Hannah Komatsu has been wondering if we’ve all be giving Crisis a bit of a hard time! Her own experience originally told the story of Crisis as a dangerous life destroying enemy that held no positive intention for her being. But over time, Hannah started asking, what if that isn’t the full story? What if Crisis is actually more like that that blunt truth telling friend, that has the guts to tell us the bad news, and communicates the things that need attending to in our lives in order for us to be all who we can be?
Through her lived experience and her work journeying with others as they navigate hard times, Hannah started to truly connect with friendship to Crisis, and Crisis’s mates: ‘Risk’, ‘Symptoms’ and ‘Early Warning Signs’. Picking up new names, ‘Possibility’, ‘Threat Responses’ and ‘Indicators for Care’, Hannah’s interactions with her experiences shifted from one of fear and hypervigilance, to listening and self-compassionately attending to the messages being raised. This new way of responding has not only changed Hannah’s relationship with herself, but also how she engages with professionals, and in turn their responses to her experiences. She can also look back at the times Crisis visited and see the role it played as Truth-teller, Survival Intention, and Hope Holder of life being different. Crisis has possibly been her greatest ally.
Hannah is now on a quest to tell more truthful stories about Crisis and their mates when journeying with people. Our relationship with Crisis forms part of our Lived Experience Toolkit, so working with this relationship, to ensure we are conveying honest, truthful and hopeful messaging around the purpose of these times is vital for traveling with others.
In this interactive workshop we will look at how we think about crisis and where has this thinking come from, considering our own experiences of pinnacle hard times, and what did and didn’t work for us. Through these reflections we will identify how these impact on way we journey with people and draw out what skills are useful to support both ourselves and those we are traveling with through these hard times.
• Consider Crisis in a fuller sense and the messaging we receive
• Reflect on our own experience of crisis and how it informs our practice
• Explore how we can use pinnacle hard times as a solid foundation for understanding ourselves and the world
• Develop useful skills for journeying with others during their difficult times
You may well find as Hannah has done, that times of crisis, and the experiences that they held, represent in fact, the greatest wellbeing strategy of all.
Hannah Whittaker-Komatsu celebrates life outside the box. Her journey into Peer Support began at 22 and since that time Hannah has journeyed alongside people in a variety of roles. Her thirst for understanding the human experience led her to training as a social worker, however she believes the most useful knowledge she has gained is that which is societally undervalued and most often completely unacknowledged; the purposeful and intentional processing of one’s own life. Identifying what psychiatry called ‘disorders’ and ‘disease’ were in fact her beautiful attempts at survival has been pivotal to her healing journey. Currently working in facilitation and programme development across a range of organisations, Hannah believes in the value of experiential learning and our right to claim our incredible resourcefulness that includes our experience of distress and difference. In her spare time, Hannah developed Thriving Madly, a mutual support community, that creates spaces for connection and opportunity to craft wisdom together to weather the storms of life.