[On November 24 2017 a "Visioning Day" was held at the Mulberry Bush School, facilitated by a consultant from the Tavistock Institute, with people travelling from all over the UK to share their history and meaning in relation to the life and work of PETT and the Planned Environment Therapy Trust Archive and Study Centre, to learn what the two organisations - PETT and the Mulberry Bush Organisation - hand in mind for the Archive, and to provide the Trustees of the two organisations with insights to use in building their way forward. There was a premise among participants that the transfer had already been agreed.
[In the build up to this, during June to September 2017, I assembled a series of papers for PETT Trustees, and to share with the Mulberry Bush team, trying to set out what was special and unique about the Archive and Study Centre. What is a "specifically planned environment therapy archive"? In what ways is it like other archives? In what ways is it different? Where has it sprung from? What traditions of thinking and practice does it belong to?
This is a series of bullet points I put together to begin. They strike me as being very compact, in the sense of having a lot packed into them. I think they are worthwhile reading on their own, separate from the papers that followed them.]
- The specifically planned environment therapy element of an archive begins with a recognition of the complex nature of "experience" as such, the explicit concern for what being a holding place of past experience means generally, and what it means more particularly where there is history of trauma and deprivation.
- The specifically planned environment therapy element of an archive begins with an explicit recognition that past experience is a dynamic phenomenon, and that archives are a "living" thing. An archive is a container for complex emotions, and a locus for disputes and claims around rejection and belonging.
- The specifically planned environment therapy element of an archive begins with an explicit awareness that experience is complex, and that being a holding place of past experience gathers that complexity into one place.
- A specifically planned environment therapy archive begins with a recognition of the complex nature of "experience" as such, and particularly of the dynamic role of new experience and past experience where there is a history of trauma and deprivation. There is a recognition that being a holding place for past experience makes an archive whose collections revolve around deprivation and trauma a container for complex emotions, and a locus of both belonging and rejection.