Together Beyond WordsEmpowering Women and Promoting Peace

The Beyond Words Educational Model

What is the Beyond Words Educational model?

“...peace comes by following three paths. The first is to make peace with ourselves- all of ourselves. The second is to make peace in ourselves with the significant people in our lives. The third is to find our own experience of Peace with a capital P.”
--- The Courage for Peace by Louise Diamond

In places of conflict, such as Israel, there are often too many opinions expressed without real dialogue. Words can become manipulative and destructive. The Beyond Words organization chooses to use, in addition to words, several techniques which go “beyond words” on many levels, and the project curriculum involves learning these approaches.

The Beyond Words educational model includes both verbal and nonverbal techniques. We have found that this combination seems to work extremely well in quickly breaking down barriers between people and creating an atmosphere of trust and acceptance.

Our educational model is composed of:

1. An Opening Circle
2. Dance/Movement:
a. Exploring New Ways of Moving in Space
b. Accessing and Bringing Out Emotional Pain
c. Enabling and Supporting the Beginning of Cathartic Release
3. Listening partnerships*
4. Holistic Touch
5. A Closing Circle

The meeting usually starts with an opening circle followed by movement to music and movement games, theory and practice of listening partnerships, healing touch and a closing circle.

The opening circle is designed to welcome participants to the group while enabling the facilitators to verbally and kinesthetically gauge the mood of the group and become aware of relevant issues group members are dealing with.

The dance/movement section with the games is designed to reawaken a sense of childlike wonder and joyfulness of being in our bodies that many of us had as children, to increase body awareness, uncover old wounds stored within the body and begin releasing them.

Next are the listening partnerships* which introduce a new level of listening that is helpful in transforming our own and others’ emotional pain related to past and present hurts and traumas. Participants cry, laugh, express anger or shake with fear while talking with a partner about painful experiences. In doing so, they are reminded once again how to use the natural healing mechanisms they were born with and had when they were very young and have been alienated from due to the conditioning of society. The emotional release that occurs in the listening partnerships enables participants to reevaluate old issues in a new light.

The ensuing healing touch assists in the integration of the emotional work and enhances the listening capacity while encouraging a sense of intimacy and closeness.

Finally the closing circle is a time of cognitive assimilation of the insights acquired during the meeting as participants are asked to talk about which parts of the meeting were meaningful for their daily lives and why.

* Listening partnerships is a term coined by Patty Wipfler to describe this type of work. www.handinhandparenting.org

This work was first originated by Harvey Jenkins who called it Re-Evaluation Co-Counseling: www.rc.org

Our Method include three components:

Moving towards empowerment