Wow! I’ve just stood in the same spotlight and space as Patch Adams. Please tell me you are old enough to remember who he is!!! He became famous when Robin Williams (yes, the actor!) played him in a film of the same name! The film showed the period of his life when he was a GP in the USA who revolutionised hospital care for children by introducing humour, laughter and clowning. Even today our own Maudsley hospital uses clown therapists to boost children’s health. If you want to find out about clowning therapy, one of our top people is Lesley Quilty and she runs great workshops (see link at end).
Patch went on to dedicate his life to social activism. He has set up a groundbreaking Gesundheit communal ecovillage hospital, teaching ideas that eliminate 90% costs of a hospital stay, and erase hierarchy. Gesundheit has an ‘Educare’ programme (see link at end).
Anyway, he is a great friend of Findhorn Foundation. Oh, please tell me you know about Findhorn! The Findhorn Foundation began in 1962 (up near Inverness set in a area of huge, huge natural beauty), as one of Europe’s longest running spiritual communities and ecovillages committed to finding ways to create a positive and sustainable future. It’s a wonderful community in a glorious part of the world and the ideal place to go if you need to be uplifted, inspired or just deeply rested! They host a huge conference programme and Patch came to their Universal Hall for two days! For two days – I, like many others there, adored his workshops. He is a huge character who makes huge statements with a huge heart! He is totally at home in himself; his long blue and white hair, twirling moustache, multi coloured harem-pants – and brightly checked shirt and swirly tie are his everyday wear. His depth of scholarliness and erudition is stunning – he reads and recalls thousands of books, adores poetry and quotes long poems at any opportunity. He is a magnificent human being and I worshipped him from afar. My own timidity when near famous people is pathetic – I just can’t speak! Mutely I handed him a tiny birthday present (Findhorn celebrated his 66th birthday with a big squidgy chocolate cake and candles) – and ran way!
Thank you Patch for devoting your entire life to challenging the healthcare system, alleviating suffering and drawing thousands of people with you to a vision of a better future. I will talk about my one day workshop in the next blog – and will highlight at the end of this blog a few of the relevant books and resources I have either written or published which help children to laugh and release painful emotions therapeutically.
Useful Resources in the Positive Press Shop
Do browse our shop – many resources that are great for working with children, emotions, the highs and lows in education!
See our series of bright and colourful Emotions Posters and Flashcards. These are great for helping to initiate discussions about feelings and for reminding everyone about the importance of feeling happy and calm for work. The flashcards come with free ideas sheets with activities and games and are availabe in English and Welsh!
Helping Children Deal With Anger by Jenny Mosley and Helen Sonnet from the Helping Children Deal With series …(Conflict, Bullying) many practitioners find these books invaluable.The Anger book offers a teaching programme of 15 sessions to help primary aged children express their anger responsibly and safely with activities designed to give them lots of opportunities to explore ways to diffuse anger before it explodes!
Puppets too are great for circle times and helping children to work through feelings and challenges within the classroom – when the puppet has a problem, every is freed up to help think how to solve it for them! The two below are just examples, there are loads of puppets in our webshop!