|Etienne Wenger Symposium 2012 Clinical Mastery Attachment Mary Jo Barrett Great Attachment Debate Gender Issues Narcissistic Clients Attachment Theory David Schnarch Men in Therapy Community of Excellence Alan Sroufe Brain Science Challenging Cases CE Comments Couples Diets Couples Therapy Future of Psychotherapy Anxiety Ethics Mindfulness Clinical Excellence Wendy Behary Mind/Body The Future of Psychotherapy Trauma Linda Bacon William Doherty|
|Beyond the Consulting Room - Page 8|
As a family therapist, I'm used to working with families when somebody in the room gets anxious and tries to pull the plug on a moment of courage or connection. I responded, "I think it was Margaret Mead who said that it only takes a small group of committed people to change the world, and indeed that it's never been changed in any other way." After letting this sink in, I piggybacked on the language of the first speaker. "Every social movement begins with a choir," I said. "And we have a lot of people already in this choir." I saw people sit up straighter in their chairs and I could feel the energy flowing back into the room. Then I brought it home: "If only 12 people with the passion and energy I see in this room had shown up here, I'd have been happy."
Later, I began teaching citizen-professionals and parent-leaders how to anticipate deflating lines in public gatherings and how to counteract them. Part of my job as a citizen-therapist is towork with my colleagues Tai Mendenhall and Jerica Berge to help other citizens learn public skills.
Invite Recipients of Services to Become Citizen Activists
I got involved with the Father Project when its staff leaders heard about my community work. It's a program that helps low-income, mostly minority, single fathers reconnect with their children, land jobs, and get right with child support. Like most human services agencies, the Father Project had no role for successful "graduates," the people who were doing well now and no longer needed services.
The executive director, Andrew Freeberg, asked me to coach him and his colleague Guy Bowling in how to involve the successful men as citizens with a larger mission. I met several times with them to develop criteria for which men we'd invite to deliberate with us about whether this was an attractive and feasible project. This small group then generated a larger list, and we began to meet as the Citizen Father Project.