This blog is a log, in more ways than one. Imagine meandering though a wood on a damp evening
Hello, my name is Claire, and this is the ProChoices Clinic blog.
The intention of this blog is to share experiences of learning and practicing Feminist Narrative Therapy at ProChoices.
In my personal experience so far, the lessons and practices at ProChoices reflect the lessons and practices of life. The processes are organic; messy and beautiful all at the same time. This blog is a log, in more ways than one:
Imagine meandering though a wood on a damp evening — patches of light poking through the understory and illuminating your stepping feet — when you happen upon a log. At first glance this toppled giant may seem just a mound of decay. But say you were to get off the well-worn trail, fumble over the moss and rocks, getting spines of devils club embedded in your skin, and sit down on your bum like the ten year old who forever lives inside you. From this vantage point, closer, you might discover there are whole worlds going about their business right in front of you! Ant colonies enacting myriad struggles and triumphs. Tiny tree seedlings embracing their dead kin. Mysterious mycelium embedded in the whole: digesting, slowly digesting. The longer you sit the more you notice how intricately connected to the surrounding ecosystem this particular mound of life/decay is. You may start to question previous assumptions about where the boundary of this log ends, and the forest floor begins. Perhaps you’ll even question your original belief that the log was actually dead. You might find yourself wondering what death really means to you.
I like this metaphor because my experience of immersive learning with a feminist narrative therapy collective has been much like the story above: very organic and interconnected. The learning environment is rich with life — so many minds, so many contributions, so many opportunities to learn and grow — and there has been death also. Death of old assumptions. Death of power, death of control. With these deaths, space clears, and there, in the clearing, are questions. Questions that call into being new ways of thinking, being, relating. And another. Each question building upon the other, I ponder with the other learners and become acquainted with them, with narrative, and with different parts of myself. As I study and practice feminist narrative therapy with clients, I open to noticing things that where right in front of me all the while, by pausing to take a closer look. Instead of walking quickly down the beaten path, I become curious about what is there, in that moment. How does this part connect to that part?… I explore how each leaf and stone and meaning and story connects with other parts of the self, other beings, and other personal and cultural narratives. I explore now in a different way, not only in the therapy room, but in life. Narrative practice has me realizing that I am not separate from what I am looking at. The act of looking closer, putting aside assumptions, is magic in itself. I am grateful for the opportunity to study this metaphor in the rainforest of British Columbia, of all perfect places.
We are setting the intention for this blog, and metaphorical log, to be an invitation to co-explore with curiosity the learning journey of an extern immersed in feminist, narrative, therapy collective learning. I feel my words could never convey the full experience of being part of this experience, but I hope for this blog to invite transparency and community reflection into this particular therapeutic realm which, like the log, has worlds within worlds of experiences present. Perhaps settling in and taking a close look at this little clinic will help us to observe some of the intricate interconnected relationships of the greater ecosystem we all are part of.