Thursday, 10 October 2013

Unconventional Wisdom: Exploring The Language We Use Workshop and Poem

Philip, Eleanor and Owen working on the poem

Yesterday, 9th October 2013,  I took part in the Powys DIY Futures Celebration Event in Llandrindod Wells.  I for one really enjoyed the event and the chance to talk to so many people.

I ran a workshop called “Exploring The Language We Use – Mental Health”.  You can read more about this below.  

The following poem, being worked on in this picture, was inspired by the workshop and written by the some of those who took part in it.

The Poem By Philip Moisson, Eleanor Barrow, Freda Lacey, Jill Dibling and Owen (Wordsmith for the Day)  

Der dar ... The Poem

More about the workshop: “Exploring The Language We Use – Mental Health

Us all ... in action ...

The aim of the workshop was to discuss, explore and raise questions around the mainstream language that we use in the field of mental health.   It was not aiming to search for the right words or the words we think we should be using.  

It was not aiming to judge the words we do use.  Instead the aim of the workshop was just to look more closely at the language we do use and hear often.

We did this by taking 4 common sentences and asking two participant actors to speak the words to each other.  

One actor was identified as a psychiatrist, another her patient.  The rest of us bore witness to the sentences being spoken.

We were then asked to explore the simple sentences used by breaking the words that were spoken down into three areas:

  • The actual words spoken – explicit meaning
  • The context of the words spoken – identifying power, authority, emotions
  • The assumptions underpinning the words spoken - the unsaid, the unspoken, the unchallenged facts
12 people took part.  The following pairs of sentences were discussed:
You are a service user.  I am a service user

You have a chemical imbalance of the brain.  I have a chemical imbalance of the brain

I am manic.  You are manic.

I am a carer.  You are a carer.

Feedback from the event!

I felt privileged to work with people who were willing to be so open, enthusiastic, thoughtful and supportive. 

I would like to thank those that took part for their time, their ideas, their kindness and their laughter.   

Laura G

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