Wrong turn … with unexpected consequences

Left the hotel at 7.30 in the morning, in preparation to attend a two-day workshop in Birmingham about Brief Dynamic Therapy for Personality Disorders. I was particularly excited about attending this workshop, since the topic sounded really interesting and right up my street. Reading the flier in preparation for the workshop I got a feeling that this dynamic theory was proposing an experiential approach to treatment, by using Malan’s triangles as direct intervention with client but also by incorporating cognitive-behavioural techniques unto treatments.

This was also my first visit to Birmingham, so I took my camera just in case I would come across anything worth photographing. It surprised me that the city was already getting packed with people at that time in the morning. Rush hour to go to work, some cafes already opened, which was probably handy for amany people as it was freezing cold. I am a geographical nuisance, and as usual I got lost, despite the workshop venue was supposedly nearby, but then I took the wrong turn. The GPS on my phone was crazy, not recognizing my location, and I just walked in circles, trying to make sense of my location. I did ask a few people for directions, even if I despise doing so (typical)!

Tree of Life monument

Then I came across a monument in memory of the victims of the Second World War, those who died during the bombardment of Birmingham between 1940 and 1943. these were 2241 deaths, and the names of those people are all written in the monument called ‘The Tree of Life’. It has been beautifully crafted in a mixed alloy of bronze and other materials. There is a pair of hand holding something like a globe, perhaps representing the Earth, but the arms are also representing tree trunks and rooted deep into the ‘floor’.

Tree of Life Monument

A deep sense of melancholy overcame me, as I took a minute to reflect in life and how fragile we are as people and as species. Fragile and dangerous, with devastating consequences to each other and other Earthly species, and selfishness and narcissistic tendencies blinds people to do anything, even selling their mother if needed, just to be famous and sell a few stories, just like today’s news about Jacintha Saldanha – the royal nurse who was caring for Mrs Catherine Cambridge the wife of Prince William and took the prank call from Radio presenters in Australia – who committed suicide. No one yet knows the reasons why she would take such an action but I guess that lack of support from her social network, public embarrassment, and even potential professional repercussions that would damage her career.

Unfortunately there are many cases like this in the United Kingdom, when medical and healthcare staff feel unsupported in their professional status against a government and system that does not seem to care and only want to find someone to blame and criminalise when something goes haywire. I deeply feel sorry for Jacintha and in particular her two young children who became orphans, but mostly I feel deep unrest in working in a country that only sees people as bodies and numbers and not as human beings with histories and lives. There should be international laws to prevent this sort of media abuse to happen. Hopefully the journalists that impersonated the Queen and Prince Charles will be prevented from from ever working in the media. I have nmothing against them, as they too are victims of a rotten system that forgets that behind every potential story, are real people, who often gets their lives damaged because of greed.

Church of Saint Martin

Then as I walked to my workshop, I saw the Church of Saint Martin, right in the middle of the city. So here it is, for all the souls that have been lost to unfairness, greed, and human nature. The workshop was very interesting with great food for thought about hope to support people in psychological distress.