Showing posts with label experience-based co-design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label experience-based co-design. Show all posts

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Project PERFECT Year 3: Michael

I’m really looking forward to this next phase of PERFECT. Lots of things are now developing which tie in really well with work that I have been doing with some of our network members, with our PhD students, and with my wider research.

One important theme for me is ‘relatedness’, and I’ll focus on that aspect here, because it connects several areas. This Thursday, network member Dr Zoë Boden will say more in her post about the ISRF ‘Relationships and Mental Health’ project which we have been developing. Zoë and I are involved in a number of research projects exploring people’s experiences of relationships and mental health.

Some of these are exploring individuals’ perspectives on their own relational networks (asking, ‘who talks to whom about what?’ and ‘who does what with whom?’) and others are focused on understanding a shared difficulty (such as psychosis) from the perspectives of several members of the same family or system.

Through the ISRF network events, we’ve been sharing what we’ve been learning with colleagues from other disciplines with similar interests, and with service-users and service-providers, and they’ve been doing likewise. These discussions have set up some really helpful ways of thinking about the work we’re doing in PERFECT. For example, our new doctoral researcher, Valeria Motta, has written this month about her interests in the topic of loneliness, and how her PhD will explore this emotion with a particular focus on the accuracy of emotional perception.

I’m enjoying working with Valeria on this. She brings a phenomenological perspective to her work, which resonates with my own approach. I think that the focus on ‘emotional knowledge’ is very timely, from a psychological point of view. As Valeria says, referring to the perceived-received support literature, ‘Researchers have argued that it would not make a difference whether an individual actually has social connections, what is important is whether she/he feels she/he has them’ [my emphasis].

This is really interesting to me, because what we’ve been seeing in our wider discussions in the ISRF events is that perceived support probably is connected to received support, but perhaps not through the expected route of explicitly supportive, problem-focused behaviours. That is, the things that one might expect to constitute actual support (people stepping in and getting involved when there is a ‘problem’) are not the things which our research participants primarily focus upon. Instead, in our data from various projects, we see lots of evidence that people especially value the everyday behaviours which simply maintain and foster a sense of connectedness.