Attending an annual conference can seem like a day away from the regular work day, a day away from some of the stressors and challenges, a time to hang out with folks you know, meet some you don’t, and maybe have a good time. Some of you might be coming for inspiration and to bring something new and useful to your job. There is no guarantee of any of this, while there is something getting you to register.
In the more intimate setting of the breakout workshop format, I want to stimulate your thinking, emotional response, and a felt sense of what is happening for you. And, because my speciality is working with folks dealing with the effects of overwhelm – which is a normal experience - we will explore a bit of how this happens and how we can endeavour to prevent it from having a lasting negative impact. Because you work with others, you are having an influence on them. They are having an influence on you. When we understand a bit of what is happening, there are more options for how to respond in order to have the influence (and sometimes the result) we prefer.
Berns currently works as a psychotherapist (since 1995 after graduating with an MEd from the University of Victoria)) and Somatic Experiencing trainer (since 2008), facilitating Somatic Experiencing trainings around the world. His first professional work was as a Special Education teacher in New Brunswick (his home province) after graduating from Dalhousie University (1989) and Acadia University (1980). Moving to Yellowknife in 1984 (for one year which lead to seven) supported gaining many years’ experience as an elementary classroom teacher and engaging with all that that involves (and more). Living in ‘the north’ was a unique and rich experience. Pursuing his own personal development work then lead to a move away from working with kids to working with adults in a more intimate context. As a somatically oriented practitioner and trainer, Berns now supports people who work with others to orient to what is working (amidst all that is not) as a way to renegotiate overwhelming experiences and achieve better health and well-being.