Edge of the Wild   The Annual UK Ecopsychology Gathering

2012 Programme

SPEAKERS:

Isis Brook: Feeling and Thinking with Nature and Landscape.

Isis Brook is a philosopher based at Writtle College in Essex. She has a background in Goethean observation and researches the human being’s relationship to nature and to the world through experiential work with nature. She has published on ‘sense of place’, environmental phenomenology, wildness, aesthetics, and gardens. Isis is managing editor of the journal ‘Environmental Values’.

Chris Drury: Embodied thinking and Experience

Chris Drury is a Land Artist. You can see and read about his work at www.chrisdrury.co.uk
"My work seeks to make connections between different phenomena in the world, specifically between:
Nature and Culture, Inner and Outer and Microcosm and Macrocosm. All of my works, over the past 25 years have been concerned with these connections. This is what unites the whole body of work. I do not have a particular style, nor do I prefer one material or process over another, rather I will seek the most appropriate means and material to find, and make explicit, those connections”.

WORKSHOPS:

James Barrett and Judith Anderson
'Dreaming the Work Onwards: Jung, Nature and Energy
'

Through working clinically with the methods of Energy Psychology we have come to a greater experience of potential meaning inherent in matter and nature. Linking the deep processes of Jungian Psychotherapy to the body's energy systems has strengthened our understanding of meaning and spirituality; matters central to the ecopsychology project.

In this workshop we will briefly describe our clinical work and map the field before offering some teaching and experience of an energy method adapted from kinesiology which enables listening to energy. How each of us conceptualise what it is we listen to will be explored in the workshop. We will then use energy methods to address material the group brings, including, if relevant, ways in which our creativity can be daunted or closed down by, for example, a responsibility for the pain of other species, or fear of our own species' suicide.

The methods specifically address resistances to health and spiritual trauma, and embrace a grounded robust and ethical intention to heal - sanatology not pathology. Part of the experience of espousing new methods is the fear of being seen as foolish, naïve, child-like. We are either foolish, or onto something very valuable, or both!

Judith Anderson is a Jungian Psychotherapist with a background in psychiatry. She is on the steering group of PCSR and the newly formed Climate Psychology Alliance. She has worked with others to create an Environmental, Sustainability and Climate Change Policy for UKCP. She works in Leamington Spa with individuals and couples.

James Barrett practises, supervises, and teaches Jungian psychotherapy and has done so for over 25 years. He co-founded the training in Jungian Analytical Psychotherapy at the West Midlands Institute for Psychotherapy in 1991. He has chaired the WMIP, the Confederation for Analytical Psychology, and the Training Standards and Membership Committee of the Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis at the UKCP. He is now on no committees at all and in a wave of new learning about energy psychology and an assertively positive form of couples therapy. http://leamingtonspapsychotherapy.co.uk/
www.energypsychotherapyworks.co.uk



Rhonda Brandrick and Michael Connors
'Trembling at our Edges: Nature and Soul'

The aim of this workshop is to bring people into a deep contact with themselves in nature and to through this offer healing, wholeness and ensouling. We will look at nature-based practices that bring us into contact with our depths. In this place we meet the fragmented and whole parts of our personal and collective psyche. It is possible that through this meeting we may find new relationship with ourselves and other than human life, with the earth and the universal elemental forces that forge us.

Finding out who we really are, what our deepest purpose is, with immersion in nature is an ancient rite that has been with humanity for as long as we know. Describing this as soul work is a way of acknowledging that in all of us is something transpersonal, mysterious, ineffable and yet alluring that is always calling us into being. We will use various nature based practices that will offer a gateway into the deeper story of earth and the dreaming of the cosmos.

For this workshop our influences and teachers include Bill Plotkin, Geneen Haugen of Animas Valley Institute the works and teachings of Brian Swimme, Mary Tucker and Thomas Berry. We will draw at times on parts of the wonderful poetry of Mary Oliver and other great nature-based poets and writers.
 
Michael Connors, BSc, PGCE, Mountain Leader UK, Adv Dip Couns and Psych, Dip Supervision: Michael has worked with people for the past 20 years as a teacher, trainer, psychotherapist, supervisor, manager, mountain leader and wilderness guide. He is passionate about the vision of Human Nature and is determined that this vision manifests over the coming years. As a poet and musician he delves deeply into the mytho poetic realm in nature, where he finds a great source of wisdom and beauty that guides him.

Rhonda Brandrick , Dip couns. Trainer, Supervisor and outdoors expedition leader. Rhonda has worked for 20 years supporting people in their process of individuation, healing and ensouling. She has been drawn to working with people in the natural world and has participated in the running of groups and individual sessions. She is passionate and inspired to be with others in nature and trusts both human and the natural world in its extraordinary ability to bring out the very uniqueness of each the other. For her there is nothing more uplifting than watching someone deepen into their very interconnectedness. As co director of Human Nature she is committed to offering and developing services to reach as many as possible



Zita Cox
Environmental Constellations


Environmental Constellations provide an opportunity for human beings to meet each other and the other than human world and engage in meaningful enquiry and see our place within the Eco-system. Constellations facilitate “joined up thinking by mapping the eco-system in front of our eyes. They open up creative and imaginative possibilities, accessing our unconscious, intuitive and embodied knowledge. They are an aid to empathy and provide a fascinating technique for slipping post the self imposed limits of ‘logical’ thinking” “– Cormac Cullinan Author of Wild Law.

Environmental Constellations are an ecopsychology approach to personal development, a method through which we can understand ourselves by understanding our relationship to the natural wild world and to our own particular environment - a deepening and embodied connection contributing to what Thomas Berry described as 'the Great Turning'. Environmental Constellations can assist us in practical ways by experiencing the world from a different perspective, and gaining unexpected insights, they are an aid to empathic understanding which can assist us in strategic thinking for campaigns or legal action to protect our environment:

“They provide a different kind of field trip where the subject can speak to you. It’s an aid to empathy and provides situational awareness.”

Alan Raynor – Reader Bath University

This will be an experiential workshop using the concerns, questions and issues of the participants as its focus. This workshop will be of interest to all who wish to experientially and empathically deepen their relationship to the other than human world.

Zita Cox MBACP: MSc. BA hons; Dip Counseling; Dip.H Eco-Psychologist and Psychotherapist Zita Cox is an experienced international facilitator of Environmental Constellations for individuals and organisations. Two years’ intensive training in Systemic Constellations with Dr Albrecht Mahr in 1999 led to Zita extending and pioneering the application of the constellation technique to issues relating to the environment. She has worked extensively with individuals and groups for 24 years. Zita has written an article on Environmental Constellations, ‘A Different Kind of Field Trip’, published in ‘The Knowing Field’ January 2007. She did a research paper into Bystanding and Intervention published in ‘Balancing Act’, editor Hazel Johns.



Jillian Hovey and Peter Cow
Wholistic Permaculture: Stepping Into the “Wild” of the Whole Self and Regenerative Culture


Since its initial articulation in the 1970s, permaculture has been a catalyst for sustainable approaches to permanent agriculture and permanent culture. Though permaculture has an inter-related ethical foundation of “Earth Care”, “People Care”, and “Fair Share”, the emphasis has been on “Earth Care”, which is traditionally taught from the rational, scientific frame. Though this focus has supported good work around the globe, there is a resistance to bringing the whole self to permaculture education and practices – a shrinking back from the “wild" of the personal and interpersonal. There has been a growing movement of people in the permaculture community who have embraced more wholistic awarenesses and approaches in their pursuits. These initiatives have deepened the teaching and learning frame, but are at odds with some in the community who are asserting that permaculture should be restricted to curriculum and methods which are currently proven by science.

There is tremendous potential for continuing to wholistically develop and apply permaculture principles, which are derived from nature, and can serve to guide us in our quest for regenerative culture. At this moment, there is a rich and critical opportunity to explore how we can grow and inform teaching, learning, and practicing permaculture from the body of knowledge and practices being stewarded in the ecopsychology community.

 A deep and creative frame will be generated by the facilitators for the participants to gain a better understanding of:

  • the history and practice of permaculture
  • the blockages to permaculture being taught and practiced wholistically
  • the opportunities for emotional, somatic, and spiritual engagement with permaculture
  • how a more wholistic permaculture can support us all on our individual and collective paths in ecopsychology, and towards regenerative culture

No prior knowledge of permaculture is required, and the workshop content is relevant to a wide range of ecopsychology practices. We would appreciate participants' input on this important point of development in permaculture.

Jillian Hovey is a permaculture teacher and a facilitator of integrated design and deep personal and community processes. Based in Canada, she works internationally supporting individuals and groups in applying the whole systems design principles to a wide range of regenerative projects. Jillian has developed a practice which holds that relationship with self and ‘other’ is critically important to the work we do in the green movement. Jillian has a warm, present, and inclusive facilitation style, which, coupled with the wealth of her experience and her passion and commitment to sustainable living, helps to create a rich and supportive learning environment
 
www.jillianhovey.com


Peter Cow is a permaculture teacher, designer and musician. He helped to set up the Steward Community Woodland eco community in Devon, where he lived, designed and played for 7 years. He now travels between the UK and Europe, teaching, facilitating and learning. Peter is inspired by the many strands of the co-creation of permanent, regenerative culture: land practices, wholistic observation, communication, healing, personal growth, celebration, mentorship, nature connection, and at its core, learning more and more insightfully and deeply from the patterns of the human and the more than human world.



Chris Robertson
Dangerous Margins


Wild coming/going; old stories; emptying space 2 meet.

Scary edges; wilde or tim'rous beastie; losing wild places = tamed thought;

labile to deconstruct; unknowing; liminal dreams; unthought thoughts.

What edge? Edge of what? Are you crazy yet?

Chris Robertson has been a psychotherapist and a trainer since 1978 working in several European countries. He is a co-founder and training director of Re•Vision ( www.re-vision.org.uk), where he offers an eight month ecopsychology course (now in its second year) and is the author of 'Dangerous Margins' in Vital Signs (edited by Mary-Jayne Rust and  Nick Totton, published by Karnac).



Pam Gaunt and Lorraine Sherman
Green Awareness and Mindful Presence in Action: a New Dimension in Peer Supervision and Support


This workshop is designed to explore supervision from an ecopsychology perspective. It will be interactive and based on a form of peer supervision that we have evolved, taking into account celebrating seasons and activities to connect to the inner and outer environment, including mindful eating and awareness whilst focusing on our clients' well being. Together we have been practising a new form of peer support as therapists and we would like to share this at the conference.

Pamela Gaunt trained in transpersonal and integrative psychotherapy over 20 years ago at CCPE in London. She has worked in the NHS for people with AIDS, in private practice in London and West Wales and has run many trainings and groups on themes of self harm, depression, eating disorders, anxiety and anger management. She has also trained as a mediator and established a neighbourhood mediation service. She trained in ecopsychology at Glasgow University. She is also a storyteller, Artistic Director of Heart of the Dragon and Goddess priestess.

Lorraine Sherman is a BACP senior accred Humanistic Therapist, supervisor and trainer. She has an MA in consultative supervision and is a teacher of counselling on BACP accredited course at Coleg Sir Gar in Wales. She has been a Mindfulness Practitioner and teacher for over 20 years.



Roger Duncan
Reading Nature’s Open Secret: Opening the Threshold to the Lost Language of Nature and the Soul


This workshop ventures beyond the borders of our cultural story and will explore the limitations of the language of Darwinian evolution, as a root of the current ecological and spiritual crisis. Learning to read the ‘imaginal’ language of Soul and nature and opens the possibility of experiencing a new relationship with the natural world and a personal experience of the sacred. This ancient art and science has patterned nature-based initiation processes for centuries, and could form the basis of cultural and person renewal in times of uncontrollable change. I aim to explore:

  •   the idea of Darwinian evolution as an avoidant attachment narrative
  •   the lost language of the imaginal world (Bateson)
  •   observation of the reoccurring archetypal patterns found in all animal bones, and what this tells us about the relationship between animals and humans (Goethe)
  •   Explore implications of this experience for education, therapy and cultural renewal

My work has been an exploration of our relationship with nature for over 45 years and I will draw on the practise and experience of the working with the imaginal world with reference to the work of R. Steiner, G. Bateson W. Goethe, J. Rumi and H. Corbin, Foster and Little and Plotkin. The workshop will include the following topics: an introductory talk to open the main ideas; stepping beyond the borders, an observation of a wide range of animal bones; what do we really see? And finally, personal reflective work and discussion; where does this take us?

It is appropriate for: Biologists, Ecologists, Therapists, Ecopsychologists, Teachers, Youth workers, and Wilderness/ outdoor guides.

Roger Duncan
is a biologist, Waldorf educator and Vision Fast guide, trained with The School of Lost Borders, and a Systemic Family Psychotherapist. Roger was one of the pioneer tutors of the Ruskin Mill Education Trust working for 10 years as the woodland manager and setting up the wilderness experience and transition program. Roger has led vision quest for adults and youth groups in the Devon, Scotland, Spain and the Sinai desert. He has been exploring patterns in nature for 45 years. He is Deputy Principal and Head of Education and Therapy at Ruskin Mill College.
 
roger.duncan@rmc.rmt.org




Caroline Frizell
Wild Awakening: on the Edge of the Dance


This workshop will offer a safe and gentle exploration of the wild dance within, exploring ways to listen, attune and shape to the embodied expression of our connection with the Earth. We will first become present to the physical, sensory and spiritual energies within us as earthly creatures. We will turn down the volume on the rationalising intellect, shift into our right-brain intelligence and allow an embodied improvisation to take us to the edge of our individual and collective dance. There will be time at the end to shift back into the thinking mind, in an attempt to make sense of the embodied experience and to deepen and widen our understanding of our relationship with the wild self.

The workshop is suitable for practitioners interested in deepening their awareness of embodied expression through spontaneous dance. No previous experience of movement work is necessary.

Caroline Frizell is a Senior Registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist. An initial training in dance in the 1970s led Caroline to explore the body as a catalyst for the expression of individual and social concerns. She has worked in North London for three decades, extensively with people who are hard to reach in the community. She has recently launched ‘moving difference’
 
http://www.movingdifference.co.uk/
in South Devon, involving community work and a small private practice.

Caroline is currently Programme Convenor for the Dance Movement Psychotherapy MA at Goldsmiths, and Movement Tutor for the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy MA. 
caroline@movingdifference.co.uk



Kelvin Hall
From Affinity to Shapeshift: Ways Humans Converse with the Earth


Comparing many accounts of human partnership with other-than-human life (e.g. animals, plants, rocks, elements) some common patterns emerge, forming different shades in a spectrum of intimacy. Describing and exploring these differing modes enables participants to develop such partnership more fully. The workshop aims to increase awareness of these different kinds of experience, and thus enable participants to develop partnership with other life more fully.

I will offer a series of narratives of such experiences (some published, some not) then facilitate a set of exercises which stimulate participants to recall and share their own experiences. We may interact with the surroundings (or possibly invite participation of a horse) to enter the spectrum in present time.

Kelvin Hall has been an integrative psychotherapist for 25 years; also a professional storyteller. A keen rider, his pursuit of the true art of horsemanship led him to investigate inter-species communication and the human bond with nature, on which he recently completed a piece of academic research, and now includes equine-assisted therapy in his practice. He is a contributor to many publications on story, therapy and nature, including 'Vital Signs: Psychological Responses to Ecological Crisis'. He is married with three children and two grandchildren. kelvinghall@yahoo.com



Kamalamani
Embodying the Shambhala Warrior/ess: Exploring how Post-Reichian Character Positions can Help Sustain our Ecopsychology Work


How do we sustain our work as ecopsychologists and human beings of all shapes and sizes? How do we walk the tight-rope between working at the edges of our experience (in an increasingly 'edgy' world) remaining resilient and yet open-hearted and connected?

The myth of the shambhala warrior invites us to face the unfaceable in the world, 'armed' with wisdom and compassion in meeting our own vulnerability and the challenges of skilful living. In this workshop we are invited to embody this myth, calling forth our wisdom and compassion through exploring character positions. Character reflects our body in the world and the world in our body. Character highlights our approaches to being a body, relating to ourselves, others and our environment and, in turn, shows how we have been conditioned by our experiences.

Through reflection, pair work and the group circle we will see where and how we are in the light of character positions. We will have the chance to experience how character life themes can channel our creativity and foster connection in embodying this myth; sustaining us in our ecopsychology work.

NB. This workshop is open to all who are interested, not just those who see themselves as ecopsychologists.

Kamalamani has been a practising Buddhist since her early 20s. She works at the interface of body psychotherapy, ecopsychology and ecodharma, drawing upon previous experiences as a development worker in Africa, a lecturer in International Development at the University of Bristol and a child lost (and found) in nature. Her first book 'Meditating with Character', explores engaging with meditation and reflection through exploring post-Reichian character positions. She is a steering group member of PCSR and editor of its in-house journal, 'Transformations'. She co-facilitates Wild Therapy. www.kamalamani.co.uk



Lisbet Michelsen
Deepening Connections – based on The Work That Reconnects


The approach is rooted in deep ecology and draws on aspects of Buddhism and other spiritual traditions including indigenous cultures and systems theory. It has been developed by author and activist Joanna Macy. In this experiential taster session we will explore an aspect of the deep ecology perspective that deepens our sense of connectedness with life. The aim is to enliven and empower our response to the global crisis, to move into a place of hope, passion & active engagement.

This approach started in the USA during the 1970s by bringing together anti-nuclear/ environmental activists alongside psychologists, artists and spiritual practitioners as well as the peace movement. The approach started being referred to as Deep Ecology work in the mid 1980s and during this time it expanded to Europe, Australia, South Asia, Japan & the Soviet Union. Now in her early 80s, Joanna Macy continues to teach and inspire as well as write. Her latest book ‘Active Hope’ co-authored with UK based Chris Johnstone was published this spring.

In this session we will explore the spiral of the Work That Reconnects. The majority of the session will be a structured process actively experiencing aspects of the stages of the spiral. This workshop is open to newcomers as well as those with some experience.

Lisbet Michelsen. I have been working with groups in a variety of ways since the mid 1980s. My work draws on a range of disciplines including Positive Psychology, Hypnotherapy and Deep Ecology. I am passionate about The Work that Reconnects, I initiated a local practice group and have been co-facilitating the workshops for a number of years. I have trained with Joanna Macy and recently completed the year-long training in "The Work that Reconnects, Inner Transition & Similar Deep Processes" with Chris Johnstone & Jenny McKewn.



Nick Totton
Facing the Trauma of Ecological Crisis

One task for ecopsychology is to understand what blocks us from facing climate change and general environmental collapse: the various ways in which we become overwhelmed by the scale and complexity of the situation, and by terror about what the future will bring. Something that helps with the overwhelm is to share our feelings together; and this workshop will offer a very simple structure to do so. Unlike much of the weekend, this probably won't be fun; but it may be valuable.
 
Nick Totton is a therapist and trainer with 30 years experience. Originally a Reichian body therapist, his approach has become broad-based and open to the spontaneous and unexpected. He has an MA in Psychoanalytic Studies, and have worked with Process Oriented Psychology and trained as a craniosacral therapist. He now practises and teaches Embodied-Relational Therapy and Wild Therapy. He has written or edited 14 books, including Body Psychotherapy: An Introduction; Psychotherapy and Politics; Press When Illuminated: New and Selected Poems; and most recently, Wild Therapy. He is currently chair of PCSR.
www.erthworks.co.uk.
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