by Sylvia Storry, Program Practice Lead
Family, however you choose to define it, is rooted in connection. Sometimes that connection needs support to nurture and strengthen the roots. For the past 15 years, the Family Roots program has been a core program offering here at Power To Be. Through partnership with Human Nature Counselling, the 5-month program supports solo-parent families living within Greater Victoria, B.C.
Family Roots supports families with genuine care and an understanding that solo-parenting is tough. As with many other Power To Be programs, this program is structured in a way where families can “just show up.” All food, equipment and adventure activities are covered; the families are supported by a team of Power To Be staff, a Human Nature Counsellor, and many dedicated volunteers – some of whom have been volunteering for the program for close to 5 years. Over the years, many parents have shared the simplicity of just showing up, and having everything planned for them is valuable: it provides them time and space to bond with their kids through play and activity without the worry of logistics.
Using an Emotionally Focused Family Therapy approach, the focus of nature-based activity days is to work on the natural cycles of family systems. For example, the cycle of connection, rupture, and repair is cared for throughout the program, with support at every stage. To further explain, every family system experiences cycles of connection that may be disrupted by conflict or external stressors. Repair represents conflict or stressor resolution; this is the stage in the cycle where growth happens, and roots are formed. Family Roots supports families in adding to their toolbox of skills and practices that help them navigate this natural cycle of connection, rupture, and repair, and activities are designed to help families identify the patterns of communication that occur within the cycle.
Non-judgemental support provides safe enough spaces for families to practice healthy relationship skills in real time with the support of community and nature as the co-therapist. In between family activity days, parents are supported with a monthly group session and individualized counselling supports.
Please join us in celebrating 15 years of heart-centred nature-based support of families in our community!