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Advanced Training, Part 1: "Counseling With Nature"

The Advanced Training, Part 1: "Counseling With Nature" workshop took place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday April 9-11, 2001. From the e-mail announcement and registration form:

Advanced Training Session, Part 1  "Counseling With Nature"
Participants, led by Dr. Cohen, will have the opportunity to discover and share ways that the healing psychological tools of Project NatureConnect can be utilized in therapeutic relationships.  San Juan Island will be the 'teacher."  Bonus:  Kurt and Gaia Davies will also be sharing a counseling program they have developed based on Dr. Cohen's work. For everyone--not just professional counselors and psychologists!

The idea of acquiring psychologically therapeutic healing tools was what attracted me to this session. Before going up to the workshops, one of the things I was interested in were ways that I could convey the therapeutic utility of nature connecting activities to some of my collegues in community based mental health.

Below, as a warning to others of you in the PNC program, to not expect a captive audience of willing participants:
So, here we are following Kurt... Kurtland and Group
and then not following Kurt... Kurtland and Group
and still not following Kurt :-) Kurtland and Group


One of our assignments for this session was that Dr. Cohen asked us to write down our thoughts as to what the Natural Systems Thinking Process meant to us. Many webloves to Jane Anne for giving me a copy of RWN to help me get up to speed, and to Allison, Chuck, Marie, Heidi, and John for helping to drill it in to my head during the evenings we spent together at the backpackers hostel. Those of you who know the above quartet will understand why I had no choice but to succumb :-)

I'd like to share the list and thoughts I came up with:
  • Counseling with Nature - Getting more out of natural experience
  • Finding your attractions
  • Finding the way of right living and right livelihood
  • Becoming well and restoring balance, both personal and in relationships
  • Acceptance of the unity of all
  • Acceptance of my place within that unity
  • Finding ways to help others make their initial connection
  • Sharing webloves by helping others find and understand the webstrings

Reconnecting With Nature - as a way of healing the dysfunctional dualistic disconnection

Reconnecting With Nature - as a way of becoming more human

Reconnecting With Nature - as a way of stopping the destruction

Reconnecting With Nature - as a way of restoring sustainability

Reconnecting With Nature - to channel the energy forward instead of reliving past traumas

Reconnecting With Nature - and not wasting time apologizing for being bad (as a species) but not forgetting history's lessons and accepting our responsibility to move forward in a positive manner under the precautionary principle in helping guide our science and technology.

I was also struggling with issues of my own direction, and became aware of the power of taking one's questions into nature. Here is my guide, who I call my Direction Tree, and where I came up with the name for Attraction Retreat and the initial formulation of it's working outline. DirectionTree

Something that Marie contributed to my thinking (and Marie, please correct me if I've got this wrong) while on top of Mt. Young, was that Mother Nature is, and we need to also be, implaccable. This is in the sense that we should not be easily placated; that we need to do more than just give lip service and to exhibit active participation; and that we must be stubborn in holding to our own true course and not let ourselves be swayed away by wrangler stories.

Here are some pictures of the trail up to Mt. Young, which is on the west side of the island, with the trail head located in English Camp. No pictures in this set from the very top, as I got too involved in the activity once I got to the top to take pictures.

Mt. Young Trail Mt. Young Trail
Mt. Young Trail

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