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Postcards from Scotland

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Carol Craig is the Centre's Chief Executive. She is author of The Scots' Crisis of Confidence, Creating Confidence: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Young People, The Tears that Made the Clyde: Well-being in Glasgow and The Great Takeover: How materialism, the media and markets now dominate our lives. Her latest book is Hiding in Plain Sight: Exploring Scotland's ill health. She is Commissioning editor for the Postcards from Scotland series. Carol blogs on confidence, well-being, inequality, every day life and some of the great challenges of our time. The views she expresses are her own unless she specifically states that they reflect the Centre's thinking.

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Posted 20/11/2012

I went along to a taster workshop on Sunday afternoon for a training programme called Capacitar.  I felt somewhat frazzled when I arrived. I'm still feeling a bit depleted after writing The Great Takeover and being involved with the production of the first three books of our Postcards from Scotland series. On top of that I had just returned from a strenuous trip to Cornwall in a van with my son's worldly belongings as he has just taken up a gardening job down there. We helped him flit and then got the train back. We also had a 3 month old puppy with us as we've recently added a whippet to our family. There's little doubt that young puppies are demanding. I'm physically feeling ok but I'm not in the best of health and I'm now involved in a clinical trial for a new hepatitis C drug.

So I arrived at Capacitar feeling tired and a bit stressed and after three hours left feeling so much better and having met some really lovely women.  I also appreciated the skills of our workshop leader Shirley Gillan who is the Coordinator at Finn's Place, a well-being centre in Langside, Glasgow.

I had wanted to go as I was interested to learn more about this approach which has been used internationally for years primarily with people who have suffered real trauma. 'Capacitar' is Spanish and means to empower. The programme was devised by Dr Pat Cane and draws on body-mind-spirit practices from around the world.  It started in Nicaragua in 1988 in response to war and violence and is now  a large international network. It is also non profit making.   

The website on Capacitar tells us:

Using a hands-on popular education approach, Capacitar teaches simple wellness practices that lead to healing, wholeness and peace in the individual and in the world. Capacitar is committed to communities affected by violence, poverty and trauma, uniting people across borders in solidarity, understanding and reconciliation.

I loved its simplicity. There was little explanation, simply straightforward exercises to heal and promote wellness. I believe there is a great deal of trauma and loss of well-being in the West of Scotland and think that we need approaches of this kind to empower people to be involved in their own healing.

Pat Cane is coming to Scotland to train people in Capacitar. It starts in February 2013 and more information is available here.

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