Short feedback from training events and talks
“Great workshop yesterday with Rufus and Elisabeth, incorporating voice dialogue work. You know when something makes so much sense and you wonder why you haven’t been doing it all along….”
Participant on our ‘Changing the Relationship with Voices’, Sep 22nd 2018
“Such a pleasure to see you guys present today. What a joy! Such a breath of fresh (evolving/open) air.”
From a Community Psychology Event, march 2016
“Had a brilliant time at this course today. If you ever get the chance to work/play with Rufus and Elisabeth, do.”
Participant on Mindfulness and Mental Health in London, March 2016
“I wanted to thank you for an amazing day. It was the first time I had attended one of your workshops and I came out truly inspired. The combination of all three of you was perfect; full of interesting information, but still remaining approachable and honest. I’ve been to several trainings about mental health before but I can only say I wish more of them had been like yours.”
Participant from Talking with Voices Workshop (with Anders Schakow)
in London, Oct 2015
“It’s been weird, but in a good way”
Participant on Mindfulness and Mental Health in Liverpool, feb 2016
EMBRACING THE LENS OF SENSITIVITY
Since attending the Understanding Our Sensitivity workshop in Toronto facilitated by Elisabeth Svanholmer and Rufus May I have been struck with a profound realization. As I listened to people’s stories and engaged in some really fun activities it hit me that many of my fellow participants had a mental health diagnosis. I have several labels and have worked in mental health for over 20 years. I go to a lot of these learning events and always look for ways of using the information in my work.
I knew some of the participants through my work so I was privy to their inner-most struggles and their psychiatric labels. But here’s the rub on ‘Understanding Our Sensitivity’ – not once did I hear the facilitators use words like “mental illness” “psychiatric disorder” or any other clinical references.
This added to my list of many life healing, life affirming epiphanies. I now understood clearly that the lens of ‘sensitivities’ versus ‘mental illness’ is not only common sense, but levels the common ground for everyone – the diagnosed and undiagnosed. Unfortunately the medical model oozes pathology, never ending stigma and harm.
I’ve known this all along but like many people who are sensitive and experience the mental health system, it took me many years to come full circle. I now embrace ‘sensitivity’ as a lens both personally and professionally. When working with families and their loved ones who are struggling, I now seize the opportunity to frame their experiences in the positive perspective of ‘understanding our sensitivity’. While people may initially be jolted by this concept, they find it a whole lot more palpable than viewing their loved ones as ‘sick’.
The lens of sensitivity is topped off with a massive dose of common sense, creative strategies and dignity.
With many thanks to Elly Latvik – www.whoscrazynow.com and www.familymentalhealthrecovery.org