by Lynn Van Hoof from NATURE, Belgium
In 2012 I met Alex (Spain), Gabor & Nati (Hungary) on the 6th International Adventure Therapy Conference in Prague and felt how great it was that we had the same ideas and kind of did the same work but – sadly – all in different countries and on our own self-created AT-islands …
Two years later, in September 2014 NATURE organized a training for trainers on AT with the help of Erasmus+. The same three people showed up, as well as some wonderful people from two more European countries: Germany and Iceland. We were together for 8 days and talked a lot about our common dream of spreading out the methodology, creating a common ‘European language’ regarding AT, sharing experiences, etc. We loved the idea of exchanging information and feeling connected outside the borders of our country, so much that we decided to try to somehow creating a platform for European practitioners where they can share knowledge, experience and resources regarding AT as an approach.
In January 2015 we came together once more to work out this idea and to start writing an application for a Strategic Partnership at Erasmus+. At this meeting, again three more countries where added to our beloved group: Portugal, The Netherlands and Italy. We worked hard, Skyped every week and NATURE handed in our application in April 2015. We were so happy when we heard that our application got approved and that we could start this wonderful 1,5 year partnership in October 2015!
We are now 6 months into the partnership and… every time we meet up – be it in real life or on Skype – I feel so connected to all of them. There is so much value in exchanging ideas, experiences, stress, tears or laughter. I really feel like “these are my people”.
Because there were so many dreams and plans within this partnership project, we decided to split up into Action Groups to make it all happen. Each country has two participants in the partnership and Action Groups all have people from at least three countries. Together participants share the passion for AT. We decided on 4 Action Groups:
- Training & Intervision
At the end of this 1,5 year rollercoaster, we want to have built a website, have hosted the first European Gathering and have published some “guidelines” or ideas about AT in Europe. So there is some more work to do in the months to come…?
After the partnership has finished, we ‘d love to keep the network alive and include more European countries and AT practitioners. They will be able to participate in all announced trainings on the website, share information and experiences with each other and keep broadening our knowledge of AT in youth work.