A faith-based program at the Fayette County Detention Center using pastoral experience, Correctional psychology, Wisdom traditions including AA, group dynamics and volunteers. The project coordinator has 17 years experience in correctional consulting and 40 years experience in pastoral counseling (overlapping :-)

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Reframing is a technique that originated in the field of family therapy and that we have adapted to our work with youth and adults.

Reframing is based on the observation that we all have stories about ourselves. The organizing themes of some people's stories are constructive, for instance, "I am shrewd. I've always have the ability to watch out for myself. As a child, I used those skills to escape the worst of my father's abuse. Today the same skills are my strongest suit."

Other stories are destructive. They cause considerable pain and get in the way of a productive life, for instance, "I was helpless as a child. I was a victim of my father's abuse. He damaged me irreparably. Now I can't do anything right or ever trust anyone again."

The technique of reframing capitalizes on the subjective nature of personal stories to uncover underlying, underemphasized themes in people's stories that are potentially helpful. Its purpose is to arrive at an authentic and helpful story, one that does not eliminate the pain that hardship can cause but that also includes the strength that is forged in the struggle to prevail.

We discovered the power of reframing in our research with men and women who had grown up in difficult situations and who were leading satisfying lives as adults, nonetheless. As they attempted to answer our questions regarding their success, many felt a special spark that they had never experienced before. In exploring this feeling with them, we learned about reframing.

We saw that in recalling the triumphs that were previously submerged in their stories, the men and women we interviewed began to see themselves in a new light. No longer were pain and symptoms at the center of their plot. No longer did they characterize themselves as damaged merchandise. Now they could tell a reframed story that was more constructive. Its theme was pride, and its plot revolved on their bravery, resourcefulness, determination, and all they had done to help themselves.

Practical Applications of Reframing
If you are a clinician, teacher, youth worker, or interested party you can use the technique of reframing. All you need to do is earn enough trust to encourage an honest conversation. You also need to be curious, to listen without making judgments, and to have a road map or vocabulary for identifying strengths when they come up. Then you can point them out, give them a name and talk about them again. In the process, you will see for yourself the power of a reframed story. You will watch people who consider themselves bad, helpless or damaged change. They will become aware of their own strengths and resources to help themselves, and they will begin to act accordingly

"If the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off." is a humorous reframe. .

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Volunteers Meeting at Paschals Sept 8, Sat

Ann (& Mike) Barbara, Eva, Gerard, Guido, Joanna, Mary, Mo, Nick, Steve, Turner,and. . .
(a few new volunteer guests - Mo, please cc them, Donnie and ? )

It is time once more for our quarterly meeting.

Please mark your calendars for our quartenly Detention Center volunteers, Spiritual Growth program meeting, to be held on Saturday, September 8 (after Labor Day weekend), at Paschal's conference room, Winchester Road, 10:30 to 2:00, potluck. Libations provided. (glass of wine at end to celebrate a total of five years of programming).

Agenda to be announced by Mo Mercier.
will include intros to new volunteers
(Do you have a friend you wish to invite as an orientation, please let me know. email is sufficient)

BTW, After three months of work, 24 truckloads of dirt, sand and mulch, and Turner Lyman's genius in design and execution, we are proud that you might be an early visitor to our new Labyrinth finally complete. You may wish to come early or stay afterwards to walk it (or simply a look-see at our luncheon break) You are also invited to bring a stone, should you choose, to add to the SGN of Ky cair, as a "spiritual friend" of the group that initially inspired and began our program.
More information can be found at Paschal's blog. (click here)


Namely these brief subjects:
Labyrinth: A Walking Meditation" (intro)
"Walking the Labyrinth: some tips"
"Symbolism of this labyrinth"
"Information, construction, etc...
"The Cairn"
(ask me for a picture if you want one)
A public dedication is planned later this fall.

See you soon, and September, one of my favorite months will be upon us.
Come early c. 10 for coffee and donuts