Dr Tamara Russell, Clinical Psychologist and Director of the Mindfulness Centre of Excellence, London, spoke at the Institute on the 21st November on 'Whole Systems Mindfulness:The Dragon Café Experience’ to an audience including health care professionals and the Oxford Rethink Campaigners for Change. Tamara, author of “Mindfulness in Motion” (Watkins, 2015) and “#whatismindfulness” (Watkins, 2017) shared her experience of working in and with the Dragon Café (www.dragoncafe.co.uk) in a talk that was viewed as ‘inspirational and ‘ uplifting’.
The peer-led, creative, recovery-focused space of the Dragon Café offers a sanctuary in the middle of London for those who struggle to find a fit elsewhere in the healthcare services. Offering a variety of activities and programs, the creative thirst of the Dragon Café provides a space for individuals to explore their vulnerabilities and commonalities through a variety of means, in a supportive space. At the same time, the whole culture and organisation of the café is based on working in a mindful way – fully present, non-reactive and non-judgmental. Tamara shared how she supported the delivery team and the management board in their journey to create a sustainable, compassionate, equal healing space and the amazing work of the RE:Create Psychiatry program (https://recreatepsychiatry.com). The role of the Café’s founder, Sarah Wheeler was discussed in relation to how to transition from a “catalyst” model (driven by a powerful individual story) into something independently sustainable.
Our thanks to Tamara for this fascinating talk, and to the many people who attended.