Janine Shepherd: A broken body isn’t a broken person

Cross-country skier Janine Shepherd hoped for an Olympic medal — until she was hit by a truck during a training bike ride. She shares a powerful story about the human potential for recovery. Her message: you are not your body, and giving up old dreams can allow new ones to soar.

Compassion for Voices: a tale of courage and hope

Historically, the primary aim of psychosis treatment has been to reduce or eliminate psychotic experiences (eg with antipsychotic drugs), which has shaped our broader cultural views of these phenomena as being the undesirable symptoms of a disordered brain. This results in stigmatisation of people with such experiences, which is not only isolating and shaming for them, but can also drive them into an internal battle with their experiences, eg attempting to fight, control or suppress them.

This 5-minute film presents an alternative way of relating to experiences; this goes against the tide of traditional approaches and culturally engrained attitudes. Essentially, it charts the therapeutic progression of a young man, Stuart, from being tormented by his voices, through establishing safeness, to developing the qualities needed to engage with them through compassionate dialogue. For people with psychosis, this may have therapeutic value as a template or metaphor for their own recovery journey.

Compassion for Voices is a Cultural Institute at King’s project in collaboration with the Department of Psychology and animator, Kate Anderson.

My father, locked in his body but soaring free

Published on Oct 19, 2014

At TEDMED, photographer Kitra Cahana shares a new visual language accompanying the extraordinary story of her father’s severe brainstem stroke, a catastrophe that transforms into an inspiring and imaginative spiritual journey.

What motivated you to speak at TEDMED?

It’s very difficult to express the sublime and the surreal in words and photographs. I wanted to attempt to communicate all that my family had experienced in the summer of 2011 – my father’s brain stem stroke, and the profound spiritual awakening that followed – with others. When my father first had his stroke, I wrote down these words, and whispered them to him when I first came to his bedside: “We only ever needed one pair of hands, two legs, a respiratory system to keep the world afloat between us.” This became my mantra. We can sustain ourselves through each other. This is what my father taught us; he said that all who came into his room of healing should expect to be healed themselves. Healing has to be mutual.

The stroke ruptured my reality as well as his. In those initial months, so devoted to his limp body and to allowing him to communicate all that was bursting to [...] continue the story

How to Be?

By Kristen Knott

Written February 2, 2014

Now a month into 2014 and the hair on my head is slowly coming back, my eyebrows are reappearing, and I can even see some eyelashes growing. It will probably be another month until I can ditch the wig, hat and scarves. My energy is quite good during the day, in fact at times I feel like the old me, the me before cancer. Yet the evening comes and I am smothered in fatigue again.

I look around my house and I see the differences, they are likely subtle to others, but to me they are profound. The one room that has completely been ignored is my office, as it hadn’t been addressed since the spring. Mail has piled up and needs filing, calendars still read May 2013 and the Juravinski patient handouts were frontline and center on my desk. The room looks like time stopped when I was diagnosed June 6th. I slowly organize the clutter and discard the one-inch thick “welcome to chemotherapy booklet “ that lists all the side effect information that I needed during my August to December therapy. It feels odd throwing it out, yet a part of me feels like [...] continue the story

Bowel transplant patient experience

Michael Seres talks about his bowel transplant experience relating it to how and why patients need to be part of the decision making process. He speaks to surgeons, clinicians and doctors at the Intestinal Transplant Symposium held in Oxford in June 2013.

Follow Michael on Twitter @mjseres

Or his blog Being A Patient Isn’t Easy

 

More from Michael Seres

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