In a world where poverty, abuse, trauma and adversity are all too common, the levels of mental and emotional distress we are experiencing as individuals, families, communities and as a society are reaching unprecedented levels. In this context, mental health professionals working across the UK find themselves faced with both a level of need for their skills and services that they often struggle to meet, and with experiences that can be distressing and overwhelming for them too.
Mental and emotional distress touches all of us, but all too often the mental and emotional distress that mental health professionals experience as they seek to support others goes unacknowledged and insufficiently supported.
Safely Held Spaces ‘Being Both’ workshop seeks to provide a safe space for mental health professionals to share their stories with others who have been, or are going through similar experiences. The workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of both the journeys of the experiencers who they are supporting, and of the journey they have been, and may still be on, both in their professional and personal lives, including their own experience of extreme mental and emotional distress.
Workshop participants are invited to explore mental and emotional distress through Safely Held Spaces proposed five stage roadmap, which charts our journeys through everyday life, testing times, threshold, really extreme times and finally, emerging or returning. Participants will also be invited to explore how we meet, and care for ourselves, in our own distress, and how that informs the ways in which we are able to respond to the distress of the people we are supporting.
Through a range of creative activities, workshop participants will be offered the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the way in which they make sense of their own distress, and of the distress of those they are supporting.
“Only when we are able to offer compassion to ourselves first, are we then able to offer it to others”