Gemeinschaftsgefuhl: (literally) "community feeling" or "social interest," this term is used by Adlerian psychologists to describe the state of social connectedness and interest in the well being of others that characterizes psychological health.
A large word with an even bigger meaning… Gemeinschaftsgefuhl is more than just social connectedness; it is the underlying theme of everything we strive to achieve as sport psychology consultants. Let me explain…
We were first introduced to this idea of Gemeinschaftsgefuhl in graduate school at Adler University. This philosophy recognizes that the individual and the community are integral, and that both must be addressed in order to advance the health and well being of our society. Engaging in communities, empowering children, encouraging families, assisting schools, and practicing social responsibility are all ways that we can inspire healthy change. Sure, our profession as sport psychology consultants is geared towards providing mental skills conditioning, but we also have the philosophy of Gemeinschaftsgefuhl at the foundation of our practice. We can become better practitioners by learning, understanding, and experiencing a variety of communities, and embracing the differences that we encounter within each.
This past weekend, Saturday, September 19th, the Performance Pursuit was able to engage in a community event “Giving Back Through Play,” hosted by Redefined Fitness at Lovelace Park in Evanston. At this event, trainers, coaches, athletes, families, and even yours truly-sport psychology consultants-came together to provide a day of BBQ, relay races, and play for children from the Ark Shelter for Homeless and Family Focus. More than 150 people attended the event to enjoy the activities, and simply have fun with a sense of togetherness. It was an event that was inspiring; it was a reminder that in every community there is work to be done, in every community there will always be wounds to heal, but in every person (no matter what their background) there exists the power to create sustainable change. As Helen Keller so admirably stated, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”