PPN Launch Day: Food for Thought or Well-being in a wider world?
The PPN Launch day took place on Wednesday 26th February 2014. It was wonderful to see so many new and familiar faces at the event. It was a pity we could not accommodate everyone who was interested in attending the event. However, we have uploaded the presentations and some photos already to the website and will also be making the morning presentations available to watch too. I’m still getting used to the whole filming thing.
It was great to have so much input on the day and we are in the process of collating all the post-it notes and also suggestions for special interest groups. Over the next few months, Clare and I will be in touch to work with you on how we can take this forward. We would also really welcome input from people who weren’t able to attend on the day. We are developing this further on the website and keeping everyone updated via twitter @NWPPN and the soon to launch PPN news bulletin, and as things develop we continue to welcome your ideas and thoughts and you can contact us via the website.
Jeremy Clarke, our keynote speaker, gave a thought-provoking talk on the challenges and opportunities facing psychological professions. He focused on the themes of well-being, work and welfare as being areas where psychological approaches should expand their work further. As part of his talk, he played two video excerpts. One of these was of a medical consultant ordering people out of ‘his’ ward. This contrasted with moving scenes from the BBC programme Educating Yorkshire where a teenager with a stutter was successfully enabled to speak in front of his class assembly. For me, this was an example of the joy and pride that clinical work can bring. It reminded me of times when service users and I have worked together to improve psychological well-being and reduce psychological difficulties. It is sometimes a very humbling experience working with people who cope with very difficult situations and yet find the strength to work to make changes to help themselves. Yet, it can also provide a great sense of achievement in using our skills effectively as psychological professionals.
I continue to work in clinical practice in my role although I spend much less time per week than I used to. I have also realised that I would be very reluctant to give this up. However, the skills of the psychological practitioner are applicable across the various settings in which I work. Formulation skills help in analysing some of the complex situations which may present competing priorities. Also, being able to motivate and support oneself and those around one often relies on psychological principles. This approach is I’m sure shared by many of you and I think with our network we can promote using our skills as psychological practitioners in the wider world.