What is this Residency?
“From Neurons to Nations: learning to embody a spacious, wise and engaged relationship to ourselves, others and the world!”
A residency is a place where we learn to live well and wisely with ourselves, others and in the world. We practice with our inner and relational reactivity so that we can learn to respond appropriately instead. We get to cook, work and play with a diverse group of people coming from many countries. We will be practicing all sorts of awareness practies (mindfulness, compassion, movement, art, diary), engage in small-group circles where we focus on the way in which our present moment embodied experience is affected by the speech and presence of others, and community sessions where we explore emergent questions about our society, its greatness and the urgent challenges to address change. We will create as safe a container as possible to enable the emergence of embodied regulation, relational insights and embody an ambitious relationship to the world.
We emphasise learning & integrating: we will have propose several ways to learn the art and science of developing inner and relational resiliency through workshops and didactic sessions. The immersion format allows for insights from structured experiential sessions to be integrated in relationships during the residency itself. The online sessions before and after we meet in Bergerac (France) allow for integration into one’s work, family and daily life because we want this process to impact your life in the long term!
“It was amazing. In many ways, very joyful, very playful, meaningful interactions, whether it was in groups or dyads”
– Camille M., Researcher, 2023 Residency Participant in Bergerac
The residency includes time and space for you to continue your daily personal work and projects (up to 30-35 hours/week).
Why Be More Relationally Embodied?
The quality of our relationships has recently shown to be the important factor for mental health. In school we did not learn how to build strong relationships, how to repair a connection when a rupture occurred, or how to express our needs for safety and emotional support. This residency aims to strengthen our way of engaging in relationships so that we can feel freer to be ourselves with others, and build strong bonds.
- Regulate: We will learn to self-regulate & co-regulate, which means we learn to support one another to feel better together. We learn to feel better somatically (in our body), emotionally (feeling well-being) and socially (feeling more embedded with others). We embody a responsive, not reactive, connexion to ourselves and others.
- Restore: From this sense of connection, safety and confidence, our patterns of dysregulation and dissociation (related to previous traumas) can soften and be released.
- Respond: As we grow our nervous system capacity and relational skills, we have more space, agency and possibility for new ways of engaging with the world.
The conceptual framework for group sessions stems of psychodynamic and attachment theories as well as systems, somatic, social and positive psychology to support relational resiliency. We emphasize “neuroceptive safety” which means we specifically attempt to modulate the containment of the group to skilfully face the challenges emerging, and embody the resources developed. For example, we start with a short embodiment practice at the beginning of the session to prime for somatic sensitivity and speaking from a place of experience. As the group builds in its quality of compassion, mutual support and enjoyment, it become a womb-like experience which enables a deep nervous system regulation for the group as a whole. Joining us in this residency, you benefit by:
- Sensing and caring for the different states of your nervous system (self-regulation)
- Find out how you are impacted by others in an embodied way (co-regulation), and liberate yourself from constricting relational habits
- Being able to express yourself more authentically with others (perspective-taking), understand and appreciate others’ point of view (empathy)
- Learning the basic processes of creating safe-group spaces and group interventions (facilitation)
- Inquiring skilfully, in an embodied way, into difficult questions we are facing today as a society and as a species
What Practices are Involved?
- Awareness Practices: One of the most important ways to become resilient and increase our ability to cope with challenges is to learn self-regulation. We will be practicing evidence-based practices such as mindfulness, compassion, somatic orientation, tai-chi, yoga and keeping a short daily diary.
- Workshops: Here we will practice basic embodiment and relational skills, incuding some nervous system and positive psychology practices of orientation, enjoyment, active listening, perspectival essentials, self- and co-regulation.
- Buddy sessions: Every participant will be paired with another residency participant to have a daily chat about how things are going. This is an opportunity to explore joys and challenges in the residency, as well as practicing some of the relational skills you are wishing to learn.
- Resiliency Circles (RC): These are the core practices in the residency, where we form groups of 6-8 participants with 2 professional facilitators, and we focus on the present moment emergence of our inner experience as we engage with others in the group. We get to feel news ways of relating to ourself, relating to others and strengthen our ability to be securely attached, which means that we can stay in connection with others whatever we are experiencing inside.
- RC’s will have a didactic emphasis, where facilitators share the basics of how we create safe-enough group facilitation spaces and the group gradually learns to run with its facilitators.
- Meta-Circles (MC): In these sessions we meet as a whole community and explore the relevant themes, joys and challenges that are coming up in the residency, and in our societies. It’s an opportunity to feel into a larger group process of collective affect and social intelligence, regulate the comunity, and also have some time in the smaller RC group to integrate these experiences.
- Open Spaces: There will be a daily opportunity to propose skills that you would like to offer to the comunity, sing, dance and have fun! These sessions allow us to meet, enjoy and learn from one another without the professional facilitators, and self-organize as a community.
- Collective Care: We will spend about 1h to care for the beautiful house every day. Everyone will choose one small duty and collectively we will enjoy living in clean and cared for spaces.
- Personal Sessions: Facilitators are professionally trained in somatic regulation with many years of experience and you can benefit from their support by requesting 1h 1:1 sessions. These sessions will help you to integrate challenges you may be going through, emotions emerging as a result of interactions in the residency or general behaviour patterns which cause suffering. These are paid in addition to the residency fee (€100/hour) and you can have as many as the schedule allows for.
As you can see, we will have any opportunities to practice becoming weller and wiser 🙂 We will also allow for plenty of time for integration of these experiences and see how they can be transferred in our daily lives for long-term benefit.
Calendar & Schedule
There are 3 phases: first we meet online for 4 weeks, then in person for 2 weeks, then online for 2 weeks:
There are 2 groups (all CET timezone):
- Group #1:
- Online sessions Tuesdays @ 4:30-6pm: May 21, 28; June 4, 11; July 2, 9
- In Bergerac: Mon-Tues-Thurs-Fri @ 4:30-6pm
- Group #2:
- Online sessions on Thursdays @ 7:15-8:45pm: May 23, 30; June 6, 13; July 4, 11
- In Bergerac: Mon-Tues-Thurs-Fri @ 7:15-8:45pm
In-person 2-week schedule in Bergerac
The in-person residency starts Sunday June 16th at 3pm, and end on June 30th at Breakfast.
Note: As a condition for acceptance, in addition to all online sessions before & after the in-person residency, participants must commit to attend the workshops, all RC sessions and the Meta-Circles.
Where is it?
We will be meeting online (zoom) for the first 4 sessions, and the we are meeting in person in the lovely and virbant city of Bergerac, France. All sessions will take place at the Life Itself Bergerac Hub. The team will live offsite, and come in daily to facilitate the sessions.
This residency is part of research programme, and we will be asking you your permission to use your data anonymously that will be collected throughout the residency. This data will include pre-residency questionnaires, smartphone tracking and experience-logging systems, narrative and electronic diary inputs. This project is part of a PhD research programme led by Boaz Feldman at the universities of Harvard and Zurich, in collaboration with Marc Santolini, PhD. We THANK YOU very much for your helpmaking science more personalized and helpful to build resiliency for all beings.
See below for price options.
- Prices below include all meals and accomodation as well as training sessions and groups, unless stated otherwise.
- Discounts: We offer a 20% discount for CARE Training graduates, 15% discount for couples, and 10% discount if you refer a friend to register. For more information, please send us an email at email@example.com.
- Instalments: For instalment payment options, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Group preference: If you have a preference for Group 1 or group 2 in terms of session timing, please share this when you fill out the questionnaire.
Before registering and paying below, please fill out the googleform questionnaire here. We will then be in touch with you to conduct an interview.
As a condition for acceptance, we ask that all participants practice committing to:
- Attend all Resiliency Circle, Workshop and Meta-Circle Sessions (exceptions for medical or emergency reasons)
- Refrain from all intoxicating substances before all facilitated sessions and during all weekdays of the in-person residency (onsite and offsite)
Participants who break these commitments may not be allowed to continue taking part in the residency activities.
Watch Tova speak about how relational challenges are dealt with during the residency!