Posted: Wednesday 13th May 2020
So here’s the thing…Over the past few years, I’ve slowly been developing a little porky tyre around my middle, that sits on top of my jeans. Now, a clear way to solve this problem is to stop eating so much cake. And yet, problems can also be dis-solved… dissolved. And to do this, we have to change the frame in which the problem sits, and change our relationship with the problem. So, I could understand my porky tyre as there becoming more of me to love, or perhaps my gift to others, as I display evidence of my own frailties and imperfections, I implicitly invite others to do the same; to show their authentic selves. My porky tyre transforms from ‘fault’ to ‘friend’. Problem dissolved.
Now let’s move the camera to pan back and look through a wider lens…. During the Covid 19 pandemic many mental health and social care services have been withdrawn or reduced as acute physical health has been privileged. For some children and families, this change in service provision has contributed to an increase in their struggles. This is a serious matter. However, I’d like to focus here on another group; those whose problems have diminished in this current context. We have noticed much of this phenomenon in our work with children and families with very complex mental health and social needs.
Might this phenomenon be due to the suspension of professional problem solving in families’ lives? This is not to criticise professional attempts to help. We know first hand that professionals work brutally hard to help families achieve changes. However, perhaps we too often bark up the wrong tree when trying to achieve change. Maybe in the reduction or cessation of problem solving by others, some of the problems that families face have been dissolved. Dissolved by immersion in other strengths in their lives perhaps. Dissolved by taking the risk of going it alone and discovering it can be ok maybe. Dissolved by being the only one with whom the buck stops and finding the power to rise to this responsibility. And many more possibilities….
So, changes at a macro level can bring about changes at a micro level – who knew we were all existing in an interconnected system of mutual influence eh? When we professionals shift our positon, ripples occur and others are free to change their own position. Let’s hold that realisation close as we go forward together.
Jen & Jael