For the 'Reflections' sections, we decided to use a process adapted from outsider witness practices. This is a process used within forms of narrative and community therapy. In its original context it is designed to help people better come to terms with traumatic events or experiences (or, of course, both) -- some of which can lead to debilitating chronic conditions. At its heart lies a system of reciprocal witnessing that has been found helpful in allowing new narratives to form around past events and behaviours -- and so allow different ways forward to be seen.
We adapted the process, asking each artist, and two of the iBAMH course staff, to answer the questions, 'What struck you from what the other artist expressed?' and, 'How is that relevant to your experiences and did you have any new thoughts/reflections as a result of the creative piece?'. Each group of answers about a piece were then given to that piece's artist, who was in turn asked to give their responses to the responses.
This gives an account of this process used in its original context, where it was of help to young people suffering from chronic pain and fatigue. We are grateful to Thanos Tsapas, a consultant psychiatrist at Bristol, for drawing our attention to outsider witness practices.