As a person with lived experience of extreme states, and an anti-oppressive stance regarding coercive psychiatry, I strive to make myself available for response to emotional crisis and interpersonal conflict. My goals is to help facilitate opportunities empathic and sustainable dialogue in community.
While every individual crisis situation is unique, common expressions I am familiar engaging with self-harming behavior, thoughts of suicide, lack of sleep, extreme and unusual beliefs, addictions, hearing voices, spiritual emergency, drug withdrawal, anxiety, neurodiversity struggles, and severe interpersonal conflict.
My activity is informed by personal experience with anti-oppressive emotional wellness paradigms including:
- Intentional Peer Support
- The Principles of the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community
- Open Dialogue
- The Hearing Voices Network
In some cases, I am able to recruit additional support from the local community to take shifts in providing support for a crisis.
The parameters for my crisis response activity are as followed:
- I will only engage individuals with their consent. I do not believe in applying emotional pressure or coercive intervention. I will take somebody to a hospital or other coercive facility if that is where they want to go.
- I do not believe that emotional distress resides within an individual. It is my understanding that extreme states and seemingly unsolvable conflicts arise out of a context of failed communication. I never blame an individual (or any individual around them) for their extreme behavior. Instead, I focus on listening, emotional rapport, and may, with consent, facilitate dialogue between the person being labelled a problem and other stakeholders in their well-being.
- I will always take care of myself first, and encourage you to do the same. Difficult situations can push anyone past their limits of emotional safety. If I become triggered, reactive, and act at the whims of my hurt and vulnerable parts then I am potentially making things worse. If a situation does not appear to be nourishing and sustainable to me, I may request a rearrangement of bodies and priorities as a condition of my continuing support.
Further guidelines and negotiations will be developed specifically for your case during a regular check-in process.
My crisis support activity is offered on a gift-basis. In short, this means that I don’t ask for any money. You may offer me whatever feels most in line with your level of gratitude as payment or trade.