Weathering a violent storm together – Witnessing and co-constructing meaning in collaborative engagement with those experiencing psychosis-related challenges

Lizette Nolte
  • Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, January 2018, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/1474022217732869

Supporting people who experience psychosis - how we can weather a violent storm together

What is it about?

The experience of psychosis can sweep into a life like a violent storm. I firstly attempt to fully imagine the experience of such a storm by drawing on the words of people who have had such experiences and then consider the meetings between mental health practitioners and those who find themselves amidst this storm. I reflect on ways we can better support people in making sense of these experiences, while continuing to live meaningful lives with these potentially intensely distressing and disturbing experiences.

Why is it important?

I consider ways we can connect with people's physical experiences of psychosis and how we can honour and validate people's experiences of severe and enduring mental health problems and the life experiences that lead to them. I also discuss how we can accompanying people in their meaning-making of these experiences and join in the fight against stigma. In particular, the importance of walking alongside those in the throes of the storm and bearing witness to their suffering is highlighted. This is particularly important when we want to consider the training of mental health professionals.

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