So much pain is caused by our human difficulty with holding in mind two truths; working with dialectics. Synthesising apparent contradictions can be healing and yet it’s hard.
I am right and yet you’re not wrong. I am responsible and yet it’s not my fault. You need help and yet we cannot help you. I have empathy for your position yet will challenge your action. We are where we are and yet must move. There is good evidence and yet it is equivocal.
Being with apparently contradictory ideas is hard. The urge to resolve this by holding fast in one position and denying the other, rather than synthesising or honouring them both leads to words and actions that can be harmful and are experienced as dismissive or dishonest.
I’m not thinking just about MH care here necessarily. It’s in politics, the Covid response, science, justice, education, our communities and relationships.
Being with uncertainty, tension between ideas, discomfort, movement. We’re not taught or supported to do this well. And yet it’s where the good stuff is; the healing, the understanding, collective strength, the connection.

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More from @HartleySamantha

Jan 18
NHS mental health service sometimes repeat patterns of trauma that are present in society and often in the histories of the people we are meant to help. 1/9
When people are coerced into receiving treatment (or ending treatment), that repeats coercive control. 2/9
When services are not there for people's clear needs, that repeats neglect. 3/9
Read 9 tweets
Nov 23, 2021
Mental Health Professionals: struggling with the idea that we have power?
That's probably because we work in systems where we feel utterly powerless lots of the time.
But power is relative + dynamic + we'd best wake up to it.
It'll be painful for each of us in different ways....
We want to see ourselves as useful, helpful, caring. We could've done this in other ways e.g. a befriender. But we chose professions that conferred 'expertise'. There's probably something that drew each of us to that (the avoidance of the other bad, shameful or vulnerable place?)
Whatever route we took, we arrived at somewhere with a caring and (relatively) powerful role. With that power comes responsibility. Responsibility to not pass the pain down, responsibility to ground oneself when in the maelstrom of the expression of traumatic or relational pain.
Read 6 tweets
Nov 22, 2021
So, I started to work on this in the background a bit, over a year ago. I had hoped I could get something off the ground in my workplace but that doesn't seem viable (yet). Thinking of continuing it outside (/alongside) my work role. Wondering how to do this practically.
I wanted to get something backed and funded going so it could be co produced. Without a structure or resource, I’m not sure how to do that well or fairly. I have drafted some stuff already so could just ‘put it out there’ and see what comes back but that seems a bit uncertain.
There was an @EmergingMindsUK SIG on harm but I haven’t heard much from them recently and there was already a developing agenda so probably not space for this in addition.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 29, 2020
I am on the edge of burnout. I think it’s important I’m honest about this yet wanted to take some steps before I shared publicly. I am emotionally exhausted, full up + empty, noticing my red flags (suicidal thoughts - I’m not suicidal, I am safe; this is a sign for me to listen).
Many others are too. Those and I who are resilient, persevering, compassionate, determined, innovative. I got a first class degree while depressed and experiencing ED, I did a PhD while working full time. I have worked in complex care for six years. This is new.
I will carry on. I must, I can, I have to for those that need me to and, I want to. I am taking steps personally and professionally to manage. We are working together to resolve more broadly. And yet this sign is my body and mind telling me something.
Read 5 tweets
Sep 3, 2020
It has been so valuable to write this piece for @AsylumMagUK. The call-out from @HSpandler came at a time I was navigating my own position on this and writing it helped me explore and develop that
(a journey very much ongoing...) Image
That, on submission + publication, I felt a surge of anxiety in how it would be received is testament to some of the themes I have discussed, IMO. There is pain in connecting with the current landscape, in services + our roles in that, and yet it's so vital for healing + growth. Image
I already subscribe via @pccsbooks but awaiting my bonus hard copy to read somewhere with time, space and stillness. If you haven't already, check out the past issues and consider subscribing @AsylumMagUK - listening to each other is the foundation of how we make changes together Image
Read 4 tweets
Sep 3, 2020
Great to meet @chelsea_arnold_ , @neilthomas3182 and the team in my first international Zoom trip to Aus. Reminiscing on my research journey from assistant, to trial manager, to PhD to ClinPsyD to Clinical Academic was surprisingly enjoyable and moving for me. Image
How I started doing a review for my supervisor @gillianhaddock at @OfficialUoM that turned into an accidental PhD registration and 10,000 record systematic synthesis 😱onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.111… Image
Then moved into ESM methodology, captivated by the opportunity this afforded to look at specific processes in the context of people's daily life, with expert stats guru @richardaemsley for support
cambridge.org/core/services/… Image
Read 7 tweets

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