The Transformation of the College.
Since publishing the Therapeutic Shamanism books, I’ve had many enquiries about offering online courses and had been putting a lot of thought into how it might work. Then Covid-19 came along and it became clear that, if the college were to have a future, the courses would have to move online.
However, I was only willing to move the courses online if it could be done without compromising the courses’ high standards and quality. In exploring this, it rapidly became clear this would mean not just cutting-and-pasting the old courses into an online format, but completely redesigning them. Given that, I decided to approach this time as being a death and rebirth of the college – a time not only of transition but of transformation.
To do this, over the last few months the core tutors and I have been running free exploratory teaching sessions online with the college’s students. These have gone even better than expected and have been invaluable in learning not only how to adapt the courses, but in discovering the opportunities that online work can open up too. It has been a genuinely exciting journey.
What We Discovered
If I’m honest, I did have some doubts about online work. I was willing to explore it but if it didn’t work, I was ready to mothball the college for the foreseeable future, or even shut it entirely. It turned out my initial doubts were shared by many of the students too. In doing the exploratory sessions though, although a few people did decide that online work was not for them, that was so for only a tiny number of people – far fewer than I had expected. For the rest of us, the great majority of us, we were surprised at how well the online sessions worked.
I’d had no problem seeing how teaching theory could work online. After all, giving a talk to people online is not that different from doing it face-to-face, in terms of being able to deliver information. I was sceptical about how well shamanic journeys doing together online would work though. I was even more sceptical about whether we could create a sense of community online, and community had always been such an important aspect of the face-to-face courses. My doubts turned out to be unfounded though. In adapting how we worked, we found that the journeys worked really well. The biggest surprise though was the strength of community feel that people experienced in doing the online work.
Working online brings other benefits too. It opens the courses up not only to people from more geographically-distant parts of the UK, but to people from other parts of the world. It saves people the cost of overnight accommodation, and travel time and money too. Plus, the amount of journeys saved makes the college a significantly greener business too (and, as part of our transformation, we are shifting our online presence to greener providers, to offset our increased time online and make the college as carbon-neutral as possible – more on that to follow in a later newsletter).
The Online Courses
Now, having now experimented, and after endless meetings and discussions, and hundreds of hours of rewriting the courses, developing new protocols, and getting to grips with the technology, I am excited and delighted to be able to begin offering you the Three Ravens online Therapeutic Shamanism courses.
Instead of the old introductory days, next-step days, foundation and advanced courses, and practitioner training, the online courses are now arranged as follows:-
The starting point for learning Therapeutic Shamanism, and a prerequisite for going on to the other courses. This is a low-cost course, to give you the chance to see whether Therapeutic Shamanism feels right for you. Find out more here.
Following on from the First-Steps course, these courses focus on different aspects of shamanic work. They can be taken in any order, depending on what aspects of their shamanic practice students want to explore and develop. Find out more here.
These courses go into a particular area of shamanism in detail. As well as shamanism, they focus on the psychotherapeutic aspects of Therapeutic Shamanism, and on developing shamanic community too. Find out more here.
This is a subscription service open to people who have attended First-Step, Next-Steps and In-Depth courses. It includes a strong emphasis on shamanic community and support, plus access to the latest ideas and practices as the work grows and develops. Find out more here.
Shamanic counselling and psychotherapy. For those who want to learn to offer Therapeutic Shamanism in a professional capacity. Details to follow.
There is lots more exciting stuff to come. I’ll keep you posted.
Thank you for reading this.
Paul Francis, July 1st 2020