This is Session 2 of a series of Arts-Informed Narrative Inquiry activities, which were created to assist you in engaging in creative reflection on Person-Centred Care (PCC) within any professional context.
As you move through this session, activities are marked as: Circle, Pairs, or Individual. These are suggested options for, what we believe to be, a richer experience through reflective dialogue with others. However, these can be adapted to the situation, the purpose of engaging in these activities, as well as on the number of persons doing the activities at one time.
For example, when one person is doing the activities on her/his/their own, instead of a group [Circle] discussion, the individual may want to use her/his/their reflective journal to ‘dialogue on paper’.
During this session you will engage in Metaphoric Reflection. This activity is part of a larger creative self-expression exercise called the Narrative Reflective Process (Schwind, 2008, 2016).
Metaphor is a symbolic image that best represents for you a particular experience, situation or a trait. It is something that you can represent visually, and whose characteristics you can describe.
For example, when I asked my senior undergraduate students to choose a metaphor that best represents them as “instruments-of-care”, some chose such metaphors as: a willow tree, an owl, an open hand, knitting needles, and so on. There are no right or wrong answers! Whatever you choose, is right for you. You are the one who interprets your chosen image. The most important thing is that it has meaning for you.
For this session, you will need your journal, drawing paper and crayons or markers … even a pen or a pencil would do … and a piece or two of writing paper, such as stationary.
You can choose any additional artistic materials that would help you express yourself creatively.
This process serves to increase your self-awareness and self-knowledge, and how these may impact your personal and professional being, knowing and doing.
Remember, there are no right or wrong answers.
There are five Phases in this exercise. Some phases may contain several steps within them. Once you complete the activity, continue on to the next step.
This is a progressive and cumulative exercise, where one step or phase builds on the previous one.
Shall we begin!
Phase 1: Individual
Step 1: Review your stories and definitions from the previous session. First, choose one metaphor (a symbolic image) that best represents the time(s) when you received Person-Centred Care. Draw the image into your journal. Don’t worry about your artistic skills; what is important is that you creatively express your metaphor on paper. This is your work for you!
Step 2: Once you have drawn your image, consider: What are the characteristics of my metaphor? How would I describe this metaphor to someone else? Write your responses in your journal.
Step 3: Next, choose another metaphor (a symbolic image) that best represents the time(s) when you provided Person-Centred Care. Draw the image into your journal
Step 4: Once you have drawn your image, consider: What are the characteristics of my metaphor? How would I describe this metaphor to someone else? Write your responses in your journal.
Phase 2: Individual
- In your journal reflect on:
– How are the two metaphoric images similar and how are they different?
– How am I like, or not like, each of my metaphors?
Phase 3: Individual
- Now choose a piece of stationary or a blank sheet of writing paper and have your metaphor (the one where you were providing PCC) write you a letter … This may sound strange at first, but consider: If your metaphor could talk, what would it say? What would be its message to you?
Phase 4: Individual
- Reflect in your journal on how awareness of yourself through this metaphor activity informs who you are as a nurse and how you are in therapeutic relationships with persons in your care
Phase 5: Individual
- Using words from your stories in Session 1 and in your activities today, create a poetic representation of what PCC means to you (choose words, phrases, sentences from your writing to construct your poem)
Schwind, J. K. (2009). Metaphor-reflection in my healthcare experience. Aporia.(www.aporiajournal.com), 1(1), 15-21.
Schwind, J. K. (2016). Narrative Reflective Process: A creative experiential path to personal-knowing in teaching-learning scholarship. In J. Gingras, P. Robinson, J. Waddell, L. & Cooper (Eds.), Teaching as scholarship: Preparing students for professional practice in community services. (pp. 137-154). Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.