When I started my PhD the idea I was looking into was – what if young people in the leaving care service were able to visualise their future? Would this help them with the planning process they go through before they leave care? Would this help their workers identify areas that they could better support them, or raise their aspirations? Unfortunately my project has somewhat deviated from this initial idea, however I believe what I am working on now will go some way towards exploring that question.
Last week I was provided with the opportunity of having someone help me visualise my future, and more importantly identify the first steps I need to take in order to realise that future. The map was drawn by Caroline Brown and discussion facilitated by Ryan Bowie from Quarriers. Caroline and Ryan use this visuslisation tool with adults with learning disabilities, autism, acquired brain injury and complex physical disabilities to identify and share their aspirations and ambitions; and they create this map with everyone involved in these adults lives in the same room.
The purpose of this activity can be, not just to give people a different perspective on their life, but also to connect the people around them to their goals and ambitions. This way everyone in the room is able to sign up to support that person make the goals they have in their minds eye a reality. This goes some way towards person centered planning but can also be used by large or small organisations in team strategy meetings.
What I found really useful in this session was a different perspective on my past, the future I’d never really verbalised, and the nightmares that prevent, or may prevent me, reaching these dreams. Being able to see it all meant I was able to disconnect from it slightly, and view it rather than only feel it. Really useful in terms of recognising it all is possible, and noticing connections between things and repetition.
Caroline and Ryan told me about how other people have been using this session, the difference it makes to people while they are all together in the session, and to their perspective and support they receive afterwards. Truly transformative and incredibly inspiring.