WMO Executive Coordinator - Dr. Ruth Mischnick

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Dr. Ruth Mischnick: Studies of Law (Bonn) und Sociology (Siegen) with focus upon Mediation und Human Rights, Studies of Psychology (Netherlands) in the field of clinical und intercultural Psychology, Certifications: Second State Exam (Law) and Diploma in Psychology, Ph.D. in Bielefeld: Psychological-empiric work about Mediation, Trained Mediator by ARGE Bildungsmanagement (Vienna), Coach and Organisational Developer (Heidelberg, Meihei), Traumaexpert (Bielefeld by Luise Reddemann), Licensed Feldenkrais-Therapist (Trained in Vienna and Australia)

The other, the foreign, fascinates me. Not just observing it but learning from it and incorporating it into my own life. This mindset has led me to many countries in the world in which I work with the other.

My early professional life as a lawyer was characterized by delving deeply into conflicts between nations.  It wasn’t long before I wanted to combine my desk job with practical experience.  I lived in Southeast Asia for three years and worked in war zones, where I evolved into a psychologist. The questions I asked myself at the time were: What do people need in the aftermath of war, for themselves and in order to live with others? What do people need when an individual’s previous life has been utterly destroyed? When people close to them have lost their lives? Challenging situations require special solutions. What is required, following a catastrophe, when teams have to function without professional psycho-social infrastructure? The answer is both simple and complex: stability, a safe place to unfold and a new perspective.

Since returning to Europe, I have explored these questions more deeply. My life in Europe and the time I continue to spend in war zones mutually inform one another. I have now worked in crisis situations on all continents.

I have also remained committed to integration. I was already fascinated over ten years ago by the findings of modern brain research. Every experience that a human being has in his or her lifetime leaves traces in the brain and thus in the body. Every experience has a bodily counterpart. Inspired by this idea, I looked at approaches to solving conflicts that incorporate the body. These include Feldenkrais and the field of positive psychosomatics. What messages does the body send in conflict situations? How does a person’s thoughts and state of mind change if the body is permitted to try out various things? And what happens when people begin to listen to themselves and live according to their own principles?

I am a systemic practitioner with heart and soul. Guiding individuals, people in leadership positions, workers and groups towards solutions in complex situations and sharing my experiences with my students are my passions. And I always think about how I can tap into the experiences I’ve had in my various areas of expertise in order to find fitting solutions and realistic paths for the person before me.

After twenty years of professional experience, I was faced with something that changed my life. At an advanced age, my father had an operation. Following that, he endured every complication you can imagine. I discovered how rigorously illness and suffering are ignored and considered taboo. The result is that sufferers and their family and friends are left to deal with their daily problems and difficulties on their own.

As a trauma expert, I wanted to protect my father from the trials of medical treatment and for one year I provided daily support. And suddenly things changed. I rediscovered life from father, who can no longer speak or move. And his message to me is clear: heed your calling, be clear, precise, and do it now.

This new direction led me to see that I must continue to share my knowledge: to advise, coach and teach others. I dreamed of being able to work anywhere and to work with people without always having to travel. I believe that this thought is also important for the people I work with. You cannot always go somewhere else in order to learn and develop.

I have needed more than one-and-a-half years and literally thousands of hours to gain perspective and discover which models and ideas fit one another. I have devoted my energies to the development of new coaching and movement lessons and have begun to produce these. I have titled new developments Der Coach im Ohr and Meine Stimme begleitet Sie.

New media and modern forms of transmitting experience have given me the opportunity to make contact with more people and, at the same time, to do justice to my own calling.

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