It’s hard to believe we’re nearly at the end of another year. I’m probably not the only person who thinks the year has gone very quickly. The Psychological Professions Network has had a busy year and gained more members and taken on projects on behalf of Health Education England (Core 24 and assistant practitioners to name but two). We organised a live-streamed panel debate on The Future Professional Representation of Clinical Psychology. This was watched by over 100 people live on the night and streamed by a further 1100 in the following week. We also contributed to the Digital IAPT summit in Manchester earlier this month with a presentation around the importance of wellbeing in our Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner workforce.
We have a sibling network. The new Kent, Surrey and Sussex Psychological Professions Network launched in 2017. We’ve been able to share ideas and learn from each other and look forward to continuing to develop, flourish and grow.
Our annual conference focused on Trauma which has sadly been a very topical theme – both locally in the North West as well as more widely. More and more of us have experience of traumatic events whether directly as individuals, as psychological professionals or indirectly on a personal or professional basis, perhaps even both. We learned more about how trauma develops and its impact on people. We also learned when organisations can be traumatised and this can be characterised by hyper-reactivity. Given the near constant change in the public sector, this may seem rather familiar.
Recognising that we work in difficult times and the impact this has us is really important, I think. We are as much a part of our worlds as individuals as well as professionals seeking to make a positive difference. It can be helpful to acknowledge our experiences in a safe environment or seek help if we feel we need it.
The Christmas and New Year period can be a difficult time for some and the different roles we play with friends, partners and families can be more salient at this time. Some of us may find ourselves playing a role within the family that they had thought, hoped and wished they had left behind many years ago. Perhaps, those around them want the person to act in the familiar role or they struggle with adapting to change or find themselves reverting to past too.
So what do we do with all this – changing times, our changing roles? It’s easy to say to go with it but sometimes we really don’t want to. Sometimes, it’s not easy to express that and we can feel resentful and not feel able to make our choices. There may not be one answer or instant answers. Sometimes, it’s about looking at how we help ourselves and finding what works – even if it’s just for a short time. This can be a little time on your own or it can be time with someone - those whom you trust and feel close too. A little restorative time can make all the difference – perhaps we can find our own self-compassionate moment (like a waking power nap?)?
Given the busy-ness of the world in 2017, I think we all need to find what works for us and give ourselves the permission and time to take some time for us.
Wishing you a restorative seasonal break.