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Windhorse Empathic listening and Basic Attendance training

“The Windhorse Approach is health based, meaning that we understand all people to be fundamentally sane, and inclined to return to health and balance when the right conditions are present. In this view, confusion, or extreme mental states, or some use the term mental illness, are temporary obstacles, more like clouds that may obscure the brilliance of the sun. But just as the sun is never diminished by clouds, likewise our sanity is not diminished by confusion so it’s always there as our deepest ally.
At its most basic level, the Windhorse approach is characterized by creating individually tailored, whole person recovery environments, which invite that person’s sanity, health, and balance. Whole person means that we consider and include all aspects of a person’s life in the therapeutic process—our environments are grounded in their physical and domestic world, we cultivate open and healthy relationships, and of course we work to help our clients to clarify and understand their mind and emotions.”
(From Chuck Knapp’s introduction to the Basic Attendance podcast of the Windhorse Journal at the Windhorse Community Center in Boulder, Colorado)

Why the Basic Attendance?
It was said by Podvoll that what is really needed to find balance is:
– expand the community
– increase the sense of responsibility
– create an environment in which to feel at ease
these define the essence of Basic Attendance, which alongside contemplative psychotherapy is the core of the Windhorse approach.

Empathetic listening is a necessary skill for Basic Attendance. Consistently, with this training course, we aim to cultivate the ability to be in a relationship that includes empathetic listening to one’s presence, as well as that of the other.

The character of the training is fundamentally experiential. You can’t tell, you can’t read or study, although this can help prepare your mind for something that basically has to “happen” in order to be understood.

To be part of a Windhorse team it is neither necessary nor sufficient to have a specific “psy” preparation. This is because Windhorse is above all an approach, a way of relating to oneself and to others. We could define it as a healing environment.
As “environment” we means both the internal one for single persons, and the external one, made by more individuals, and the physical one, for example a house. An environment that heals should be cultivated, loved, and can develop only with care, in the sense of loving attention, of those who live and frequent it.

Alongside paths of approach or practice of various forms of meditation, necessary to understand the spirit of the Basic Attendance, we have currently developed a basic course of six experiential days. The work of constructing the path is still in progress and is being refined year after year.

At the moment, the themes of the days are:


These days last eight hours and take place on weekends. The program provides a brief theoretical contextualisation regarding the various components of this particular modality of “assistance” (Attendance), immediately followed by the experiential implementation. Individual moments of reflection on the lived experience are provided with the possibility of using graphic means for the “harvest of fruits”, followed by moments of sharing in which it is possible (but never obligatory) to share and compare the experiences and reflections that have generated, both with the other participants and with more theoretical aspects.

Reciprocal listening, trying to put oneself  on the other’s point of view, which is both who provides the assistance, but also who receives it. Trying to experience  the two roles can happen to discover with surprise that it is more difficult to allow another to “attend” us, rather than the opposite. Perhaps because in order to give it is necessary to be able to take, in order to be able to ask it needs to be able to listen to our needs, and communicate them to the other. Only then the exchange, the true, equal one,  becomes possible.

Thus was born the Basic Attendance: by heeding to the “presents in the present”. Here and now.

From January to June 2023 the basic training is going to start again, one Saturday a month, from 10.00 to 18.00 in Loranzè, (TO) in Via Ceresa 29.

The relative discomfort of the place is amply compensated by the possibility of working in close contact with nature. To reach the place machines can be organised from Turin, or a convenient self-managed shuttle service will take the participants who arrive by train at the Ivrea station. Lunches will be shared.

Here are the dates: January 14th, February 11th, March 18th, April 15th, May 13th, June 17th and June 18th, summary of the route, at the end of which the certificates will be delivered.

Useful to bring: comfortable clothes, boots (you can go for a walk in the woods), blanket and possibly a pillow to sit comfortably on the floor, socks or slippers. Lunch will be shared.

During the meetings, none of the proposals is mandatory. In case of particular physical difficulties or  other problems, it is our particular care to look for possible individualised adaptations taking into account both the individual participants and the group, so that there is for everyone the possibility of finding their own “comfort”, even in a possible “inconvenience”.

We particularly want to ensure that the training is as accessible as possible to those seriously interested in the proposal. For this reason we invite you to contact us directly for any type of problem, logistical or economic, to find together possible solutions .

For those who have already participated the training and were interested in repeating it or completing it, payment will be requested only for the days in which they have not yet participated; for the “repetitions” a contribution of ten euros is required for the management costs of the space and for possible materials.
Upon completion of the course, a certificate of participation will be issued

Alongside this “Basic Path”, the days of “PerShaTra” (Permanent Shared Training, in italian “Formapercondi“) on specific topics. The character of these days is based on the exchange and cultivation of the Windhorse environment. In fact, proposals for exchange and training on the part of the participants are very much appreciated. At the moment, the hypothesized dates of FormaPerCondi, alongside the basic training, are: 12/2, 16/4 2023.

Further details on Windhorse can be found in the documentation section


Each meeting needs a contribute of 50 euros. In case of payment at the first meeting of the entire journey, it will be 270 euros. To participate, it is also necessary to register for the Accordo, to take advantage of the insurance.

Registration for the training can be done by writing an email to the above address and, subject to confirmation, by making the deposit payment of:

By 12/15/2022

  • 25 euros for the first meeting – balance by 10/01/2023 of another 25 euros, for a total of 50 (instead of 75 including registration).
  • 125 for the entire course – the balance by 10/01/2023 of another 125 euros, for a total of 250 (plus 25 for enrolment in ACCORDO).

After 15/12/2022

  • 50 euros for registering for a meeting, plus 25 euros for registering in ACCORDO
  • 270 for registration for all six days, plus 25 for registration in ACCORDO

the above address and, upon confirmation, making a payment of 50 euros for registration to a meeting, or 250 for registration for all six days, on the account held to:
Accordo – Associazione Scientifico – Culturale di Coterapia IBAN: IT36U0306909606100000162735-reason :“WH basic train. contribution (date)” or “WH  basic train. 2023 contribution”.

N.B !!! To adapt to the new third sector code, registration in the Agreement, which for 2023 will cost 25 euros and includes insurance, must be done in 2023, since it is considered the calendar year. To request or renew membership in the Agreement for 2023, you need to download the forms and follow the procedure described on the dedicated page