Tuesday. Howie the Harp. Lecture by Mike Lesser

Howie the Harp/ Community Access
Educationcenter for certified peer specialist (CPS).
Lecture by Mike Lesser

Today Alef, Barbara and Floris visited Howie the Harp. There people follow an intensive program to become a CPS. This morning Mike Lesser gave a lecture about listening powerfully and later concepts of comorbidity in the treatment of individuals with mental and addictive disorders. He did this with so much passion and enthusiasm and also the whole classroom was very motivated and interested.

During this program peers learn about the WRAP, relapse prevention, motivational interviewing techniques and everything else necessary to become a qualified peerguide. The course is 5 days a week from 9 to 5 for 6 months after which you have to work for a period. After that you can call yourself a CPS.

Today was about active powerful listening: for a peer that means: don’t be superior, don’t correct, don’t give advise, don’t try to comfort or hug: JUST LISTEN!

-Watch your urge to fix other peoples problems
-don’t: let me tell you what’s wrong with you
Correcting doesn’t work, it’s not effective
-do: build up strength
-be interested, it’s a way of BEING
-learning to listen is like learning how to meditate
-being listened to powerfully is so unfamiliar it’s annoying.
-don’t resist somebody’s resistance, e.g. it’s healthy to resist medication. You should at least try to stop once, to see if it really works or not.

After the break we talked about DSM and the interaction with addiction on every axis (1 to5). Most important for a CPS: you should burn DSM. It’s about the person and what happened (in the past). Psychiatry is not a science, it’s art!

To summerise the whole morning: it was very impressive. High level education which is useful and necessary for support, recovery and empowerment of people with psychiatric difficulties, as well here in New York as in Holland.

Video over Mike Lesser

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