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Geoffrey Walcott – The Kingston Seaview Dream-A-World Cultural Therapy ‘Scale Up’: Methods and Outcome (ASI 2015)

The Kingston Seaview Dream-A-World Cultural Therapy ‘Scale Up’: Methods and Outcome
Geoffrey Walcott, University of the West Indies
presented by Jaswant Guzder, McGill University

Jamaica has the world’s sixth highest rate of lethal violence. Following a successful multi-modal riskreduction proof of concept program for high-risk inner city children called Dream A World Cultural Therapy a 2013 Grand Challenges Canada Grant “Countering Youth and Urban Violence with a Community Engagement Cultural Therapy Program in Kingston Jamaica” provided a 240 hour scale up over 2 years for 100 dysfunctional and academically underachieving 8-year-olds and 100 control children from four primary schools in a Kingston inner city community. At three annual summer programs, and fortnightly ‘refueling’ term-time sessions the children were invited to ‘Dream-A-World’, imagining their life on a new planet. Constructing songs, poems, and dances, they presented a dramatic performance about their fantasized-world to parents, teachers and guests. Using manualized cultural therapy components of circling; centering, culturing, cognitive catalysis and capacity the process achieved qualitative improvement in academic achievement impulse control, self-confidence, group organization and authority management. The intervention group made significant improvements in Mathematics between term 1 and 3, M1=37.60, M2=51.44, p< .001. They also made significant improvements in artistic, musical and dramatic performance, resulting in measurable artistic performances by the group. Using ASEBA, Connors, WRIT and WRAT scales the study cohort showed improvement compared to the control group in their behavioural and academic performance that was statistically significant within 12 months.

Hilary Robertson Hickling: The Eastern Jamaica Dream-A-World Cultural Resiliency ‘Transition to Scale’ (ASI 2015)


The Eastern Jamaica Dream-A-World Cultural Resiliency ‘Transition to Scale’
Hilary Robertson-Hickling, University of the West Indies
presented by Frederick Hickling, University of the West Indies

Success achieved from the Dream-A-World Cultural Therapy (DAW-CT) program resulted in the evolution of the New Dream-A-World Cultural Resiliency (NDAW-CR) program for 35 of the academically poorest preforming primary schools primary schools in Eastern Jamaica. A newly established parallel Grade 4 Class replaced the 240-hour two-year DAW CT process with a 1000-hour program spanning a regular school year. This new parallel class accommodated 25 of the poorest academic performers and most disruptive students from the 2014 Grade 3 cohort. A teacher and a guidance counselor from the 35 schools were trained in the five therapeutic modality elements of the Dream A World Cultural Therapy program – circling, centering, culturing, cognitive catalysis and capacity building. A team of three cultural therapy trainers provides bi-monthly follow-up DAW-CT supplementation assistance to the teachers and students of each school program. The NDAW CR program has been videotaped in the classroom and analyzed by AtlasTi, and the students’ academic grade performance has been followed over the year. The ASEBA TR instrument has been used to evaluate the behavioral performance of the children. The paper examines the qualitative evidence of the task sharing and task shifting to other school classes and teachers that the NDAW-CR program has revealed and the quantitative evidence of improved behavioral and academic outcomes of the students trained. The outcome results will provide the proof of concept evidence for the transition-to-scale of
the NDAW CR program to 1000 schools across Jamaica.

Frederick Hickling: Taking Psychiatry to School in Jamaica: Using Creativity as the Vehicle for Postcolonial… (ASI 2015)

Taking Psychiatry to School in Jamaica: Using Creativity as the Vehicle for Postcolonial Social Reengineering/Healing in Jamaica
Frederick W. Hickling, University of the West Indies

The history of insanity has been a continuous metamorphosis of newly minted orthodoxies that have demanded taking psychiatry to school. The 1962 postcolonial deschooling community mental health revolution in Jamaica began with gradual deinstitutionalization of lunatic asylum beds and reschooling with Community Engagement Mental Health. Postcolonial social reengineering home-schooled Psychohistoriographic Cultural Therapy in the Mental Hospital triggering psychological deinstitutionalization sensitizing the Jamaican population to social healing of madness. With the world’s third highest rate of lethal violence in 2005, the next major wave of psychiatric reschooling placed psychiatry in primary schools. Pioneering primary mental health proof of concept risk-reduction
Dream-A-World Cultural Therapy was implemented for high-risk eight-year-old children exhibiting poor academic performance and behavioral dysfunction at a Kingston inner-city primary school. Significant improvements in academic performance and school social and behavioral adjustment were realized. A scale-up Dream-A-World Cultural Therapy project in 4 inner-city primary schools had similar positive results. This led to New Dream-A-World Cultural Resilience Transition to Scale in 35 failing primary schools with comparable success. This power-shifting metamorphosis took psychiatry out of the office with indigenous creativity realizing the core principle of the cultural therapy process. Placing psychotherapy squarely in the hands of schoolteachers and families, cultural therapy was
positioned as a robust agent of liberation psychiatry in oppressed and impoverished communities. A neurobiological epigenetic model of this cultural creativity process for healing and social reengineering is proposed.

Frederick W. Hickling was educated at the University of the West Indies, University of London, and University of Edinburgh. He was appointed Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of the West Indies, and is the Executive Director of the Caribbean Institute of Mental Health and Substance Abuse (CARIMENSA) UWI, Mona. Author of more than 100 scholarly articles, and author of six books, he was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association in 2009, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists UK in 2011. He received the Order of Distinction (Commander) by the Government of Jamaica in August 2012.

Panel: Art and Therapeutic Process (ASI 2015)

Panel Participants:

Jaswant Guzder, McGill University
Ian Gold, McGill University
Gilah Yelin Hirsch, California State University Dominguez Hills
Cécile Rousseau, McGill University
Eric Lewis, McGill University

Chair: Laurence Kirmayer, McGill University

Vitor Pordeus – “Madness, yet there’s method in it”: For a New Biology for Mental Health (ASI 2015)

“Madness, yet there’s method in it”: For a New Biology for Mental Health
Vitor Pordeus, People’s University for Art and Science, Rio de Janeiro

Presentation of the 5 year experience of the Centre for Culture, Science and Health – Public Health Office of Rio de Janeiro City, the DyoNises Theatre, the Hotel and Spa of Madness and the People’s University for Art and Science developed in the oldest Brazilian Psychiatric Hospital, the Nise da Silveira Mental Health Institute, formerly know as Pedro II Psychiatric Centre. The hospital was named in year 2000 after the famous revolutionary Brazilian woman psychiatrist Nise da Silveira pioneered the field of art and psychiatry founding the Museum of Images of the Unconscious in 1946. It today counts with a technical archive of more than 350 thousand artworks amongst paintings, drawings, sculptures of chronic psychosis schizophrenic patients that fundament and inspire the present
experience developed mainly through the application of Dr. Nise’s scientific principles on public theatre performed with the communities of the Hospital and Rio de Janeiro’s public spaces. Our therapeutic experience relies on the theatrical collaborative methods and the production of short and long documentary films, that will be exhibited during the presentation with special attention to the last movie produced by our artistic collective: our 2014 theatrical production “Hamlet, madness yet there’s method in it”. These experiences will be put into context of the contemporary scientific revolution of biology considering the experimental and scientific work of the Brazilian immunologist Nelson Vaz and the Chilean biologist Humberto Maturana, former tutors and personal collaborators of the author.

Jacques Arpin – Body and Performance in Theater Anthropology and other Art Forms (ASI 2015)

Body and Performance in Theater Anthropology and other Art Forms: Clinical Applications in
Cultural Psychiatry
Jacques Arpin, Geneva

What can I, a healer, learn from the arts, traditions and techniques? How can I apply such learning to my clinical work in medical anthropology and cultural psychiatry? I put “body” at the centre of the crossroads of health, culture and performance. The latter concerns all art forms relevant to the narration and the dramaturgy of patients’ case-history making. It is also helpful in the elaboration of various forms of therapies, including somatic medicine. We can thus improve and develop these medical actions with methodologies borrowed from the arts: learning, training, practicing, performing and transmitting. Theater anthropology is the study of the performer in a situation of performance. It considers traditions and techniques; the body as a vehicle, the body as a tool. Through exercises and training methods, this body will eventually produce narrative elements and express segments of stories. These I can then edit, using methods of montage, to finally make sense of the whole dramaturgy. There is a montage of the director and a montage of the actor, both of which will, at one point, be confronted with the montage of the spectator. Applications to our fields of professional actions are convenient and useful. The patient/healer work parallels that of the actor/director interactive strategies and methods. The healer, here the cultural psychiatrist, becomes the director of the patient’s dramaturgy, as expressed in the case-history making and in the course of the psychotherapy. The same can apply to the clinical situations seen in surgery, internal medicine et al. Theater anthropology and the performance studies have developed active networks, the International School of Theater Anthropology (ISTA) and the Performance Studies international (PSi), comparable to our own SSPC, TS and WACP. My Masters of Their Conditions project began 30 years ago. Three stepping-stone articles have been
published in TP. The focus is on the body in its clinical, cultural and performing forms: (1) the performance of health, illness and care – introducing theater anthropology; (2) narration in intercultural theater and the visual arts – bringing patients on stage; (3) the actor’s score and its applications to the patient’s score – a collaboration with actors of the Odin Teatret, founded by Eugenio Barba who also created ISTA. I am currently working on the next stage of the project: body modifications in the era of the new media (Internet, communication, technologies of the image).

Stephen Snow – Ethnodramatherapy: Performance Ethnography Combined with Drama Therapy in… (ASI 2015)

Ethnodramatherapy: Performance Ethnography Combined with Drama Therapy in the Framework of Theatrical Performance
Stephen Snow, Concordia University

Ethnodramatherapy is a new methodology that integrates the art of theatre with Drama Therapy, all within the methodological context of Performance Ethnography. The latter has its roots in the groundbreaking “Performing Ethnography” work of Victor Turner. Mienczakowski, who further developed this work into his own method, “Ethnodrama,” speaks of how Turner influenced him to combine “the aesthetic assumptions of performance and the methodological and theoretical ambitions of research.” What I have added to this mix are the clinical interventions of Drama Therapy. In this way, the approach can also encompass therapeutic goals and outcomes. This presentation will explore the application of Ethnodramatherapy through case studies with marginalized populations: (1) female
adolescents under youth protection in regards to self and social perception; (2) the exploration of intimacy and sexuality in the lives of adults with developmental disabilities: (3) the lived experience of caregivers for the mentally ill. Slides and video clips will be used.

Cécile Rousseau – Giving a Voice? Art, Exclusion and Caring Illusions (ASI 2015)

Giving a Voice? Art, Exclusion and Caring Illusions
Cécile Rousseau, Caroline Beauregard, Marie-France Gauthier, Anousheh Machouf & Tomas Sierra

In immigrant neighbourhoods, immigrant and refugee youth who attend special classes because of learning and behavioural difficulties, suffer from a double exclusion linked to their minority status and to their academic delay. This presentation will describe the implementation and the results of a randomized control trial to evaluate the efficacy of drama workshops to reduce the symptoms and impairment of youth in 30 special classes in Montréal. During the intervention, the structural violence and the hurt associated with exclusion were enacted by the youth and shattered the team and the teachers’ sense of safety. Although the results showed that the drama intervention was beneficial for first generation immigrants, they also suggested that the availability of an expression space may have reactivated feelings of impotence and anger associated with the life experience of second generation youth. These observations confirm the powerful role of art in the face of social exclusion, and suggest that in situations where impotence dominates and possibilities of transformation are slim, artistic expression may be considered as a doubled-edged sword.

Ian Gold & Eric Lewis – Improvising Intersubjectivity: Trust, Paranoia, and Theory of Mind (ASI 2015)

Improvising Intersubjectivity: Trust, Paranoia, and Theory of Mind
Ian Gold & Eric Lewis, McGill University

The new field of Improvisation Studies theorizes the improvisative, particularly collective improvisation, as a potent site for identity formation, community building, intersubjective dialogue, and the real-time negotiation of self and other. Improvising ensembles form bonds of trust, and mediate sonically aspects of their selfhood to others, while receiving such information in return. The powerful social underpinnings of improvisation have led theorists to talk of the curative powers of improvisation, but a systematic investigation of its therapeutic potential has not yet been undertaken. In this paper we explore the capacities of improvisation to build social bonds and argue for its therapeutic potential.

Jaswant Guzder – Art and the Person of the Therapist (ASI 2015)

Art and the Person of the Therapist
Jaswant Guzder, McGill University

The presentation will include my paintings and drawings in multiple media, including canvas, paper and handmade books done in parallel to a career as a therapist. These works come from a personal healing space or a temenos that allows unfettered access to inner worlds that emerge to be reworked or to be expressed in ways that remain ‘unprocessed’. The process of art making is as temporary or “in the moment” as the process of deep listening in my role as a therapist. This world of art making is for me an inner healing essential to my capacity as a therapist. My psychoanalyst colleague from India, Sudhir Kakar has said that creativity “offers a haven from the storms of emotional life and the swirling of subterranean passions”. My identity is formed of many dissonant experiences, cultural worlds and incompatible ideas that never seem achieve any resolution but rather coexist in a disarray of balances and imbalances, melancholic periods and productive integrations, which are reflected in my art making
as an experience. The energy or compulsion to make drawings has always been with me and pervades my being. Perhaps, the bicultural realities of my life have generated this drive, reflected as much in my note taking during lectures as in the times where I am immersed only in the art making. The making of art is also a struggle to experience moments of lucidity, a way to find some center of gravity within myself. The clinical experience of therapy leaves so much that is felt yet remains unthought, including deeply shared traumatic “noise”. My life as a painter has helped me to shift from that felt unthought into a creative transitional space that contains contradictions without resolution in thinking.

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