Aboriginal Focusing oriented therapy

Aboriginal Focusing oriented therapy certificatenative wisdom

Hello everyone!

Today was the start of a new beginning for me and I wanted to share it with you. Today was the day that I began the Aboriginal Focusing Oriented Therapy and Complex Trauma certificate. Yes, that is a long title! But it is worth it! What a refreshing perspective on trauma, therapy and the role of the clinician.

What is focusing oriented therapy?

Well to make it short, focusing therapy means going above and beyond our thoughts and feelings and listening to our body. If we only focus on our thoughts and on expressing our feelings, it is easy to detach from them and go around in circles, without getting any deeper (yep that is true, I have seen it as a therapist and experienced it myself). However, if one focuses on one’s body we can get in touch with our deeper feelings or thoughts, some we might not be aware of. Indeed, unconscious feelings and past experiences (ours or those of our ancestors) can be stored in our body without coming to our full awareness. By focusing on our body, what it is telling us, where we feel our feelings and sitting still, we can go deeper. Focusing oriented therapy is thus about being fully in the moment. For survivors of trauma, trauma can be stored within the body, trauma that perhaps was blocked out in part or dissociated from. I won’t go into more details regarding this approach but for more information, see this site.

Aboriginal ways

So the program that I am enrolled in and began today adds one more layer to focusing oriented therapy. Indeed, it incorporates Native teachings and ways of healing. The program is then focused on the principles of the Red Road, including respect for all my relations (including those all my relationsin the course and clients) as well as respect for Mother Earth and Father Sky. It adds the idea of a collective soul to the concept of focusing oriented therapy. What do I mean by that you ask? Well, it means that in our bodies, we can store not only our trauma but also trauma encountered by our ancestors, by previous generations. Previous generations are also around us to help us deal with the trauma and guide us. Aboriginal focusing oriented therapy (AFOT) is a way of doing therapy that is raw, intense, direct but very real. Real and done in a healing manner.

How is the program taught?

Well it is taught the native way, by showing us rather than telling us. It is taught in a circle, where everyone sits comfortably and is respected. It is taught with a respect to our Mother Earth and Native traditions such as smudging, singing and brushing (a feather fan like the one feather fanon the right can be used to “brush off” negative energy off the body).

We began and ended the course with singing the Co-Ed song and we were all encouraged to sing along. Honestly, it felt liberating. I did not see a single person without a smile on their face. I truly recommend this program to everyone who works with Native clients or/and wants to do their own healing. For those living in North American, the program is offered in different cities, including Vancouver, BC, New York, NY, and Ottawa, ON. It is composed of 7 courses each 3 days long and spread over a year. The schedule does make it easier for working professionals.

I have to say that I truly felt at home within that environment and I know I will gain a lot from it, both personally and professionally. We were asked to bring our own drums if we have one for tomorrow, so I will for sure bring mine 🙂

All my Relations

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12 thoughts on “Aboriginal Focusing oriented therapy

  1. Evelyn

    What a fantastic website you have, something you really dug deep with me… It was when you said something like, we can store trauma encountered by our ancestors. This is something that I think not only me, but a lot of us don’t realize. I’ve come across so many stories where people said, “I was the first in my family to graduate college”. I believe a cycle can be broken, but my question is, if trauma is stored in us through our ancestors, does it make it that much harder to overcome something? Thanks sharing this wonderful content, I will be sure to bookmark this. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      thank you Evelyn! a cycle can certainly be broken ans at times must be broken so we and the next generations can heal. It does not mean it is harder to heal but rather than we need to look at our pain and trauma as a shared one, a collective one, “we are not alone in this” way

      Reply
      1. Evelyn

        Very interesting, so once I tap into my ancestors trauma, is when I can heal my trauma. So in other words, it’s a matter of getting in tuned with my mindset. Does this apply to medical issues as well, such as breast cancer?

        Reply
        1. Emily Post author

          Well sometimes its about acknowledging that we might be carrying trauma or feelings that others were also carrying. Sometimes, what we are experiencing might be seen across generations. For example, I could be carrying not only my anxiety but also my mother’s so she does not have to carry it. This is just an example to give you an idea. Or maybe my body senses or knows a trauma that happened years ago within my family (e.g. someone died). It is a bit more complicated for medical issues as there are biological and genetic causes to consider as well. But looking in past generations to see if it was present might be helpful.

          Reply
  2. Jae

    I can only agree with this; the mind-body-soul connection is so intimate and delicate, and yet we often forget about listening to our bodies (or simply ignore it), as well as paying attention to our constant dialogue and relation to our surrounding environment.

    I have some friends in the Lakota tribe, and their approach to physical and mental health has really taught me a lot. There’s so much wisdom and knowledge, that’s been around for ages, and Western medicine is just starting to scratch the surface. Awesome site – will be checking back for more.

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      Exactly Jae! The Natives have had their traditional ways of healing for centuries. One has to keep an open mind sometimes. I absolutely love the program I am currently taking. It might not be for everyone but it is home for me.

      Reply
  3. Rufat

    Very interesting site! This is absolutely a new thing for me and I don’t have any knowledge in this field. But you seem very knowledgeable and can help people and give them practical recommendations. We still have little knowledge about connection between spiritual and physical world. Sometimes traditional healing helps where official medicine fails to do anything or even give any explanations. I will revisit your site to take a closer look at your articles.

    Reply
  4. Dorothy Jolley

    I am originally from South Africa and I am working on my doctoral degree in health psychology in the United States. I would like to implement the AFOT program in my proposal/dissertation entitled, “Urban AI/AN type-2 diabetes women and stress.” At a recent convention I attended this program was presented by the member of the Society of Indian Psychologists. I learned about the program and I thought it would be very effective to help me in my efforts to help this particular group of women. I would sincerely appreciate your help and direction.

    Sincerely,
    Dorothy Jolley
    PhD Student Walden University
    801 302 1341

    Reply
  5. Catty

    What a fantastic website you have, something you really dug deep with me… It was when you said something like, we can store trauma encountered by our ancestors. This is something that I think not only me, but a lot of us don’t realize. I’ve come across so many stories where people said, “I was the first in my family to graduate college”. I believe a cycle can be broken, but my question is, if trauma is stored in us through our ancestors, does it make it that much harder to overcome something? Thanks sharing this wonderful content, I will be sure to bookmark this.

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      hi Catty!
      I am so glad you like my site! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back as there is a lot to see! To answer your question, I think that we might carry intergenerational trauma but we also carry ancestral wisdom. We carry the wisdom and knowledge of your ancestors to get through what we experience. We just need to look and we will find that knowledge.

      Reply

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