Tree of Life workshops originated in Zimbabwe and were a way of supporting communities that had experienced many losses. It helps people to tell stories of themselves in ways that make them stronger.
The Professional Tree of Life approach encourages staff to think about our relationship to our work, the professional values that we share at work and how we contribute to each other’s’ working lives, our teams and the services we work in.
The stories gathered from a Professional Tree of Life workshop can help teams to remember and reconnect to the values that brought them to their work, the individual skills and strengths of each team member, and the team as a whole. These are stories that should continue to be told about people and teams in working in social care and the NHS. These teams are not defined by their under–resourced services, or too much paperwork, but by the people working in it every day and their positive stories about their work and each other.
The Professional Tree of Life uses the power of the metaphor of the tree and the forest to embody the statement ‘we are stronger in a forest and greater than the sum of our parts if we stand together and support each other’.
“The forest must remain intact no matter what. If every tree were looking out only for itself, then quite a few of them would never reach old age. Regular fatalities would result in many large gaps in the tree canopy, which would make it easier for storms to get inside the forest and uproot more trees. The heat of summer would reach the forest floor and dry out. Every tree would suffer. Every tree therefore is valuable to the community and worth keeping around for as long as possible.”
From, Peter Wohleben, The Hidden Life of Trees