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Scott Coyne, Volunteer Coordinator

 

In today’s post our Volunteer Coordinator Scott Coyne talks about the resilience workshop he facilitated for Epilepsy Futures participants.

Living with epilepsy can be both hugely complex and challenging. It is likely that you will face a variety of challenges during your life at different times and that is why Epilepsy Connections decided to develop our own in-house workshop on the importance of resilience, with an epilepsy focus.

The workshop looks in more detail at what resilience is and why it is important that you not only have an awareness of it, but that you look to develop it over the long-term.

The workshop with the 1st Epilepsy Futures group also allowed the group an opportunity to reflect in-depth, in a positive and nurturing environment on their own epilepsy and to begin to consider how resilient they may or not be…this is important as the workshop asks the Futures participants to produce a ‘resilience map’ based on a detailed case study that we work from.

This will introduce them to the mapping technique, which they will later apply to themselves!

The mapping technique was developed by Dr Bridget Daniel, who is a former Chair of Social Work at Stirling University. Now Professor Daniel, she established the Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection in March 2016.

Her work is focused on giving people the opportunity to realise their potential and so much of the map has a bearing on living well with epilepsy, that it seemed only natural to take the map and apply it to life with epilepsy.

A resilience map is made up of 6 separate categories and to be considered truly resilient it is necessary to be making quantifiable positive progression  in all areas.

The 6 areas are:

  1. Secure Base
  2. Positive Values
  3. Education
  4. Social Competencies
  5. Friendships
  6. Interests and Talents

 

The map is an insightful analytical tool which can be used to not only provide an overview of someone’s overall  life situation and wellbeing, but give both individuals and organisations the chance to identify perhaps areas in which more support and  personal development is required.

Our first group of participants have formed really close and profound bonds, and I was really very aware of this during the workshop. I already know many of the group, but having the opportunity to run a workshop with them, has really allowed me to see how profound the ‘futures’  process has been for them.

Giving the participants space to be open about their experiences and to reflect on often, very raw subject matters  is one of the key aspects of the workshop…and I really hope that the group took away many positive things, ahead of our second session in a few weeks. I really appreciated working with the group and was grateful for the frankness that they brought to the session.

I have asked the group to produce their own personal resilience maps at a 2nd session in a number of weeks….this will be an ideal opportunity to consider and reflect on everything that the map asks you to consider. ..but also their own progress during the course of their journey on the programme… I look forward to viewing and discussing their own personal maps together in a few weeks.

It promises to be a fascinating and revealing session!

Scott Coyne

Resilience Workshop Collage Pic

Images from workshop today

 

Our regular blogger Steven Connelly had the following reflections to share of his experience.

In our recent workshop Scott introduced us to resilience, and as a group we all put our heads together and had a debate about what our interpretation of resilience is,  and what is its the relevance to epilepsy.

I was particularly impressed and fascinated with the individual characteristics that define resilience, and the pie chart that we individually worked on to identify issues that we haven’t got any control over regarding our health situation.

Not so long ago, I was someone with no confidence,  who would doubt absolutely everything I did and who needed reassurance. I would never venture out of my comfort zone a lot, my wee house was my wee sanctuary I didn’t particularly participate much in my local community.

I did have hopes and dreams about future employment and education opportunities, unfortunately the seizures wiped everything little thing out of me including my dreams, talents and interests.

My energy, passion and enthusiasm for life changed when I joined Epilepsy Futures last year.

My confidence has grown, I’ve been involved, inspired and am making friends in a community where we all living from the same condition.

My self worth has grown so much, and we are learning new things every week. I have even managed to organise myself a volunteering opportunity, which I never thought would be likely.

Steven Connelly