ONSITE: The Therapeutic Wiwipson: The Adult Baby Swing – a Healing Process with Individual and Family sessions
With Bev Bagnall-Hope and Frank Hope
November 14 - 17, 2022
Join Bev & Frank as they share this First Nations Cultural Healing Process.
Bev says: “The Therapeutic adult baby swing works as a form of decolonized traditional healing. It replicates the infant baby swing in form, motion, song and spirit. Classic and modern psychologies have developed detailed theories of human development and have outlined barriers that get in the way of successful healing. Our experience is that the therapeutic baby swing allows the individual to connect to their past in a meaningful way, for many spiritually. The swing experience takes them back to a time where they can retrieve what they need, resolve what has been left undone and process in the now any old issues and pain. In essence they can attain a mastery over an issue that allows them to move into the next phase of their own growth.
This program will feature:
- Presentation and discussion
- Opportunities to learn about the topic
- Access to the recording for 7 days following the event
- Informal connection time post-program
The Swinging of adults in a traditional baby swing form came from a vision. This vision spoke of the “essence of love that is needed to bring healing to all people”. Dr. D. Auger.
Dr Darlene Auger is the Visionary and creator of the Baby swing as a therapeutic process. It has been over 20 years since the Vision and she has been across Canada many times and has shared this healing practice internationally with Indigenous and Non Indigenous people.
I became Dr Darlene’s helper and have had my own baby swing for well over 18 years now. My husband Frank Hope assist’s me and we facilitate teachings and offer sessions to individuals and communities.
The “Vision” of the swing is shared in the teachings segment so a very clear understanding of how this form of helping and healing has come about.
We share the vision of the swing and share many of the historical impacts that had impact on the teachings and parenting practices prior to colonization. We will do a demonstration of setting up the swing and talking about the teachings of the swing.
Theme and Purpose of The Traditional Baby Swing:
Wiwipson – A Kind, Loving, Gentle and Soul Nurturing Healing
The Therapeutic adult baby swing works as a form of decolonized traditional healing. It replicates the infant baby swing in form, motion, song and spirit. The Traditional baby swing teachings are offered as part of the psycho- educational component of healing, with a detailed understanding of how history, colonialism and forced assimilation, residential school and its intergenerational impacts destroyed traditional native parenting concepts and rites of passages. This workshop can be complimented with facilitated one to one private, individual and family sessions.
How it Fits:
Many of those that had attended the residential school were taken from the arms of their parents and from the well- defined kinship systems for childcare and childhood teachings and experiences that had developed the First Nation Psyche and Spirit.
An impact of Residential school was a loss of the love and nurturing that is so necessary for the healthy development of the individual. Without successfully attaining this stage of love and nurturance in the natural life cycle, one seeks this often by artificial means. We can recreate the nurturance and give the experience by honouring the traditional baby swing and the ancestral wisdom of the grandmothers and grandfathers to assist those that are lost to find the love and reconnect with that feeling.
Classic and modern psychologies have developed detailed theories of human development and have outlined barriers that halt the attainment of successful healing. What our experience has been is that the swing allows the individual to connect to there past in a meaningful way, for many spiritually. The swing experience takes them back to a time where they can retrieve what they need, resolve what has been left undone and process in the now any old issues and pain. In essence they can attain a mastery over their issue that will allow them to move into the next phase of growth. It is a natural law.
Many people, for many reasons, at no fault of their own have experienced much trauma and loss… We are communally, familial and individually at the apex of loss due to the intergenerational impacts of the Residential school. The loss of our childhood… the loss of traditional parenting skills and access to our traditional teachers… the grandparents and elders, and the loss of culture and language has devastated many people.
Developmentally we may have been delayed in the attainment of our natural rites of passage that assisted us to mature into our intended cultural gifts. If we are not allowed to develop or miss mastering a developmental milestone we tend to re-create that environment until we succeed.
Our Ancestors had a highly sophisticated method of traditional parenting that ensured strong family ties of kinship systems with boundaries that ensured the family chain, roles and values were honoured… with children at the center…protected. This was done in a way that appeared effortless to the outsider but had intricate teachings that were lived in accordance to the Natural Laws of our indigenous lands.
With the trauma and loss, and few healthy role models left to access we are constantly attempting to re-create the love and nurturance we seek in unhealthy ways. Ineffective coping leads to ongoing and cyclical self-abuse, self-harm, drug & alcohol abuse, family violence and often homelessness.
The Traditional baby swing along with the teachings distinct to the people of their territory (as confirmed by offering protocol to a knowledge keeper from that particular community) is offered as a means for individuals to understand the intergenerational impacts, have insight into the traditional teaching and concepts understand the kinship systems and natural laws that maintained a strong community and the values that our ancestors held so dear. We have done protocol in the Northwest Territories with the Elders and have received the blessing to do this very sacred work.
In the group’s process and in the swing the individual is provided with the dignity and safety they need to make contact within themselves for their own personal healing and to awaken their own sleeping wisdom.
What we actually do:
What is beautiful about the swing is that many people have distant memories of seeing swings in their grandmothers home and in their own homes growing up. The baby swing is present across all of our Indigenous Nations in Canada, across the United States and throughout South America. For example the West and East Coast Nations used a cedar basket tied to a strong willow that was curved across the ceiling of their home or longhouse. The caregiver then rocked the child and sang songs significant to their tribe, their family and significant to the child. Many other nations used a small hammock like swings made up of blankets and rope and strung from the lead poles of our tepees. Essentially the child was wrapped and swung to soothe and replicate the time from inside the womb. All people regardless of culture are welcomed to experience the swings healing.
We facilitate the teachings with each group in an animated and respectful manner. We design each workshop to the specific requirements of each organization and talk about all facets of the baby swing as well as demonstrate to the large group what it would be like to be in the swing. We put the swing together and talk about each component we ask for a volunteer so the individual has an actual experience and others in the group bear witness and hear from the experience of the individual. We offer private sessions for individuals and family groups.
It is a very beautiful, non- invasive traditional form of indigenous healing and decolonized therapy. It is soul work.
Our Earlybird tuition price of $900 is available to those registered and paid in full one month prior to the program start. Full tuition is $960. We are offering private and shared room options based on availability.
You can find our cancellation policy here
- Breakfast 8:00 – 9:00am
- Morning session 9:15am to noon
- Lunch noon to 1:00pm
- Afternoon session 3:00 – 6:00pm
- Dinner 6:00 – 7:00pm
- Evening session 7:30 – 9:30pm
Your program finishes with lunch on the last day.
Swampy Cree. Bev offers an amassed 33 years as a social worker in various capacities in front line and leadership roles in First Nation community, NGO’s, Government, both Provincial & Territorial as well as within formal and informal educational settings. Bev is a champion at individual & community change initiatives facilitated in a culturally respectful process. Bev has been mentored and endorsed by Dr. Darlene Auger the visionary of the Wiwipson as a decolonized method of Traditional Healing. Bev has had her own baby swing bundle and has assisted others in their healing process for 18 years. Bev has been…
Learn more about Bev Bagnall-Hope
Dehcho Dene NT a Residential School Survivor. Frank is fluent in his traditional language of Dene Zhatie. Frank has been involved with the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF) since its inception as a Community Support Worker/Regional Liaison for the Yukon and the NT assisting communities to actively manage their funded contracts with AHF. He then became a Residential School Specialist facilitating psycho-educational trauma recovery healing programs in urban and remote communities in the NT. He then became the NT/Yukon representative/liaison for the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) process. Most recently he has been working with the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and…
Learn more about Frank Hope