One event would have been thrilling a few years ago. These days there is a risk of becoming blasé about so many opportunities.
But it is truly great. It shows changes in attitudes, funding and concepts. Listening to Psychology colleagues from Cuba and India at the global mental health conference in Leicester made sense and had more impact than it have done previously. Differences are exciting rather than alien, and similarities are rewarding. Let’s make the most of them!
The difference in abstract conceptualization of resilience when we moved to the 15-17 year-olds in a second participatory workshop at a high school was evident. They had fun, debated, were specific, but also introduced a second level in their resilience strategies.
The above principle underpinned their responses to bullying in school. “Taking the risk” of telling parents openly of what they are doing was an interesting response to family conflict. My favourite, in response to distress? Writing down on a paper, then destroying it…i.e. exactly what mainly therapy manuals advise!
Can’t give too much away from John Maltby’s research, but wonderful to witness the process. The children decided how to run their participatory small groups themselves. One rotated the tasks, while the other two appointed a facilitator!
Their definitions of resilience attributes and strategies according to different scenarios were creative, assertive and not adult-dependent. Truly refreshing start to the project!
It is so exciting to wait for the arrival of Dr Saima Ali from Karachi University in Pakistan later today,
on a prestigious Rutherford Commonwealth Scholarship programme for a year. It was an extremely competitive process across all academic fields, which speaks for our awardee’s pedigree. Our task in this year? To facilitate a leadership programme and research strategy for years to come.
But awards and scholarships are mere tips of the iceberg. I had experienced these qualities in real life at the Psychology Department in Karachi. This was a current, not future leader. The future leaders were the students in front of us in the photo. They were inquisitive, critical and funny. All more so, for being young women fighting their own battles. Unleashing their potential will be the REAL challenge of our programme. Which is even more exciting!