Story Telling - Beyond the Compassion Rush (SH)


Not currently scheduled

Interactive workshop
Online via Zoom

Have you been asked to speak about your experiences to a health organisation or health professionals? Do you want to share your experiences and make a change to the way patients are treated?

Then this workshop, run by InHealth Associates, is for you. (It’s also for staff who want to make things better for patients).

The workshop is designed to equip you with the knowledge and strategies for telling your story, sharing your lived experience, in the most effective and powerful way possible to really help make change happen.


Patients and carers are often called to tell their story at conferences, Board meetings or training days. Sharing your story can be powerful, but there can be challenges.

  • You may have to share about a time when treatment or diagnosis went wrong, making others feel bad.
  • You may share a deeply personal story, leaving yourself vulnerable, and making others feel sad, what has been called a ‘compassion rush’.
  • Perhaps you will be expected to represent the issues of others with the same or similar conditions or treatments.
  • Maybe you’re expected to make people feel hopeful and inspired.

There are other challenges too.

  • Demands on you that are beyond what you expected
  • Lack of payment
  • Lack of proper support
  • Pressure to deliver ‘the’ patient point of view when you are only one person, speaking from one experience

About the session

Run by David Gilbert, a former mental health service user, the webinar will be a safe, open and supportive environment in which to share your experiences.

We will look at where sharing your story fits in the wider NHS feedback and public engagement work.

Sharing our own experiences of what works and does not work, what helps and gets in the way, and what we’ve learned, we will then explore different ways of sharing lived experience to get the most impact:

  • Proper preparation – including getting clear on audiences, what people want and expect, and what true support means
  • How to tell your story – borrowing tips from artists and writers, we will look a little at beginnings, middles and endings (please note this is not a full blown course on storytelling per se, but we will signpost you to other sources for this)
  • How to anchor your story in what matters – we will help you relate your lived experience to some key points but also link it to broader issues.
  • Land what you say – How to make sure what matters most to you is heard and understood by the people listening
  • How to get further opportunities to share your story and keep making a difference

How the session will run

The session will be for up to 20 people and last three hours, with a 15 minute break. It will be delivered by Zoom. There will be two breakout room sessions where you’ll have the opportunity to share learning more intimately with two or three others.

How much will it cost?

Suggested donation between £20 – £40. If you really can't afford this, get in touch with me at [email protected] and I will do what I can. But I have to cover my costs.

This workshop is run by InHealth Associates – a network of specialists in patient-centred improvement, patient and public engagement and patient leadership. We want patients, service users, carers, communities and citizens to work in true partnership with professionals and healthcare organisations.

What people have said

I went to this brilliant workshop last week. There were super interesting conversations about how to ‘share your story’ with health services at events/meetings/training in a powerful, thought-provoking way that feels right, safer, & not so ‘icky’ for you. 11/10 would recommend.

Chloe Apter

Would encourage health care professionals to attend this - thought provoking and made me see how we should (as opposed to current practice) engage those with lived experience in meaningful ways. Zoom in from home!


David Gilbert is like a Sherpa on Mount Everest. Tomorrow’s improvers in healthcare will come with both learned and/ or lived experience. It is important to demand knowledge and wisdom in a patient partner. This is where you learn from the best


Took David’s course and found it very helpful to experience the wisdom ‘at source’ from his many, many years of experience and reflection



Story Telling - Beyond the Compassion Rush (SH)

About David Gilbert

David is Director of InHealth Associates. He is a former mental health service user and author of ‘The Patient Revolution – how we can heal the healthcare system’. He has 35 years’ experience of working with, and for patients. He was the first Patient Director in the NHS at the Sussex MSK Partnership (Central) and has been Head of Patients and the Public at the Commission for Health Improvement, and Patient and Public Involvement Director at NHS Croydon. He has also worked at the Kings Fund, OPM and Consumer Association.