Presented by: Bruce Rumbold
This workshop will provide a setting in which participants can explore how they experience and understand compassion through an arts-based collaborative enquiry. The aim is to find both convergence and diversity in the way we conceptualise compassion in order to consider how this might affect communication about and implementation of a ‘compassionate communities’ approach.
The idea that communities should be compassionate elicits a (mostly) favourable response from a wide range of people. What being compassionate actually means in practice, and how this might shape professional collaborations and local communities, is less often explored. We’re already seeing, for example, that recent healthcare interest in compassionate care often considers compassion to be a desired (or required) attribute of individual practitioners: exploring the structural expression of compassion is avoided or ignored.
The fundamental assumption of this workshop is that an adequate understanding of compassion has profound implications not only for the everyday behavior of health practitioners but also for reforming health systems and for transforming the societies they serve. It also assumes that palliative care offers experience and insights that are important to the undertaking, and that renewed attention to compassion throughout the health system will also support palliative care in regaining aspects of its original mission.
Ideally the session will be conducted as a participatory arts-based enquiry, with participants invited to provide consent for their responses to be used in a subsequent publication. Conduct of the workshop does not depend upon this but, if the proposal is accepted, I would like to explore strategies for obtaining ethics approval for gathering evidence through the workshop process.