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HEART: resilience tools with arts&outdoors

Type of tool: 
Activity
Duration: 
120+ min
Topics addressed: 
Adult education
Communication
Personal development

HEART is an innovative collection of 84 easy-to-use tools to tackle symptoms of stress and anxiety. They are based on the synergetic integration of profound disciplines - expressive arts, outdoor education - for raising the level of well-being.

Aim: 

HEART creates the vision of a compact/practical tool set (that improves resilience skill set) as a landscape, from where all the end users: helping professionals,youth workers, trainers, social workers can choose tools/modules to best fit their working circumstances and they can create their own practice, applying well-being in a tailor-made form. It is unique in the way of combining different disciplines in an easy-to-use modular system.

Helping professionals, youth workers, social workers are „silent heroes” working amongst difficult situations for the benefit of the youth – often their work does not end after 8 hours, but they have to balance their personal-work life amongst the unusually demanding needs of their clients, which increases the risk of burnout. With offering thematic workshops of well-being we give recognition of their work and the importance of the work they deliver (service) for young people.

Check out the tools here: https://elmenyakademia.hu/en/projects/heart-en/heart-tools-en/

Methodology: 

HEART method ( the simplified combination of arts and outdoors bridged with psychoeducation) was born from a 4 years experiment, where inspired leaders of workshops and methodological centers gave their knowledge and best findings to create the 82 pieces of collection offering for other facilitators, adult educators of Europe and abroad. The process of collecting the best fitting tools was milestoned with 3 times 10 days training courses where we the co-creators could dive deep into each other's methodology and find the most suitable activities for further wide spreading.

a) ART

Body & movement - the ARC Process (UK)
The ARC Process is a creative movement, touch and contemplative approach to health and wellbeing that bridges the arts, movement, healing and indigenous wisdom practices leading to a solution orientated and resource focused methodology.
It supports an inquiry into the relationship between somatic awareness, embodiment, creative exploration, intuitive guidance, inner listening and connection with nature.

b) MULTIMODAL ART:

The Marchio-Patti© Integrated Method (Metodo Integrato Marchio-Patti©) is an art therapy method that integrates the knowledge of psychology, neuroscience, anthropology and educational science.
The fundamental objective is to facilitate the achievement of mental health, i.e. the state of psychophysical well-being, in which the person is able to develop their ability to face the responsibilities of life. Beneath that it encourages participants to live with serenity the relationship with themselves and with others, in the awareness of their emotional world. Art therapy, in fact, starts from the assumption that everyone, in the integration of mind and body, is capable of intervening in their own state of health and can use external resources to move towards the pole of health. The Method sourcing from art therapy integrates the psychological approach, psycho-body techniques, imaginative techniques and the practice of all art forms. It focuses on strengthening the person's internal resources and recognizing the resources present both in the group and in the context.

c) OUTDOORS:

HEART tools is partly based on outdoor and experiential education. For us this means a combination of authentic adventure in a natural environment and the application of a facilitated and deliberate learning process in this outdoor setting. By authentic adventure we mean: group-planned and group-directed expeditions, physically, mentally, emotionally and socially challenging activities, as self-reliant as possible, in a natural environment, being challenged at the edge of your capabilities in a progressive way. The steps of our learning model are: framing, front loading, the activity/authentic adventure, review and transfer.

d) PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL TOOLS:

Psychoeducation traditionally has been used in the therapy of somatic patients, in their education. However, since then the education of important knowledge in health psychology is also applied in different conditions leading to other mental or physical complaints. One such condition is burnout, in the prevention of which it is particularly important to make those affected be aware and understand how and why the symptoms of burnout have appeared, what are the long-term effects of them. This transmission of knowledge points out to the cognitive-behavioural connections, focusing mainly on what the affected person can do to manage his/her situation. This method has significant importance in burnout prevention since it is difficult to identify our own symptoms.
In the psychoeducation targeting burnout prevention we teach the process of burnout to the participants for him/her to see what he/she can do against it, to avoid thinking about burnout as a syndrome not under our own control. We aim to translate scientific facts to everyday language using simple images, metaphors. We facilitate quick understanding with visual aid and summarizing tables.

Step by step process: 

The first part is about introducing the idea and concept of the HEART resilience tools and diving step-by-step into a personal/group experience of resilience building:

1. Introduction of the developer team, basic concepts of HEART - 10-15 mins
conceptual background
methods and disciplines behind
advantage of methodological combination for resilience purposes

tools: flipchart paper and flip chart markers, projector to show photo collection of the HEART project

2. Introduction of participants through activities linked to easy-to-use outdoor experiential education tools. Name games and a short learning experience is applied for setting up a good atmosphere, small learning to learn experience - 20 mins - this will be one of the first examples of HEART easy-to-use tools collection.

Activity:
https://elmenyakademia.hu/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Giant-skipping-rope...
Tool: 20 meters long 10 mm diameter rope (climbing rope, or fishing rope)

We continue with finding a theme that is important for a participant at the very moment concerning his/her personal or work life. This will be the starting theme of what he/she wants to work with within the given time frames and tools. From this theme through the transition impact of the multimodal art process we will arrive at his/her personal well being by the end of the 4th activity.

To facilitate this we go through the following process (combination of HEART tools):

3. What is my theme connected to resilience and well-being? Activity: Listening partnership 10 mins

https://elmenyakademia.hu/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Listening-partnersh...

Tools: chairs for each person

4. Find my theme and its development in colours - “Colour mixing” - 45 mins

https://elmenyakademia.hu/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Colour-Mixing-24.pdf

Tools: white bed sheet, tempera colours 0,5 liters per colour - basic colours: black, red, green, blue, yellow. A big plastic tarp under the bed sheet. Wet tissues for cleaning hands. Plastic cups for distributing the colours - 3x more than the number of participants. Water for making the tempera colour less dense.

Stepping back to “meta position” : Reflection round on the whole HEART taster experience: 30 mins
The reflection starts in duos and then 4 people subgroups, final sharing is plenary.
How did you feel?
What did you learn in general and about your state of resilience ?
How would you use the tools for your own youth work?

Tools: flip chart paper, markers

Materials and resources: 

Flipcharts, colours and A4 and A3 papers.
1 rope cca 10 mm diameter and 20 meters long (I can bring it with me if it is complicated) for the giant skipping rope activity.
3 white bed sheets, plastic cups (0,5 liters) equals with the number of participants, and basic tempera colours 1 liter each (green, yellow, blue, black, red) for the Colour Mixing activity

Outcomes: 

Current workshop can support participants to experience:
- bonding with others and playfullness
- being able to listen to inner dialogues of ones and others, thus identifying themes one is busy with
- having a dip into the contents of the unconscious levels and using it as a creative, recreational resource
- being able to slow down, trace internal movements and give them a form of expression

The general outcomes sourcing from the benefits of the basic methods:
HEART is the combination of “art” (body, movement, dance, drawing, painting, storytelling, poem writing, sculpturing) - and outdoor experiential learning. According to our experience these two main disciplines help to fully cover human potential - their development work is being one complementary tool of the other.
While outdoor experiential learning focuses on targets, achievement, working in groups, establishing something challenging with others, stepping out of your comfort zone and engaging into adventures for learning through physical and mental group challenges. Finally outdoors leads to harvesting its results: discovering that “there is more in you than you think” (Kurt Hahn) aca effective group work, empathy, loyalty and compassion toward others. Gaining self-esteem and integrity through performance, acquiring a positive approach toward life and being free to explore more your potential, guide and design your own further development through various experiences.
Art has a totally different scope: discovering the human potential through emotions, hidden resources for creativity, touching the wisdom of the unconscious. While making inner contents visible, you create something (art) that has no particular goal then expresses its existence. Our belief is that combining the two has a potential that we intend to work with for rejuvenation and being more potent in using individual or group resources for youth workers and social workers, adult educators e.g. helping professionals and their target groups as such
Psychoeducational tools are the supportive base for all what arts and outdoors brings up in the theme of resilience and its sister burnout, also to this family other related members are belonging: stress prevention, recreation and wellbeing. Psychoeducational tools help us to orient ourselves from where we start and where we are in our process for reaching a higher level of resilience. It makes all the experiences gained channeled into our everyday work or personal lives and supports us in the level of work out or strengthen practices which are in the direction of our well being. It shows new habits that we can allow for ourselves in order to stay fresh, alive and positive amongst the challenges of life.

Evaluation: 

Since tools are designed for tackling early symptoms of burnout, exhaustion and stress it is important that you get to know the mental and physical health state of your participants before you start to work with them. For this you can assess their burnout state with simple tests, written application forms with targeted questions or personal interviews. For the best results you need to avoid participants who have serious ongoing issues which limit their everyday well being and general functioning. You should advise them to turn to a professional - psychologist, therapist or psychiatrist.

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