Ron’s Blog June 2017
There are a lot of new things happening in the TSI World, I get a sense that people are really catching on to the power of my stories and the potential impact of the programme in the lives of their children, students or clients.
The Gem journey enables the acquisition of identity – by answering the questions it poses and thinking through how they would act in the situation the story’s hero finds himself in – the hearer’s discover who they are and form a personal vision of who they aspire to be. They learn to be honest with themselves and they start to believe that they can make choices that result in them becoming their best selves.
This is not a ‘management and maintenance’ programme – as so many are these days. The Gem Journey teachers mastery of the very components of a healthy identity and attitude.
No other programme on the market comes close to the depth and scope of the intuitive process and personal transformation the Gem Journey delivers.
Storyteller Documentary – A most interesting development during this current year is the documentary being filmed on my life’s work. Yes, with no foreknowledge, completely out of the clear blue sky, Vic Carson the Principal of Film Buff Productions a Documentary film company from Sydney Australia contacted me and soon thereafter Film Buff begun the documentary on my work calling it “The Storyteller”. I cannot say too much about this project other than I think it will be great. Very anxious to see how good a storyteller Vic is! Up until this eventuated, I was quietly heading toward retirement and thinking, well I had a great career- it’s been a good run but hardly anyone will know about it– Wow that may not be the case now!
New Storyteller Training Pack – All of a sudden, with a ‘doco’ looming and knowing my public career is coming to an end. I mildly panicked, realising my training package was not sufficient to see my work forward. There was something lacking, something was just not quite right.
Time pressure and the desire to complete my work to the point where others could actually just pick it up and use it easily – caused a rethink of all aspects of the Gem Journey and the Therapeutic Storytelling Intervention aspect too.
I have be telling the stories and using the same post story conversation method since 1985 (32yrs). But having taken a step back I soon discovered how ingrained and ‘rote’ my thinking had become. With metaphorical fresh eyes, I discovered The Gem Journey is so much more than I was teaching. As I pondered the depth of context I experienced new insight, I was filled with awe, “Oh, man! Oh man!” stuff. The new revelation was humbling.
How could I not have seen this clear progression of lessons leading to finding one’s best self, twenty years ago? The audit of the material (process/methods) I knew backwards and forwards-used daily for over thirty years and swore I really understood and was instantly rendered obsolete.
This programme was developed to combat clear identity deficits that I observed in ‘society’s children’ – the abandoned and neglected ones who were sent to Creative Alternatives. Without fully realising it, as I was writing and then taking students on the journey through Gem of the First Water, I had identified Eight Elements that make up a stable and healthy Identity and I had developed strategies to master each element. This insight reinforced my opinion that the Gem Journey actually answers one of life’s big questions, Who am I and who will I become?
By going through the journey a child can understand who he or she is. The storyteller now has the tools to actually guide the student in the process of determining who they will become. They don’t just have to guess how to find out. Now I see that the Gem Journey provides a clear educational pathway demonstrating to children how to find out, and if they can accept and practice the process for mastering each element, they develop new life habits. New Habits form quickly if meaning and importance is attached to them as they are introduced. These habits are the building blocks for their fully developed, stable and positive identity.
This is preventative mental health intervention at its most effective – those who know themselves well will have what they need to navigate life, to make good choices, to handle fulfilling relationships and to avoid the potholes of identity diffusion and mental un-wellness.
Other programmes tell children what they ‘should’ be thinking based on a model or a theory – they make assumptions and generalisations. My Programme address the unhealthy thinking patterns commonly adopted by young adolescents and shows them the natural consequences attached to them. These are thoughts they are already thinking and they make the connections themselves.
It never feels forced or contrived because the boy in the story is thinking, feeling and acting in intuitive and relatable ways – the hearer’s identify with him and learn from his mistakes. There’s no need to ‘preach’ to them – they get it and, time and time again, they make changes in their lives in order to avoid the negative consequences that the boy faces.
You are going to love sharing this programme with your class, your family or your clients. It’s a fantasy story based firmly in the emotional reality of today’s children. The new training pack is coming soon and I can’t wait to see the difference it makes.
Latest Project – Last year was a remarkable one for the ‘Gem Journey’ — I have had the privilege of working in schools all over South Auckland.
The Gem Journey has now stepped up to the level of working with whole academic systems. The latest highlight of my work in schools was the De La Salle College project.
I have just finished taking all year 7 Boys at De La Salle College on the Gem Journey. The results were excellent. Essentially the project unfolded in a similar way as it had with the Sancta Maria project of 2015-2016. Of the approximately 100 boys 45% responded that they were inspired to become their best self. 50+% stated they learned a great many lessons …and the remaining 5% thought it was OK or thought it was boring.
The attendance/compliance during the 13 week course was in the 90%+ range and like the Sancta Maria project all students were given a ‘Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire’ (yet to be scored). My guess is that the results will reflect similar outcomes as recorded in my simple ‘Ode to Research’ survey which you can find elsewhere on my site.
Scope and Impact of the Gems Programme – I have also run programmes at two of South Auckland’s Alternative Education schools in Manurewa and Highland Park. Both groups are empirically successful with great compliance and wonderful interactions. Additionally I ran groups at: Papakura High school, Pakuranga College, Papatoetoe High School, Onehunga High School, The Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, One Tree Hill College, Marcellin College, Sancta Maria College and Pukekohe Intermediate School.
Research Project – Dr Simon Denny (University of Auckland Medical School) has had an interest in the Gem Journey for many years and has prepared an application for a Research Project focusing on my programme. Once it gets local ethics approval we will run a random-control research project at 3-4 of the Auckland Schools where I take the entire classroom on the Journey (whole classroom model). I am confident this research will produce similar results I have recorded in my whole classrooms at Sancta Maria College & De La Salle College. Once this research (projected to finish mid 2018) is complete, I will retire from public service.
Thank you for your interest in the world of TSII. Onward to better mental health for our young ones!