Rai Waddingham- "Rethinking ‘empowerment’ and ‘recovery’ (overcoming disempowerment and oppression)"

On Monday 11 February 2019, the CPN were thrilled to host Rai Waddingham as she presented her thought-provoking session ‘Rethinking empowerment and recovery (overcoming disempowerment and oppression) to the Mental Health nursing, academic and research community.

Rai Waddingham discussing 'recovery' Rai who has spent a good portion of her life in and out of psychiatric hospitals, now sees herself as a survivor. She is a freelance trainer, writer and an active member of a variety of UK based committees.

The session explored the critical perspectives on the concepts of recovery and empowerment in mental health, ways in which these concepts play out in modern mental health services and oppression and disempowerment within mental health services.

Taking inspiration from other civil rights movements, she discussed ways we can work together to recognise and overcome these issues.


“Rai was an awesome presenter, mediating the session brilliantly, drawing out the points people were making and underlining useful concepts”

“Excellent training about oppression found within treatment and recovery. Rai offered her personal view and also enabled an honest discussion.”

“Rachel was an inspiring speaker and has given me much to think about and pass on in every aspect of my work.”

Bio: Rachel Waddingham is a writer, web designer, musician and an experienced freelance international trainer and consultant specialising in innovative ways of supporting people who struggle with extreme states (including ‘psychosis’, ‘dissociation’ and post traumatic reactions). As well as having over 12 years of experience within the adult mental health field, she also has particular expertise in working with children, young people and people in prison who hear voices/see visions. Rai has completed her 3 year training as an Open Dialogue Practitioner, having worked within Open Dialogue UK's clinic and an Open Dialogue Service in the NHS. Rai believes passionately that people need a range of alternatives to help them deal with distressing experiences, and feels lucky to be able to use her personal and professional experience to create some of these.


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