I’m Switching Programs

So, yes. This is the big news I hinted at recently. I have officially withdrawn from the Justisse HRHP training program, after a full year of studying with them, before entering the second year of training.

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This probably comes as a surprise to almost all of you who have been following along on this journey, but is something I’ve been needing to consider for quite some time (in fact, since not long after I commenced the program last October).

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I was thrilled to be entering this program a year ago, and truly believed that it would be a science-filled, enriching experience with a school that considers themselves the ‘gold standard’ in Fertility Awareness education.

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While I definitely learned a lot in this time, and read many books that I would likely not otherwise have heard of to read, I found that the program actually wasn’t meeting my hopes and expectations.

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While I myself am a very religious Orthodox Christian (as you will know by the random tidbits I post occasionally from our beautiful musical tradition), my vision for my work has been one of being a facts-only, science-based, non-religiously-based Fertility Awareness education source. Not because I think the religious-based methods are bad — on the contrary, I believe that everyone deserves access to this type of information, and many of the amazing scientific discoveries that have been made regarding our fertility cycles have come from scientists who are Catholic, or at times Lutheran.

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I am beyond thankful for the research that these scientists have undertaken, and their thirst to better serve women and to nurture the natural functioning of women’s bodies.

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But I, for myself, merely wanted to be a secular educator who is also personally very religious. Obviously my faith informs my worldview, and I love my faith. And largely because of my faith, I want to do my part in spreading this information and body literacy far and wide to reach as many women — religious and secular — as I can. Because I deeply care about the wellbeing of women and children and those in poverty and those who suffer illnesses. And I care about the surrounding families that suffer with their women.

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And I believe Fertility Awareness has something amazing to offer all women and girls — a deep knowledge and empowerment that better equips them to care for and respect themselves and the environment. I’m sure all FAM educators, regardless of their individual worldviews, hold to this core belief.

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Unfortunately, I did not feel that my perspectives and beliefs were welcome in the program I was in. I also saw through experience that the program included much more than “just the science” and branched out into actively promoting certain worldviews (while discrediting some others in subtle and not-so-subtle ways), some of which I resonated with and others of which I did not. And when I did not resonate with some views, I felt (and I say this not to be ill-willed, but to express what has been going on for me in this regard) somewhat discriminated against in very tangible ways.

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I will not go further into this here, because I don’t want to stir up controversy or animosity, or to focus only on the negatives, and also I don’t want to undermine the amazing work in Fertility Awareness that so many HRHPs provide. These women, such as @chloeskerlak whose video series on FAM I love to reference, do amazing work when it comes to Fertility Awareness. And I’m sure they’ve positively impacted many women who hadn’t heard of this option before as an alternative to hormonal contraceptive endocrine disruptors.

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All this to just give a little explanation, since you’ve all been so supportive of this academic journey!

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So…what’s next? I am transferring to another program. One that I hope and believe will grant me a little more freedom to be exactly who I am, and to serve women in the way that I believe to be good and in keeping with my way of being and living (my ethical and moral life bit in my bio sums it up).

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I never want to be told what to believe in any sphere of my life — rather I want information, complete and comprehensive, so that I can make my own choices with autonomy. My hope moving forward is that I will complete my training and continue being the type of Fertility Awareness educator that I described above.

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I’ll (probably) share soon what program I have decided to transfer into. Either way, I will have completed my training by the end of next year (as was the timeline already in my previous program).

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I’ll still be starting my internship before long, just with another school, and so I cannot wait to more formally take on clients. I’ve already got a list of so many of you who have reached out asking to be some of my first formal clients, and I’m so thankful for that!

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In the meantime, if you still want to work with me in a less formal capacity, please feel welcome to schedule a 30-minute consult with me. You can read more on my website about all of the different concerns and topics that we can cover in one of these sessions (including chart reviews to a certain extent).

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That’s all for now. If there’s more you want to know, you can always reach out to me individually. This won’t really change anything in what I produce and what you see of my work, but I wanted to give a little update on this change.

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Thank you for your interest in this work and information!

6 Replies to “I’m Switching Programs”

    1. It’s true! It’s a really hard decision to make, when you’ve put so much of your time, money, and self into something you really had high expectations for. But no matter! Moving on is the right choice and will hopefully (like I said) enable me to be in a program that respects my freedom!

      Like

    1. Thank you! And yes…I integrate it all and take my knowledge forward with me! And I thank God for the opportunity to have to clarify and stand up for my beleifs. Definatly a strengthening exercise!

      Like

  1. Hey Sophia,

    This is such big news.

    I wish you all the best with your new program. And hope you get somewhere where you can truly be yourself and give to the women you desire to serve.

    All the best!

    Like

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