March 23rd – 30th, 2013
Nearest train station: Mallaig.
Meeting point: Mallaig Harbour – transfer to/from Doune by private boat.
Includes: accommodation and catering for six days / seven nights, facilitation, boat transfers & professional liability insurance.
Margaret Kerr & David Key
By application only (a deposit of £300.00 is required with your application. This will be refunded in full if your application is unsuccessful).
This is a professional development course for those interested in facilitating groups using approaches pioneered on WWF’s Natural Change Project. Natural Change is an outdoor-based experiential programme designed to engage and support leaders for sustainability.
The course is being run to create a community of professionals who are able to lead future programmes using the Natural Change approach. It is important to note that this course forms only part of a path of training and development. Because of the nature of the Natural Change process – which combines outdoor leadership, psychotherapeutic, and educational theories and practices – this short course cannot provide full professional competency in one go. Some participants may feel more ready than others to lead a Natural Change process after the course and time will be spent helping everyone identify their next steps in training for this kind of work.
As a pre-requisite, participants must have at least five years experience working with individuals or groups therapeutically, or on personal and/or social change projects. It doesn’t matter if this work experience is indoors, or outdoor-based. If in doubt, please do contact us.
The first programme of the Natural Change Project was commissioned by WWF-Scotland in 2008 and was completed in March 2009. The second programme started in 2010 and finished in September 2011.
More information about the 2008 programme, including blogs about the experiences of the group, can be found at archive.naturalchange.org.uk. The 2010 programme can be explored at www.naturalchange.org.uk.
Those interested in this course should also read the 2009 Natural Change Report and the new 2011 ‘Natural Change: Catalysing leadership for sustainability’ report available for download here.
The Natural Change Process
The Natural Change core process is complex, dynamic and operates on different psychological levels simultaneously. These include: conscious levels of awareness – comprising those ideas, values and beliefs which are relatively easy to access and explore; subconscious levels – including deep-seated assumptions about the world, which are accessible to us, but often only after deliberate and sometimes challenging effort and; unconscious levels – which take us into the realm of dreams, symbols, myths, archetypes, images and transpersonal experience.
In the Natural Change programme, groups members’ aspirations – their psychological and social well-being, their needs and concerns – lead the process at all times. This creates a unique experience that is co-evolutionary at every stage. In this creative and supportive environment, each participant’s personal journey, and the collective journey of the group can take form. The personal and collective journey then inspires and informs the leadership and communication aspects of the programme.
In practical terms, the process includes small and whole group work and individual tasks – including intellectual, sensory, intuitive and emotional elements. The work includes structured wilderness ‘solo’ time, ‘story-telling’ and reviewing of experiences, spending time together outdoors working experientially, and short theory sessions on a wide variety of subjects. Throughout, the participants learn from and develop relationships with each other and with the natural environment. The process builds a highly cohesive community of people who explore lifestyle change and leadership towards sustainability in an authentic, inspiring and empowering way.
Facilitating Natural Change
Facilitating the Natural Change process requires a depth of experience and a breadth of practical and psychological skills. This training programme will identify what those skills are, explore pathways to gain the relevant experience and cover the techniques, theoretical bases, practices and processes involved in facilitating Natural Change programmes.
Please be aware that the course does not necessarily lead to professional competency in facilitating the Natural Change approach. Past participants have generally found that they require at least some further training and / or experience in one of the skill areas, for example, outdoor leadership or psychotherapy.
Facilitators interested in leading Natural Change-style programmes are likely to have backgrounds in developmental outdoor education, transformative and experiential education, psychotherapy, counselling, social work or health care. It is not necessary to be a ‘super-leader’ who has experience and skills in all these fields, as we take a teamwork approach to facilitating Natural Change – where two leaders work together in a complimentary way on each programme.
Participants will need to be emotionally mature, self-aware and have a good base of life experience. You will also need to be passionate about sustainability and the more-than-human environment.
All prospective participants will be asked to submit a written application for their place on this course and their taking part will be at the discretion of the programme leaders.
By the end of this course participants will:
- Have experienced elements of the core Natural Change process for themselves;
- Be able to lead peer group sessions using Natural Change facilitation techniques;
- Have an overview of the theoretical, cultural and historical bases for the Natural Change approach;
- Be able to introduce and adapt the conceptual themes used to catalyse and support aspects of the Natural Change approach;
- Have experienced and learned to work with reflexive facilitation tools;
- Understand and be able to frame, sequence and review activities appropriate to the needs of the group;
- Have a clear understanding of some basic safety and risk management issues when working outdoors;
- Have identified a personal pathway for gaining further experience and/or training;
- Be critically aware of their own facilitation style, its strengths and weaknesses and strategies for development.
You will spend seven nights and six days at Doune on the wild and remote Knoydart penninsular – an area of incredible beauty and ancestral history. At the heart of this course is the opportunity to experience aspects of the Natural Change process first-hand, as a nucleus around which to explore the techniques, theories and issues of facilitating it. The whole week will be based in and around Doune and we will take every opportunity to work outside, weather permitting.
The programme consists of two distinct parts. The first three days is spent immersing ourselves personally into the heart of the Natural Change process as a foundation for learning. The second three days is then spent exploring the techniques, theories, practices and issues of facilitating this process.
DAY ONE: Saturday 23rd
Meet point: “North Steps”, Mallaig harbour at 14.00 prompt.
16.00: Introductions and overview.
Getting to know the place and each other.
Walking (at the pace of the slowest person) and preparing for the solo time.
A dawn to dusk ‘solo’ spent in silence. This is the heart of the process for many participants. This is not a test of survival! Rather, it is a rare chance to simply ‘be’ in the humbling face of nature.
Telling the stories of our solo time and learning the art of mirroring.
Making deeper sense of our experiences and finding direction towards activism.
The Natural Change strategy for catalysing social change.
Theories and ideas central to the Natural Change approach.
Facilitation: philosophy, practices and issues.
The role and function of the blogs and other communications.
The Natural Change community of practice.
Incorporating your experience after the course.
Day EIGHT: Saturday 30th March
Depart: 0830 in time to meet the 10.10 train from Mallaig to Glasgow
Final content depends on environmental and weather conditions and the aspirations of the group.
Both the course leaders designed and co-lead the WWF Natural Change Project.
BA (Hons), CAT (NZ), MSc. (Dist.), FCHE.
Dave is an ecopsychologist and outdoor educator. He is happiest outdoors – working with groups to facilitate personal and social change for sustainability. His unique programme designs and engaging facilitation style have earned him an excellent reputation, in the UK and beyond. He holds international qualifications in mountaineering and rock climbing and has over fifteen years experience leading groups in wild places.
MBChB, PhD, BA (Hons) Psychology, MSc Psychological Research Methods, PgDip Transpersonal Psychology and Consciousness
UKCP, BACP, BABCP accredited psychotherapist
Margaret works as a psychotherapist and supervisor, and is involved in academic research in transpersonal psychology. Her therapeutic practice is integrative, and includes cognitive behavioural, psychodynamic, humanistic and transpersonal ways of working. Alongside these traditional theoretical perspectives, she is developing approaches to therapy and research which honour creative and expressive arts, openness to mystery and intuitive process.
Central to this integrative approach is an understanding of the human psyche as part of a wider world – ecological, historical, spiritual and socio-political. She believes that this broader perspective on psychology can help individuals to develop compassion for their own struggles and motivate positive engagement in the wider world. Margaret has lived all of her life in Scotland, and loves exploring the lochs, mountains and the sea.
This course is not a test of endurance! It is a chance to slow down and experience, while exploring facilitation of the Natural Change approach.
All outdoor elements will be led by an experienced leader with National Governing Body qualifications in outdoor leadership. We will always move at the speed of the slowest person, with the focus firmly on enjoying and connecting with the land and sea, and with each other.
As a guideline – you will need to be able to carry a day pack containing your personal equipment (waterproofs, spare jacket/jumper, lunch, flask, etc) for periods of up to four hours in a coastal environment, without paths.
If you have any doubts about your ability to take part, you should contact us to talk things through before applying.
Accommodation & Catering
Accommodation is on a twin-share basis with shared facilities. Some single rooms are available by negotiation with the rest of the group. Bedding and towels are provided. If you would prefer to camp, please let us know and we can offer a discount of £150.00 – subject to availability.
All meals, snacks and drinks are provided throughout, prepared fresh everyday by our Rob.
Location & Travel
The course will be based at The Lodge, Doune, Knoydart in the North West of Scotland.
A list of personal equipment (like boots, waterproofs and clothes) will be sent once you have secured a place.
David Key holds Adventure Activity Liability Insurance covering public and professional liability for outdoor activities. Margaret Kerr holds professional insurance as a psychotherapist with Towergate Insurance.
It is strongly recommended that clients take out appropriate personal insurance to cover risks due to such things as delayed travel and late cancellation, etc.