Seen in Spectrum Mothers Support Society's latest Newsletter this week:
Recently, our Spectrum Caregivers were given the honour of attending the "Gathering our Medicine" eight session workshop. This was made possible by the St Francis in the Wood Anglican Church Legacy Fund, who generously provided a grant so our Caregivers could attend.
Each week, they were learning from Squamish Nation Elder Jackie Gonzales, and Metis Facilitator and Counsellor Maria Klyne Kolomay from Manitoba. The focus is on family and community care through building relationships based on traditional indigenous wisdom and informed by attachment theory, affective neuroscience and the work of Psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld. The importance of kinship circles and multi generational connections are key for our children and families to overcome trauma and thrive.
Artist and Caregiver Domenica M. comments after the 'Gathering our Medicine' workshop series:
"The biggest take away for me is how the training stressed the mportance of being present and listening to the mothers we support, and to trust that they will find their own healing journey. Also, to refrain from jumping in and trying to fix everything; Rather, to step back and be curious and know that everything is a learning opportunity for myself as well as for my clients. For example, one of the moms I support really needed sleep, and I must admit i was a little frustrated she was cooking instead of sleeping when I was at her house. But I soon realized, cooking is my client's version of art therapy! While cooking, she opens up and tells me stories of her life and her past and then she offers me her food, sharing, as we do in the art therapy classes I lead. She wants me to bear witness to her process. I tried to solve her problem but it’s not for me to solve. And when she says she can't sleep, she means she can't sleep. That's a trauma response. Her body can't relax, but it does relax when she's cooking which puts her on a healing path. Experiencing the Gathering our Medicine workshop helped me realize how important it is to have these moments. To stay humble and keep watching out for those unconscious biases that try to run things."