Thursday, August 21, 2014

On ecofacilitation.

Eco-centered facilitation (ecofacilitation) is an approach to psychotherapy, counseling, and facilitation formulated by Ukrainian psychologist Pavel Lushyn, Ph.D. in his book Psychology of Individual Transitions, published in 2002, and over a hundred articles. Ecofacilitation is the process of regulating individual as an open and dynamic system in order to preserve the state of self-development. Ecofacilition grew out of Rogerian person-centered facilitation, yet fundamentally different in mechanisms of regulation.

Facilitation (person-centered approach) vs. Ecofacilitation (eco-centered approach)
Facilitation is aimed at regulating individual’s existing potential. Ecofacilitation is aimed at supporting self-development. Need in such support arises under the circumstances of transitioning to a new identity in psychological and social ecological systems (systemic transition). These circumstances are experienced as stagnation, i.e. deceleration of self-development (in temporal terms – interruption of self-developmental rhythm).Ecofacilitor engages in accelerating client’s self-development by reconstructing the rhythm in a sequence of life events. In dialectical logic (according to Hegel) self-developmental rhythm can be represented as thesis – antithesis – synthesis. Ecofacilitation helps "navigate” individual’s ambiguity when new identity and new resources for consequent development are being generated (this is consistent with tolerance for ambiguity phenomenon).

Facilitation is provided under lack of congruency, contradictions in clients’ emotional experiences. Ecofacilitation is provided when either a client or a therapist is experiencing a communicative barrier (dead end) in self-development. Thus, psychotherapy is processes that underlies reconstruction of social ecosystems bases.

The result of facilitation is improvement of client’s state. The result of ecofacilitation is generation of new self-regulation options for the individual as a social subject and for the social ecosystem as a whole.

In facilitation achieving the aim is a result of creating unconditional positive regard towards the client. In ecofacilitation achieving the aim is a result of experiencing transitional developmental zone, characterized by a high degree of ambiguity on the part of all participants of the self-regulated psychotherapeutic system.

Technically speaking, facilitation has to do with procedures of active listening, empathic and advanced listening. Ecofacilitation has to do with collectively-generated insight. The structure of the later corresponds to the nature of rhythm-reconstructing activity (P. Lushyn’s revision of EMDR protocol). Ecofacilitation is revising individual psychotherapy format into a distributed activity within the therapeutic community of inquiry as a self-regulated ecosystem. In this system both the therapist and the client have functions of participating and facilitating, i.e. they both introduce clinical/psychotherapeutic material and foster group dynamics.

Summary of Key Ideas and Principles
• Ecofacilitation is related to reconstructing individual's resources in times of systemic transitions.
• The nature of personal change is systemic. Personal change transforms the system and systemic change transforms the individual.
• Crises is not pathological. It is a transitional formation targeted at developing new resources on both levels: individual and systemic.
• Time as a sequence of interrelated events in individual's life is a factor that determines (in addition to the form), the content of transition. This is why "time is the best healer,” "all in good time,” etc. Therefore, time is ecological, nothing should be disregarded: one event naturally leads to the other.
• Content of events is shaped by the law of spontaneous self-development and self-regulation, for example, according to Hegel, thesis – antithesis – synthesis.
• What does help entail, if everything is governed by the law of spontaneous self-development? Help is embedded in the presenting problem. Individuals are responsible for who they ask for help and what speaks to them in the response. Thus, it is most important for the helper to correspond to the program embedded in the presenting problem! You accelerate individual's development when you correspond, and slow it down when you don’t.


/This post content is translated and consolidated in an overview by Iryna Natalushko, certified in levels I-III ecofacilitation practitioner, in 2010. Published in coordination with Pavel Lushyn/

References and Links
Lushyn, P. (2002). Psychology of Individual Transition. Kirovograd: "Imeks LTD” (In Russian, contents of the 2nd edition Individual Transition as a Process: Theory and Practice).
Lushin, P. (2000). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): Psychotherapeutic Meaning. Journal of Practicing Psychologist, 6, pp.85-90 (English translation).
Lushin, P. (1999). On Psychology of Man in Transition: How to Survive When Everything Goes Wrong. Kirovograd: KSPU.(In Russian, contents in English).
Pavel Lushyn’s Blog How to Survive When Everything Goes Wrong.
Ecofacilitation Official WebЕsite