windows to Our Children.


I am using your insights in counseling children at a local elementary school. I have told friends about your books and have openly encouraged my friends and other therapists to read your books.


I am writing for no other reason than to thank you for your life-long work. I believe that the world is a better place because of the seeds of goodness that you have planted into it.


Stephen Powers

Harrison, Arkansas


The Oaklander Model Worldwide:  

 Poland, Prague, Portugal, and Lithuania

In addition to many workshops presented in the US, here are some of the trainings that were taught by Foundation members worldwide in the Spring, Summer and Autumn of 2017.  For information about future workshops, please go to


This year I (foundation member Jon Blend) taught two three-day workshops, Part 1 in May and Part 2 in September, at the Gestalt Therapy Szkolenia dla Profesjonalistów, in Rzeszow, Poland.  This lovely little institute is not quite a year old.  It was started by two experienced trainers formerly from the Krakow Gestalt School.  One of the institute’s founders has trained with VSOF founder Felicia Carroll, including training on shame).

I led the group in learning about and experiencing several aspects of the Oaklander Model using demonstrations, practical work and theory, including Violet’s ways of working with:

·         Drawings

·         Clay

·         Music

·         Creative writing and performing

There are as yet only four Gestalt books translated into Polish - and Windows alas is not available to them yet- I hope some parts can be translated.  In Poland there are residual problems with harsh chastisement of children and traditional models of 'doing to' young people rather than ' being with' them.  Therapist autonomy is in its infancy here and child therapy is still virtually unknown: instead doctors tend to prescribe what should happen - a hangover from former Soviet times.  I encouraged the trainees to really think about dialogic principles in the way we engage children and families and the importance of putting out fair, appropriate limits in  how we conduct our discourse and work together in non-shaming, non-bullying ways. This was a challenging notion for all used to simply observing families behaving badly in their presence.

The students and their institute leaders who were learning alongside them loved Violet’s more Buberian relational approach to this work ; many said that using expressive arts in this way opened their hearts and their minds. It was a great experience for me too - a bit of my heart is left in Rzeszow, too!    To contact Jon:

 Class of 2017 Part 1, with Jon (2nd from the left, bottom row)




Felicia Carroll is a Founding Member of the Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation.  In addition to her trainings in Solvang, California, she presented a series of workshops in Gestalt Approach to Child and Adolescent in Prague, Czech Republic.  For more information or to contact Felicia:



Giandomenico Bagatin of Italy has worked with and trained with VSOF founding members Lynn Stadler and Karen Fried for several years.  On May 12-14, 2017 Giandomenico presented a training in the Oaklander Model in Lisbon, Portugal at the APG Associão Portuguesa de Gestalt.  You can request more information on Gian’s future trainings from Lynn or Karen at or




Founding member Lynn Stadler gave a three-day introductory training on the Oaklander Model in Kaunas, Lithuania from  June 14 to 16, 2017.  To contact Lynn