By Michael Bowers, MA | Executive Director’s Message
A big part of the wonder of childhood is the ability maintain a beginner’s mind without embarrassment or hesitation. Children can marvel at a mudpuddle (and love jumping in it) or stare at the Milky Way. They can express themselves in art or music without concern as to whether they are, or ever will be the next Picasso. Learning, and doing new things for the sheer experience or joy of it is part of the journey. In fact, it is a large part of the work of childhood.
Perhaps for therapists, part of our journey to excellence involves embracing those parts of ourselves that allow us to experience wonder and creativity. Adopting and maintaining a beginner’s mind can help us stay fresh and open to learning. I believe, in fact, that being able to adopt a beginner’s mind and hold it offers great potential for those who wish to excel in their work of giving care to others. We hope that this issue on working with children and adolescents will give you some opportunity to practice a beginner’s mind.
In the same way that children and therapists can cultivate and grow from a beginner’s mind, so can organizations. This year EMDRIA is trying several things it has never done before. The EMDRIA Board is practicing a new method and commitment to governance. Every single member of the EMDRIA staff is assigned some project or program that is new to them—that they haven’t done before. In these instances, the beginner’s mind is forced by circumstance. And like all of us at some point, we must adopt a posture to that new thing—whether to struggle with it, avoid it, or embrace it and learn.
We invite you on that journey with us. As this magazine is evolving from a newsletter to a feature-based publication, we welcome your feedback. We will also be revising and publishing a new consultation packet/manual, creating resources to help market and integrate EMDR into clinical practice, especially for those who are newly trained EMDR practitioners, and convening a Symposium of almost three dozen scholars and thought leaders from around the world to help chart the future of EMDR. We hope to see you at the conference in California this September, where many of these initiatives will be presented.
EMDRIA is focused on learning, growing, and maintaining a beginner’s mind. What is your beginner’s mind task this year? What are you learning or doing that you’ve never done before?