Child Therapy, Consulting, Counselling, Family Therapy, health & wellness, Hypersense Counselling & Consulting Services, Life Coaching, Professional Development

The dance of love ?

A dance of the heart, mind, and soul

Perhaps, one of the greatest reasons for referral to counselling support from social work is love related. Described in so many different ways, love is an idiosyncratic concept that defies any one definition. In my view, love is best understood phenomenologically, that is experientially. In simple terms, love is what love does. Most people speak about loving experiences with partners in terms of the ways they behave and interact with one another. Clinical complaints usually relate to matters of disrespect, neglect, betrayal, or disloyalty. Failed loving relationships are extremely difficult to maneuver for everyone. It is clinically significant when people have little to no emotional reactions to failed relationships. It may in fact signify that love was not truly present despite words, actions, or views to the contrary. The emotional bond between two people in love is truly a sacred experience. It is mysterious, and often misunderstood by other people looking into or at the couple. In our modern world, notions of love have morphed in diverse ways, all the while remaining true to the fundamental essences of the human heart. Traditional moral boundaries appear to have shifted. Divorce, serial monogamous relationships, same-sex unions, and affairs with married people seem more widely accepted. Yet, the pain and devastation created by experiences of rejection, abandonment, and betrayal remain the same. Separation and divorce is usually one of the main reasons for referral to Clinical Social Work in Child and Family settings. The impacts in families and on children are disheartening. In my view, families are worth fighting for and quite resilient. Founded on true love, most people have the capacity to overcome and heal what are common obstacles on a journey of a lifetime together. What is your role as social worker with couples who are at an impasse in their marriage due to an emotional or sexual affair ? What are your views about the healing capacity of love?  Are you triggered by stories shared in session, such that your own relationship is questioned at a later time?

#wellness #marriage #family #health #cheating #love #care #children

Child Therapy, Consulting, Counselling, Family Therapy, health & wellness, Hypersense Counselling & Consulting Services, Life Coaching, Professional Development, Project Develpoment

Fear of the Unknown

Fear accompanies even the smallest changes or updates, technological or otherwise

The unknown is a physical and conceptual space that is always one step ahead of human experience. Unlike the familiar, the unknown generates anxiety. It occupies a binary theoretical horizon of uncertainty and possibility that results in a multitude of feelings. Some people are comfortable with the unknown always moving forward and seeking new experiences. Others are afraid of change and prefer the comforts of the familiar. Clinical social workers are usually involved with individuals, couples, or families at junctures of transition. People are more likely to seek private counselling support when anxiety and worry associated with moving forward is overwhelming. Even the smallest changes in our lives can lead to bigger unexpected ones. One simple example is the purchase of a cellphone and subsequent social media presences. More than ever, personal electronic devices have infiltrated human relationships and families in real ways. People identify social media as the means to marital and parenting problems; academic, social, and performance issues; or problematical addictive behaviours to videogaming or online gambling. Children and pre-teens are also having difficulty with appropriate social media engagement. Too many young people share personal details or photographs that result in legal or social consequences that require coping skills well beyond an adolescent level of emotional maturity. Too many parents are shocked to learn how deeply engaged their children or pre-teens may be on-line until a serious incident happens. There are many positive aspects to technological advancements in the workplace, schooling, and the home. The rapid pace of technological change is dizzying and daunting. Nonetheless, the unknown is now only a click, post, or enter button away. Developing healthy strategies to manage both familiar and unknown consequences created by modern living in a digital techno-sphere is a shared challenge. Do you feel confident about posting a comment or photo on public platforms? Are your clients reporting situations that require increased familiarity with local child protection or other legislations? How has social media changed your couples counselling approaches, if at all?

#wellness #anxiety #fear #familiar #unknown #socialmedia #legislation #philosophyofcare #ittakesavillage #virtualreality #childprotection #infidelity #modernsocialwork #socialworkers #counselling #psychology

Consulting, Counselling, Family Therapy, health & wellness, Hypersense Counselling & Consulting Services, Life Coaching, Professional Development

Healing Relationships

The healing power of love

One of the most profound experiences of clinical social work is witnessing relationships heal. It is a myth to think that any one person is completely devoid of emotional pain, at some point or other over a lifetime. Clinical social workers need a philosophy of care that mirrors this belief in the healing power of love. Where social workers struggle with the view that relationships are able to recover from significant experiences of betrayal such as infidelity, then it is important to be honest about this standpoint before offering any clinical intervention to others. Reflective practitioners are called to examine their own beliefs about the capacity of people to forgive one another, and the ability to move on in new and healthy ways. Many married couples do recover from the terrible impacts of betrayal and loss. Discovering some otherwise hidden truth about a spouse including infidelity, gambling, financial indiscretion, drug use, or an illegitimate child is deeply painful. Surviving the loss of a child together is likely the most difficult challenge any couple might face. Building on a strong foundation of respect and friendship, individuals are able to heal together, often growing closer than ever before. The discovery of a sexual affair is devastating to most people. Yet, spouses are often able to understand the factors that led to hide the truth or lie in the first place. Many are also willing to work on getting-better together. Of course, some couples are not able to move forward, and decide it is best to separate and divorce. This decision to end a marriage is a very serious one. Most couples engage the support of a clinical social worker or marriage therapist, even for a few sessions, before deciding to part ways. Where children are involved, recovery is further complicated, but not impossible.

A loving relationship built on a strong foundation of respect, care, and friendship has the capacity to rebuild where trust has been compromised. Where individuals decide to share this healing journey with a registered mental health professional, an impartial and non-judgemental approach works best. If you hold cynical views about marriage following sexual infidelity, financial betrayal, or substance abuse, then it important to be honest about this position with your clients from the get go. In our present times, perhaps more than ever before, individuals have options. Supporting relationships to grow and heal is truly a privileged aspect of clinical social work. Do you feel qualified and prepared to support couples seeking clinical support? What are your views about healing relationships? Do you believe that marriages can survive a significant betrayal?

#family #health #childandfamilytherapy #wellness #honesty #marriagetherapy #philosophyofcare #healing #perspective

Child Therapy, Consulting, Counselling, Family Therapy, Focus Interviewing, health & wellness, Hypersense Counselling & Consulting Services, Life Coaching, Professional Development, Project Develpoment, Qualitative Data Analysis

Family Values

An important Italo-Canadian family value is shared meal times

Individuals, couples, or families seeking clinical support from registered social workers, psychotherapists, or child therapists enter the work with deeply held views about family traditions, cultures, rituals, and beliefs that have been passed down to generations over several centuries. In some countries, people are still able to leave work for part of the day in order to eat a meal with one another before returning back to business. Family values are heartfelt and central to the ways people live their life. They also shape the ways we understand and solve problems. Something as simple as mealtime together remains a priority in most families. There are several studies that demonstrate the correlation between regular shared meals and overall social and emotional wellbeing. People are more likely to maintain healthy communication patterns with one another when eating at home on a regular basis and at predictable times. The roles members play around food preparation, planning, and clean-up are dynamic and usually shared with everyone involved. It takes time for a clinical social worker to help families express values they hold most dear, and where perhaps, there is some disagreement. Often, mediating these differences of opinion or disagreements becomes the clinical work over several sessions. It is often in these practical spaces of the everyday that people run into problems with one another. It is also in this space that solutions emerge, later, in session. What are your plans for dinner today? How many meals did you share with people who matter most in your life? What, if anything needs to change? What are examples of other values families hold dear and may wish your intervention to protect and repair through your clinical practice?

#wellness #familytherapy #childandfamilytherapy #philosophyofcare #care #health #values #dinnertime #socialemotionalwellbeing #success #healthy

Child Therapy, Consulting, Counselling, Family Therapy, health & wellness, Hypersense Counselling & Consulting Services, Professional Development

Sense of Self

Your sense of self grows naturally

Developing one’s sense of self is a lifelong journey. It exists deeply within one’s inner most being. A sense of self has been written about over the centuries and in many ways. Taken up spiritually, the self is equated with the soul. Philosophically, a sense of self is a metaphysical idea existing in one’s awareness in the mind. This metaphysical idea of the self allows you to reflect and think about yourself from the outside in. In current times, the physical self is a subject of much thought and at times lively debate. The corporeal embodiment of the self is thought to construct one’s sense of self. The simple recipe of caring for body, mind, and spirit underlies clinical social work. When one’s sense of self is unsettled, disturbed, troubled, or questioned, it is important to slow down and turn inward. Engaging children clinically during periods of emotional agitation likely involves work that supports a nascent sense of self independent from their primary caregivers. Learning to live in a world as responsible persons is developmental. Clinical social work helps when the core sense of self is obscured by difficult situations beyond one’s control. A healthy sense of self balances demands to take care of others with the need to take care of oneself.

Child Therapy, Consulting, Counselling, Family Therapy, health & wellness, Hypersense Counselling & Consulting Services, Professional Development

Ethno-Compassion

Cultural integration is like a passage of space in-between.

There are several terms used in Social Work to explain the importance of culture, tradition, history, folklore and language. As a child of parents who immigrated to Canada from Italy following World War II, I am very familiar with the struggles of new Canadians settling in a foreign country without one or both dominant languages. Of course, we learned English and some conversational French at school. Our parents also learned English to communicate with new neighbours and friends. Our cultural traditions and practices remained central to our new life in Toronto. These early experiences were foundational to my professional life as Social Worker and Academic. This highly personal experience as “others” is viscerally familiar. The expectation to appropriately translate words, read signs, and express ourselves with less passion, exuberance, and joy was an ongoing struggle for me. I worked to help bridge two worlds without ever compromising my parents, or my own, sense of respect, dignity, and intelligence. Sometimes, an accent, especially a heavy one elicits surprising responses. The view that people are rude if they raise their voice or speak in a demanding tone in an effort to be better understood is one such example. In the early 1990’s, popular social work theories included culturally and multiculturally sensitive social work practices. The view that people had implicit knowledge, rituals, traditions, and values related to their own cultural heritage was a starting place for clinical social workers. The view that people invited you to understand their cultural perspectives and practices was highly valued as both protective and progressive at that time. In my view, it is not possible to understand a person’s emotional sense of self without positive regard and affirmation for one’s culture, ethnicity, or race. Ethno-compassion seems to express these concepts best, especially when working with newcomers and second generation Canadians. Lisa Romano-Dwyer PhD, RSW

Consulting, Counselling, Family Therapy, health & wellness, Hypersense Counselling & Consulting Services, Professional Development

Perseverance

Visualizing your goals helps to ensure success !

Perseverance is a key attribute of success. It is the resolve to get something done. Reflective practitioners develop a set of professional goals and work to achieve these with the support of colleagues and friends. Social Workers have a variety of effective practice-approaches for use with people. Some approaches are effective with certain identified problems, people, and events, and others are not. Developing a sophisticated clinical repertoire occurs over several years and in a variety of settings where social work is offered. It is common to resonate with and develop approaches that more easily fit with your own perspectives, values, cultural beliefs, and folkloric traditions. Clinical discretion is often a theoretical melange of the personal, the political, and the other. Professional and personal values are able to co-exist well in social work without conflict. The other here refers to a client system consenting to intervention, and not to a particular person or population per se. There is no way to expunge the clinician from the clinical work at hand. In fact, a clinical social worker is a mediator or tool through which substantive work happens. It is this very point that makes social work an intense profession that requires clinical supervision and a thoughtful philosophy of care. Social work is a discrete profession that recognizes the importance of people in the work. Building a healthy boundary for this important emotional work to happen is a vital social work role as it provides the strong base upon which people are able to work through their own healing.

#care #wellness #healthy #health #wellbeing #socialwork #therapy #philosophyofcare #clinicalwork #perseverance #professionalstandards #goalsetting #goalsetting #independence