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Couple finds self-compassion and acceptance through Integrate

Patty and Keith

Editor’s note: Patty and Keith Casebolt attended the Integrate seminar in 2017 and share their thoughts about what they experienced in the program and also what it’s like to do a seminar together as a couple.

What had you sign up for Integrate?

K. Because I loved CrossOver so much and I was intrigued at the possibility of deepening self-acceptance by looking at areas of my life that I had disowned.

P. My experience with CrossOver was profoundly impactful. I understood that Integrate was taking that experience to a deeper level, so I was intrigued.

What surprised you about your Integrate experience?

K. I was surprised by how supportive the follow-up experience was. Having regular follow up reminded me of the goals that I had chosen, and it was helpful to touch bases with other people who had attended Integrate.

P. I was surprised by the intensity of old stories that have been impacting my life in ways that I was not aware of. My work at Integrate helped me to see the value of acknowledging those experiences and understanding how to relate to myself in new ways.

How was it to participate in Integrate with your partner? Would you recommend attending as a couple to others?

K. Yes, I would recommend it. I find it incredibly helpful to share my experience with my partner and to better understand her challenges. I thought our acceptance of each other deepened and we were more able to be supportive of one another because we were both present during each other’s process. I don’t think it is absolutely necessary to attend together—some couples want to do their work independently. It is really an individual choice. However, I found it extremely useful.

P. Absolutely! I believe the shared experience has only deepened our intimacy and connection with one another. Seeing one’s partner share their most vulnerable side and being witness to that is incredibly humbling. Also, I feel that being supported by your partner while doing your own work is priceless. I think we both have a much stronger understanding of each other and can be so much more supportive now that we have shared this experience together.

Integrate has you look at your “shadow.” What was that like?

K. The work is challenging. I got to look closely at attitudes and tendencies that I don’t like, and it was freeing to bring those to light and to realize that everyone has similar issues.

P. Looking at my shadow has been helpful in understanding my internal wiring. I have a much better awareness of my shadow, why the shadow exists, and how to be in relationship with my shadow side. This has given me more choice in how I relate to myself and others.

What was your favorite part of Integrate?

K. The feedback groups as well as some of the closed-eye processes that were inwardly focused.

P. It is difficult for me to narrow down my favorite. However, if I were to choose, I would say the amount of giving and receiving honest feedback was greatly satisfying. I realize how much I value hearing feedback that I can reflect on. It is helpful to hear how others experience me and then combine that feedback with my own experience of myself. I continue to reflect on the
aha moments that I found during this seminar.

How has attending Integrate shifted your life? What has been the impact?

K. I am taking my commitments to myself more seriously. I am also taking myself more lightly and not being so hard on myself for not being perfect. I find I have more compassion for others when they are struggling to communicate. It is easier to consider what might be going on for them and to have compassion for them.

P. I have found a level of self-compassion and acceptance that I had not experienced previously. I’ve always had a very loud inner critic, and although I still struggle with “perfection,” I now have tools that allow me to quiet the inner voice and move away from self-judgment.

Anything else you want to share about Integrate?

P. Integrate is aptly named in my opinion. It has helped me take the experiences of CrossOver and integrate those experiences into my daily life. It has also helped me understand that I have many more choices about how I choose to show up and take accountability for my life.

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