Empathic allies, safety nets, and support systems

As the workshop goes on, we have been sharing how people cope with the emotional burdens of working in conflict transformation — and, believe me, those are burdens that would collapse most of us in a very short time.

We came up with the term “empathic allies” – those crucial people who understand what we are about, our values, our intentions, and who stand by us, and pick us up when needed.

Then there are our wider support systems. Human support systems — families, colleagues,  friends on the end of the phone or on facebook, empathic bosses. Other kinds of support systems range from household routines that remove anxieties about clean clothes and food in the fridge, to religious practices that take us out of the everyday.

Our safety nets — where we can let go and know we are safe, removed for a moment from the responsibilities — include dancing, crying in the car, laughing at films, crying at films, playing wild games with our children.

Today I have been painting..

4 Responses to “Empathic allies, safety nets, and support systems”
  1. morganp63 says:

    Driven to mini panic attacks by huge, on-going family stresses, loosing my own sense of direction, logic and everything else, on the recommendation of a very long-time friend (also a gestalt counsellor), consulted a counsellor. Admittedly, it was a one off, I was in desperation, her training stuck out like a sore thumb, too-quick come-backs, and ‘own it’ . . . ok. Her direct instuction didn’t work for me or the situation, I didn’t see this until later, when it became obvious what would-have-been better. Hey Ho.
    Time and distance enabled me to look into myself with calmness and some quantity of self-worth which enabled me to think clearly.
    I phoned a friend . . .
    I painted . . . wrote . . .

  2. morganp63 says:

    The painting is FULL of violence and upset feelings, thankful for the light on the horizon . . . in the distance.

    • Lynne Cameron says:

      Thanks for your interesting response! It was in fact painted in calmness and tranquility, starting from the expanse of yellow in the foreground. Perhaps it’s the hot colours that make it seem violent…

      • Patricia Morgan says:

        Yes, hot colour but also the sweeping diagonals and jagged edges. Black hard against yellow. I only see the promise of calm in the horizon

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