Annual Conference

Barbara Disley blog: “Buildings don’t create new paradigms”

By March 1, 2018 No Comments

This was a session that challenged us about the need  to think about the complexities of changing not only practice but values, beliefs and cultures.   Sophie Isobel talked very openly about her original naiveté when she launched into implementation of a trauma informed care within a mental health service. She talked about the parallel processes of working with people who were supporting people acknowledge the past, keep people safe in the present and work toward a new future.

Sophie was open about how the services were not really ready for the change and so instead of putting things on hold they started where the opportunities did exist to begin to shift practice and that through issues of resistance  and fear. Real change happened when staff began to look at and reflect on their own practice. She reflected that while they had a plan and lots of “focus bubbles” that they worked in they did not change the paradigm within services. This changed to some degree with a new strategic management group.

The learnings? Buildings don’t create new paradigms or practices, shifting the values, the paradigms and the power balances does begin the opening up of new opportunities, new ideas, new relationships and new reflections and learnings.  Not a quick fix but a solid lasting possibility of change.  Presentation was frank and understated and clear about the commitment needed to really shift practices.   


Barbara Disley

Group Chief Executive
Emerge Aotearoa