Group Interactive Art Therapy: Its Use in Training and Treatment

By Diane Waller | Go to book overview

Case example 12

Working through a crisis
The group was in the second phase of a three-part intensive block training in Bulgaria, based on three participating centres. The week had been very fraught for the following reasons.
(a) The course was taking place in a hospital far from the capital. Relations between the medical centres were somewhat strained.
(b) There had been problems with materials and no clay could be found in the city; it was not certain that we could have a video-playback machine.
(c) The weather was unusually cold (snowing) for that time of year and the heating was inadequate or non-existent in places.
(d) The conductors and course co-ordinators had a very bad journey from the capital, as all direct flights had been cancelled and they were obliged to take a plane to the nearest city and find alternative means of transport to the hospital. Thus they arrived late, tired and very cold on the night before the course started.
(e) The conductors and co-ordinators were staying in the hospital whereas the participants were staying in hotels in the city, some several kilometres away with infrequent transport.
(f) The participants had not been advised of the timetable, in particular the starting time of the course!

The course started late on the Monday morning due to accommodation and transport problems and on Tuesday, none of the Sofia participants arrived! Another participant rushed in late to say that the Sofia group had had to leave their hotel because the management wanted to give their rooms to Western tourists with hard currency. (This, unfortunately, was not an unusual situation as the economy was in trouble and the country desperately needed convertible currency. )

The Sofia group were now wandering around the town looking for accommodation which apparently was very scarce. There was anger, confusion and chaos—I was angry about the appalling disruption to precious training time and with the ‘system’ for permitting such callous treatment. I felt my only course of action was to speak to the hospital chief

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