Exploring Archetypes At Work with a Paediatric Emergency Team

The Fathom Trust
Archetypes At Work with Michael Boyle and Pavanne Chatha

We were delighted recently to receive an invitation from Dr David Hannah, Clinical Lead for Paediatric Emergency Services in Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.  Dr Hannah wanted to recognise the extraordinary effort that his team has sustained throughout the pandemic and to offer them a day of rest, reflection, and a chance to consider afresh their culture as a team.  We agreed that a combination of whittling and the Archetypes Mythodrama exercises would provide a helpful framework for achieving these goals.

So, it was our pleasure return to Penpont and to welcome back Michael and Pav from Olivier Mythodrama to work alongside Barn The Spoon to facilitate the day for 15 consultants and senior nurses from the Paediatric Emergency department. The day was structured around two whittling sessions, where the group learned a number of knife grips and applied these to the task of fashioning a butter knife.  The aim of these sessions was to offer rest for those with busy brains and to allow the group time to tune into their bodies.

These sessions were arranged around two workshops facilitated by Michael and Pav, where they explained each Archetype in turn and ran a number of exercises designed to help the group identify with an Archetype that suited them. With this general understanding of the Archetypes and having identified personally with a particular Archetype, the group was able to begin a discission about how they tended to behave on a good day, and how they tended to respond when they were overstretched.  It was important to acknowledge that all Archetypes were equally available to everyone but that attention paid to the ones that were most familiar as well as the ones that tended to be neglected was a valuable way of improving one’s own self-insight.

Some of the most favourable feedback was, as usual, reserved for the excellent food, prepared and served for us this time by Mary Shuldham. The most helpful aspect of the day, as far as the group was concerned, was their final team meeting, in which they were able to engage in a rich and robust discussion about their team culture.  Dr Hannah acknowledged that the quality of this time together was in no small part down to the peaceful environment and the creative exercises which the team had undertaken throughout the day.

“It was a fantastic day and was enjoyed by all who attended. Will and the Fathom Trust team crafted a unique experience for us, which allowed the team to spend time together in a peaceful environment, away from the challenges of the bustling Paediatric Emergency Department. We had the chance to strengthen our relationships, reflect on what has been an intense past three years in emergency care and look to the future together as a team and a service.”

Dr David Hannah Clinical Lead, Paediatric Emergency Team