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Ground for Emergent Embodiment (GEE)

The (ANS) nervous system's constant inquiry revolves around safety. The Ground for Emergent Embodiment (GEE) is our core method to elicit this safety, to provide a foundation for individuals to cultivate care through their bodily autonomy, their emotional resources and through their relations to others and the environment. GEE is the essence of what we do. An embodied sense of care within the individual, can transmit transformative information throughout the entire system the individual belongs to, from the level of the local community to overarching social structures. We like to think about this process as an expanding set of rings within rings  (systems within systems), see below to learn more about the "Rings of Safety and Care," our theory of change.

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The diverse array of methods we work with in this 8-week course, of 90-minutes, weekly sessions includes:

Body Mapping
Integrating body mapping with expressive arts to encourage participants to physically explore and articulate their experiences.

Combining journaling with narrative therapy techniques to assist individuals in reflecting on and reframing their personal narratives.

Diverse Mindful Practices
Expanding mindful practices to encompass diverse techniques such as attention on the breath, body scans and movement, fostering mental and physical well-being.

Interoceptive and Proprioceptive Practices

nhancing interoceptive attention into movements that are already part of daily life, to deepen the connection with the body and the breath and its impact on the nervous system.

Psycho-Education on the Brain and Nervous System

Integrating theoretical knowledge about the brain and nervous system with trauma-informed practices for a holistic understanding of the mind-body connection.

Expressive Arts

Including various forms of expressive arts—dance, music, visual arts, or drama therapy—to provide alternative channels for processing emotions and experiences.

Nature Connection

Integrating nature-based activities to enhance well-being by fostering a connection with the natural world and ancestral knowledge of the land.

Community Building Circles

Facilitating group circles or community-building activities to strengthen the middle ring of belonging toin a shared humanity.

Cultural and Ancestral Rituals

Incorporating specific rituals or practices from participants' cultural or ancestral backgrounds to enhance a sense of belonging, identity and connection to heritage.

Somatic Experiencing

This method focuses on resolving trauma and stress-related disorders. It emphasizes the body's innate ability to self-regulate, integrating awareness of bodily sensations, titration of traumatic experiences, and completion of interrupted survival responses to promote healing and resilience.

Rings of Safety and Care

We conceptualize our work as a nurturing ground where care and safety flourish through collective efforts, creating a space for emergence. While we incorporate established practices with their methods, our primary aim is for participants to embrace the autonomy inherent in their bodies, express their creativity, and forge connections with their cultural and ancestral roots.


As mentioned in the historical context of Emerge, the foundational pillars of our approach took shape during our immersive experiences with the communities we served. The significance of care and safety crystallized during the signing of the peace process in Colombia.


The years 2015-2016 presented profound challenges in Tumaco, a region historically under the influence of guerrillas and the drug trade. Amidst explosions and nightly shootings, violence at the broader societal level echoed within smaller systems like schools and families, impacting individuals deeply.


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This interplay led us to formulate the concept of 'rings of safety' as the essence of our work. If the inner ring is nurtured, it will have an impact on the overall system of rings as follows:


Inner ring: Nurturing Inward Compassion

In the midst of chaos, individuals find solace and strength through finding emotional resources and bodily autonomy. Tuning into their own bodily signals becomes a compass, guiding them through the tumultuous terrain of emotions. This heightened self-awareness fosters emotional regulation, paving the way for a resilient responses to the challenges that unfold. This is key for survivors as well as for leaders and humanitarian workers in the midst of crisis. The safety they can bring to themselves, is the coherent safety they can bring to others.


Middle ring: Building Community Resilience

Communities, when grounded in bodily autonomy, unlock a powerful reservoir of collective resilience. The shared understanding of internal experiences fosters a sense of unity, creating a supportive environment where individuals can lean on one another. In the face of adversity, this collective resilience becomes a force that transcends the sum of its parts.


Outer ring: Shaping a Compassionate Society

At the societal level, bodily autonomy contributes to the emergence of a compassionate and understanding collective. A society that values and promotes internal awareness is one that inherently prioritizes the well-being of its members. This shared mindfulness becomes the foundation for policies and practices that prioritize care, safety, and holistic healing.


In the crucible of humanitarian crises, bodily autonomy becomes not merely an individual fact but a collective lifeline. It weaves a thread of resilience that connects the web of human experiences, making care and safety not just aspirations but lived realities. As we navigate the complexities of our shared humanity, the profound importance of bodily autonomy resonates as a transformative force, guiding us toward a future where compassion and understanding prevail.

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