Health Creation, Co-Creating Health or Crafting Wellbeing?

I have been following Health Creation for many years. It was founded by Rosy Daniels, former medical director at Penny Brohn Cancer Care. Rosy has also been the cornerstone of the Diploma in Integrative Medicine at Bath Spa University – well worth a look if you are considering some post grad training as they now include OTs J

I purchased my own personal Health Creation Programme about 4 years ago when I was unwell and it is a fabulous resource. Along side the manual and workbooks you also get 4 sessions of Health Creation Coaching – a must if you want support to make sustainable wellbeing changes.   Having worked with “Wellbeing Coaching” in various roles over the last few years, there is a wealth of varying opinion and differing approaches being used from CBT based coaching to motivational interviewing through to more diverse models such as Health Creation which includes the following principles: food, exercise, detox, stress, relationships, emotions, being true to yourself, energy, spiritual connection, your space, your communities and the natural world.

Over the years, the notion of creating health or more importantly co-creating, has been one of my main areas of interest. The notion of co-creation acknowledges that we do not operate in a vacuum – our lives, our wellbeing is the sum of many parts of our lives and the people in it  (incidentally, I found out about the NHS Co-creating Health initiative from a local OT who was visiting my art exhibition last year!)  Embedded in this approach is all the learning from the Expert Patient Programme combined with Health Coaching, something the NHS keeps having a play with, but seems to abandon as they realise the resources involved to make it a success.  Having a “short, sharp focussed 3 sessions” with a CBT therapist or other professional, just doesn’t cut the mustard. Long term changes require an understanding of the individual’s social situation, beliefs, values, health beliefs, approach to life, approach to learning etc.  We know that changing behaviour takes a long time and needs sustained support.  There also have to be very tangible benefits to making changes whilst raising awareness of the benefits of not changing. The power of this cannot be underestimated.

I was so excited to hear about the 7 pilot sites which were set up for Co-Creating Health, but I have struggled to find out how the pilots are going and what the results are …… does anyone know? I just hope it hasn’t suffered the same fate of many other brilliant pilots which produce great results, but where the Health Economics evaluation shows it’s a costly option.

I like to think about it “Crafting Wellbeing”, as it is a true weaving together of many facets of someone’s life to create a whole. It’s not just about giving up smoking or losing weight.  Wellbeing, as we know, is mix of healthy, purposeful living, healthy relationships and environment … “not merely the absence of disease” !  One of the most powerful things that I learnt during my own personal health coaching, and still have to re-learn regularly, is that we need to acknowledge and really embrace our own “self” in our wellbeing quest.  Once I gave up the fights which I knew I couldn’t sustain, let alone win, it became much easier.  Striving for balance just doesn’t work for me, so trying to pace, is a no no. I am an erratic exerciser – that’s just the way it is.  I will never be well and happy if I choose the easy option – annoying but true.

These are key things which have allowed me to understand and craft my wellbeing in recent years.  I wonder what works for you?  How do you craft your wellbeing?


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