Penitence - Atonement Through Pain with delta®

This workshop highlights the story of misconduct, atonement and breaking rules and the remorse, penance and punishment that follows. Punishment especially has for all of us a painful aspect. Whether it is a punishment of the body or the soul, everything that hurts us can also teach us something when we consciously give into the pain. We all have experience with punishment whether in childhood or as an adult.

For some of us, it is mainly psychological through humiliation or the withdrawal of love, for others it is mainly bodily through all forms of beating and other painful sanctions. Every one of us deals differently with his or her experiences and many of us reproduce their experiences in different forms throughout their whole life. Some compensate by taking the parental role to correct and punish others while some choose to take the child’s role and feel quite well in enduring humiliation and punishment. This behavior is found also in "real life" in love games.

If there is no counterpart demanding penance, many develop instruments of self-punishment such as the withdrawal of food (bulimia, anorexia) to all kinds of psychosomatic disorders including religious-based self-flagellation (Opus Dei). Bringing to consciousness our unconscious mechanisms of punishment and symbolic acting out can have therapeutic effects in helping us deal with traumatic "guilt and atonement" experiences instead of torturing our bodies with diseases.

We will discuss our various personal experiences with breaking rules and punishment in this workshop, and reflect on possible somatic kinds of self-punishment and get to deal with them in the form of punishment scenarios (that are effectively painful) in a playful way.