Doing Your Own Work At An Evoke Intensive

Posted by Brad Reedy, Ph.D., Owner and Clinical Director on January 05, 2016

Evoke Brad Headshot 3 of 3It was just over five years ago when I attended the personal growth workshop that would change and shape my life going forward. For me, it was a crossroads in an inescapable torrent of anxiety and confusion. For others in attendance, it was time to refuel and reassess the direction in their lives. We all came together with the belief that we had work to do. I came to it after many years of outpatient work with a gifted therapist, while others came as an initial foray into their own personal work. In either case, what was promised was, “You will get out of it exactly what you need.”

What I got out of this personal workshop was clarity. This clarity was rooted in my unique history and I accessed it through the experiential work offered in small groups. Lectures, meditation, and small group activities all added to complete the picture for me. By the end I was more clear about who I was; I was more clear about how to express my truth; and I was more compassionate about my response to the fear that stood between me and the expression of my truth in my relationships.

“Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional discovery of the truth about the unique history of our childhood.” Alice Miller

I am a believer in therapy—in the experience of therapy. In therapy, we learn something we cannot learn any other way. We learn to show up and if we are fortunate, we experience something very powerful as our therapist welcomes us, all of us, into the room. We return to therapy as a sort of reference point. We return to remember and be found each session. With the reminder that we are okay, even in our symptoms and our wounds, we refill the containers of courage to be our authentic selves. We learn new skills, but more importantly, we are encouraged to hold ourselves compassionately and this compassion leads to lasting changes in our relationships.

These are the foundation for the Evoke Intensives. It is an opportunity to engage in experiential therapy as individuals (Finding You and Online Finding You), parents and families (Finding Family), or couples (Finding Connection). The only prerequisite is that participants believe they have some personal work to do. While our Intensives are not limited to family members of those who have attended our Wilderness Programs, our 3-6 day Intensives are built on our experience that nothing does more to help clients, students, and families of our Wilderness Programs than when parents embrace their own work. Those who take the courageous step to attend one of these workshops demonstrate the kind of vulnerability asked of their children. The result is an immersion into one’s personal work, understanding how who we are connects to our current challenges in life.

“Research has clearly demonstrated that our children’s attachment to us will be influenced by what happened to us when we were young if we do not come to process and understand those experiences.” Daniel Seigel & Mary Hartzell.

Participants in Evoke’s Intensives have raved about it being a life-changing experience. We bypass resistance and access deeper emotional issues with psychodrama, family therapy, group therapy, psychoeducation, mindfulness & meditation, and experiential activities. Tian Dayton, a preeminent psycho-dramatist, talks about the value of this kind of experiential work:

"Psychodrama is inherently corrective: It creates an opportunity to do and say in the here-and-now what we could not do and say then… In psychodrama we bring our inner reality outside, where we can take a clear look at it, re-experience it, reframe it and bring it to completion and/or resolution. When we are fully present in the drama, we are not longer watching ourselves, but rather experience ourselves."

At our Intensives, participants will be guided through a process that helps them to discover their hidden selves. The emphasis is not on advice, but rather on helping individuals to discover their own truth. Similar to Michelangelo’s explanation of sculpting, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it," we will provide opportunities for insight, along with tools and skills, so each participant can discover their authentic self.

One need not be a parent of a Wilderness Therapy client to benefit from these emotionally and spiritually rich experiences. It is an immersive therapy accelerator that will jump-start newcomers to their work and add to the work of more experienced participants. And in the end, if you come with an open mind and a willingness to work, you will find you will get exactly what you need.


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