What is Social Health Facilitation?
You’re a helper. You show up in your personal and professional relationships with empathy, generosity, and a desire to help others through their pain and to leave them better than you found them. People feel supported when they’re in relationship with you, and even have life-changing transformations as a result of being your friend or being on your team. But, you struggle when you’re the only one giving, when you carry the burden by yourself.
You want to create socially healthy connections and interactions and the healing that comes from them, but you can’t do it alone. It’s literally impossible to foster healthy connection in isolation, and the culture of hyper-individualism can make it difficult to actually achieve meaningful improvement in the lives of the people that you help.
You know that the key to living a fulfilling life as a human being, both personally and professionally, is through the mutuality of healthy social relationships in community. You can feel it when your interactions with others are safe, nourishing, and genuine, but you don’t have a reliable and repeatable method to create these experiences for yourself and others.
You want to live in a world where you feel safer to be vulnerable and intimate with others, but you can’t always trust them to approach interactions with the same care and intention that you do.
You are not alone. Individuals and communities have never been more disconnected, and the social health of humanity has never been under greater threat than it is today.
Humans are dying in record numbers from the epidemic of loneliness and disconnection that is tearing our communities apart. In recent years, Dr. Vivek Murthy released a Surgeon General Advisory declaring a national public health crisis of loneliness and isolation. As more and more people suffer from extreme social disconnection, rates of suicide, suicidal ideation, and drug overdose deaths continue to climb. And of course, these tragedies occur at disproportionately higher rates for historically disenfranchised groups, including people with certain mental health diagnoses, Queer folx, BIPOC, and those under the age of 21.
In the workplace, cut-throat and profit-centric business practices dehumanize and disconnect leaders from their teams, leading to group friction, burnout, employee turnover, and life dissatisfaction.
Politically, our communities are divided into polarized factions, and in our homes, we struggle to sit at the same dinner table with family members who sit on the opposite side of the aisle. And as we continue to fail to relate with each other productively, we fail to address the pressing emergency of the climate crisis, missing the opportunities for community collaboration that are necessary to share resources sustainably.
Meanwhile, you and the other helpers of the world who work to repair the damage are suffering from extraordinary stress and burnout while you fight a lonely battle with insufficient tools to deal with the problem at hand.
That’s where Social Health Facilitation comes in.
Social Health Facilitation is the art of creating intentional, trauma-informed, non-hierarchical spaces for human connection that promote group healing and empowerment.
The reason it feels hard to do it alone is because you’re not supposed to. Helping others as a team lead, a therapist, a social worker, a community organizer, a light worker, a healer, or other helping professional or volunteer still isolates you as the individual who possesses the resources that others need. It can trap helping professionals in an imbalanced dynamic of giving that leaves them drained and under-resourced. It can also leave the group perhaps inspired, yet not meaningfully transformed or connected.
Social health facilitation is a process for creating shared healing and growth that doesn’t rely on the facilitator to be the sole source of support. It’s a method for activating the natural resources that exist in all people to support each other. It empowers you to help others by showing them how to share power, how to democratize mental health support, and how to resolve conflicts within the group without alienating individual members through victim or perpetrator roles.
Social Health Facilitation is the rising tide that raises all ships.
The practice of Social Health Facilitation is at the heart of a movement to create the culture of connection that humanity and our planet need to survive and thrive. By helping individuals access experiences and take ownership of tools that improve their social well-being, we can establish emotionally intimate communities where people know how to coregulate their nervous systems and lead genuine peer-based interactions with each other without needing the permission of a professional.
Social Health Facilitation focuses on building socially healthy interactions, which are characterized by the 10 key features of the Relational Model for Social Health:
- Welcoming (of any emotion or conflict)
- Intrinsic Value (rather than outcome-driven)
- Transpersonality (non-dualism / creating the ‘we’ space)
As a trained Social Health Facilitator, you will have the confidence you need to step into impactful leadership without controlling others or sacrificing your innate empathy.
You’ll know how to stop over-giving because you’ll be able to see and trust how those you most want to help are helping themselves, and how you are also worthy of receiving support from them.
You won’t be doing it alone any more, because every person for whom you facilitate will be doing it with you. And, you will witness others step into their own power through the connection that you facilitate.
You’ll have a science-tested and reliable method to create consistent group connection that leaves participants, including you, feeling coregulated and connected.
Are you ready to heal and empower your relationships, teams, and communities as a Social Health Facilitator?