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Gratitude for the Parent Intensives

Posted by Letter from a Parent on April 08, 2015

Dear Brad,

My wife and I expected to benefit greatly from our intensive but I have to say how surprised I was by how much we received from all of you and our experience. There is a lightness in both our being that comes from laying down burdens we didn't know we carried so heavily. Even in the midst of my stressful first day back at work, I feel a presence and mindfulness. The importance of a centering spiritual practice was made so clear to us, and we heard it. So everyday we can now face the challenge of bringing what we felt and learned into the stresses of the front country. We learned just how important process is and how it continues forever. Thanks to Gerard, Elise and Dan who helped guide and nurture us in the field.

Our visit with our son in the field was very, very fine. He had no idea that we were in the wilderness and that carried a lot of meaning for him and his group mates. We were pleased to be with him and see his progress and also clearly see his challenges and work yet to be done. We felt a lot of love and steps towards maturity. We surely enjoyed being part of group 3. We made sure to join in their process and were welcomed by the group (I'm still working on my spoon). I particularly enjoyed speaking with the all the young men, who despite their problems, projected an essential sweetness and intelligence. The field staff (Sarah, Anthony and Billy) were great. I think we got some good work done in the field. Of course, Matt and Josh are amazing therapists. Yesterday I heard that our son was so impressed by our being there during our visit that he has begun to meditate in the field to begin his day.

My perception, and what I would wish to share in a blog is this. When our son went to Evoke, it was shocking to us as well as him. But that shock opened us up and gave us permission to begin a journey we were clearly more than ready for; actually overdue. By embracing the process, watching the webinars and doing our work at home, we came to the intensive ready and prepared for the work. Without that preparation, it might not have been so transformative. And without the parent intensive, our field-work with group 3 might not have been so rich. So in my mind, it's all been a continuum. And of course, so will be the future. I couldn't have planned our process any better.

In my perfect world, all parents would have a similar opportunity-

not too soon in the process but not too late.


The power of the "I feel" statement and the process of checking-in is astonishing and so essential. I think it's the key to the process along with mindfulness practice. That something so simple yet so difficult can make so much difference. The process of being aware and sorting out primary and secondary emotions before acting, or not even acting but just hearing. Why aren't we taught this in school?

A thought occurred to me this week while describing our intensive with our son. Over the last 4 years we have had a family project, mostly for fun, of learning Spanish and then traveling. That intense project of learning and eventually thinking in a new language was perfect preparation for our work with Evoke. Using a new language is also a new way of thinking and seeing the world. Inhabiting a different culture in it's native language changes how you perceive things and how you act. It also changes how people act towards you. The tools that Evoke Therapy teaches are a new language and thus a new way of being.

Lastly, I will thank you for the way you guided us very powerfully and skillfully. I work at a difficult job but make it look easy because of all my experience. I really respect how natural and comfortable you seemed working with us. But I know how much work and process it took to get you to that place. I have great appreciation for that. We preordered your book as well as the daily meditation book. Plus we got to rappel off a cliff together-how cool is that?