For this blog I would like to share a poem written by a wonderful lady who has PTSD. The symptoms from this condition can be distressing and at this time of year can be made worse by certain triggers. Don't forget to be kind to others as we hit the Xmas period and everyone is rushing about shopping. More importantly, take some time out to be gentle with yourself.
At Nature Therapy CIC we are always interested in finding out the outcomes from what we deliver. Not only does it ensure we know if we are making a difference, it also helps us evolve and shape our programmes for the future so we can make a better impact.
Research doesn't always have to be boring surveys and questionnaires, although they do help contribute to the pot of knowledge. We like to use really creative ingredients in our evaluation soup that engages our clients as much as possible. We like to ensure their voices comes through loud and clear. Just like a tasty consume soup.
We also focus on engaging children we work with in any evaluation, whatever their capacity. This is so they are able to shape what we do and how we do it. We do this by using creative techniques such as the wonderful draw and write technique. This was developed by the awe inspiring Noreen Whetton at the University of Southampton in the 1980's. It has since been used in thousands of projects world wide to ensure the voices of children are able to make an impact.
Sadly more and more funders are wanting to see techniques such as randomised controlled trials to prove outcomes. There is a real lack of understanding that we might be able to prove if a pill is effective or not, but ultimately this method proves nothing but impossible to determine social outcomes from the human condition. Just far too many variables to account for.
One method we do like to use is Discourse Analysis. Often psychosocial programmes such as the ones we deliver are intrinsically linked to the power and control exerted by institutions on an individual. These are things they (and we) are often not even aware of. So, we like to use a research method called Discourse Analysis to really surface insights into the impact of our programmes and how they might effect outcomes for our clients. This helps us understand far more about how to develop our work than a survey alone. It makes sure that clients voices are not only heard - but acted on.
Here is a link to a short video I prepared for any of our funders or clients explaining what discourse analysis is about.
The ethos of Nature Therapy CIC is to nourish minds through contact with nature. It is about reconnecting once again with all the incredible senses we have been gifted with.
When we live too much in the mind we never get a straight answer that can be relied on. But when we ask our senses a question, we receive an answer to be trusted. Our senses provide us with intuition, or a gut feeling, about situations and people. Listen to them with awe and respect because our senses have been shaped over millions of years to help us thrive as a species.
Nature Therapy helps people understand and learn to trust their senses. Through guided and creative work with nature, insights can be gained into how senses try to help us in every situation. Wise choices can then be made about the people we want to be around and how we move forward with our lives.
Each one of us is unique in how we sense the world around us and create our own reality. No two people use their senses in the same way, but if you Think Sense first and foremost, you will nurture and nourish your embodied wisdom. You will feel happy in your own skin and content with your life.
(Extract from Wolf Medicine by Dr Kim Brown. Available in 2016)
Dr Kim Brown