SRN blog: Time and Space – Radical Self Care

19th September 2018

Radical Self Care is just one of the presentations at the forth-coming ‘A Disorder for Everyone!’ event in Edinburgh. In this guest blog Elaine Weir, Manager at Time and Space, outlines how this approach came about.

Time and Space is a therapeutic service in Glasgow. We work with adults who hear voices and/or who self harm. We offer weekly groups, counselling and tailored one to one support to help members understand their experiences and, hopefully, cope better and have a better quality of life. Every week we have a women’s group and at this group we began to look at self care. Working with the group we realised that we kept telling people to look after themselves but didn’t think to ask if they knew how to look after themselves or even what looking after yourself meant to them?

We all know the standard self care advice; eat a healthy diet, regular exercise, see your friends but what if you can’t?

  • What if you can’t afford a healthy diet?
  • What if you can’t get out of bed?
  • How do you build healthy relationships when you have no model for a healthy relationship?
  • Does that mean you fail at self care?

We decided it was important to look at self care and work with the group to explore ways to make it useful, and perhaps more importantly, make it meaningful. We looked at things that block self care and began to untangle some of the feelings of unworthiness and guilt that people felt. From this we created our Self Care Manifesto and then our Growth Tree.

A couple of us attended the ‘A Disorder for Everyone!’ event in Birmingham and after hearing the speakers; Lucy Johnstone talking about the PTM Framework and Jacqui Dillon telling us The Personal is The Political we knew that this model fitted the work we were doing. We use a Person Centred model that does not pathologise distress and we believe that people can and do recover from mental health issues.

We are very excited to be presenting our Radical Self Care workshop at the ‘A Disorder for Everyone!’ Edinburgh event on Friday 28 September.

Elaine