WORKING WITH ANXIETY AND TRAUMA THROUGH EMBODIMENT AT FOREST SCHOOL

Date: Wednesday 5th May 2021
Facilitator: Jon Cree
Location: Mill Woods, near Laughton, East Sussex, BN8 6BP
Time: 09.30 - 16.30.
Cost: tbc 
Booking: Coming soon

This workshop will open discussions about how we, as Forest School practitioners, can support our children through times of anxiety and trauma.

Topics will include working with sensory preferences, embodiment and integration, recognising the importance of working with ourselves as well as our learners, and the key role forest school can play in supporting emotional regulation.

Calling upon current neurological understanding, Jon will offer participants the opportunity to try out new practical ideas as well as reaffirming our understanding of the emotional benefits of Forest School.

The workshop will include:

  • Grounding and centring – what is the difference between these two (arriving for group experience going through body tensions and JUST noticing and bringing back to centre through breath. How do we do this with our own groups to help them feel safe in their bodies in the place)
  • Safety guidance for the session.
  • Behaviour is communication. Polyvagal theory and the 5 touchstones of somatic practise (working through these with various exercises)
  • Locating feelings in our bodies and describing the physical sensation first -then naming the emotion (sit spot – emphasise how to approach sit spot)
  • Importance of co-regulation – how does this resonate between brains and bodies.
  • How does movement and tuning into place at same time regulate our bodies and feed the 8 senses (active exercise – where we make body and sense sensation conscious use a handcraft activity and larger tracking movements)
  • Input on sensory processing, anxiety and trauma and behaviours – importance of special safe space in the outdoors.
  • Working with stories in a therapeutic way 
  • Pebble meditation ('handful of quiet')
  • Reflections and how you will work with your own embodiment practises and where you might introduce these into your sessions
  • Review using a body metaphors
Circle of Life Revisited Image
Circle of Life Revisited Image

Previous participants:

Did you feel the session helped you/and or signpost to ways of embodying your own feelings?

"Very much so. I have been doing a lot of personal work on the inner child recently and it helped it make sense. I am trying to make sure that I am listening to my own feelings and where I am feeling the emotions since the workshop."

Did you feel it started to equip you with ways of co regulating with the children you work with?

"Yes it has, however I feel that I have so much more to learn and actually maybe I feel less able, as it is something that has so much depth and I will worry about making things worse. But at least I feel that I can start to understand why and try to help the best way I can."

"Definitely going to use the looking all around at the start of the sessions, as well as just breathing and quiet listening. I am going to look into the four stone meditation too. This is a subject where the more you learn the more you realise you have no idea."

Will you use any of the exercises in your practice?

"Since this session I have suggested to the school I work with, that I work with a couple of the children on a one to one basis so I can try some of these ideas in a forest school environment. A couple of the children, are currently really disruptive and violent in class and the forest school sessions and I will slowly bring in some of these ideas to see if it makes a difference, even if only small."

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