Please join us in welcoming Kelsey to The Journey International! Kelsey joins us with several years of experience from Canada. Her areas of experience include relationship dynamics, anxiety, sexual orientation/gender identity questioning, self-harm, spiritual doubt, life transition, culture shock, identity formation, regret, and trauma.
Imagine seeing your community transformed. What would it look like? Would there be more peace? More love? More respect? More balance? That is what we are hoping to see as well, but it all starts with you.
Participate in a Yoga Community; a group of 4-6 women who commit to practicing yoga and exploring self-care concepts for a set period of time. Gather your friends or family and a certified instructor will come to you for custom small group yoga classes to help you reach your goals for yourself and your community.
Choose from a set of yoga series designed to help you build strength, increase flexibility and balance, or to help you manage stress. Meet once or twice a week for up to 12 sessions and see how doing yoga in community brings about transformation as we connect and grow together.
Although each yoga community is a maximum of six people, the yoga communities are interconnected as well. When you start a community, you can gain strength from others who participate with you as we together we affect positive change on our communities to see to see communities of individuals who find meaning and purpose in the midst of the chaos of life and are able to live from a place of wholeness.
Each person’s faith is personal to them, whether that is faith in God, the universe, destiny, or themselves. I believe that faith, although often connected to, is separate to religion.
Our faith is what drives what we value in life, how we conduct ourselves and how we make decisions. How we choose to express our faith may come from our upbringing, experiences in life, what we read, or who we admire. Our beliefs are being formed and shaped throughout our lives.
One source of emotional suffering can be when something shatters, or questions, our faith or belief system. When I work therapeutically with someone I see the importance of understanding their faith/value system. I want to know what is fundamentally important to them and what drives them in life.
Sometimes when there is conflict or confusion in our values this leads to anxiety, depression or anger. For example, I might value honesty in relationships but also value being kind/ loving. If a friend, or family member, wants to do something that I don’t agree with will I be honest with them, or be kind? Maybe sometimes I can be both, but sometimes we may have to live to one value at the expense of another. Helping someone to identify what their values are, and which they prioritize, can be a step towards being content in life and at peace with themselves.
For me personally my faith is in God. My faith determines how I make decisions, how I relate to others and how I live my life. For other people it may be faith in other things or other people that motivates them, and guides their decisions. Either way I believe our faith is always evolving, being shaped and challenged by our experiences, relationships and knowledge we gain.
Whether we use the word ‘faith’ or another word to express this concept the idea remains the same: what are the beliefs, moral standards, values, or ‘rules’ that we live to? What motivates our behaviours? What underlies who we are? I believe our faith is at the core of who we are, and honouring another’s faith, and chosen expression of that, is respecting and loving that person for who they are. It’s not judging them, or expecting them to change their faith, but helping them to truly understand what their faith is, and how that effects their attitudes, behaviour and identity.
When any of us have another honour our faith it gives us freedom to learn and understand more of what our faith is, whether that leads to strengthening our current beliefs or choosing for them to be shaped.
We have a big vision. It's too big for just us. For this reason we agreed that collaboration would be an important part of The Journey International. How big is the vision? Check this out!
"Communities of individuals finding meaning and purpose in the midst of the chaos of life and while also living from a place of wholeness"
It sounds simple, but when you really think about what we are saying, you can start to realize the grandness of the vision. This is not simple. We need help. You need help too if you are working in the same world that we are working in. There is chaos everywhere.
Here in Amman (or Jordan), there are many non-government organizations as well as non-profit organizations that are working in difficult areas in tough situations. Whether it is assisting refugees, working alongside orphans, empowering domestic abuse or trafficked women, or serving the poor in our community we know that we need each other to find solutions to solve these and the many other darker sides of our communities.
For this reason, we value collaboration. We think you know the best way to honor the people you are working with and we are happy and willing to come alongside with our expertise to provide what you need for your communities. If you are part of an NGO or non-profit, you can look at the profiles of our staff to see our areas of expertise. Perhaps we have some skills or knowledge that may benefit one of your projects.
Our workshop page also shows some seminars/workshops that can be done either at our offices or at your location. If you are interested in speaking with us about this, feel free to contact us.
If you are an NGO or non-profit employee, how is your mental health? What are you doing to stay mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy? We have resources for you too at The Journey International. Whether you would like to speak with a therapist or begin a weekly yoga practice, don't forget to take care of yourself so that you can do your work with excellence for a long time.
You may find the past blog posts helpful.
Working from Rest
We define living authentically in the following way:
We desire to be practitioners of the information that we share as best practices for mental wellness. We believe that when we live with integrity we give our clients space to be their authentic self. This environment is essential for growth and discovery.
The core of this for me is living wholly. Whole living gives us freedom and space, which in turn gives people around us freedom and space to live wholly as well. From the beginning we said that we did not want to be mental health practitioners that had all the answers but practiced none of them for ourselves.
Our mental health is important, especially so if we are going to be talking about the importance of mental health. So I hold an open door policy with all people. Anyone at anytime can ask me how I am doing mentally, physically, or spiritually and I will answer them with the truth. Even when the truth doesn't sound good.
In my personal yoga practice I take time to ask myself this question, "How am I feeling today?" Then I give space for myself to answer that question, honestly and completely. No rushing through the response. Giving myself space and grace in this way, allows me to do the same for those who are around me. If you have practiced yoga with me at The Journey International, you will have noticed that we do this same thing when we practice together.
Can you imagine a place where you can be 100% free to be who you are without fear of judgement, rejection, or criticism? I hope that this is the space that we have created at our little center at 8th circle, Amman. We do this by adhering to this value of living authentically. If you want to experience this first hand, contact us to make an appointment with one of our therapist or register for a yoga class.
Recently I spent time with a group of people who work with refugees. The topic of our discussion was compassionate listening. I’m always curious how others in the helping field manage while walking so closely with those who are in pain. Intimately knowing the stories filled with such loss. Seeing the suffering. Feeling the injustice.
Some of those in the group shared their experiences. They talked about spending time with refugees. Marveling over the beautiful images of their country when there was peace, shedding tears with refugees at the images of devastation. I assured them that by staying present and listening, they were helping in the healing process. Bearing witness to the pain of others is important work.
But it can be costly work as well.
The human spirit is quite resilient. However, when our heads and hearts are filled with pain, whether it’s our stories or the stories of others, we can get trapped in suffering. We may distract ourselves, avoiding feeling anything for fear of drowning in the sorrow, preferring numbness to an ocean of grief. Or we may find ourselves fully immersed in the suffering and gasping for air as we sink deeper into the pain.
One way to approach the pain in our lives is to acknowledge what we are experiencing in the moment we are experiencing it. Being aware of our thoughts, feelings and body sensations without judgment and with compassion. This is mindfulness. And as we grow in our ability to be mindful in painful moments, we may be surprised in our ability to notice when the dark clouds lift and light shines through. Enabling us to experience moments of joy as well.
We may even begin to believe the suffering won’t last forever. This is hope. And hope keeps us moving forward.
Moving forward with hope is a journey that doesn’t need to be walked alone. At The Journey International we offer therapy, yoga and educational workshops. We also offer a six-week mindfulness group to help people cultivate their own mindfulness practice. There will be more information on this soon so that you can register for the class.
We are happy to announce a new yoga class at The Journey International. This class is designed for active people (hiking, climbing, running, cycling, swimming ect) who are looking to stretch and strengthen the key parts of their bodies so they can better enjoy their chosen activities.
No prior yoga experience is needed for this mixed class. There is no reason to fear the word yoga either. You may find that it feels like a really nice massage. That is how some have described their experience.
Yoga is a great way for athletes of all kind to boost skills by working on flexibility, balance, agility, and overall strength. To learn more you can read this article from Women'sHealth, "Yoga for Athletes".
The class starts at 11:00AM on Saturdays. To reserve your spot, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call or whattsapp at 079-941-7700, or contact us on our Facebook page.
When we started dreaming about The Journey International, we talked about creating a service in Amman to provide affordable but professional mental health services. I wanted to be part of a project that used my qualifications and experience, that people would describe with words like ‘professional’, ‘competent’, ‘ethical’, ‘experienced’ and ‘qualified’. A core foundation we have adopted is to be qualified professionals, a key element of this is to only invite qualified professionals to work with us.
In Jordan the terms counsellor, psychotherapist and psychologist are not protected terms. Essentially this means anyone can call themselves any of these titles. In my time as a psychotherapist I have worked with clients who have previously seen counsellors who have not had good mental health training. While I believe there is a place for a ‘lay counsellor’ when someone needs an empathetic listening ear, there is also the need for more qualified and experienced professionals. This could be when they have a mental health diagnosis, or when they need someone to help them understand their difficulties, and find ways to move forward. We are here to meet this need! Each of our therapists have completed a Masters degree in mental health, including many hours of supervised clinical practice in addition to lectures and research in the mental health field.
In addition to creating a professional service our vision has always been to create a holistic mental health service. We believe yoga, when facilitated by a trained professional, can be an excellent companion to counselling/ therapy. It can also be a beneficial stand alone therapy to aid in relieving the stresses of life when counselling/ therapy may not be needed. Yoga can, however, take many forms, and it is important for us to ensure our yoga service aligns with our values and vision. Our yoga instructor is trained in holistic yoga and trauma sensitive yoga. This means she has studied the effect of trauma and stress on the body and incorporates this learning into all of her yoga classes.
At The Journey International we are committed to knowing both our strengths in mental health knowledge and its application, as well as our limitations within our scope of training and experience. We strive to ensure you see the professional best suited to your needs, even if that means referring to another service. We also endeavour to continue our education, to read about new developments in our field, attend training courses where possible and are open to any opportunities to deepen our understanding.
Please join us in welcoming Wesley Denham to The Journey International! Wesley is joining us with several years experience in the mental health field from multiple continents. Having worked internationally with children, youth, and adults; he is qualified to walk with people through the various challenges they face in life. Additionally, as you read his profile you might note that he has experience in marriage and family counseling as well as academic and anxiety challenges.
Like all of the associates at The Journey International, Wesley agrees with the values of our organization which extends beyond the importance of confidentiality to professionalism and facilitating collaboration. To read all of our values, please visit our "Approach" page.
Ramadan is a time of generosity and reflection. During this Ramadan The Journey International is offering FREE yoga classes to assist you with your time of reflection.
Unlike aerobics yoga can be safe to practice during fasting. During the month of Ramadan the yoga at The Journey International will be gentle to allow you space to truly reflect on what emotions and feelings come up during this time of year. As always, yoga classes at The Journey are healing and life-giving.
The offer is simple. When you come to a yoga class and bring a new friend, you both come for free. At the next class, if you bring a new friend, you both come for free. The offer lasts until the end of Ramadan or when you run out of new friends to bring. Simple!