Building Resilience in Body, Mind, and Spirit

Katie Mansfield and Katia Ornelas

Extended adversity, toxic stress and traumatic experiences can undermine our sense of safety, healthy uses of power, connection and general functioning – our resilience – as individuals and in groups. While we repeatedly witness how unhealed trauma fuels cycles of violence, few of us feel equipped to interrupt, or even be present within, these cycles. As academics, program designers and implementers, we reach for technical plans and try to think our way to solutions. We are unaware of messages from our own bodies and forget the fundamental importance of movement, playfulness and creativity.

In this course, we will take the connection between body and mind seriously. When we engage in work toward full-bodied healing, well-being and self care, we may change our own experience of self and our relationships. We will also identify tools and strategies for work in groups, to cultivate safety, healthy uses of power and a deeper sense of connection. We will engage our bodies and minds in a variety of creative practices, ranging from structured physical movement, meditation and breath exercises to playful activity, art-making and story-telling. We will also explore together participants’ practices from within our own cultural contexts, as well as some of the taboos, stereotypes and biases that hold us back from integrating more creative, embodied practice into our work for social change and peace.

This course is being offered for training and for academic credit. The syllabus details the number of credits hours and associated course requirements.