BU Humanising Special Interest Group


Welcome to the Humanising Special Interest Group at Bournemouth University

We are a group of scholars and practitioners who have an interest in what makes us feel human and how this is linked to health and wellbeing. We use a lifeworld approach and subjective experience as the basis for our understanding.

At Bournemouth University we have developed a philosophically driven approach to humanising practices in relation to learning,  service provision, caring and the workplace. They are based on existential understandings from a lifeworld approach and privileges subjective experience and  incorporate embodied knowing. To find out more about humanisation and the work at BU please click here.

We have several meetings a year where members  discuss issues following two presentations,  and share their on-going work  into humanisation in education, practice and research.

Our next meeting is on April 11th 2017 2pm to 4.30 pm

Our two presentations are

 The relatives’ experience of acquired brain injury and the humanising role of the Expert Companion*  Mark Holloway –  Brain Injury Case Manager Head First, SSCR Fellow

 Using photography to encourage introspection among GPs* Rutherford – Senior Lecturer, Bournemouth University


If you would like to attend or join the humanisation SIG e-mail group please e-mail Caroline Ellis-Hill

*Further Details

Mark Holloway – The relatives’ experience of acquired brain injury and the humanising role of the expert companion: Research undertaken with relatives of individuals who suffer severe acquired brain injury (ABI) highlights the specific nature of the experience, the complex interplay of frozen grief and ambiguous loss, set into a context of poor community understanding and very limited access to specialist services. Relatives’ assessment of service provision and informal support structures identifies a split between those who are considered supportive and those who are considered to be undermining, lacking in knowledge and dehumanising. In this brief lecture Mark will present the outcome from a doctoral study, focussing in particular on the nature of the experience and what is perceived by relatives to work and why.

Mark Holloway is a brain injury case manager and expert witness, with over twenty-five years experience of working with people with an acquired brain injury. He is involved with the development of complex packages of rehabilitation and support for individuals who have executive impairments and reduced levels of insight. Research interests include parenting post ABI, managing complex packages of support in the community, family experience of ABI and their experience of services, and mental capacity issues pertaining to ABI. He is undertaking a professional doctorate and is a National Institute of Health Research, School of Social Care Research Fellow. He is a member of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence guidelines panel relating to supported decision making. He has given evidence in the High Court and the Court of Protection as well as to the Houses of Lords and Commons in relation to ABI.


Rutherford- Using photography to encourage introspection among GPs  Self-awareness is recognised as a fundamental skill in the core curriculum for General Practitioners in the UK. “As a GP you should understand how your attitudes, feelings and values are important determinants of how you practice” (RCGP Curriculum). Clinicians need to understand that medical decision-making is complex and that these factors can have a significant impact. This understanding is most effectively developed through reflective practice.

In an innovative series of photography workshops for GP trainees led by a doctor and a photographic artist, it was suggested to participants that “in addition to snapshots of friends and family, holidays and special events, many of us also make pictures … just because we liked the way something looked, but often with knowing why our attention was attracted to a particular scene. What we photograph and the way we photograph it can therefore provide us with a means to self-awareness.” Rutherford (2009). The Shadow of the Photographer.

Over three months, participants produced a number of photographs and then reflected on the possible significance of the images they had ‘chosen’ to record. Based on the results of a questionnaire on reflective practice and on qualitative feedback which compared the extent to which the participants engaged in self-reflection before and after the workshops, the GP trainees found this to be a valuable and accessible means to reflect.

A commercial photographer in Toronto Canada from 1982-93, Rutherford taught photographic arts at Humber College (1985-92) and Ryerson Polytechnic University (1992-94) where he led a series of workshops (The Shadow of the Photographer) exploring the use of casual photographic snapshots as a means to greater self-awareness. Since withdrawing from commercial practice, Rutherford’s projects exploring the active (or the act of) contribution by the medium have been exhibited in Canada, the US, the UK, New Zealand, Japan and France. Rutherford is currently Programme Leader of MA Advertising at Bournemouth University.