I now feel the core of recovery is as follows. Throughout our life we each pursue our development to become the unique person we deeply are. We develop this sense of ourselves through deepening emotional connections with important persons in our life. These connections provide us the light to see and feel our values and emotions. The better we know ourselves, the better we can self-direct our life based on our dreams and goals.
When we experience various traumas causing us loss of control over our lives, we suffer extremes of emotional distress. If we are unable to share these emotions with others, we develop distortions in our thinking and feeling which interfere with our expected life role. We are then at risk of being labeled mentally ill, unless we can share these extremes of anger and sadness and transform them into passion. This passion can empower us to continue our journey of self-discovery.
Through this process we learn to believe in ourselves and to accept our deepest self. To transform disturbing emotions into passion, we need to share with authentic, genuine people. These genuine people are capable of connecting with us at our heart level. Heart-felt conversations with genuine people are based on caring, trust, respect, hope, and love. These conversations empower us because they help us to believe in ourselves. In these conversations we are able to be fully present in the moment with each other enabling us both to more deeply be. The “Heart is a lonely hunter” forever seeking nourishment through love.
People in Europe resonated with this message, just as they had in Japan. The hunger seems to be universal. The need to hear a hopeful message is widespread. They resonated when I told them of the young man in Canada who shared with me that he heard voices when his heart no longer spoke to him. In a similar vane, members of the Voice Hearers Network in the Netherlands reported that telling your life story in your words to others is crucial step in relieving the distressing aspects of hearing voices.
Users in Denmark told with great enthusiasm of a Finnish model for preventing first episodes of psychosis from leading to mental illness. In remote, rural areas of Finland, far from hospitals and academic psychiatry, professionals have empirically learned how to prevent schizophrenia from developing. When a member of the community (usually a young adult) goes into a state of severe emotional distress and their reality becomes distorted, a team of professionals convene several meetings with the significant members of the person’s social network. The person in distress is always present at such meetings. Open dialogue, in down to earth language, is used to frame each person’s understanding of what has been happening within the network to lead the person in distress to respond in such a fashion. They use some of the ideas for a reflecting team developed by Tom Anderson in Norway.
Such meetings allow the person in distress to remain in his or her home without hospitalization, and to require little medication. Apparently, the break in the conversations, which had caused acute distress, is repaired. This allows the young person to resume connection with the people and conversations necessary to orient him/her to reality. The recurrence rate is very low, most likely because such an approach strengthens the person’s connections with their network, rather than rupturing such connections as frequently happens in hospitalization. This approach is similar to the community healing ceremonies utilized in developing countries. The recovery rate in developing countries is much higher than in industrialized countries.
Source: Learning from Northern Europe
Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Recovery, The Recovery Based Model, Hope for Schizophrenia Sufferers, Psyche Bloggers Carnival