April 3, 2011
Greetings Fellow Healers!
Welcome to April! What a beautiful sunny day it is as I write. I love the fresh energy of Spring - whether a day that is cool or warm, the air is different ~ a little more lively! Our Jewish friends are observing Passover this week and our Christian friends, of whom I am one, celebrate Good Friday and Easter on Sunday. The Passover recognizes God's magnificent freeing of his Jewish children from death and enslavement. For Christians, Easter, a day of rebirth, celebrates Christ's resurrection and His brilliant defeat of sin and spiritual death! Christians understand Christ as the Son of God who came to earth to defeat Satan (an entity representative of death, darkness, loss of life, freedom, love, peace, and joy). Christ also came to model for and guide us in living life as one with God the Father and Holy Spirit even as He did on earth. I have long understood "sin" as not necessarily doing something "bad" or "wrong" but actually as an act or state of being that is in separation from God, disconnected from our Source of all health, wholeness, and positive, loving, life-flowing and affirming energy. For both Jews and Christians, this week is a Holy week celebrating God's miraculous gift of life and freedom. For many individuals, including Christians, God becomes an entity who can be experienced relationally. For others God becomes the Power and Holy Source of life and energy that lives and moves and has being - not only with us, but also within and through us. When we consider God and Christ as our very Source and perpetual Creator of Life, we can celebrate Easter and Passover as Holy Days of Life-Giving. From this perspective, new and ever-renewing Life and its natural, resulting Hope and Joy truly do spring Eternal! Consider this! Easter is a celebration of the very powerful flow of God, our Source of the never-ending, perpetually renewing and ever-revitalizing Life Force! It is with deep respect for all religions and spiritual meaning-making, and from this wondrous understanding of God and the Christ that I wish you a Fulfilling Passover and a Happy and Glorious Easter!
Peace and Joy to you my friends and fellow Healers of Life!
Let's talk about the importance of the upcoming event:
The Power of Collaborative Treatment Teaming: Bridging Complementary-Alternative Therapies with Traditional Mental Health Treatment
Bridging. It suggests that there is a separation. A gulf, or chasm between two points. A gulf that may be merely space and land, like a canyon or gully. Or the gulf may be filled with water, like a river, creek or even a lake or sea. Some bridges are short, some very long, some beautiful and elaborate, some very simple and pragmatic. Bridge as Metaphor has many layers of meaning.
This is exemplified in the question posed to me recently by a trusted yoga teacher, when I told her about our upcoming training on this very issue. "Do you think they (traditional mental health professionals) will even listen?" Her question exemplified a commonly voiced Yoga Therapist's doubt that she will be received respectfully and her approach to whole health considered by a Western Psychotherapist. I have also heard psychotherapists equally frustrated by the oversimplification by some yogis that a yoga practice for certain attachment or biologically-based disorders is enough to bring about whole emotional and relational health. Though we have much work to do in building bridges to each other for the purposes of whole health treatment, I do believe that with continued training and communication, these two cultures, and approaches will interface easily and with mutual respect for one another. At Moonstone Center and within other integrative organizations this is already occurring.
The metaphor of Bridging that I have incorporated in the upcoming training and past trainings re: Yoga Therapy and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is at least two-fold in meaning. There is the bridge between two approaches to health and healing. This incorporates separate disciplines, with different training, different language, different cultures of health and healing. Even Yoga Therapy and Acupuncture, which share in some aspects of language and conceptualization, are still two very different disciplines evolving from different cultures. Even though both are considered in western culture to be Complementary and Alternative approaches to health care, they too need bridges built between each other. Psychotherapy is currently building bridges within Western Health care between mind and body, connecting (or reconnecting!) the psychological with the physiological. We are linking and building ways and means of communicating not only within Western Medicine but between Western and Eastern approaches to health and wellness. We are even building bridges that allow a view of health care that integrates the conceptualization of sickness, pathology and repair with approaches that embrace the fostering of health, wellness with a focus on strengths and resilience.
The concept of bridging is really metaphor for linking and connecting or re-connecting those areas of healthcare and aspects of the individual that have become conceptualized and treated as independent and separate. In reality, within the individual, the connections and interactions already exist. The bridging really is metaphor for the act of building awareness and attention to those connections. Bridging and Collaborating allow for a renewed understanding of and appreciation for the complex and interactive human being we are treating.
This reconnecting and linking or bridging results in an internal integration within individuals we are treating. Many Eastern or more Indigenous cultures have long treated the body as a whole. In our western cultures, in our effort to truly understand various and different aspects of ourselves, we are discovering just how very disconnected we have become. We need to build bridges within our very selves. Bridges that connect our mental life to our physical life to our spiritual life to our relational life to our emotional life. Increasingly we talk about this renewed understanding of human beings as being whole, interconnected, integrated. In many circles individuals and communities are forming lifestyles that allow for conscious attention to the interconnectedness and integration of their being. However, the practiced approach to this integrated oneness is still very early in its consideration and practice, let alone embraced and treated as standard practice in larger western society and the culture of health care, including Traditional Mental Health Care.
It is the latter, the renewed consideration and the attempt to practically apply this understanding of ourselves and our patients or clients as whole, complex and interconnected entities that is at the core of the message and purpose of the upcoming training, The Power of Collaborative Treatment Teaming: Bridging Complementary-Alternative Therapies with Traditional Mental Health Treatment.
Someday the bridging will be complete and moving to and from the various aspects of self will be understood as a given. Collaboration with fellow health care professionals will be as seamless as inter-state and inter-continental travel is today. We will be functioning as whole entities, both within ourselves individually and between disciplines as we easily, naturally, and powerfully collaborate, cross-refer, team and even cross-train for purposes of Complete Whole and Integrated Health (mental-physical-emotional-spiritual-relational).
I invite you: Take a moment, consider the Power of Collaborative Treatment Teaming in order to Bridge Traditional Psychotherapy with Yoga Therapy and Acupuncture. Take a moment to consider the power of integrated whole health that can result from bridging understanding, language, and culture between Eastern and Western healthcare, Complementary-Alternative and Traditional treatment. Take a moment and register for Moonstone Center's upcoming training where we will discuss and wrestle with these exciting concepts as we build bridges and learn how to powerfully collaborate with other disciplines for whole integrated health! Register Today!
Until next month!
Peace and Gratitude,
Elisabeth and the Moonstone Center Team
ARTICLES on SIDEBAR:
Speaking of Connectedness between Mind and Body: Check out Thich Nhat Hanh under Self-Care Resources
Speaking of Bridging the Mind and Body Within, under Featured Articles: Check out the article by Marjorie Rand, PhD, Co-Founder of Integrative Body Psychotherapy and a respected Pioneer, Speaker, Author, and Trainer of mind-body process in psychotherapy!