Laceweb - A Map of Self Help Healing Ways


Written: June 1997.  Last Updated: April 2014.


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The Laceweb is simultaneously:

  • a massive social experiment,
  • a social movement, and
  • linked social action

among indigenous, disadvantaged small minimised minorities and intercultural people in the SE Asian Australasia Oceania Region.

The Laceweb as Experiment is a long term action research Macro-Project (over 40 years) into humane healing re-socialising wellbeing processes. Action researchers have been evolving through the Region.

The Laceweb as Social Movement is evolving an informal network of enablers, nurturers and healers among the above people engaged in self help towards wellbeing - refer An Example of Enabling Indigenous Wellbeing. From beginnings over 40 years in Australia, it has been extending among people throughout the SE Asian Oceania Australasia Region. Many engaged in this movement have little or no sense of being action researchers or part of a research experiment.

The Laceweb as social action is enabling self help towards wellbeing by the above people. Many engaged in this action have little or no sense of being action researchers, or being part of a social movement, or research experiment.

This page gives a brief map of this threefold Laceweb. As 'experiment', the Laceweb is broad ranging.

The Laceweb's research population has been 'oppressed marginalised minorities of the Region - people on the margin - those who dominant people may characterise as the 'misfits' (sociopathic and other deviant criminals), the 'broken' (psychotics, schizophrenics, sociopaths and other psycho-social deviants) and the 'minimised' (disadvantaged small minimised minorities and indigenous people).

The central research questions have been, 'How may processes and action be enabled that have the following outcomes:

  • How may lots of different 'broken people' individually and collectively get together again?
  • More specifically, how may individual and social wellbeing be humanely renewed in a conflicted collapsed society?
  • How may this restart when people are filled with dread, are profoundly traumatized, pervasively distrustful and filled with hatred and vengeance, or profound apathy and despair?
  • How may a gulf between people and between ethnic groups, races and cultures be healed?
  • How may a humane nurturing mediating healing support network be weaved such that people may help themselves expand humanitarian caring rights and talents, and humanitarian caring democratic community?
  • How may the above Resocializing be enabled such that all the locals help create their emerging society's weltenschauung through humane emergent community self help processes?
  • How can such a society emerge with humane caring for and respectful relating with co-existing and neighbouring societies and /or emerging societies who are also reintegrating?'

Implicit in the foregoing is that the reintegrating process:

  • is humane and caring
  • respects and celebrates racial, ethnic, spiritual and cultural diversity
  • fosters nurturing relationship between diverse peoples and groups
  • is in the hands of all of the diverse locals and groups who jointly determine self help action creating the society they all evolve together
  • may be with enabling support by outside enablers with nothing happening unless locals want it to happen
  • leads to the emergence of a humane society respecting diversity that meets the needs and aspirations of all the locals

Also implicit is that in using Laceweb processes people in different regions and places may evolve differing societies. That is, Laceweb action is not 'pushing' a 'particular society'. Rather, the reintegrating Laceweb processes are seamlessly intercultural and have scope for enabling the emergence of a diverse range of societies. Each of these would have a common characteristic of being humane and caring for peoples of that society and other societies and have humane healing mediating processes for resolving conflict both within the society and between other societies.

The Laceweb 'Social Praxis Experiment' is spreading across many countries in the SE Asia Australasia Oceania Region, with outreaches into Asia. It is 'centre' is in rural and remote areas of Northern Australia.

'Collapse' includes the breakdown of public and private services and the economy. Bougainville and East Timor are two examples of the many extant disintegrated societies. The findings and understandings emerging from the Laceweb Experiment may have implications for all peoples around the World. The list of fractured people in the Region is extensive - Australian Aboriginals and Islanders, Bougainvillian, East Timorese, Irian Jayan, the Aceh in West Sumatra, the Moro in the Philippines, to name a few.

The Laceweb's Specific Objectives and Priorities

The Laceweb Experiment is based on action research evolving and extending an informal network of healing action researchers who in turn may create healing contexts and moments wherein healing may take place and 'that which works' may be consensually agreed and passed onto other healing action researchers. Models may be evolved, refined and passed on to determine their transferability to other cultural contexts.

Psycho social wellbeing

Rehabilitation and healing learning self help action by and for survivors of torture and trauma; in particular projects aimed at enabling women and children victims of human rights abuses;

Implementing of Indigenous/disadvantaged small minority based healing learning and rehabilitation processes;

Activities to mobilise and apply healing learning talents, including setting up healing learning experiential units capable of rapid deployment;

Learning contexts for health and wellbeing workers in the healing of survivors of torture and trauma.

The action research has centred around:

  • 'Collapsed' people discovering what healing ways works for them and cross checking with similar others so that 'what works' can be spread.

This local indigenous/small minority self help action research has been supported by complementary action research by a multi-disciplinary intercultural enabling group; some of the backgrounds:

    • actuarial
    • agricultural science
    • anthropology
    • behavioural science
    • clinical sociology
    • community development
    • community psychiatry
    • counselling
    • education
    • experiential learning facilitators
    • humanitarian law
    • law
    • medicine
    • minority studies
    • neuro-psychology
    • neuro-psycho-immunology
    • nursing
    • psychiatric nursing
    • psychology
    • psychotherapy
    • sociology
    • sociomedicine
    • sociotherapy
    • social ecology
    • social work
    • zoology

Psycho-Social Processes Used to evolve the Laceweb

  • Set up Residential Therapeutic Community Unit within NSW Public Mental Health System - Fraser House, a large (80 bed plus outpatients) unit. In 1959, independent of Maxwell Jones' UK Therapeutic Community pioneering work, Dr Neville Yeomans set the Unit with many features, processes and therapies that were World firsts.
  • Innovative therapies - evolving a wide range of therapies within the Unit
  • Set up Australia's first Community Mental Health Centre
  • Set up a Community Arts Market surrounding (5) above (Paddington Market in Sydney)
  • Self Help Groups evolving out of the Unit- Grow, Mingles, Nelps, Connexion
  • Enabling Healing Festival Gatherings
  • Set up Therapeutic Community Houses based on the Unit - a series of houses in Queensland country centres
  • Enabling Micro and Macro Healing Sharing Projects
  • Networking - evolving of an informal enabler-nurturer network among indigenous and disadvantaged minimised small minorities and interculturals in remote areas of Northern Australia and then to the Region


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 Micro-experiences for Sharing Healing Ways


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