Us and Them

Us and Them Unit

Green Chinese takeaway boxTakeaways

  • Recognize the profound dislocation of self and identity in mental health crises
  • Appreciate the importance (and challenges) of empathic and critically-informed practice in bridging the distance between mental health practitioner and service user

Three green gears working togetherComponent

The component for this unit is a reflection on the distance between the patient and the practitioner.  Written by a Learning Ensemble community expert Lanny Beckman.

Green kitchen weigh scaleEvaluating the Components

Green hand-held magnifying glassLearning Lens

Lanny Beckman standing outside the door of the current MPA drop-in
Community Expert Lanny Beckman, 2013

Why does professional training teach us so little about the lives of people who struggle with mental health difficulties? Why is empathy problematic in the professional encounter?  Is effective empathy possible without critical thinking?  In a memoir recounting his own history with the study and practice of mental health, project community expert Lanny Beckman considers the “otherness” of mental illness, reminding readers that there can be very little separating Us and Them.