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Personal Reflection of Foundation Year

Personal Reflection of Foundation Year

Vicki McLellan has just completed her Foundation Year in Transactional Analysis.  Here Vicki shares her thoughts and feelings about the year, as she looks forward to continuing into Advanced Year 1 in the Autumn

My Foundation Year at Physis Scotland opened with anticipation, nerves and excitement as I walked into the Purple Room at Drumsheugh Gardens for the first time.  I was met by a few others seemingly bubbling with similar feelings and emotions as well as the welcoming faces of Fi and Fifi.

Before applying to study with Physis Scotland, I desperately tried to find an ‘easy option’ training institute close to home but interesting tales are never easy and for me, the Taster Session was my hook.  Working out the logistics of family and work life felt like a challenge worth tackling in order to make it possible.  So, however daunting entering a new, unfamiliar environment was, I held on to my conviction that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

As with any story, our newly formed group had a real mix of characters all bringing their own window to the world, their own experiences, wisdom, knowledge and personalities.  This combination could have explosive potential.  However, careful contracting, skilful holding of the group by Fi and Fifi and our collective motivations meant that we formed trusting bonds with magical qualities…and a few colourful fireworks!

The learning for the year was carefully planned, but far from scripted with each weekend structured to allow for new theory, group process and skills practice.  We were invited to be curious, to challenge the theory and to discuss our own experiences and understanding in relation to the concepts.

Sunday morning group process was a strange mix of discomfort and enjoyment for me as I was stretched far out of my own comfort zone.  On many occasions, I struggled to find my voice amongst others who I perceived to be more confident.  I struggled with my own sense of belonging and it took me a while to take risks in order to progress from pass-timing through to a level of intimacy where I allowed myself to really be seen.

On Sunday afternoons, skills practice felt like an intensive learning opportunity.  It was during these sessions that I was most able to calm the little girl inside me and absorb all the knowledge, skills and advice offered by my peers and trainers.  I loved being in the position of the ’listener’ and I am proud of how I have implemented feedback to improve my practice along the way.

The pace of the year was fast with my essay preparations beginning in November. As with anything worth doing well, essay writing was a challenge.  However, I really enjoyed applying my own life experience to the theory and support from both Fifi and Mary O’Neill allowed me to approach them with curiosity and enthusiasm.

A particular highlight was the All Together Day when we had the opportunity to dig deep into the theme of intersectionality with Victoria Baskerville.  It was an intense, stretching and enlightening day which has piqued my interest to learn more about my own intersectionality as well as being more mindful about how others see the world through their own lens.

The end of the year was punctuated by a weekend of presentations.  It was a beautiful chance for our group to offer each member the support, holding and sense of belonging that we had been working towards all year.  It was a privilege to learn from each individual and I was happy to step into my own story when it was my turn to share.  Historically, endings have been difficult for me, and the end of Foundation Year was a positive experience that I will hold onto tightly.

Going into Advanced Year 1, I am looking forward to our new group forming.  I know there are some mountains ahead with placement as well as new essays to tackle.  However, I am consciously choosing to enjoy the process and climb one peak at a time.


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