What's in a name? The name "eCPR for Life" is multifaceted and meaningful. eCPR was originally developed by people with lived experience as a way of helping those in crisis, hence a life-saving training. Just as traditional CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) is a life-saving technique, emotional-CPR is a life-giving practice. There is new life, new hope, and Revitalization. eCPR is also a practice that becomes a way of life, a way of being, not simply something used if, or when, you encounter someone in need. The skills and practices can be deeply embodied and inherently "lived."
VISION and MISSION
The Vision for eCPR for Life:
To readily promote, support, and provide eCPR Trainings and Awareness Practices to individuals and groups of all backgrounds and professions as a fundamental part of teaching curriculums, private and corporate business operations and practices, human and veterinary healthcare, and general public education, as a means of emotional crisis intervention and peer support.
Mission Statement for eCPR for Life:
To create a kinder, more present, emotionally healthy world.
Values for eCPR for Life:
Compassion and Empathy
Community and Peer Support
Embodiment and Authenticity
Personal and Professional Growth and Learning
Leadership, Lead by Example
Mental and Emotional Health
Certified LEAD TRAINER
Joanna Robson, DVM, CVSMT, CMP, CVA, CSFT, CIT, eCPR, VHSC, CMT
eCPR Certified Trainer and Lead Trainer
Veterinary Human Support Certificate, UTenn College of Social Work
Certified Mindfulness Teacher, Mindfulness Training Institute
"I was introduced to eCPR in 2019 at the University of Tennessee CVM. I had no idea what I was getting into, but within the first ten minutes I knew I'd found something life-changing and I couldn't believe that the program wasn't mandatory in vet schools across the country. I have since traversed the process of becoming an eCPR Apprentice, Facilitator, Trainer, and now Lead Trainer, so that I can share this amazing program with people of all backgrounds, and especially with my veterinary colleagues in need."
Joanna Robson, DVM
ECPR for Life! developed from my passionate desire to share these trainings and practices with a much wider audience, regardless of background. I have used these techniques in a variety of settings, including supporting complete strangers in severe emotional crisis.
As a Veterinarian I have dedicated myself to animal healing and providing my patients and my clients with diverse treatment options and ongoing education. In addition to experiencing incredible cases, amazing patient healings and transformations, and bonding with incredibly dedicated animal owners and all species of amazing creatures (from aye-aye's to horses), I have lacked healthy boundaries, faced abusive and manipulative clients, experienced severe burnout and compassion fatigue, addressed severe colleague emotional despair and suicidality, financial stresses, and so much more. It's not "puppies and kittens all day" and my industry and colleagues are in crisis.
When I attended the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine/Veterinary Social Work course in eCPR I was quickly on the edge of my seat and also overwhelmed. Why wasn't this course mandatory? Why weren't there more trainings (this was only the third annual course offered for veterinarians)? Why do we need a class to teach skills such as listening and empathy that "should be" inherent, and what has happened to us as humans and our ability to emote and communicate? And how can I spread the word and make a difference? Like now? I also faced my resistance, if not terror, about being "vulnerable." About sharing what was really going on inside, and all of the fallout from that experience. It changed my life for the better, and I am dedicated to helping others along this journey.
And I have learned, from both seats, what it's like to desperately want someone to listen and to feel heard. How incredible our interactions are when we are truly, fully present. But we've forgotten, distracted by our cell phones, our busyness, the rush of needing to work endlessly to pay the bills, how to simply be. The insomnia, the rumination, the constant stress, plagues our work and home lives. We've replaced being with doing, with feeling by thinking.
So if I'm struggling, don't tell me "don't worry, you'll be fine" when I'm consumed by fear or grief or anxiety. It makes me feel like I don't matter, that what I'm going through is trivial. Please don't tell me YOUR story when I was trying to tell you mine. Just be. Sit with me. Let me know I'm not alone, that you will stay. Maybe we talk. Maybe we say nothing. This is how true Connection begins, through being present. Phase one of eCPR: CONNECT.
And as I sit with you in your distress, equally human, I feel into my body, I try on your experience, your gestures. And I resonate these feelings back to you, helping to guide you back into your feeling body, as I learn to feel into mine. And we explore inner strength, and how we've found our way out before. Phase Two, EmPowerment.
And I won't judge, or fix, or advise you. I may not have the answers, but I trust that you already know what you need to do. That together we can explore options. That you don't have to be alone. Though it may take time, there is a way to reintegrate into family, work, and/or support systems, and to find new life. Phase Three. Revitalization.
eCPR is not a linear process. These phases ebb and flow like a dance. It takes practice and awareness. I can't wait to share this journey with you.