Thoughts on our programs!
“EASEL® as a method fits in very well to child protection services, especially when working with children whom have trouble recognizing, verbalizing and expressing their emotions. These factors also normally mean, that these children have problems in social relationships. They have no friends, and are withdrawn or constantly in conflict with their friends and adults, both at home and in school. Child welfare reports are typically filed in when e.g. the school has had discussions with the parents on the child’s behaviour, the child has been held isolated during recess and grounded at home, or the child has repeatedly been in contact with the police due to violence or small crimes. EASEL provides an alternative method for working with children and teenagers in child protection services. The child is given knowledge on emotions and behaviour, and concrete models to change their behaviour, instead of merely stating that he has behaved wrong, which the child most likely knows already.
In my opinion, the knowledge I have gained from this training is something that all social workers should learn in their basic training. Animal assisted social emotional learning can be of great wealth, but EASEL can be done without it. As a result of my training, I have begun to pay more attention to peoples emotional responses, and the messages behind them. It has deepened my understanding when working with clients and interacting with people.
It has become necessary to revise my paradigm for social services, after years of working in the field, and re-evaluate my work methods in the hopes of finding new ways of helping my clients. I have also received concrete work methods from my training, that I have been able to pass on to my colleagues. Verbalizing and dealing with emotions has increased extensively in my work. Reading into the latest publications in the field of social services has strengthened my belief, that EASEL is a modern and child oriented method well fit for child protection services. I feel like I’m on a journey forward into the future, and there’s no going back to the past…”
”I first learned of Mari Louhi-Lehtiö’s EASEL® method, when working in co-operation with single students, Mari as the therapist and myself the teacher, and later when I witnessed the impact of Louhi-Lehtiö’s working methods as she worked as a special needs teacher for a challenging special needs class. The impact of her work has been undeniable on these children and their families. As these children’s self-knowledge and self-esteem has grown, their ability to autonomously control their lives and learning has grown immensely. Now I myself am an EASEL®Facilitator.
An atmosphere that encourages and supports trying is not a given in the school world, despite it being a critical element of chapter 6 in the national curriculum draft for 2016. Finding mutual respect, forming a shared language, building trust, compassion and searching and learning together, be it through play, are core steps in the building of relationships in EASEL®. They are ways of building a safe learning environment, and are applicable to teaching, especially in light of the new curriculum draft. This process must include a dialogical, and involving work culture, that is based on social interaction and experiential learning. Through psychoeducation, EASEL® brings an increasing self-knowledge, and an understanding of the power of social interactions and the process of learning, into the evaluation of learning, even when dealing with difficult emotions. The EASEL® process is well aligned with the principles of the curriculum draft for 2016.
I use EASEL® a tool in my continuous self-evaluation of my teaching and evaluation. I also believe it is applicable as a tool for refining work communities and the working culture in schools, including my own community.”
”The EASEL® method is easy to take on in your teaching, because it is aligned with the new national core curriculum. Taking on EASEL® as our learning environment has added that “missing piece” into my work, which I have been searching for from a number of practical methods. Combined with my own paradigm they form a comprehensive toolkit, which I of course also use to improve myself.
EASEL® is a social emotional learning centered working method, which is used as a part of teaching, coaching or therapy. It is profoundly different from other social emotional learning programs for schools in that it is weaved into every interaction throughout the school day. EASEL® has helped me to bring many lessons back on track, when the children’s hard to deal with emotions are not rejected through denial or orders, but they are dealt with immediately when the need arises. EASEL® as a classroom’s learning environment helps pupils to learn to understand self and others better. While learning curriculum subjects, EASEL helps me to help my pupils to builds self-management, social awareness, empathy and consideration for others, inner motivation etc. Giving classmates the oppurtunity to learn becomes a communal value. It also makes everyone appreciate their work more, and the work of others. Through EASEL®, one can combine teaching an entire class and individually engaging with every pupil.
After a couple of decades of working in the field of learning, and many experiments, I now have a method that also makes my own job easier. My classes now have more laid back atmosphere thanks to EASEL®. I have been able to get to know my pupils even better, and making our school day a good day has become a shared goal for us. Starting the day without hurry, and engaging with every pupil with an understanding of their personal situation, opens up new doors in our joint mission to provide children with the chance to reach their very best potential. Even adults feel better in this sort of a working environment.”
“The scope of this program has been broader then I anticipated. It has included a vast package of theory, tools, coaching discussions and experiential exercises. In no way did I prepare myself for the immense change that this program has brought about in me. This change has affected how I feel, think and act. It has also honed my values, with regards to nature, animals and the way that we humans interact with animals.
I can’t remember having challenged my perception of one’s self in such a safe environment. This has resulted in a situation, which has encouraged change instead of alerting defense mechanisms. Surely there’s been constant change, sometimes small, and sometimes on a larger level, but I believe I have learned more of it now, because I have been able to view the entire process on a meta level. I have learned a great deal of myself, and my inner structures.
One of the greatest learning experiences for me has been with regards to how I study and learn new things. Through the EASEL program, I have gained experience on what it feels like to really nourish learning, and have pure internal motivation, that has risen from a sense of security, acceptance and belonging, and through surprising and aesthetic experiences. This joy towards learning will carry me far.
One of the most beautiful things that I have learned during this training, is how sensitive and fragile we can be when facing something new, or when sharing a genuine part of ourselves with others. The program allowed me to experience it personally, but in a safe environment, and without feeling ashamed or crushed by the vulnerability. I believe I now have a better understanding of vulnerability and shame, which will help me to empathize and understand my clients’ experiential worlds. I have had the chance to visit Rivendell, and I am very thankful of it. I would hope that my clients get to experience the same.”
“I thought I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for the EASEL®Facilitator Program. I had researched the EASEL website very thoroughly, reading up on what the course would hold and what EASEL supposedly was. Despite all the preparations, I truly didn’t know what I signed up for. My thoughts on the course were initially narrow minded, and I got a lot more out of the training than what I had anticipated. It is somewhat impossible to tell all the things that have happened during this process. My wish to grow as a facilitator has increased. Many questions have also risen along the way, and an interest to seek answers and fill the gaps in my clearly incomplete theoretical basis. If I can pass on even a fraction of what I have experienced myself, I would be very happy.
Experiential learning has been mind opening and moving on more than one occasion. Interactive activities with animals have been surprisingly moving. I have experienced and learned new tools throughout this process. The will to learn more, apply and deepen my knowledge has woken up during this program. I have always enjoyed realizing new things with regards to knowledge and my life in general. During my process, I feel I have taken on the EASEL frame of mind rather imperceptibly into my life, my working and private self. I have pondered upon my life a lot with the tools I learned from EASEL, and I find myself having conversations with myself. The tool that hit me the most was the “bucket of needs”. I listen and am more forgiving to myself. Consciousness of one’s self and monitoring your own coping has become important to me. I have to look after myself, I work with my personality after all. Doing a good job is still very important to me, but how I want to go about doing it has changed. I find moments with children at work especially important.
I wouldn’t have believed the journey I set out to take. In my experience, EASEL is not just a working method. It becomes a way of life. A lot of big things have happened during the last year of my life. I find these easier to face and deal with now. I look forward to carrying on from here. I warmly recommend the EASEL®Facilitator Program for all social workers working in child protection services.”
“During the days of training, I managed to fill my notebook with notes, that I didn’t even completely grasp during the day. I guess that’s why that book in my hands continues to wear. Every time I gain more “contact” with the subjects, those old notes open up in new ways.
Our group has had an open and positive atmosphere since day one. Everyone brought their own strong element into this process, through their own character. It has been great getting to know a different kind of pedagogy. The reading assignments and material were excellent! The theory parts of lectures were pretty intense, but intense in a good way. I huge package of thought stimulating information, that I scrambled to take in. I also learned about floating.
First and foremost, this has been a process of mental growth. I also treasured the way in which the theoretical framework was linked into the process. Evaluating and describing ones of framework was also fruitful. Thankfully, I was allowed to take this journey through the terrain of EASEL. The journey still carries on!
“This learning process dove deep. I feel that I cannot express it on paper, in the same light that I lived it with my therapy children and their parents. My year of training has been fruitful in all its challenges. The road to Vihti is long and complicated. The learning process gave me a good picture of what the Circle of Tolerance means to me personally. I would give nothing away from this experience. I have wanted to attend this training for years, and when I finally had the chance, it made me understand, that the mental growth of this process made it worth all the wait!
Occupational therapy and EASEL work well together. Experiential exercises bring impact, and they are natural. Even though I still carry a pretty large bag of tricks with me, I also know that the learning environment is valuable, even with just two people interacting with each other. Easel® links in well with other coaching and therapy methods, as a way of growing one’s emotional intelligence, especially for those customers who feel “just talking” isn’t enough. I feel, that “just talking” is most often not enough, when working with children. Through my training, my methods have become more experiential. EASEL has also provided me with the tools to better work with the children’s parents. I can explain more clearly learning experiences based in social interactions. I have a new found depth in deciphering processes brought about by experiential tools.”
“Social emotional skills are essential in our work when we train corporate leaders, executives and teams. The trainer’s own healthy self-awareness and ability for empathy (without being swallowed by it) are key elements for success in our work. EASEL® offers us as leadership trainers a solid framework for learning and analyzing our work. Mari Louhi-Lehtiö has an exceptional ability to bridge evidence-based theories and scientific knowledge to every-day situations making her trainings engaging and convincing.
Many of our corporate clients struggle with constant changes caused by markets. Their work requires flexibility and ability to change but at the same time persistence to reach the goals with selected strategies. In our own trainings we have seen how the perspectives borrowed from EASEL® have generated new insights among our corporate clients and, in turn, helped them improve their work.”
“Over the course of my career since 1999, I have worked as a family psychotherapist, supervisor and entrepreneur. I began my EASEL Facilitator training amongst the first, at the start of the 21st Century. Since then, we have worked together with Mari Louhi-Lehtiö on various courses and in various networks. The work Mari started towards the end of the 90s has given birth to a program, that brings together various elements from theory and methodology, into a working experiential model. EASEL® is a methodology and frame of mind, that in all its complexity is in the end very simple. It forces us to recognize ourselves, and everything in it is about who we are and what happens when interacting with others.”
When your job is to help, guide, teach, heal or lead others, ET’s programs help you do your job more professionally, more effectively, with heart and less fatigue.
EASEL®, is a method for increasing well-being and success at work and in private life through strengthening Social Emotional Skills. EASEL® benefits any work with people and should be in every interaction as a parent.
EASEL®Facilitator training program is for everyone who works with people and wants to become better at it. Our target groups are professionals whose job is to lead, teach, motivate, coach, support, counsel, serve or heal others.
If you want to be well and successful both at work and in your personal life, EASEL® helps you re-calibrate your Social Emotional Skills to better match the demands of your work and today’s world. EASEL®Facilitator training program also adds to your professional toolbox an effective facilitation methodology for experiential social emotional learning or therapy (depending on your background education)
EASEL Training’s mission is to help you stay happy, balanced, successful and creative in both your personal and professional life through helping you strengthen your Emotional Competence.
In our vision, social emotional skills are consistently strengthened as part of all education and training, personal development, and professional continuing education. Children’s social emotional skills and all-round well-being depend on the social emotional skills and balance of the adults around them.
- Open dialogue
- Honesty and transparency