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Louise's Perspective

The Tidal Model moves away from seeing people as diagnostic categories and attempts to let people say how and what it is for ourselves. Ownership of our experiences are so often stolen from us by psychiatric services, service being a somewhat misused word, as typically most 'therapeutic' or assessment tools serve the service, not the user. I think the Tidal Model is an important stepping stone for psychiatric nurses within a currently inflexible mental health system, which gives you permission to work differently with us. 

Some things might seem 'obvious' but in my 20 years experience the obvious needs to be pointed out in a culture of technology and so-called Evidence Based practice. Models such as Tidal give me some hope to fantasise about a future where there are no DSM's, ICD's, scales, screens and inventories. A future where we are listened to and responded to individually with respect for our rich and varied frames of references.

The psychiatric nursing profession must not take this lightly though because it means to some degree letting go of, or unlearning your 'scientific' dogma. It means you can't follow steps 1-12 in the manual, it means taking yourself to work, not your safe 'tools', and it means treating us as the primary experts on our distress. If you can let go of the reins enough and take your courage in both hands you will experience some job satisfaction. You will also have to stand up and be counted with regards your colleagues. Tidal is not the means to an end, but it does open up the possibility for more constructive ways of working with us. Compare that to the sheer hell of 'drugs & obs' in in-patient care, and mere medication 'maintenance' in the community. At least have the courage to try and see for yourselves.

Louise Pembroke is a Survivor activist and 'Psychiatric Refuser' from London. She is Former Chair of Survivors Speak Out and the National Self-Harm Network. 

See: Dedication to the seven: hearing voices in dance (DVD - new edition, featuring a new film of the dance Catatonia)   This expanded package consists of the moving 16 minute film, Dedication to the seven, in which Louise Pembroke performs a dance about her experience of hearing voices, plus a brand new 10 minute film, Catatonia, which explores Louise’s experiences of catatonic states.




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