Back to Belonging: Eco Approaches with Jesse Newcomb, MA (pronouns: they/them)
There is increasing research on the benefits of incorporating nature-based approaches into mental health. This can be done in myriad ways both in and out of the counseling office. This session, through a hybrid of presentation and experiential workshop and group sharing, will focus on incorporating nature as co-therapist and kin rather than only material, metaphor, or backdrop, particularly for people who have experienced trauma and/or marginalization. According to many trauma theorists, wounds made relationally must be healed relationally. Through research, therapeutic work, community conversations, and my own experiences a queer and nonbinary transgender person, I have learned that connection with the more-than-human world, and coming back into a sense of belonging in the larger web of life, can be a part of this relational healing. In this way, we move toward dispelling what indigenous scholar and activist Sherri Mitchell calls “the myth of separation.”
Expressive arts therapy draws on many practices that are relational, embodied, and nonverbal, based on the belief that words cannot reach all places and that creative arts offer gateways for people to better access, understand, and be in relationship with themselves, their experiences, and others. Given that much of nature does not communicate verbally, expressive arts therapy can help people hone and deepen their connections with the more-than-human world. It fosters a felt sense of the self as part of something larger, part of a greater web of support and belonging, even when one is ostracized or has struggled with human bonds as a result of personal or social trauma. Part lecture and discussion, part experiential, this session will explore how ecophilosphy can can be meaningfully paired with expressive arts therapy to transform lives.
All are welcome, whether you are interested in these practices for your clients, your community, or yourself.
Saturday, March 28, 2020
4:30 – 6PM (90 minutes)