Therapist, author and dementia trainer Danuta Lipinska spent a morning with us a couple of weeks ago, furthering our vulnerable adults awareness, leading experiential exercises and lending her supportive insight in to this work. She emailed this over, to be shared here on our blog:
On 22 March
It was a great pleasure and honour to share the session with you all as you venture forth into this incredible work. I had met Shazea and Pippa before and it was great to meet Astrid. It seems
like you have always been together.
What is unique about the ways in which you engage with the men and women living with dementia, is that you each bring such passion and enthusiasm to the relationships and the work. This is accompanied by tangible respect and a great depth of integrity. You are on a quest to offer an unfolding of Self in the presence of other, in order to affirm and enliven the life of that other, for however many moments or occasions that may be. I heard and felt it all. In all aspects of my being. This is no easy ‘add on’ behaviour. This is transformational and surprising. Shocking, even. It takes all of your willingness to unfold and de-construct, in order to re-shape and re-create a Self that can be authentically present. As Carl Rogers, author of the person-centred approach said, it is a ‘Way of Being’. As you always say, it is indeed also a work in progress. There is no finish line. You take seriously too, the need for the mental as well as emotional rigour this challenge brings. It is not enough to be kind and tender hearted, although you are. You all are aware of the need for sound training and embrace wholeheartedly, the methodology and process offered by Susanna in the varied ways in which she provides them. She is unselfish in sharing her legacy of Living Words, based on many years and many experiences with persons with dementia.
I left our session energised, encouraged and awed. Thank you for sharing with me and for the ways in which you are bringing Living Words to life.