April 26, 2023

What Is Different About A Community-Based Plant-Medicine Assisted Therapy Model?

Written by Gathering Facilitator Sally Kupp

Community-based [plant medicine]-assisted therapy relies on the power of relationships and community to attune individuals to both themselves and others. Compassionate witnessing is one of the primary tools used in this therapy, allowing individuals to connect with others on a deep level and build trust over time. Attunement, or the ability to be present and attuned to another human being, is a fundamental need that many people have lost due to past experiences, including trauma. AND: it seems many people do not have trust in themselves or a supportive community that they feel safe being vulnerable in. Through community, support and unconditional positive regard, trust can first be recognized in self, and then with others.

By holding space for each other's experiences, individuals in the community can expand their window of tolerance, which is the optimal arousal zone that allows for flow and growth. When individuals spend enough time at the edges of hyper or hypo-arousal, they may feel either numb and shut down or aggressive and impulsive. Through co-creating a therapeutic container with community and being witnessed as worthy exactly as we are, individuals can grow their window of tolerance over time.

A community-based approach that emphasizes the power of the individual as well as relationships and community can be a transformative tool. In a strengths-based approach, meaning the focus is on building on people's existing strengths and resources, rather than on their weaknesses or deficits, people feel more empowered and capable. Helping people see their own strengths more clearly and feel more confident in their ability to heal and grow supports their innate inner healing power.

Article written by Peg

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