Another month has passed. SA&T feels quite settled, with more expert witness work, and continuing studio based individual therapy sessions.
SA&T has a logo, fairly reserved, but this is for anyone regardless of age, cultural, religious or political background. The option three, with a little smile was quite popular in the poll (previous blog post), I like it too, but cannot bring myself to use it - from a therapy perspective it risks excluding people who could not feel further from smiling. It can be fun in the therapy space, there is room for humour and often joyous progress is made, but often it is not at all happy, and space to unmask is prioritised, so, less is more and I have a delightfully dull logo.
A few years ago I read 'Smile or Die' by Barbara Ehrenreich, which explored the terrible pressure cancer patients can feel under, to be positive, and attempt to beat the illness through optimism. Oh you lucky things, it seems my copy is in a charity shop. I just looked for it to take a glib smiling while holding up the book picture to insert into this post, but you are spared and instead here is a link to it on google books: cLicK Me!
This is a tangent, now back to how SA&T Limited is evolving.
Second Floor Studios and Arts are now hosting three, two hour long resilience sessions, I am thoroughly enjoying facilitating these, a lovely group of people attend and naturally support each other. When writing up the notes and sending them to attendees following the first session, I thought of a friend working in the (Jungle) refugee camp in Calais, and sent my training notes along to him. I had the idea that this might be helpful for people volunteering there, and am happy to run some workshops free of charge for volunteers helping with the refugee / migrant / human crisis. This can be in my therapy space, or at another site. Feel free to get in touch if you are a group of three or more people who have been volunteering and feel this could be helpful.
Secondary trauma is a strange thing to experience, often hard to identify, and I think it can be difficult for those feeling the effects to address their own needs, with an acute awareness that there are people in far worse situations than they are. Recognising the guilt this can bring and taking time to nourish oneself when working with people suffering can be a difficult task, but is necessary to avoid desensitisation or burnout. Even seeing images through social media streams and mainstream news can have an impact that is easy to underestimate.
Through the expert witness work, which has mainly been asylum based, I have met a great solicitor who does some pro bono work for asylum seekers in the UK, drop me an email if you would like to contact him.
Another reason to get in touch is that I am on the look out for art therapists and psychotherapists who would be interested in working with SA&T as freelancers in the future, particularly those based in faaaar South East London. If this might be you we could meet for a cuppa to see how our practices align.
Despite losing her launch party to NEW exhibition, SA&T is now partly supporting it. The preview is set for the 1st October. Info here: www.artlyst.com/events/new-no-format The gallery is in the same complex as I have been holding therapeutic sessions, bit out of the way but lovely, do join me there. The artists will mainly be joining by Skype, being out of the country, so it could get a little lonely. There is talk of an open mic night though, which would certainly warm the place. Fingers crossed.
Thanks for reading,
PS. Did you see Prime Minister's questions yesterday? Usually I find it too weird to watch; people making decisions on behalf of the UK jeering at each other as though in some cringeworthy game. This time there was a bit more to it.