“The history of symbolism shows that everything can assume symbolic significance: natural objects (like stones, plants, animals, men, mountains and valleys, sun and moon, wind, water and fire), or man-made things (like houses, boats and cars), or even abstract forms (like numbers, or the triangle, the square and the circle). In fact the whole cosmos is a potential symbol” Carl Jung.
I was born and raised in the East Midlands in a modest, working class family, and graduated initially with a B.A. (Hons) degree in Combined Studies in Arts from The University of Manchester.
At this point in my life I had no direction, and little idea of what I wanted from life, except for a magically engendered notion of being a famous author or musician! After several bands and a brief flirtation with near success, I enrolled on a City and Guilds certificate in Photography at the local technical college.
This finally led me to enrolment on the former National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) diploma in Photojournalism at The Sheffield College, where I completed and passed the professional National Certificate Examination qualification.
I worked for twelve years as a Senior Photojournalist for Johnston Press Plc at three local newspaper groups; however I could see the cracks appearing in the media industry and decided that a career change was in the offing. This led to me to training to be Therapeutic Counsellor/ Psychotherapist at The University of Derby in Buxton; however, two-thirds of my way towards my qualification as a professional counsellor, I was made redundant.
After working as a volunteer counsellor for a youth organisation, and for a local private practice with a team of therapists offering a variety of approaches and modalities, I began my own private practice (www.paulrobinsoncounselling.com) or (www.counselling-directory.org.uk/derbyshire) based in Bakewell, Derbyshire.
My other interests include music (playing, writing and drum workshops), literature and writing, walking and cycling, gardening, Shamanic practice as a system of healing, esoteric philosophy and mysticism, paganism, Earth magic, alternative therapies and lifestyles and our infinite connection to the natural world.
WHO BENEFITS FROM REFOCUS – REFRAME?
“Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Basically, anyone and everyone! Whether you wish to escape the hustle and bustle of the modern world for a short while, or you have a passion for photography, essentially, Refocus-Reframe is about connecting the soul to nature and wide-open spaces, embracing the elements and engaging in the tradition of the “outdoor cure”.
In the last decade, there has been a significant growth in approaches such as Outdoors Therapy, Walking Therapy, and Wilderness Therapy as holistic and natural experiences that promote positive psychological changes and growth, a greater awareness of the true self and general well-being; Refocus-Reframe aims to incorporate elements of these concepts through the medium of photography and the internal camera eye of the individual.
“The camera is a tool that allows you to stay invisible” Vivien Maier.
However, I fully believe that there are deeper and more profound psychological and therapeutic benefits from the interaction with nature through the camera, especially for anyone recovering from difficulties and issues that we all experience in the journey called Life; if anyone wishes to explore that aspect, then Refocus-Reframe is for you. In addition, empirical evidence and research has also shown that this approach to healing can significantly help and support, People recovering from anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, loneliness and isolation.
People healing from trauma, grief and bereavement, or a lack of self-confidence. Individuals on the Autistic Spectrum or with Asperger’s Syndrome, through the application and learning of Practical Therapeutic Skills.
Corporate groups, through team-building and bonding, and the use of group organisational skills. Anyone with an interest in photography and a deep connection to the natural world.
“In clinical studies, we have proven that two hours of nature sounds a day significantly reduces stress hormones up to 800% and activates 500-600 DNA segments known to be responsible for healing and repairing the body” Dr. Joe Dispenza.
WHAT WILL I NEED FOR REFOCUS-REFRAME?
The most important equipment is enthusiasm and interest. However, the Peak District can experience four seasons of weather in one day, at any time of the year, so please dress appropriately and come prepared; stout walking boots or shoes and waterproof clothing are essential, particularly for locations that offer more challenging landscapes and terrains. Photographic ability and experience are not important; whether you have the latest digital camera equipment, a smart-phone, a tablet, a beloved old favourite piece of kit or a disposable camera, Refocus-Reframe can work for you.
Participants can upload their photographs from the day onto an Instagram account or via the Refocus-Reframe Facebook page, to be used as a digital gallery, or for further discussion and exploration from a therapeutic and psychological perspective on a confidential, one-to-one basis. Please bring your own food or provisions, or make arrangements for lunch, as this cannot be provided (although home-made vegetarian/vegan soups may be introduced for workshops held during autumn and winter).
If you wish to take part in a Refocus-Reframe outdoor workshop, fees are £30 per person, £60 per family block booking, from 9am start to 5pm finish, depending on the weather. For corporate clients/attendees who wish to book for team-building, fees will be £50 per person, with a maximum number of twenty-five people per group.
Refocus-Reframe will be held at various locations across the Peak District, and I hope to introduce more places to hold workshops in the future. Initially, there will be four locations;
Scot’s Garden and the River Wye, Bakewell.
Stanton Moor and the Nine Ladies stone circle.
Monsal Head and Monsal Dale.
The Meadow Flowers of Hackney Lane, Matlock.
Directions and grid references can be found via Google Maps or similar applications, or through the following contacts.
If you are interested in participating in a Refocus-Reframe workshop, please contact me on (07922) 796920, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through my website . Please headline the email “REFOCUS-REFRAME”.
“Let’s take our hearts for a walk in the woods and listen to the magic whispers of old trees…” ANONYMOUS.