Lapidus International Board Member, Professor Tony Wall, was recently invited to give the opening keynote Klaipeda University’s flagship conference, "Psychosocial Rehabilitation: Scientific Research on Bibliotherapy and Theraeutic Writing - II"
The prestigious event was sponsored and supported by the Lithuanian Science Council, and aimed to raise the profile of the work of Lapidus in Lithuania, with occupational therapists, psychologists, art and drama therapists, librarians, and a wide range of professionals interested in words and well-being.
Tony’s keynote was called “Words, socio-materiality and pathways to wellbeing” examined cutting edge examples from his own practice and illustrated various pathways to wellbeing outcomes, including, for example, connection to others in a group context, or connection to the natural world.
Two other fascinating key notes were presented by two other prominent Lapidus members:
Tony, Vicky and Karolina also provided a variety of words for wellbeing workshops.
The event was packed full of new collaborative learning from researchers and practitioners. This include a facilitated fantasy exploration around how people are treated in health care organisations. This prompted much creative story creation and telling amongst the group, where language was no barrier to creativity. Some story work is captured below on the programme.
Learning continued outside of the formal schedule and we visited libraries which engage creative use of words for wellbeing including poetry and creative writing. The photographs below show our host at the Klaipeda City Municipality Public Library with the head of the department for holistic medicine at Klaipeda University and Victoria Field; some political imagery seeking fair pension schemes; a controversial book collection just “for men” (recommendations by men, for men – the rest of the library was for everyone else); and a Lithuanian dictionary!
Outside the library, and leading up to the entrance, lost Lithuanian words are re-found embedded within the ground as a permanent memory. We are still unaware of what these old Lithuanian words mean!
One of the major highlights of the visit was the establishment of the Lithuanian Bibliotherapy Association – which was launched at the conference. We, the board of Lapidus International, are very proud and honoured to be able to present and observe this historic event, and be supporting an increasing profile of words for wellbeing across the world.
A long standing friend of Lapidus, Dr Jūratė Sučylaitė, spearheaded the conference and launch of the Lithuanian Bibliotherapy Association, and wish to offer her and her colleagues a big “thank you” for all of her hard work over the last year to make the whole event possible. The event was clearly essential for raising the profile of words for wellbeing in Lithuania and across the professions.
We hope our friend and colleague, Dr Jūratė Sučylaitė, will be coming to the UK next year to share some fascinating practices and research in the field of words for wellbeing – please look for opportunities to meet here on the Lapidus website. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the cold alongside the warmth of community and friendship as we slide in to 2018!