Counselling, Family Therapy, health & wellness, Life Coaching, Professional Development

Visualization & Wellness

Visualization is an evidence-based strategy that works to reduce stress

Clinical Social Workers and Psychotherapists understand the importance of helping people to learn visualization strategies proven to reduce stress. Visualization techniques employ the imagination in the healing process. Breathing techniques are also highly valued strategies used to reduce the harmful impacts of stress, anxiety, and worry on the body. Breathing and visualization also help people sleep deeply and more soundly. Learning to relax is neither easy, nor quick. People often master relaxation techniques over several months and in most cases, over years of concentrated practice. There is ample evidence to support the use of visualization in elite athletic
programs and goal-oriented industries. The overall impacts on one’s sense of wellness is uncontestable when people sleep better, and engage in daily activities with more energy and calmness. There are several resources currently available that will help individuals learn the power of visualization techniques. It often merely takes the use of one practiced image such as clouds on a partially sunny day, or a warm beach for people to feel an immediate sense of relief. Many people practice visualization before presenting at a business meeting or professional interview. Do you feel confident about supporting your clients or patients to learn visualization techniques? What are your own experiences with breathing, visualization, or progressive relaxation techniques? When or how do you use your experiences with these strategies in counselling sessions, if at all? Have you reflected upon any ethical issues with your clinical or peer supervisors?

#wellness #stressmanagement #wellbeing #healthy #heal #breathing #visualization #progressiverelaxation

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

Healing Processes & Options

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

There are several forms of independent health practices in the Greater Toronto Area. Similar to other large cities across North America, people are interested in a variety of treatment options to heal. Over the past twenty-five years, the field of regulated independent health practices has grown. Individuals have direct access to a continuum of health services that are increasingly covered by employee assistance and personal health insurance benefit plans. Most survey data suggests that individuals prefer to direct personal healthcare for non-crisis or emergency-based health problems. People with persistent or episodic physical or mental health challenges report having a choice in a robust range of health modalities increases their sense of control over personal wellness. This empowering aspect of healing is critical to the getter better phenomenon. Having the option to see a physiotherapist, massage therapist, or osteopath for arthritic pain diagnosed by your primary family medical doctor for example, allows the patient, client, or person to self-direct their own options for treatment and healing. Many people are willing to pay out of pocket for regulated and alternative health care services due to this increased sense of wellbeing that derives from directing one’s own treatment plan under the care of credentialed experts. There is a strong network of professional colleges that regulate healthcare practice standards for each of these credentialed services. For those that are currently unregulated, efforts are being made to meet the eligibility criteria under the law in health depending on the area in which the service is provided. This regulatory function and the interface with insurance company coverage plans increases the level of trust and protection that individuals are receiving expert health care. Long gone are the days where people without the appropriate education, credentials, or supervised standards of practice are able to provide fraudulent services to the public without protection. When I entered the social services field in 1984, almost everyone was referring to themselves as a social worker. Today, the title is protected under the law and practices regulated, so that individuals engaged in services are also protected. Recently, the controlled act of psychotherapy was introduced to further protect the public from unregulated practices and the possible risks associated with treatments provided by uncredentialled practitioners. Do you have the education, experience, and membership in a regulatory college to claim your credentials? What are the ways you engage with your local professional associations to ensure that your treatment modalities and interventions are evidence-informed, modern, ethical, and effective? What more can you do to further ensure that members of the public are guaranteed access to a range of best possible health care options for their own healing?

#wellness #health #healthy #wellbeing #healthcare

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

Family Day

All families begin as strangers who grow in love & trust to include children.

Family Day is a relatively new holiday in most Canadian provinces. Falling on the third weekend in February, Family Day was created to provide people with one long weekend during the winter months. Clinical social workers offer services to children and families in settings designed for children such as education, children’s mental health, and adolescent health. Specializations in these areas develop over many years in the field. A deep understanding about childhood development is critical for effective counselling interventions to occur. It is not fair to expect that children, pre-teens, and perhaps even young adults respond to challenges at home or school in the same ways that adults do. It is also not reasonable for social workers with little to no direct experiences working with children to provide individualized support without close clinical supervision and/or additional training on work with children and families.

All families begin with the union of two people who likely first meet as strangers. Where a decision is made to have children and grow a family together, couples embark on the most important job they will ever undertake together as parents. There are several issues that emerge over a lifetime of raising children together. Not all problems require the supportive intervention of a clinical social worker, but some do. Deciding to provide private social work counselling support to children requires a reflective practitioner qualified to provide child-centered work. Children and families benefit from interventions mediated by professional clinicians who are not directly involved in the problems reported. Many parents are both pleased and grateful to learn their children are able to speak to a trusted adult about a problem at home, school or in the community. Opting to work with a private clinical social worker and child therapist is a personal choice that families have in a comprehensive continuum of service delivery models. Do you believe that you are qualified to provide child-centered work? Do you collaborate with registered social workers or psychologists with enhanced specializations for work with children, pre-teens, and young adults? If not, how will you develop a list of qualified experts to assist with requests for support with children and families moving forward?

#family #children #wellbeing #clinicians #health #healthy #wellness #childpsychology #healing


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