A reflection on the use of comfort agreements at groups and trainings, to control and have power. It happened recently to me and was only a repeat of the behaviour at previous group meetings. But this time I managed to stay put and not leave when under pressure and ganged up against.
The facilitator used the agreement/ground rules to have personal power, to keep silent any critical voices and to enlist the power of professionals to have her way. It was a perfect example of manipulation and political maneuvering, likely learned behaviour in psychiatric circumstances. You have to applaud it even when it's directed at you.
I've since been excluded from the group and that's OK for I won't be silenced or bullied into submission or compliance. Straitjackets aren't an effective threat in what should be a free and democratic society. The fact that I appeared to be a lone voice doesn't mean the majority was right (although it could have been they were too feart to speak out, as in losing their 'position') Calling it a comfort agreement doesn't make it any different from ground rules, which is what they were.
Rules and regulations dressed up to be something else. Keeping critical voices silent and women in their place. Women doing it to other women. For the benefit of the patriarchal status quo, not for the sake of the individual. Hierarchical shenanigans that don't help the cause, of psychiatric system transformation and real person centred care. Human rights for all.