A PLACE TO FEEL SAFE, SECURE, AND TRUSTED, knowing confidentiality is a must. 

Gossip.  Everyone loves it.  When you hear some juicy tidbit, regardless of what it is, one of the strongest desires you have is to share it with someone else, often simply to be registered as the bearer of those news in someone’s mind.  In schools today, gossip is everywhere: in classrooms, in the halls, online and throughout social media and across all manner of screens.  In the working world, it is certainly everywhere as well, whether at the drinking fountain, the cafeteria, the next cubicle or online.  It is a living, breathing organism.  And yet, if you stop and think about it, it is also a gigantic barrier to human communication and closeness.  Out of fear that something personal you wish to keep private will get out, you keep things to yourself instead of sharing with a friend.  Instead of openly trusting people, you play games and calculate who to talk to and when.  Because the environment is such where trust and confidentiality are far from guaranteed, so much is based on artificiality and imagined perceptions rather than the truth.  As much fun as gossip can be, in the end, it too creates a stressful and emotionally difficult environment.  But one of the prerequisites of the workshop is a pledge of confidentiality to keep what is said and heard at the workshop private and treasured.  Participants learn to trust one another and cultivate the value of privacy, which allows them to explore, connect, and reflect in ways not normally possible in a different environment.  This immediately creates an atmosphere where a lot of personal growth, development and discovery can take place.