This week I conducted my first 75 minute webinar for peer specialists who wanted to earn continuing education credits to maintain their certification. The topic of the webinar was Helping Peers Discover the Healer Within. We began with a true story: Jun had been in the mental health system diagnosed with schizophrenia for many years. One day Jun and I were talking and she told me about how much she enjoyed caring for her young grandson. A big smile crossed her face and her eyes lit up as she described the joy of being a grandma. I asked Jun if a mental health professional had recommended that she take care of her grandson. She said no, it had come naturally to her without anyone suggesting it. Then she looked at me and said, "I never knew anything good could come from me. I thought I was crazy." Wow, that really touched my heart. And I got to wondering, where did Jun get this idea that nothing good could ever come from within her?
After I shared Jun's story with the webinar class, I went on to analyze the ways in which traditional mental health services give us the message that we really shouldn't look within for answers. Most of us receive strong messages to look outside of ourselves, to professionals, for answers. In some ways we are taught not to trust our inner experience or to explore the healer within ourselves.
I went on to share with the class that I believe as peer specialists, we are wounded healers. Our job is not to fix our peers. Instead, we can support them in discovering and learning to trust the wisdom of the healer within. It can be very healing to reconnect with ourselves and learn to trust our inner promptings.
I then went on to teach the class about our CommonGround Approach and how we use Personal Medicine as a method of helping peers discover the healer within. Here are some comments that participants sent when evaluating the webinar:
- I love the idea of "reclaiming" the word "medicine" thanks Pat. We must always resist master narratives.
- This is so profound and beautiful! I feel this way and it is so wonderful to see that sometone else feels this way! What a community this is!
- This was by far one of the best webinars I have ever attended. The information was relevant and interesting. The presentation was engaging. Questions were answered. I loved that it was interactive as well. Thank you for the work you put into this!
- I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop and learned a lot that can help me work with peers, and grow as an individual in recovery. Nice price point also. I didn't have agency support to take this workshop, so I appreciate that I could afford to participate. Surprisingly useful content. Excellent presentation. I will be taking more of your seminars. Thank you.
I hope you'll consider joining us for our next certified peer specialist webinar. The topic is: Peer Specialists and Micro-aggressions in the Workplace.
The dates are: February 13 at 1PM eastern standard time or February 15 at 4PM eastern standard time.
If you complete the webinar you'll get a certificate for 1 Continuing Education Credit that can be used toward your annual re-certification.
Hope to see you there ~ Pat Deegan