In May, students and staff watched the Art of Attachment (2018) and used the screening as a springboard to discuss trauma-informed practice and the importance of allowing people space and time to share their stories and for practitioners to listen and be aware of their own vulnerability.
Ian Dore, who leads the University of Brighton’s Social Work MSc says, “Listening and making space for others to articulate their experience can be hugely powerful and in some circumstances life changing. The value of creativity to engage, process and reflect on experiences was a crucial part of many of the sessions, reminding students that using journals or art work for direct work but also for the self and student’s own professional development. We hope this will be one of many creative partnerships with local community partners.”
The Art of Attachment (2018) is the result of a project by choreographer/director Charlotte Vincent, who worked with Brighton Oasis Project a substance misuse treatment service in the heart of Brighton. She explored the complex emotional bonds that exist between women in recovery from substance misuse and their children, partners, family and friends. In the film, real-life testimonies combine with visual metaphor and movement to reveal the physical, emotional and psychological impact of drug and alcohol use on relationships and a feeling of belonging.
The ‘power of narrative’ was the core theme from the presentation and three creative sessions students attended. Students spoke about the power of hearing the women’s voices and stories, generating intense thoughts and feelings. The immersive nature of the day allowed this to occur safely and with space to really reflect on real life experiences of the women. The strength and resilience acted out in the performance was experienced by students as: ‘powerful’ ‘moving’ ‘thought provoking’ and ‘uplifting’.
Find out about studying Social Work at the University of Brighton.