Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: The Holland Diaries, Pt 1

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  • steven crawford,

    But she would also say that their services are twice as well funded, but no where near twice as much is on offer. NZ would offer as much with a moderate increase in the funding, they are well used to stretching on the 'smell of an oily rag' here.

    Do's this mean that New Zealand psychologists are less cash remuneration driven than there Australian counterparts? or are there other efficiencies available.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Snowdon,

    Do's this mean that New Zealand psychologists are less cash remuneration driven than there Australian counterparts? or are there other efficiencies available.

    Re psychologists in NZ. My daughter's doing her post graduate training in Victoria. She's funded as a 'local', same as if she was doing it here in NZ, i.e. mostly free. If she stays to work there she'll get paid more than here. So it seems we hire fewer of them, and pay them less.

    Since Mar 2008 • 110 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    My daughter has just come back from Australia having finished her Masters in Art Therapy which means she is a qualified as a child and adolescent psychotherapist with a specialty in art (very useful for kids with behavioural issues, trauma, grief etc, also autism, ADHD). She would like to work in the public system but there are virtually no jobs for such people here.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    And isn't that weird, Hilary? I just don't get why governments want to pay the $80-odd grand per prisoner, per year, to keep our ever-expanding jails full for longer - instead of paying for more child/adolescent psychologists, alternative education programmes for kids who are struggling (and might benefit from art/music therapy as part of that), first-class literacy catch-ups for anyone who's left behind (and I don't mean Tolley Test Training) and just ....cultivating hope, believing in our own people and what we can do if we've got the means and the opportunity.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    I just don't get why governments want to pay the $80-odd grand per prisoner, per year, to keep our ever-expanding jails full for longer

    The sad thing about preventative social programmes like those you describe is that as soon as one high-profile case happens regardless, the usual suspects will be baying for blood and asking why we can't concentrate on banging up the dangerous crims We're Always Going to Have Anyway.

    What will draw more profitable outrage from the New Zealand public: a news story about a murderer and the $80,000 it will cost to incarcerate them, or a news story about a murderer and the $50,000 gummint-funded local youth initiative (with guitar singalongs and group hugs, even!) that Didn't Stop Them Killing?

    The stock responses to the former would be:
    - it's worth it if that one person doesn't kill again
    - we could save most of that money by nixing Sky TV, running water and insulation in prisons
    - we could save all of that money by reinstituting capital punishment.

    It's easier to write news stories about criminals than not-quite-criminals, and it's easier for governments to sell policies for nailing the crims that people hear about in the paper, than policies for preventing crime before it happens.

    Sad I know - I'm sure you're aware of all this, so I'm writing not to correct you but more to commiserate. I wish your vision could come to pass but there's a hell of a lot of entrenched prejudice, fear and political interest ranged against it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • ali bramwell,

    Interesting discussion.

    I did an introductory course in NZSL, as a hearing person, and found it unexpectedly confronting. The most difficult part for me was maintaining intense eye contact, which let me feeling vulnerable and exposed. Clearly I am used to using language in a way that deflects attention from myself, a language culture where people read your face so intently doesn't allow this kind of distancing.

    perhaps related to the above point, Im also interested in the dynamic of being given a name based on how others see you. Our teacher did not give any of us names during the class, which felt right. I would rather be named by people who know me more, and I them...
    what is the potential for bullying? it would be very hard to feel good about a name not given with warmth. for instance two of my classmates went on an immersion weekend and came back with sign names, one of the two was visibly discomfited by how he was perceived and so named. can anyone comment on how this naming usually works as a social dynamic?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2007 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    what is the potential for bullying? it would be very hard to feel good about a name not given with warmth. for instance two of my classmates went on an immersion weekend and came back with sign names, one of the two was visibly discomfited by how he was perceived and so named.

    Well, being given a name sign is like being given a nickname, in any social context. If you don't like it, but people are determined to use it, there's not much you can do about it. I do know a guy who didn't like his name sign and asked people not to call him that. It worked, but... I guess like any social situation, you have to have sufficient standing and confidence to be able to ask, and have people listen to you. This is one of the reasons why it's good to have name signs given by teachers rather than peer group.

    I know what you mean, ali, about it being confronting. I think we're SO conditioned not to stare that to have someone watching you that intently, and to watch back the same way, feels horrible until you get used to it. It's physically exhausting, too, in the same way listening is for a hearing-impaired person.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    the most difficult part for me was maintaining intense eye contact, which let me feeling vulnerable and exposed. Clearly I am used to using language in a way that deflects attention from myself, a language culture where people read your face so intently doesn't allow this kind of distancing.

    You raise an excellent point, Ali. Very few of us use verbal language, in a group setting, that tells anyone who we really are, and if we do, too often, most people are so used to not reading body language, and more used to just using superficial cues, that we often end up feeling unseen .To be seen completely, people have to stop and really look at you. Look you in the eye, or in cultures where that is not appropriate, be able to listen very carefully to your words. So to be unable to hear what another person is saying, obviously requires intense scrutiny of that other's lips, or their hands , or, as you said, of their eyes. And yet. Do deaf people feel that the only people, most of the time, that really see them are the members of their own community? That you can be who you really are only with those who also feel unseen or unheard? Is it fair or right to lump everyone who has hearing loss, together? Of course not. We all strive to be seen as individuals. To be seen, or heard, or sensed, for who we really are, underneath all the words - spoken with our mouths or our hands. The soul of us. And, for those of us who are seeing, you can only ever do that, if you look into another being's eyes - deaf or not. All those children who do not hear, all those children that hear but whose brains scramble the words, all the children who cannot speak, - either because the words get jumbled in their mouths, or because their words are locked inside them - and all those children who do not communicate in a way we think of as "normal" . All those children who cannot communicate with the rest of the world, without huge frustration. Distancing ourselves is something we teach ourselves as children, when the world gets too much. It's connection with each other that we need to practise. We could all, those of us who have sight, do okay if we just looked in each others' eyes a little more.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    And, I should add, what of those children who are on the autism spectrum? I would be interested to know how you foster connection with those children who find it difficult to deal with the concepts of what we see as social ablility.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    it's easier for governments to sell policies for nailing the crims that people hear about in the paper, than policies for preventing crime before it happens.

    Yes, i do get that - how do we measure what doesn't happen? Our successes at keeping people doing good and productive things? No stats for that. And don't politicians love to cleave to stats to back them up. And hiding truths by simply not mentioning them is an age-old tactic. Then there's stacking the stats - if lots of school leavers find casualised work in "customer service" roles, where they're "guaranteed" a couple of shifts a week and anything else that "might" come up, it keeps them off the dole stats, but in real work?

    I heard an interview this morning on Laidlaw's show, with a Black Power guy, eulogising Dr Ian Prior, an epidemiologist, arts fan, people-connector and all-round Top Bloke, who passed on last week. Dr Prior made contact with the BP guy in prison then supported him on release (after a 13 yr lag), encouraged him to do a degree - they became Real Friends - and he turned his life around. It was astonishing to listen to. The Power of One.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Do's this mean that New Zealand psychologists are less cash remuneration driven than there Australian counterparts? or are there other efficiencies available.

    I can't comment on the pay rate, but there are a lot more psychologists available over there, and a lot more specialist services that you can get referred to. So more in quantity. Which improves quality, in terms of outcomes, because more people who need the services get them, and more specialists are available to deal with the various problems.

    And they are also much better funded. As an example, my mother began part time work at a child and family unit in the Wellington region, and they didn't have a budget for her to have a computer for herself, she had to share one of the rest of her team. Psychologists had to bring in their own personal computers in to type up client notes.

    My daughter has just come back from Australia having finished her Masters in Art Therapy which means she is a qualified as a child and adolescent psychotherapist with a specialty in art (very useful for kids with behavioural issues, trauma, grief etc, also autism, ADHD). She would like to work in the public system but there are virtually no jobs for such people here.

    I think Hilary, you could count the number of art therapists in the public employ, actually doing art therapy, without needing both hands!

    My sister did her art therapy training in Australia as well, and got a job at Starship as a Play Specialist. It wasn't 100% art therapy, but she did a lot of art work with the kids. She's now raising a kid in Wellington, but did work full time as an actual art therapist at the local hospice (with kids and grandkids of the patients).

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    On the subject of art therapy, I just read a biog 'Painting Out the Past' celebrating the life and work of Patricia France (1911-95). Patricia's painting career took off late in life (in her sixties) and she enjoyed a good deal of success - encouraged by Hotere & jeffery Harris, amongst others. the interesting thing is that she was a voluntary boarder at Ashburn Hall, 1959-66 and was supported & encouraged to paint by her psychiatrist, Dr Denford, who with the Superintendent, Dr Medlicott, were interested in art therapy and its power to enable people to write/paint/play their way out of mental illness. Bit like Janet Frame, really. And Robin Hyde who also needed sanctuary sometimes.

    Giving people the tools to describe and channel their experiences and the possibilties that opens up is a powerful thing.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    And, I should add, what of those children who are on the autism spectrum? I would be interested to know how you foster connection with those children who find it difficult to deal with the concepts of what we see as social ability.

    Jackie, good question. There are numerous interventions available, most without an evidence base and many that cost the family lots of money. And not enough of the best ones available free to those who need them.

    But I could be provocative and ask who wants to foster connection, and why?

    Kerry and Kyle, thanks for your art therapy comments. I understand from my daughter that the sort she does is process, not product based. So if there are any pictures to take home, that is incidental. The "therapeutic" part could be ripping up paper, or squishing clay, and the child doesn't have to talk at all if they don't want to.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    But I could be provocative and ask who wants to foster connection, and why?

    Of course, Hilary. I had asked myself that. A valid question indeed. Let me think on that one!

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    I see all of these languages, whether sign language, paint, music, dance as being equally valid as spoken language. It's just that we have made words the most important. I don't see the point any more of stuffing kids' heads with knowledge in the conformist way we do via school. It gets outdated pretty quick. But having the tools to express oneself, to communicate, to connect are vital. If we have those, we can go on to acquire what we need to know. I'd rather see early/primary education focussed on exploration, expression that is more about process than measuring results.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

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