WHAT DOES REWILDING HAVE TO DO WITH TRAUMA THERAPY AND MINDFULNESS?
Everything. If we broaden Rewilding to include Rewilding of us humans. Which I think is absolutely necessary. In the bigger schemes of things – we cannot reverse the development of mass extinction and work towards diversity if we do not include working with the human psyche and mentality.
This is why we in MiMer work with our courses we call Rewild Your Heart. True and successful Rewilding depends on human awareness – of ourselves, how we function, what drives us, what our belief systems are and so on. We of course need species specific knowledge and knowledge about species environments and contexts, but without the puzzle piece that is us – humans – we will not succeed sustainably. I have looked at different Rewilding efforts of animals and nature, and their success rate all come down to how integrated the awareness of the huma component is.
So that is the start. The human, too, of course, is an animal. And since we have spread all over the globe, we impact everything. All environments are our environments. And everything that lives there needs to be able to co-exist with us. And we are the ones that need to make that happen. As we are the invasive species, and we tend to put our needs above all other species’ needs.
There is nothing wrong with humans. I love humans – but we are currently not taking responsibility for what we cause. On a bigger systemic level. Rewilding can play an important part here. And the human component needs to be included.
So – next part. Humans tend to come with either a lot of stress or trauma. Or both. They are related (and in some sense the same). It is partly our own fault. We have for a long time built our societies on power imbalances, competition, status, and greed – and a huge disregard for diversity.
To me there is no difference in looking at stress and trauma on an individual level (we are all a system, an ecology) – or in smaller groups, bigger groups, societies, globally. The same mechanisms are at play on all the levels.
There are a lot of reports (including science) on how people with stress and trauma are helped by spending more time in nature and together with animals. The development of the animal assisted therapy field has gone fast (and still contain a lot of “childhood maladies).
In any nature or animal assisted therapy – the client and their journey through their therapy is at its core and center. It does not mean we cannot learn about the bigger picture through accompanying people on these kinds of journeys.
When I develop educations and trainings, I use my knowledge and work experience together with my own lived experience from stress and trauma and how I have worked with myself to understand these bigger pictures. What I see again and again, is that the human self-awareness is lacking. And self-awareness is a tough challenge for many people. It asks of you to truly look at yourself and deal with what you see, and not only that, but to integrate it and make use of it.
When I was at a very vulnerable point in my own trauma therapy – what helped me through was my ever-growing connection with nature and other non-human beings. For me – this has always been present in my life – nature and non-human animals. But the connection with humans that I longed for but was so elusive to me (mostly due to my own fears and sense of worthlessness), I could find via working with myself in nature and with non-human animals. I found this connection there. Or it found me. Hard to tell the difference. Without it I would have been lost. It became my “support system”. And it turned out to be the bridge I needed to connect with humanity as well. It gave me a sense of belonging, trust, hope, respect, compassion…
Through this process – I gained a lot of insights. One is that it is not enough to teach people about other species or nature at large – because without the component that is us – we cannot truly understand what it is we are looking at (the other and its environment and context). Because we see through ourselves. So, one important part of all the trainings I give is to look at your own human lenses. And we ask the question – who are you – as the observer (firstly), then the doer – in whatever capacity you work with nature and non-human animals, as a provider of nature or animal assisted interventions? As a researcher? In any other capacity working with human development? With animals or nature?
It is the same for all of you. Self-awareness is a fundament. And then knowing how to work with that self-awareness to support others.
Another insight is how very efficient it is to work with nature and non-human animals to support people with stress and/or trauma.
When Ilka Parent and I – and our respective teams in Minds-n-Motion and Mimer Centre have spent hours and hours on end conjoining our trainings – to give you both our perspectives on how we can work with equine assisted interventions to support people with stress, trauma and ND (which is one group that for many reasons suffer from both) – we have looked at all the puzzle pieces.
Included in these trainings are Ilka’s deep knowledge as a trauma therapist and experience of working with all kinds of trauma, but espcially with people with more severe trauma in equine assisted trauma therapy (including equine assisted EMDR) and my own knowledge and experience of working with all sorts of animal assisted interventions, espcially with equines, nature assisted interventions, trauma sensitive mindfulness, expressive arts, movement and rewilding concepts + both our long experience of being educators and trainers, developing educational materials and guiding students through learning – I must say I am very proud of our training in pEATT/EATIC!
We are still fine tuning it. It is important for us both to deliver something of a very high quality, and I want to emphasize, espcially in content.
To me – rewilding has everything to do with human stress and trauma, and its solution – human self- awareness, on an individual level and on all the different group levels. And rewilding is part of what you can learn about in our training. You can become a rewilding facilitator – and learn about how to incorporate animals (our main focus is on horses) – and how to work with stress and trauma. In a trauma informed, trauma sensitive and trauma focused way.
Ilka developed the basis for both how Minds-n-Motion and MiMer Centre work – the fundaments of the pEATT model™. A stepwise model to secure the trauma sensitive work in all that you do. I have developed the TS-EAM™ and the Rewild Your Heart™ concept.
Ilka and her team at Minds-n-Motion takes you further in the trauma work with the pEATT model, if you are a licensed trauma therapist with valid EMDR training, she will teach you how to work with trauma confronting techniques and structures. And you can become pEATT certified. I and my team at MiMer Centre will take you further in your knowledge of EATIC. EATIC is not a model – it is an umbrella term for working trauma informed in equine assisted interventions. It is a concept, and it gives you the main ingredients that enables you to always work trauma informed, trauma sensitive, and at times, trauma focused. It will give you an EATIC accreditation, and by taking part in our workshops in either or both TS-EAM and Rewilding – you can also add TS-EAM facilitator and/or a Rewild(ing) facilitator to our accreditation. EATIC is open for anyone, and you will be able to work with the EATIC concept within your scope of practice, adding these tools and the theories/practices they rest on.
Both pEATT and EATIC are also open, of course, to equine specialists/professionals who wants to work with either (and working with one does not certainly exclude the other – this is how we could join our trainings, as they both rest on the same fundament, also in ethics and the ever present inclusion of equine welfare).
I don’t know how to sell this training to you. So, I am merely keeping on sharing how it came about, why I so strongly believe in it, what we do, what you can do with it, our backgrounds as educators and trainers and so on, putting it into a context for you – so you can see it. And how to use it.
Why do I want to sell this training to you? Because my passion and Ilka’s passion boil down to being able to assist the individual, the person coming to therapy, seeking help and support. Both knowing that there are skills, knowledge, experience lacking “out there” on how you can work with people with severe trauma. In ways that actually help them. Ilka and I come from different perspectives and backgrounds to this training, as well as to this work. Together we give you a very thorough education and training, supported by our respective teams. You get it all in our trainings, the theoretical knowledge needed, the skillset trainings, the supervision, the knowledge about horses and their welfare, the details and the overviews, the stepwise processes and protocols as well how you learn to think on your feet, the lived experience and the extensive professional experience – and so much more.
There is not any great way to market this. And as all other experiential learning, it is best experienced and not read about 😊
We have kept the prices low. This is our contribution to a field of work with growth aches taking off in disparate directions – we take it back to the core. The fundamentals of how to work with people. And our specialty is how to work stress, trauma, dissociation (of all kinds) and ND. And we want to make it accessible.
The sign up for module 1 is always open. You can sign up at any point and get immediate access. You can choose between signing up for only part 1 of module 1: https://mimer-centre-school.teachable.com/p/peatt-psychodynamic-equine-assisted-traumatherapy-module-1-part-1
Or to the bundle option for module 1 (part 1-3): https://mimer-centre-school.teachable.com/p/peatt-psychodynamic-equine-assisted-trauma-therapy-module-1-part-1-3-bundle
And the material is for you to keep. In the beginning we leave you quite a lot to it, to explore it, we are present in our online platform and in a hidden group on LinkedIn. So, you can always reach out to us – and find other participants. Once you have gained some first taste and knowledge, got to know how we teach and our material – you will find that we are very much present and will support you on this learning journey, all the way. Because we teach as we work. You need to show up, commit and engage – this is not a spoon-feeding training – we cannot make you acquire learnings about experiential principles and self-awareness. That job is yours. There is plenty of homework to do, plenty of invitations to “go out and do”, and practice, practice, practice.
If I have not scared you off with my seriousness – I am very much looking forward to have you on our trainings. We work internationally and have a lot of experience working with different nationalities and cultures. And know that we laugh a lot in our trainings – and that is not much we also cannot joke about – this is what self-awareness also gives – self-distance and some silliness 😊 (joke aside, we will also challenge you to go outside of our comfort zone (but stay within your threshold) to try out things, and it can seem strange or even childish, but the ability to “play” and role pay, to try out new things is a good ability to train, for your own flexibility in meeting people where they are at as well as to ground and stabilize yourself.
If I have now also managed to intrigue you – you are so very welcome to join us!
And since we operate this training through MiMer Centre – a non-profit NGO and trust – please help us spread it!
Sincerely and warmly,
Katarina Felicia (Ally). Lundgren, Director of MiMer Centre
Text and Pictures are copyright protected © Katarina Felicia (Ally.) Lundgren, MiMer Centre, 2023