Expert by Experience – Clarissa Silva


TEDx Maastricht 2012   [The Netherlands]

by Clarissa Silva

Clarissa tells of her own experience working one day as a caregiver  administering psychiatric medications  to people she cared for – the next day receiving those same blue pills from another, former colleague.

She tells of her experience , becoming isolated, losing herself, being treated as a disease, not a human.

At age 27 being told her life was hopeless, over. She became isolated, losing her job, lost her house.

Then finding Empowerment Project  a peer recovery programme run in Maastricht, Netherlands found a renewed sense of hope and joined the team.

Incidentally, Pt 1 Maastricht is the home of many innovations in health – including Resonance, the self help group that predated the Hearing Voices movement. Something in the water?

Expert by experience

Incidentally, pt 2 The title Expert by Experience  I find amusing since the original meaning of the word  expert is  someone who has experience.  Nevertheless  it’s good thing to see the original meaning being reclaimed by the emphasis, whilst also allwing for other kinds of expertise. This is now common language in many european countries, especially The Netherlands where people talk  of experts by experience and experts by training . This recognises different kinds of expertise, understands that each can be  the complement of the other and that they are  equal.

Be nice if the same language could be adopted here too.

Recovery and Peer Support

Clarissa is  talking about recovery, and  peer support and the need for approaches that help people empower themselves, find their strength  and learn how to take charge of their own lives and live well – a first time for both on TED.

Live with your strength, not your weaknesses.

An equal relationship between caregiver and patient speeds up the recovery process.

The possibilities for recovery  are infinite.

Cool and awesome.

Clarissa Silva [8:39mins]

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One Response to Expert by Experience – Clarissa Silva

  1. Clarissa give hope and encouragment. Good one

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