The Legacy of Immigration – Separation & Belonging in the US
Facilitators: Samvedam Randles, Susan Belchamber and Deepa Awal; trainees: Tamara Pearl, Sean Culman, Nancy Jane
An exploration of the impact of immigration to the US on individuals, families and the collective. The history of the United States has been marked by an underlying history of displacement and separation. This country has been largely founded by immigrants, most fleeing from hardship. In addition, both Native and African Americans have historically been forced, violently against their will, to move from their homelands. Collective trauma has journeyed alongside, since for everyone living in the U.S., displacement rests in our very roots – if not coming from our direct personal experience, then still living within our DNA. Whether chosen or not, our ancestral story is one of leaving home. The goal of cultural assimilation and belonging has not been fully possible, in a large part due to this underlying archeology of unacknowledged trauma that permeates our culture and produces deep “blind spots” which necessitate both awareness and reconciliation. This Lab hopes to explore this archeology, help us become trauma-informed participants in this U.S. culture, and contemplate future paths towards integration and healing.
We will be exploring
- What constitutes the historical background to the U.S. immigration and displacement experience?
- What factors of collective trauma impact the archeology of this experience and the possibilities of “belonging”?
- How has the less-than-fully acknowledged role of slavery and genocide left a lasting imprint on U.S. culture?
- What elements of language, identity, and discrimination make ‘othering’ of immigrants a reality in the US?
- How does the United States, as a host country, inhibit the upward mobility of immigrants (e.g. in economic, and social domains)?
- How does immigration affect cohesion/fragmentation of a nation?
- What impact has this history and archaeology had on the unrest and polarization currently on display in the U.S?
- What attributes of resilience show up for immigrants in the U.S. across cultural backgrounds?
- How can we, as trauma-informed participants in the current U.S. landscape, create a space of exploration, acknowledgement, and witnessing to help integrate the fragmentation and expand the potential for collective resilience?
Participants are asked to commit to
- Be present for the duration of the cycle of the Lab (please see the dates below)
- Be present for introductory calls to basic competencies (or to watch the recordings), especially should you be new to this field of work
- Show up with mindfulness and authenticity and explore questions like:
- How have my ancestors participated in this trauma?
- What do my ancestors have to teach about resilience?
- How does this intergenerational trauma and resilience live in me?
- Ensure to be free from the influence of drugs.
- Assume confidentiality – all personal sharing within this Lab will be kept confidential and names of other participants will not be shared, nor will they be described.
- Assume self-responsibility for your health – this Lab does not provide therapy or treatment.
Max. group size: 50
Time: Thursday evenings from 7.30 – 9 pm EST (Please check here to find the time in your location)
Dates: 19 Nov, 10 Dec 2020, 7 Jan, 28 Jan, 18 Feb, 11 Mar, 25 Mar, 8 Apr, 22 Apr, 13 May 2021 Ending: 3 Jun 2021
Specifically invited: Participants with diverse U.S. immigration experience.
is a German psychologist who lives in the Boston area in the USA, where she founded first the Center for Body Oriented Psychotherapy and later the Inner Arts Institute, where she is the director to this day. Her work combines systemic methods such as Family Constellations with a careful internal attunement. Since 2013 she has focused on collective trauma issues and how to address them in larger groups. Samvedam has taught body oriented psychotherapy and breathwork at Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has presented her work at conferences around the world. She continues to offer training and supervision circles for therapists and other professionals in the Healing Arts. Since participating in the Pocket Project, Samvedam has been pioneering new ways to utilize systemic constellation work in service of understanding and clearing collective trauma patterns.
Susan Belchamber has woven a unique blend of work in international trade and economics with social psychology and consulting throughout her diverse career. Holding graduate degrees in International Relations/Economics and Psychotherapy, Susan has had an extensive career in government (USTR and GAO), as an international trade consultant in the UK, as well as in private practice based in neurotherapy, coaching and group facilitation. Susan’s current work focuses on facilitating personal integration of collective and intergenerational trauma, with specific focus on healing trauma around money, envisioning new economic possibilities, and supporting post-traumatic growth. A community-builder at heart, Susan is deeply involved in issues related to social justice and exploring ways to build a more equitable and sustainable world by refocusing on what we truly value.
is an educator and coach with her own practice specializing in discerning the fundamental ways in which our ‘way of being’ supports or hinders our dreams and goals. She has been studying Thomas Huebls teachings for the past four years. What began as an interest in Vedanta and personal growth has grown into what is now her contribution in the world – transformational work with individuals and groups. Starting her career in the corporate world with developing executives, Deepa now has her own practice specializing in coaching women and leaders with cross cultural backgrounds. Her personal experience as an immigrant from India informs her coaching with cross-cultural coaching clients. She speaks fluent English and Hindi, lives in Philadelphia and has two adult daughters. She teaches meditation practices, yoga, centering skills and coaches graduate students at Universities to develop leadership skills and build self-confidence. As an educator, she instructs and mentors professionals who desire to develop coaching skills both at Fielding University (Faculty) and Newfield Network (Program Coach).