Diane Tegtmeier
Your Partner in Healing and Learning
Invitation to Nature's Model

From "An Invitation to Nature's Model for Healing Presence" 

A wounded body, heart and spirit heal best in the compassionate presence of another. This book is about what it takes to be that presence with another person in the face of illness and pain—about what it takes to make the relationship itself the container for healing. If you've come to this book, it's probably because you've also wondered about these things as you support healing and bring comfort to others in a professional healthcare practice. If your practice embraces the interconnected nature of the physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of health, you may be seeking a healing relationship model that fits your holistic practice. You've likely witnessed those magical or mystical moments where what happens between you and your client seems to matter as much or more than the technique you're applying—situations that ask for your compassionate presence. This book is about those moments.


I thought I knew quite a bit about healing presence as I sat on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and started to write this book. I had been teaching a natural model for ethics to bodywork students for a time and had a good idea what I wanted to write. I retreated to a favorite coastal spot at Fort Ross, California, away from my usual distractions. As I settled into a ground chair, computer in my lap, the grandeur and mystery of the place expanded before my eyes. "If nature is to be your guide in being with another in healing," the landscape seemed to say, "then look closely and listen." I did. The mystery of relationship in nature revealed itself anew to me and thus began the healing and learning journey that this book would become.


In these chapters, I reflect on how nature inspired my work as an integrative health practitioner. I describe six principles by which the cell membrane that manages all relationships in living systems functions: containment, selective permeability, interspace, differentiation, centering and Oneness. Stories from my daily practice illustrate each of these principles.


With this model for safe and effective healing relationships, I invite your consciousness and healing responses to your patients/clients to grow and evolve as nature does — relationship-by-relationship. This inquiry into nature's ethics may lead you beyond your assumptions of where the power lies in healing relationships and into a new model for ethics that's as old as life on Earth. No matter what your field of practice, the cell membrane model affords you and your clients the same safety as clearly set boundaries, while also creating a space in which both of you can learn and grow. I offer a Five-step Process for Effective Practice that arises out of the cell model that can guide you through those difficult situations you encounter in everyday practice. This process can be practiced both within and outside of sessions to develop a more healing and compassionate presence. I'll then show how the model can be applied to these common areas of ethical considerations: safe space, power, money and dual relationships. Because sexual energy carries a potent creative power to both heal and harm, the book concludes by looking at sexuality through nature's relationship lens. Each of these chapters contains tips and guidelines of how you can respond with skill and compassion to create healing partnerships with those you serve.

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