We invited Dr Daniel Fisher to tell us about E-CPR in The Hive on 28 June. Over 50 people attended, including service users, advocacy workers, researchers, third sector staff, psychologists, physiotherapists, mental health nurses, social workers, a GP and a psychiatrist.
Daniel trained in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and practiced for 25 years but it was his lived experience of recovery from schizophrenia that inspired him to dedicate himself to helping others to find their voice and to recover. Developed by people with lived experience, Emotional-CPR is a holistic, hopeful and empowering approach to helping people through emotional crises.
Connecting – unconditional, accepting, non-judgemental, developing relationships based on mutual trust and respect.
EmPowering – helping people to visualise practical solutions to shift the conditions causing their distress. Revitalising – finding or regaining a valuable role or relationship in the community.
It’s a way of life, designed to build stronger and more cohesive communities, it’s not just for people in immediate emotional distress. We need relationships with others but trauma leaves people angry, numb, unable to feel. Other people can help them to look at the world in another way, by just being with them, sitting with them, sharing what they feel, acting like an additional heart for them. Distress is a way of trying to solve problems – sharing makes it less overwhelming. Each person knows themselves what’s best for them – other people can only accompany them, not fix them which leads to perpetual dependency. Medication should only be used during crisis for as short a time as possible – it’s no more important than other things in life. Seclusion and restraint make people feel they don’t exist, beyond feeling excluded and isolated. We need to develop an emotional conversation together, caring for each other’s emotional well-being, offering mutual support, healing each other, sharing a bit of each other, listening, not giving advice.