You are all warmly welcomed to visit Czech republic, Brno, where we will gladly host Ann-Rita, the Norwegian family therapist who was a part of Tom Andresen’s team who established the work of reflecting team in the field of psychiatry.
Ann-Rita from the Norwegian town of Tromsø, which lies behind the Arctic Circle, was first trained as an occupational therapist. She later studied family therapy and systemic, dialogical approach. She dedicated her entire professional life to working in the area of psychiatry. Since 1993, she’s been developing the work of outpatient „acute team“ program in Tromsø. She considers the working with clients’ social network and the collaboration with their significant others, loved ones, as well as with their doctors and other experts to be a key element of her work. For many years she worked closely with Tom Anderson, well known for his work on the innovative use of reflecting team in therapy. After Tom’s passing, Ann Rita continued to share her experiences with her students and colleagues and further developed the practical use of this approach.
Over the last few years, she focused on exploring the role, position, approach and the attitudes of a therapist during a reflecting process. In her research, called „Let the expert go“, she explored several of the following questions: How do therapists participating in the reflecting team contribute to the therapeutic process? Which reflections are useful and supportive, further opening the reflecting process? How can we, as therapists, when meeting people, let the expert go and rather listen to our physical responses and emotions?
In her work with reflecting processes, Ann Rita applies a „practice before theory“ principle. In her words, practice consists in therapists using their own lived experience, their immediate perception and bodily reactions in their meetings with clients. She invites her colleagues and her students to listen to their bodies and their senses use and to use the feeling of „being touched“ by their clients‘ stories as the departing point for the formulation of their reflections.
Ann Rita also speaks about the need of „reflecting collaboration“ in meetings, where participants offer their lived experience in a variety of ways and from a variety of different, specific positions. When participating in a reflecting team, we are widely dependent on one another in our interactions and moments in the conversation, where we can offer ourselves. This requires considerable trust among colleagues. For this form of collaboration to be a success, it requires us to be able to rely on one another and to support one another. Knowing, that the others, in case when needed, will „have our backs“ and „bring us back on track“
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Hope to see you there.