Apricot Centre Well Being Service
Global Synapses offers a space of enlivenment where individuals or groups come to their full health. Below is an example of a group process from the event Potential to Aliveness.
Normally the subjects of power dynamics, healthcare and regulation-monitoring would be seen as separate disciplines to be studied in isolation from each other. The idea of the role-play was to examine the explosive nature that develops as these three aspects come together. What was normally made safe in different compartments of understanding was now seen in a dynamic setting, where the real secret of health could be found. Mark O’Connell who works with young children at the Apricot Centre Wellbeing Service in Devon, began by talking about the role, as a professional having power over the people who look to him for help. He invited others to take up roles in this space. At this point an adult participant K. came into the space playing the role of a distraught child who was asking to leave her father and live with her mother. As the professional maintained working from his position of power, the young girl withdrew
feeling unseen in her predicament. Other facilitators helped point out this tension that was developing.
The dynamic however soon became distressingly more real than the play. As the patient K. became visibly more upset, the role-play was joined by:
• a superior demanding clear outcomes;
• a regulator asking the care-professional if he had filled out a risk-assessment, and
• a manager instructing the care-giver to think of the reputation of the institution first in case the patient should turn suicidal.
At the same time as the professional knot was tightening in the exercise of authority, another focus developed of those without power. The patient K walked over from the centre of the space where this distressing scene was playing out, to join two dynamic young people, Mia and Daisy. They had shared earlier in the day the ‘Young Creatives for the Community’ intergenerational project they had set up, supported by the Arts Lab in Dartington, to help people find their passion and direction. The service had proved invaluable in helping young colleagues find fulfilling, creative paths out of the disempowerment of school-experience. Once over to the side of the room, K found solace being understood at an emotional and human level. For the situation to resolve the two poles had to come together, Mia and Daisy showed courage and maturity in confronting the professionals with the reality of the situation.
There was now an anguish in the room, as some recognised this pattern from their own experience. The power dynamics of the professionals were dividing the distressed individual from her own future, dignity and integrity. As the girl became more upset, the system was taken further out of its operating realm of foreseeable consequences. The very ground assumption on which the health system was based was in contradiction with the actual needs of individuation and self-actualisation of the young person. The transformation act explored by Global Synapses within a dynamic of division is to find an opportunity for regeneration of a new identity honouring the potential of all in a new way.
read more about this event at LifeWideMagagizine
– drawing by Jordan Reynolds
Mark is enjoying developing the Apricot Centre (CIC) Wellbeing Service for Children and Families working mainly across East Anglia and South Devon. ACWS consists of clusters of experienced and creative therapists working within a team approach to provide robust flexible services. Their CQC registered base is on an organic/permacultural/biodynamic farm where they also offer nature-based activities for young people, their families and schools.
Mark uses Process-Oriented Psychology as the basis of his child psychotherapy approach, alongside an understanding of attachment, family (systems) therapies and traumawork. Process Oriented Psychology or ‘Process Work’ is an awareness-based psychotherapeutic approach with roots in Jungian Depth Psychology, Taoism, Shamanism, Systems Theory, with the focus on bringing awareness to life processes, rather than focussing on attempting to reach specific goals.
Jordan, 22, is a local young artist who loves to draw ‘whenever, wherever and whatever’ he can. His aim in life is to use his art as a vehicle ‘to bring attention to, and raise up those less fortunate in life. In a nutshell, I want to create art for the aiding of others.’ Jordan starts a degree in Drawing at the University of Falmouth in September. In the meantime, and hopefully ongoing, he is researching and developing ways to build bridges between the young creatives of Totnes and the opportunities that Arts Lab can offer.
Chukumeka is a hugely inspiring changemaker, with a strong awareness of identity and a clear vision for positive social change. His own journey into social work has taken him through a range of challenges and experiences and allowed a strong sense of engagement with the social and the spiritual to emerge. Chukumeka Maxwell (Aka Chukes) is the founder of Action To Prevent Suicide CIC -a Devon based non-profit dedicated to raising funds for community-based programs focused on suicide prevention.
read more about Chukes here:
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