Natural Change Facilitator Training: Reflections on Residential Three

The week before last I was in the Lake District with the folks on the two-year Natural Change Facilitator Training.

It was a watery start to the week and two people got stranded just 3 kms from the door of the lodge after driving all the way from Scotland! Lake Windermere and the rivers feeding it had flooded and the road into the lodge where we were staying was waist deep. Luckily they managed to find somewhere to stay and arrived early next morning in time for the start of the course.

It was another powerful Natural Change week. There is so much energy, commitment and enthusiasm in the group. It’s wonderful to see everyone build their understanding, skills and confidence. It is also beautiful to see each person find their own ‘way’ with the work: to find their own style and pattern.

We covered a whole range of ideas, techniques and skills – including a full-on search and rescue scenario, on a moonless dark and rainy night in dense, boggy, woodland! Luckily we found “Kamila” – who had failed to return from a solo day – alive and well (although apparently asleep) two and half hours after we started looking for her. She did look a lot like a Macpac expedition rucsac full of fleecy blankets hiding under a tarp, but hey.

It really feels like we’ve demystified Natural Change a lot – without taking away the mystery itself, which is at the heart of the work. I still feel that learning to facilitate it is a process of stripping things away, rather than adding more and more layers of new things. A kind of anti-training. And of course that central to being able to facilitate this simple, yet paradoxically complex process, is the facilitator’s own experience of their ecological self.



Introduction to Facilitating Natural Change Course – October 2015

(3rd – 10th October 2015 / Doune, Knoydart)

This residential course introduces the basic principles and practices of the Natural Change approach to anyone interested in facilitating change for sustainability.

Over six days participants experience Natural Change personally, before exploring the theory and practice of this powerful and innovative approach to leadership training.

The course acts as a foundation for further training as well as being a stand-alone professional development opportunity.

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Ecopsychology (Online)

My online ecopsychology course is now into its fourth year with around five people enrolled at any one time. The flexible and bespoke format of the course has proved really popular. The inclusion of self-guided outdoor sessions has become a central element for most participants, providing an experiential foundation for their theoretical exploration.

It’s fascinating that almost half the course participants are from overseas including from South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Sweden and Australia. The flexible session times fit around time zones and the learning process allows a diversity of cultural contexts.

Participants have brought a huge range of aspirations and interests to the course. It’s been a inspiring journey working with such a rich mix.

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COURSE: Intro. to Facilitating Natural Change – March 2015

We’re very happy to have now scheduled another one-week Introduction to Facilitating Natural Change course for March 2015.

We continue to be amazed and inspired by interest in the Natural Change approach, which after six years is still growing across the globe. At the moment one of the few ways people can experience the Natural Change process is though our one-week Intro. course, which offers a taste of the core four-day process along with two days exploring how the approach is facilitated.

This will be the twelfth time we’ve run the programme since 2011, generating an Alumni community of over 100 people. The course has five places left, so if you are thinking about it, get your application in sooner rather than later!

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COURSE: Tending the Flame

24-28 April 2015  |  Glen Prosen, Scotland.

“When asked if I am pessimi­stic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth & aren’t pessimi­stic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth & the lives of the poor, & you aren’t optimis­tic, you haven’t got a pulse.” 

– Paul Hawken

In response to research undertaken by Osbert Lancaster, Margaret Kerr and I earlier in the year, we’ve set up a new course called Tending the Flame. The course is for those who have experience of work or activism for sustainability and related fields, and are finding it increasingly difficult to be optimistic in the face of the ‘data’.

Are you coping with doubts while maintaining a brave face in public as, like many campaigners, community leaders, consultants or practitioners? Or maybe you are seeking new ways to be effective in the world, or looking for affirmation that your chosen life path is heading in the right direction. If so, then this course could help.

The course is being run by Natural Change Limited.

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COURSE: Ecotherapy Practice

11-15 May 2015 & Autumn 2015 (TBC)  |  Schumacher College, Devon.

This course explores practical aspects of working outdoors to facilitate personal and ecological healing. It combines theoretical perspectives with practical skills and is designed to help you develop the confidence to start working in a variety of outdoor locations.

The course is split into three sections. A one-week residential programme will be followed by a series of six online seminars, leading to a second one-week residential. There will be a total of eight residential days and six, one-hour online sessions.

Course details will be posted on the Schumacher College website soon. If you would like to be notified when the course is online, please email me.