Unfortunately, the original scheduled speaker for the evening (Mark Conway) was unable to attend the event. The evening was well attended and required extra seating, so luckily for us, TAP Council member Caroline Barrett
stepped into the breach and heroically presented `Physical Wellbeing & Mental Health` with just twenty minutes notice!
In a presentation that actively encouraged audience participation in a workshop style, Caroline firstly asked `What aspects of your physical wellbeing do you maintain, to support your mental health? Together with - Are we being negligent if we do not reference our client’s physical wellbeing and how it affects their mental health? Given a few minutes to work with people next to them, attendees soon shared interesting aspects of their own work and experiences around self care. The issue of clients actively perpetuating their problems such as anxiety by their own life style was addressed and further posed the question of therapists working with this in their sessions. An example might be the client staying up late playing computer games and not getting enough sleep or perhaps partaking of alcohol in the mornings. The audience was asked to reflect on how most therapists won’t gain any formal education in nutrition during their training and so their areas of expertise could be rather homespun.
With the aid of slides, Caroline offered more questions for the audience to work with including: `Are we working from a place of knowledge privilege` and `How did questions about your personal health choices and your practice make you feel? Do you think you could be asked about this topic in a way which doesn’t provoke an emotional response?` With no shortage of input from attendees the evening moved swiftly along and Caroline was thanked profusely for rescuing the evening in the vote of thanks.
However, the debate continued over hot beverages and biscuits, when in a conversation with TAP blog writer David Trott, Caroline explained a little about the rationale behind her presentation. `I think the key point I was trying to get across is that whilst therapists are aware of the impact of physical health on mental health, using it a lot in our own self-care practice, there is a lot of chat about promoting wellbeing by our professional bodies and theoretically there is a lot of research to say that improving physical health improves mental health but we are not trained in it and lack theoretical models in most common counselling disciplines therefore it is important we take opportunities to reflect on where it sits within our client work.`
The next TAP Talk takes place on Friday 21st February 2020, when Claire Plews presents 'Resilience in Therapy', which once again promises to be an informative and valuable Talk.
All are welcome.
Talk write- up provided by TAP Council member David Trott