Ashlar Up-date

I just returned from Germany where I experienced applied Narrative Exposure Therapy at the University of Konstanz.  This method  has been successfully administered to traumatized people in "hot spots" around the world for years.

 

This system was developed at the request of the UN and  is rarely taught  (once in this country that I know of) -- I was hoping to take a later class because of the Harvard Global Mental Health credential program I begin in Italy in November,  but there is no "later class" scheduled -- they are too busy to teach outside the those they train in the field and at the university. So I went even though it makes this Fall an insanely busy season. Now, Ashlar Center for Narrative Arts will be on of the few places where this method is taught.

 

 Why did I want this training?  There are four reasons. 1. It works to resolve trauma quickly -- 4 to 12 sessions -- tried and true over many years and thousands of people and it uses a visual/arts process -- most impactful. 2. The NET system is grounded in neuroscience of trauma based on years of studies they have conducted in the field -- the brain studies are articulated in ways easily available for lay people to understand and explain the often paralyzing symptoms that happen to a traumatized person and why NET is so effective. 3. They believe that lay people are intelligent and ready to educate and remediate severe trauma in their own communities once they are trained and supervised. The greatest  underutilized resource in our communities able to educate and remediate trauma are people who live there.  4. This system of NET is culturally relevant --  every society has a story telling tradition:  story telling is inherent in us as human beings.  We are hardwired to tell our stories.  Was I just repetitious yes. Why? We need to "get" the importance of  the narrative, personal and collective  --- yours, mine and ours.  

 

I will be teaching this system to community people in Alaska, Louisiana, New York and California -- to begin with. I am collaborating with these folks to adapt Narrative Arts to the cultural needs of the communities which are combat veterans, Native Americans, African Americans who live in violent communities and other interested lay people.  While the Konstanz folks call this therapy it does not fit the definitions we have in the U.S.  for psychotherapy. However, it is therapeutic and remediates severe trauma. We also teach EFT and other tapping techniques whose efficacy has stood up to vigorous studies.  We offer support in how  to structure community programs as well as how and where to look for funding. 

 

The Harvard Global Mental health Program will provide me with untold riches.  I am looking forward to that and will bring my experiences back here.

 

As the Ashlar non-profit is moving toward completion, we soon will be ready to receive funds to create educational materials -- animations and the Calming Breath CD's -- Breathe New Orleans is our first. We expect more health people to join our Advisory Board  and will grow to include more resources available for the asking.  In fact, we are available for information on all things sever Trauma Stress.  Additionally,  we will be able to fund trainees in our traumatic stress holistic programs that will take place in retreat.  We  have several arts projects in the offing.  Thanks to everyone for your support.     

Who We Are

Where the personal story can be safely explored and expressed.         

Ashlar Center for Narrative Arts is an arts driven non-profit peace building organization that serves the Personal Story. We find that peace is a possibility the more we know ourselves and each other through narrative. We work by invitation with individuals and communities to create culturally relevant programs.  The initial program is to give form to the  personal story with and additional program of Self-care to sustain gains made in the storytelling process. The goal is resiliency and capacity building.

We use writing, spoken word, arts processes and music in the belief that all arts extend language in ways especially in creating the coherent personal story.  We start with a very specific approach to aid people in giving  voice and image to the individual story which is then extended, explored and contained in the family story -- immediate and trans-generational  -- always referring back to the collective historical context in which our stories are held. these stories are then posted in multiple platforms in the belief that as we begin to know the personal story, we find the human story that belongs to all of us.

Our goal is to empower people  to work in community in order to transcend the suffering that results from adverse events and conditions. Our goal is to extend understanding and respect cultural practices: we are very interested in how different communities and cultures meet the challenges of being human.  

Our desire is to nurture relationship, encourage learning and teaching through community involvement.  

We provide lay people the means to become Narrative Arts Facilitators where it would best serve them and their communities. 

While our work is highly therapeutic it is not psychotherapy.  Our processes lie closer to anthropology with its mythological underpinnings.

We invite you to invite us.