Improvising in the vulnerable encounter: Using improvised participatory theatre in change for healthcare practice

Henry Larsen*, Preben Friis, Chris Heape

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Healthcare practitioners are often presented with vulnerable encounters where their professional experience is insufficient when dealing with patients who suffer from illnesses such as chronic pain. How can one otherwise understand chronic pain and develop practices whereby medical healthcare practitioners can experience alternative ways of doing their practice? This essay describes how a group of researchers have, over a number of years, developed improvised participatory theatre as a means of engaging healthcare practitioners, patients and other lay people in situations where it is legitimate to reappraise their practice and reunderstand the nature of an illness such as chronic pain. One conclusion was to consider that it is a relational rather than an individual phenomenon that in turn demands alternative practice. Through iterative workshop processes of improvised theatre, participants are encouraged to experience the vulnerable, the unknown, and the need to be alternatively present when dealing with patients whose situation is imbued with suffering.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArts and Humanities in Higher Education
Volume17
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)148-165
ISSN1474-0222
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Spontaneity
  • chronic pain
  • health communication
  • improvisation
  • theatre
  • transformative learning

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