The session was once again led by Helen Mather, an independent art consultant, who guided our volunteers through multiple activities in which they used materials to visualise and communicate their pain. Below are just a few examples of some of the representations our participants came up with.
During our materials workshop, each participant was given a survey after completing the exercises and were asked to what extent the workshop had helped them communicate their endometriosis pain to others. All of the participants responded that the workshop had either significantly or greatly helped them communicate their pain. The survey also gave participants the opportunity to elaborate on how the workshop had changed the way they might communicate with others about their endometriosis pain. The majority of participants wrote that the workshop had helped them visualise their pain and transfer what they were feeling into a tangible form. In addition to this, participants felt that they now had better descriptive vocabulary to discuss their pain. It was also noted by multiple participants that the experience was a therapeutic release.
We also decided to arrange follow-up calls with the participants one month after the workshop to see if it had had a lasting impact on them. The most significant outcomes for the participants have been real-life applications, such as showing pictures of their sculptures to their consultants or friends and family to clearly demonstrate their pain visually, as well as being able to produce more specific, descriptive language in relation to their pain where prior to the workshop they had felt their pain was too difficult to put into words. All of the participants agreed that the workshop was incredibly worthwhile and that they would highly recommend doing it to other chronic pain sufferers.
We will be collating and analysing data from this workshop over the coming months and will upload a summarised report here on this page as soon as possible. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates on this, as well as any future events you might want to participate in.
A huge thank you to Helen, Monica and Jasmin for all their input and support.