Stitching up the Patchwork

Stitching up the Patchwork

A Group Relations response to Covid-19

Aolar Mosely, Log Cabin, single block 'Courthouse Steps' variation (local name: 'Bricklayer') c.1950, image from Tate Modern website

Working collaboratively to produce anything is a creative and challenging endeavour.

Below we include a set of reflections about how Group Relations thinking can assist people and systems to explore the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not intended to be complete but is a snapshot of a moment in time from a group of systems-psychoanalytically informed people. The contributors are members of a group which has been meeting on Zoom following on from the tri-annual meeting that took place in Belgirate, Italy in November 2018.

The Group has been exploring the hypothesis ‘Are we Better Together?’ — can we as group relations practitioners, theorists and advocates live and work through, the dynamics that we invite members to encounter in a Group Relations Conference.

The Patchwork that follows, invites you to engage with the eye of an artist. The offerings are rooted in institutions and geographies but are the unique vistas of the authors.

The process of making this patchwork quilt has been interesting. The brief for every member of the group (a collective of Group Relations leaders from countries around the world) was to provide 250 words on Covid-19 in their context and what a Group Relations perspective could add. The group tasked Dr Sarah Wynick of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust to synthesise the patches into a quilt, a first attempt at metabolising the inputs.

Quilting is a very traditional technique and uses scraps, which can be very disparate, but still work together to create something interesting. Quilting is also about being frugal, ‘make do and mend’; in this time of quarantine, people are taking up hobbies untouched since childhood, baking bread, growing vegetables.

We hope this resonates with your part of the fabric of this our collective Quilt of COVID-19.

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