Applying Deep Democracy in Human Services is a resource for the helping professions. The nine innate powers explained and illustrated with stories from around the world, are strength-based capabilities within every person. Power is not only a problem, it is also the solution. This book offers a humanising and practical way to shift mindsets and develop skills to maximise self-determination and diversity in vibrant communities.
One billion people across the globe are dependent on health, disability and/or care and protective systems and providers. Everyday survival depends on caregivers, supporters, care programs and funding. Yet so many people are lonely, isolated and long to feel at home in a community with meaningful relationships, and opportunities to participate and contribute. Mistreatment, exploitation and neglect in protective environments and institutions, are coming to light worldwide. Applying Deep Democracy in Human Services offers caregivers, educators and direct support professionals, and anyone reliant on the ever-growing field of human services a strengths-based approach to recovery and collective change.
Applying deep Democracy in Human Services is Transform and Blossom’s core text. The book is about facilitating the animation of core strengths that belong to all humans and can be awakened given the right moment and conditions. These inner capabilities are a natural antidote to misuse of power and learned helplessness, two conditions prevalent in residential care environments. Deep power is nature’s way to get back to inner wisdom for more joy in life. These powers wake up and support your inner navigator to steer your own boat, through Transform and Blossom capacity building.
These powers are needed to have diversity awareness, to use personal rank, power and privilege well, to be open to feedback, in noticing micro-aggressions and oppressions that cause anguish and harm. These powers are as relevant for leaders and practitioners as for people reliant on support who are still trapped in restrictive systems and support relationships. They are true for almost everyone.
Applying Deep Democracy in Human Services: Diversity, Inclusion and Innate Powers
by Julia Wolfson, Ph.D.
2017, Eldership Academy Press
I learned about these powers through my research in communities and service providers around the world who had survived and transformed through a phase of agonising rupture. I wanted to understand what conditions and inner resources it takes to bounce back from the abyss and connect t to your inner strengths to follow meaningful direction within difficult events. I was inspired to discover that the same human capacities were present in people reliant on support, their supporters and the leaders providing overall direction and management.
This opened me to the universal human essence within each of these powers in uniquely individualised ways. Transform and Blossom is a skills-based framework for awakening these human capabilities available to humans anywhere.
These inner powers awaken capabilities for:
Facing injustices of the past: today you, tomorrow me. For example: showing up as leaders to address institutional abuse and shifting policy and conditions that entrench harm and helplessness.
Self-attunement: Internal awareness and safety signals. For example: Inner work, inner stability when under attack, psychological safety.
Inner direction: Discovering and following your path. For example: discovering and using your unique style and timeless pattern of showing up as your full self in any situation.
Love-based curiosity: Asking, learning, following. For example, JoinU discovery process for self-powered impact in the lives of people reliant on support.
Inner strength from surviving adversity. For example, the buoyancy and self-power to use adversity to thrive.
Numinous experience: Renewing from an ineffable source. For example: following and communing with inner and outer nature, through movement, during creative and contemplative practices – accessing deeper wisdom and refreshment through non-linear and non-rational ways of being and knowing.
Self-affirming beliefs: Educating the inner critics. For example: Practice pushing back to inner critics, recognising oppressive inner figures that come from personal history, minority and marginal experiences, culture, socio-economic disparities, health struggles, ageism, lookism, ableism etc.
Making conflict fruitful: the meaning in the mess. For example: conflict as frozen fragment of an emerging new identity. Facilitating flow into stuck situations that unlocks creativity and more connection as a martial art.
Facilitating collaboration: Inner and outer teams, and multi stakeholder groups. For example, facilitating public Open Forums around a high priority topic with divergent viewpoints, and helping to move things forward by giving space to interact and go deeper into the tough stuff.
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Eldership Academy Press