Sanctuary can be defined as a ‘safe place’ or a ‘refuge’. The word also has connotations of sacredness, respect, dignity and the worthiness of everyone’s life. For the times in our lives when we are overwhelmed with burdens that we are unable to manage, a sanctuary is often what is needed in order to reach equilibrium again.
The process of psychological intervention involves creating a safe and trusting space in which two or more people meet so that the individual does not have to suffer in isolation. In this sense the therapeutic relationship is a type of sanctuary where clients are enabled to find the safety they need to explore and find resolution to their difficulties.
Compassion Focussed Therapy fosters the sense of sanctuary necessary for healing by enabling clients to access and learn how to be gentle and compassionate towards themselves, and in turn to extend that compassion outside themselves.
Psychological Intervention in an ecopsychological setting is, in itself, a form of sanctuary. The physical environment in which therapy (or weekly exercises between sessions) takes place helps harness the healing effects of engaging with the natural world, and helps clients learn an intervention that they can practice independently of therapy, that lasts a lifetime, and is free.
Furthermore, working within an ecopsychological perspective enables clients to make changes in their lives that help them live more sustainably, thus contributing to a greater sense of sanctuary and empowerment in their own lives.
The Compassion Foundation is situated in a rural, forested area that provides sanctuary for all life forms, human and non-human, and where the natural world that sustains us is treasured and cared for.
The Compassion Foundation aims to help clients find sanctuary in their own lives, to heal, to live peacefully and compassionately, and to flourish as part of the interconnected web of life.