Safety and Uniqueness
My approach is grounded in the commitment to create a secure, safe, and welcoming environment for participants. I often use the phrase learn and be safe; after all, we can't develop our skills if we don't have safe environments to experiment and practice. Everyone is different, with unique experiences and emotions. A large body of evidence supports the perspective that skill development works best when we recognize these differences and leverage them rather than pressing people into the shapes provided by models, maps, and predetermined structures. Authentic learning is always a personal journey and should be cultivated in that way.
Connection and Relationship
I focus on finding and building authentic and reliable relationships. I emphasize the importance of consistency, congruence, and ethical behaviour to develop a foundation of belonging, trust, and emotional safety. I work hard to create spaces and facilitate dynamics that cultivate meaningful, trusting relationships for professional and personal growth. The most complex and challenging context for growth involves working with groups, which is the core of my work.
Self-awareness and Insight
I draw from theories and approaches that encourage participants to understand themselves in relation to others and the broader environment. Learning to recognize these dynamics, cultivate insight and self-awareness, and apply them to professional and personal contexts is, for me, foundational. Self-awareness is the most important skill of all; without it there can be no empathy toward others, no mindful behaviour, no growth.
Awareness of Trauma
Past traumatic experiences can greatly impact present learning and interaction. In fact, trauma can swamp the present and make safety, connection and insight difficult to find. Navigating this reality requires learning experiences that are supportive, accommodating, inclusive, and sensitive to the complexities of trauma. Healing from trauma only happens when we feel safe enough. Finding and cultivating pathways toward safety is a core aspect of the design of the programs I facilitate.
Creativity and Empathy
I encourage the use of creative practices as tools for exploration and personal growth. Creativity facilitates empathy and emotional intelligence and enhances our ability to connect with others. Storytelling in particular is a powerful means of understanding and sharing emotional experiences, fostering deeper connections in a myriad of ways, and opening pathways of human development.