Thank you for replying to this thread.
What are the core principles that you maintain to allow the healing to occur rather than further damage. I know when someone who is ready to face there demons are already very unsettled to begin with how can stop from making it worse?
In a certain respect, I feel we are not equipped and it is not our job to TRY to heal people (not that you are saying we should). Ellis Amdur wrote a good article on this. From my own experience traveling down the road of aikido after a life with abuse and neglect, and from my own experience teaching , I find that Aikido itself heals. On a very real level the seen and unseen elements of practice rise to meet the injured person in a way that we ourselves could very possibly never concieve. Well structured practice, adhering to the movements and approaching the mat with total sincerity are a few of the tools of practice that have helped to support healing in my travel.In my experience the waza is the greatest healer. As long as we keep aikido in our eyes first, above all else, we will provide healthy opportunities for people to discover their healing process in or out of Aikido.
In my work with at-risk teens the single greatest tool has been the courage to be really myself, to say the 'wrong' thing, to tell the truth as I see it, to be honest in my own struggles and to get out of the way of Aikido as it is transmitted through me from the teachings of my teachers. Because I don't sell salvation we all have to work together to find our paths. The students respect this ultimately and many become helpers in life because of it.