The Work That Reconnects (p.65-66)

More than thirty years ago, an approach developed that helps people respond creatively to world crises rather than feeling overwhelmed or paralyzed by distress. As when we do grief work, facing our distress doesn’t make it disappear. Instead, when we do face it, we are able to place our distress within a larger landscape that gives it a different meaning. Rather than feeling afraid of our pain for the world, we learn to feel strengthened by it.

When first developed by Joanna in the late 1970s, this approach, which largely involves working with groups in a structured workshop format, was known as “despair and empowerment work.” Because it deepens our relationship with the web of life, the term “deep ecology workshops” has also been used. Since the late 1990s, this approach has been known as the Work That Reconnects. The principles and practices can be applied not just to workshops but also to education, psychotherapy, community organizing, and spiritual practice.