WRITTEN BY Bettina Shultz-Jobe, LPC, NBCC
Lately, I have been pondering what I am calling the principle of development. Development of an embryo. Of an infant. Of a child. Of the brain. Of a relationship. And of the entire field of equine assisted interventions.
When the brain and body develop, there is a delicate balance between integration and differentiation. Integration is the ability for the whole to work together toward a common goal – with this comes ease, a flow, and a balance. However, integration can’t occur without differentiation. Different parts do different things – they specialize and get really good at what they do. This is necessary for our brain and our body – indeed even our cells have to differentiate in order to work together. This is important in any healthy relationship and an important part of secure attachment. AND this is important for our little field of equine assisted psychotherapy and learning. We too have to differentiate to integrate.
Differentiation can feel scary, painful, and competitive, but it is needed for the consumer and for the health of this field.
Over the last 10 years we have done our best to differentiate gracefully, but unfortunately no one gets to skip adolescence. ☺ Maturity requires that we know who we are and also how we fit into the greater community. To differentiate safely and responsibly we must always hold space for productive integration and collaboration. After all, differentiation without integration will also lead to cell and neuronal death, causes major issues in the brain and body, AND in this field.
At the 2019 NL Deep Dive Conference we are seeking to strike the balance between differentiation and integration as we collaborate with others in this field who are on the same journey. We may not be on the same path or agree on every point, but our destination is the same. While NL has always integrated many different treatment modalities (and will continue to do so at this conference), this time around we seek to intentionally integrate with other EAP/L modalities.
NL is a principle-based modality. NL is a process, a framework, and a set of beliefs - a primary goal is to dig into the beliefs driving practice, which means NL can be paired with any model that honors our core beliefs. There are so many modalities and organizations in this field that do, indeed, share core beliefs!
If you’re new to the field and have been wondering where to start, the 2019 NL Deep Dive Conference is a great place to learn from many of the pioneers in this field. If you’ve been with NL and want to broaden AND deepen your learning, this conference is for you!
Philip Tedeschi, with the University of Denver and The Institute for Human Animal Connection will offer a Keynote address. Philip has done so much to make the world a better place for people and animals and I could not be more thrilled to learn from him. Leif Hallberg, a renowned author and teacher in this field, will offer a keynote address and teach a workshop. We are in for such a treat! Sara Schlote with EQUUSOMA will be teaching a workshop and guiding a retreat. I even get to co-present with her – well, mostly just support Sarah and learn, learn, learn! Sara Sherman will guide a retreat in which NL is blended with the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method. This is going to be transformative, no doubt! Take a look at all the other presentations by those who are NL trainers, NL certified practitioners and equine professionals, and NL certification students! My only complaint is that I can’t attend every workshop!
I so look forward to powerful collaborations at this conference and in the future with many others! We’re better together!
The numbers for this conference are limited to ensure intimacy and allow for experiential workshops. If you want a free, SUPER COOL conference t-shirt sign up by the registration deadline before the shirts go to print. Registration closes when the conference is full or by September 15th. Sign up soon!