How to Become a Facilitator of the Work That Reconnects
Becoming a WTR facilitator involves both an inner call to be of service to life and a commitment to do the Work with integrity.
The Work is available to everyone as an “open source” offering. This means that there is no official certification process for becoming a facilitator of the WTR.
However, there are many things to learn along the way in your journey to becoming a WTR facilitator and deepening your facilitation practice. The WTR Network team has gathered the guidelines and recommendations below to help you become an effective, inclusive and informed facilitator of this life-changing process. These guidelines are also designed to ensure that the Work That Reconnects is offered and facilitated in alignment with its lineage and community-sourced best practices.
Once you have gained experience by following the guidance offered here, you can apply to be listed as a Facilitator Member on the WTR Network website.
You Can Do this Work – Joanna Macy
Experience the Work
Attend WTR workshops and participate in webinars. Experiencing the Work numerous times, preferably with different facilitators, is an important step to take before facilitating it yourself. Explore the variety of upcoming events offered through our Events Calendar to find opportunities and/or reach out to one of our Facilitator Members to arrange for them to facilitate a WTR workshop in your area.
Become a Community Member of the WTR Network. Once you become a Community Member you can familiarize yourself with the extensive resources shared throughout the WTR Network website and in our Resource Library, connect with other Community Members and Facilitator Members in the online community forum and even find an experienced WTR Facilitator Mentor. Please note: becoming a Community Member is required to access the Facilitator Member application form
Learn About the Work
Study the framework and philosophies that underpin the Work That Reconnects. WTR is not just the practices. Practices without a deep understanding and embracing of the foundational teachings that sustain the Work could create shallow (and risky) experiences for both you and participants. We encourage you to steep yourself in the worldview that animates this work, as well as the practices. We encourage you to begin by studying these resources:
- Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work That Reconnects (Revised Edition, 2014) by Joanna Macy and Molly Brown
- Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in with Unexpected Resilience and Creative Power (revised edition, 2022) by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone
- World As Lover, World As Self by Joanna Macy
- The Work That Reconnects training videos that Joanna Macy created in 2006
Form a study/practice group that meets regularly with four to twelve others. Use the books and training videos as your guide. Take turns leading and participating in practices to build understanding and confidence. Study guides are available for Coming Back to Life and Active Hope.
Take part in a free online Active Hope training, offered as a video course that you can do any time.
Read Deep Times Journal to stay connected to emerging thinking and practices in the Work, as well as the ever-expanding WTR Network. You can stay tuned for new issues as they come out and also spend time reading through our extensive archive of back issues.
Enrich Your Facilitation Skills
Educate yourself in Anti-Oppression and Co-Liberation Work. The Great Turning is a transition out of a society based on oppression and exploitation and into a society based on mutual thriving. As we dedicate ourselves to this Work, it’s essential to recognize, interrogate and transform patterns of oppression that exist in our own conditioning, in the WTR itself, and in the workshop spaces we facilitate. Learning about the ongoing work being done in regards to undoing oppression is an important way to create workshop experiences that are authentically welcoming for all people and empower action towards co-liberation and social justice.
Do your own inner work. Learn as much as you can about facilitating groups and group dynamics. Familiarize yourself with the social issues affecting your country and community, including power dynamics such as oppression and privilege, and work through them yourself. Work to heal your own trauma. You will need to be open and vulnerable if you want to facilitate the Work with authenticity and integrity.
Actively engage in the Great Turning in your own life. Take part in some way in each of the Dimensions of the Great Turning. You need to know the challenges and joys, ups and downs, tears and laughter of committed engagement if you want to be authentic in your facilitation of this work.
Take a Facilitator Training specific for the WTR. Senior facilitators of WTR around the world offer Facilitator Development Programs for people seriously interested in becoming a WTR facilitator or who want to understand it more deeply in order to integrate its wisdom into the other Great Turning work they do.
Gain Experience Facilitating
Learn from other WTR facilitators. Search the WTR Network Map & Directory to find a WTR facilitator in your area. You may offer to support their events to learn from them and/or to co-facilitate with them. As a Community Member you will also be able to access support for finding a WTR Facilitator Mentor within the online community forum.
Practice facilitating. Begin offering workshops, day-longs, and retreats, preferably with an experienced co-facilitator. You can start by offering workshops for friends and colleagues. Remember to:
- Move through the Full Spiral. The Work encompasses all four stages of the Spiral. Engage with all of them in your workshops.
- Listen to the People. In the Work That Reconnects, you are inviting people to speak the truth of their experience on an endangered planet and/or their experience with oppression and privilege. In so doing, they open themselves to the grief of our world and the intelligence of Earth. You can trust that. This elicits your respect; there is no need to fix, preach or comfort.
Honour the Source and Pay It Forward. As with anything you have learned from another tradition or body of work, you will want to attribute it explicitly. As with any gift, the gratitude you experience will compel you to share this work with others. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the complete guidelines on Open Source Attribution.
Become a WTR Network Facilitator Member
Assess your readiness to apply. Review the criteria for becoming a Facilitator Member to assess where you are on your journey and to help you identify areas where you may still need to gain experience and/or education.
Apply to become a Facilitator Member of the Work That Reconnects Network. After you have gained some experience as a WTR facilitator and you meet the minimum requirements, you may apply to be listed as a Facilitator Member on the Work That Reconnects Network website.
Share your work with the global WTR Community and continue your learning journey. As a Facilitator Member of the WTR Network, you will be able to post your events in our Event Calendar, submit article for our Blog, share resources in our Resource Library, propose events for our Webinar & Conversation Cafe Program, receive a dedicated newsletter just for Facilitator Members and participate in special opportunities designed to strengthen and support your experience as a WTR Facilitator.