Alamar Life's Experience Nature living pictures meet the Validation® Method.

‘A bridge between nature and emotions…and I find myself at home’. Alamar Life’s Experience Nature living pictures meet the Validation® Method

Published in Cura magazine on 1 June 2022

The living pictures of Experience Nature: visual and sensory beauty that stimulates storytelling

Alamar Life’s Experience Nature videos are living pictures of natural scenarios that allow you to fully experience all the beauty and life force of nature in indoor spaces. Thanks to the many facets of the various seasonal settings and the purity of the landscape sounds, Experience Nature videos are ideal partners for conducting creative storytelling sessions set in nature.

Alamar Life films promote relaxation, serenity and good humour, increase sociability and creativity, and are able to stimulate memories even in people with severe cognitive impairment, activating participation, fun and encouraging the sharing of emotions and personal life stories.

This is the basis for The Imagined Tale, a story-telling technique created by Cristina Fino, the creator of the films. The nature pictures become the pieces of a mosaic to be put together, the stages of a journey, the settings of a fairytale, the key to access dormant memories.

It is possible to recall trips to the sea, or to the mountains, to create a fantasy tale by moving the story and its protagonists from one environment to another. For example, starting from a road in the forest one can go up a stream, reach a lake or a flowery meadow and then perhaps pick some fruit from a tree, light a bonfire and stop to look at the moon.

Nature, with its beneficial and atavistic aspects, is able to arouse emotions even in those who appear to be strongly compromised. Creative group storytelling, whether it animates a fictional tale or brings forth memories or poetic suggestions, encourages participation by all, with a sense of well-being that lingers after the workshop.

These are some of the many benefits that can be achieved by using Experience Nature videos and The Imagined Tale.

One might therefore ask: can such a powerful and effective tool be further enriched by the use of relational skills acquired through another method?

The answer is yes! The Validation® Method has proved to be an excellent ally, demonstrating that the effectiveness of the two methods applied individually can be enhanced by their combined use.

The Validation® Method: welcoming and empathic communication without judgement

The Validation® Method is an attitude, a communicative approach based on empathy, devised by gerontologist Naomi Feil. Communication techniques, theoretical assumptions and basic attitude (the three fundamentals of the method) result in a deep acceptance of the elderly person’s inner world and the authentic legitimisation of their emotions.

This is because Validation® invites us to have a different look at old age and to give a new reading even to those behaviours that we might call ‘bizarre’.

The caregiver is invited to move from the position of the one who ‘resolves’ to that of the one who ‘welcomes’ the emotion that is coming to light at that moment, without questioning the veracity of the fact, but rather legitimising its emotional aspect.

It is in this way that a relationship of trust is built in an empathic bubble, in which a non-judgmental emotional connection can be sought and found.

Here, then, is an opportunity. A winning union between the techniques for conducting Validation® groups and the storytelling techniques of The Imagined Tale, just as the union of the individual communication techniques of the Validation® Method used during the screening of the Alamar Life videos was a winning one. A success that leads to the promotion of unprecedented caring paths increasingly aimed at the well-being of the elderly and the creation of new possible scenarios.

Every ‘caring‘ process should be built on the solid foundations that a good therapeutic alliance between the different actors of care can offer. Propaedeutic to the effectiveness of such care is the effort to find a common ground for action, an ideal place in which each component of the triad (elderly person, carer, family member) can find and recognise its own identity.

Identity, especially in the elderly, is exposed to constant deprivation due mainly to the succession of losses, but our self remains, thanks to the emotions and social interactions we have with the world around us.

Nature and relationship become useful elements in the creation of well-being. Alamar Life and Validation® together create fertile ground on which to build new possible therapeutic approaches for the elderly. A new tool for dialogue with emotions.

Experience Nature’s living pictures, which act on the brain’s perception through precise frequencies and cycles, and the empathic approach of the Validation® Method through verbal and non-verbal communicative techniques, come together, mutually enriching each other in content and meaning.

Common denominator of the two methods are the emotions, which are aroused and aroused by the familiar images of nature and which are welcomed by those who consciously and authentically use the validating techniques.

A perfect combination that sees the use of living pictures within the Validation® group and Cristina Fino’s Il Racconto Immaginato (The Imagined Tale) together with the techniques of the Validation® individual approach and group conduction.

A creative tale, stimulated by images and guided by the competence of the conductor, which becomes the bridge for an evocative journey into the beauty of nature, into memories, into emotions. And that bridge becomes a symbol of the deepest feeling, of the often-unexpressed needs, of an imagined pathway that can still be taken if guided and welcomed by competent caring actors and by tailor-made tools.

A creative narrative, stimulated by images and guided by the expert guidance of the trainer

All this took shape in a sort of ‘pilot project’ born from the resourcefulness of dementia social educators Paola Buelli and Stefano Pellicioli (certified professional dementia social educators, group leaders of the Validation® Method integrated with the Experience Nature methodology and The Imagined Tale), who, after taking part in a workshop at the Meeting of Care Professions, met with Cristina Fino (author of the Experience Nature films and creator of The Imagined Tale and with the teacher Licia Conti (Agape Avo teacher certified by the Validation Training Institute) to develop the union of the two methods within their educational workshops.

The surprising results obtained from the application of the two methodologies, make us believe with conviction that this experience can have an important project continuation.

Today, thanks to ALAMAR WEBTV, everyone can take advantage of the entire Experience Nature catalogue: thousands of films make it possible to experience any environment in any season of the year.

Validation® caregivers thus have the opportunity to enrich the group conducting technique by using the Experience Nature living pictures to involve participants through the emotions aroused by their familiar places. In the same way, caregivers using the Experience Nature catalogues can learn and use the techniques of the Validation® Method, creating a continuous and enriching exchange within the healing mission.

Every project implemented, every intervention made with awareness and professionalism, brings us ever closer to a concept of care tailored to the person, so that every elderly person can feel at home even in a strange place. We do not only attribute to the home the meaning (albeit important) of domestic walls, but we decline it and dress it up with that profound sensation of feeling in a safe, protected place, where one is welcomed and legitimised to be what one is and can experience well-being.


ALZHEIMER and CREATIVE NARRATION: the account of Paola Buelli

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