Wednesday, April 6, 2016

For Christine Gautreaux InterPlay is a great tool in her toolbox for connection and healing

Thursday, April 7th is Give InterPlay Day, a 24-hour time period during which you are invited to give a financial gift to InterPlay Atlanta to support us as we bring the ease, grace, and joy of InterPlay to refugees, people who are living with chronical mental illness, and incarcerated women. (Click HERE to make your tax deductible donation)
InterPlay brings color into tough situations

Master Social Worker, certified InterPlay leader and Life Coach, Christine Gautreaux reflects on the role InterPlay plays in her life from the perspective of a social worker in response to questions asked by Ruth Schowalter.

From the perspective of a social worker what role does InterPlay serve in your work with incarcerated women and people living with chronic mental illness?

InterPlay is one of the best ways I have found to connect with people in a gentle and incremental way.  it allows people to tell their stories from a place of inner authority.  I have witnessed amazing transitions in people through the power of story telling, using their voices and play.
InterPlay is life giving nectar to underserved communities
You have been in the planning stages of bringing InterPlay to women and children who are survivors of sex trafficking. How can InterPlay serve this community?

When people experience trauma they tend to disconnect from their bodies and sometimes their spirits.  InterPlay is an incredibly gentle tool that helps people reconnect their mind, bodies and spirits. Last summer I worked with the children from Rainbow Village through the Duluth Summer Camp Programming.  These children responded delightfully to InterPlay - they danced, they sang and they told their stories and were witnessed.  It is so powerful especially for women and children who have been marginalized and tend not to have their voices heard.  InterPlay teaches incremental steps - it's a great connector for people and I am so grateful for the gentle way that it meets people where they are. 
“The earth laughs in flowers.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
In the past three years what are significant memories you have of the many interactions you've had with people in these underserved communities?

Last summer I had a group of ten year olds, mostly boys, that had been labeled, "bad" in the camp and in the community.   Most of these boys lived at the homeless shelter.  They responded exceptionally well to movement and  music.  During one session the boys self-organized a drum circle and drummed for over 20 minutes while the rest of the group did solo movement.  It was powerful and uplifting and it actually changed the groups behavior.  They were proud of themselves and they got a terrific response from camp counselors.  

Another time that comes immediately to mind is when I was doing a walk, stop, run with the members of Holy Comforter and one of the friends grabbed my hand as we walked together.   Never underestimate the body's need for reassurance - we had a powerful time of connection and he shared afterwards that he felt seen and love.

InterPlay is a powerful tool that makes a difference in people's lives.  I'm glad to have it in my toolbox as a Master Social Worker, certified InterPlay leader and Life Coach. 

(Click HERE to make your tax deductible donation to support Christine's work with underserved communities via InterPlay Atlanta)

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