Proposed Facilitator Development Program

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By Constance Washburn and Molly Brown

We have been working on a plan for a one-year development program for those who wish to become facilitators or enhance their skills as facilitators in the Work That Reconnects.  We hope to offer it as a pilot project in 2017 on the West Coast, as one of several pathways available for deepening theoretical understanding and facilitation skills in the Work That Reconnects.   We are working with other experienced facilitators to make similar programs available elsewhere.

Interest Survey

Here is a link to an interest survey for anyone who might want to participate in this program.  Your responses will help us finalize the design of the program to meet your needs–and get things going soon.  Please respond by December 15, 2016.

At this time of planetary destruction, systemic racism, and political and economic chaos, people are looking for community and ways to return to their spiritual roots. They also want to find their particular gifts and how they can contribute to the Great Turning. The Work That Reconnects is a transformational body of work which includes both theories and practices which enable us to reconnect us to our own true nature, the web of life and to community while inspiring us to act on behalf of life. This program will give facilitators the support needed to make the transformational journey themselves and to assist others on the path to coming back to life.

One’s ability to guide others through the Work That Reconnects is enhanced by one’s own personal work, knowledge of and engagement in social and ecological challenges, decolonizing one’s worldview, as well as one’s skills as a facilitator. This course will weave all these dimensions together.

We want to meet the needs of people who want to facilitate the Work but don’t yet feel confident to do so, as well as people already facilitating the Work who want a “graduate level” program to develop their competencies.  We have based the plan on the Facilitator Competency Framework developed by Joanna Macy, Chris Johnstone, Molly Brown, and Constance Washburn.

Our text books for this course are Coming Back to Life and Active Hope. We will be working deeply with the theories and practices contained in these books as well as exploring additional texts and hands-on experiences. Those participating in the program will also be expected to do their own inner work as well as participate in group work between training sessions.

Perhaps most importantly, this program will help build a widening community of facilitators who support each other to do the Work through sharing resources and experiences, as well as helping each other face the difficult times ahead with open hearts and open minds.

“The time for the lone wolf is over.  Gather yourselves!  Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.  All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.  We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”  Hopi Elder



At least one 4 – 10 day retreat with WTR facilitator; reading Coming Back to Life and Active Hope.


A one year program with 3 retreats of 4-5 days on the West Coast. We will follow the Spiral of the Work each retreat, with opportunities to both experience and lead practices, with group reflection and feedback. The first retreat will focus on Gratitude and Honoring Our Pain for the World; the second will focus on Seeing with New Eyes and Deep Time; the third will focus on Going Forth.

Facilitators/Trainers:  Molly Brown, Constance Washburn, and other guest instructors.

Homework between retreats may include:
– Monthly study group meetings to share responses to relevant study guide questions on chapters covered so far and chapters for next session.
– Participation in local or online anti-oppression workshops or study groups.
– Reports to group on self care, spiritual practice, time in nature, deepening understanding, and offering the Work.
– Planning and facilitating WTR workshop (evening, short series, or half-day).
– Sharing plans for workshop with study group, and debrief afterwards.
– Engaging in an activity in each dimension of the Great Turning. Sharing learnings and challenges with your group.
– Compiling poems, songs, art activities, theatre games, new practices.
– Required readings and videos for the upcoming retreat
– Possible webinars

Retreat Daily Schedule to include:
-WTR theory and practices; workshop design and facilitation. Study guide discussions. One major exercise, with group debrief; principles of facilitating a safe, inclusive, mutually respectful group.
-Practice sessions to provide the opportunity for every participant to lead a practice (with a partner) during each retreat.
-Living the Great Turning, World View. Discussions of challenging situations; guided meditations; group process; confronting and exploring current social justice and environmental crises. Students may deliver short talks on WTR topic.

Retreat One: Spring or Summer 2017 – Gratitude and Honoring Our Pain – 4-5 nights
Retreat Two: Fall 2017 – Seeing with New Eyes & Deep Time – 4 nights
Retreat Three: Spring 2018  – Going Forth – 4 nights

Another possible schedule: one 14-day intensive with online follow-up for a year, including study groups, consultations with teachers, suggested readings and videos, etc.

Interest Survey

Here is a link to an interest survey for anyone who might want to participate in this program.  Your responses will help us finalize the design of the program to meet your needs–and get things going soon.  Please respond by December 15, 2016.

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