During this religious time, many of us engage in prayerful reflection and family traditions. We think about our roles in charity, voluntarism, and community wellbeing. Participation in activities that aim to promote wellbeing in others is usually hidden from view. People are uncomfortable with claiming positive contributions to society, as being anything less than humble is regarded as pompous and arrogant. In my view, Canadians have long suffered from a poor sense of self esteem, failing to own the positive ways we have shaped local, national, and international initiatives. We often defer to others to claim what is truly Canadian in character and deed. Certainly, we can never forget the perils of nationalism. Our diverse citizenship reminds us to never become so bold to think as Canadians, we know best. A gentle breeze, a walk in a protected conservation area, or a breathtaking mountain view are some of the important ways we experience freedom. During holidays, we reflect on those people who paid for our freedom and remain forever grateful to those in our lives who helped us along the way. What are the ways you plan to embrace the gentle in your own hearts and share it with others ? Are you prepared for unexpected responses to a gentle embrace ? Is the gentle even possible in our modern times? If not, what can you do to be the difference ?
During the second last week of March, my husband and I travelled to Washington DC for the Annual Psychotherapy Networker Conference. I was privileged to attend several sessions, and enjoyed many of the offerings. Of course, committed to approaching our marriage as two independently-codependently attached self-actualized people, we each went our own way for session teaching, always returning to one another over lunch & dinner to discuss some of the interesting things we respectively learned. The conference exceeded both our expectations. It was well organized and staffed by a number of friendly volunteers who were quick to answer any questions we had. Held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, the site was a perfect blend of American heritage and modern service. It was a truly wonderful hotel that we highly recommend to any of you that might be planning a trip to visit friends, cousins, and business associates in the USA. Friday morning’s keynote address on ” The myth of Normal in an insane culture” was given by a Canadian physician Gabor Mate https://drgabormate.com/.
Dr. Gabor’s address was characteristically Canadian with deferential references to our collective impulse to “thank” machines, such as the ATM after a transaction. His talk reflected the sage wisdom of a highly experienced physician working with people in need of compassionate mental health care and support. In fact, his private two-session training, to which I did not gain entrance, was adeptly entitled the Compassionate Inquiry. Having recently read, Beverly Engle’s book, It wasn’t your Fault, on a relatively newer intervention referred to as Compassionate Mind Training (CMT), Dr. Gabor’s talk truly resonated with me, as both sensitive and timely. My personal “take away” from his talk on the difference between Individualism & Individuality was only touched upon quickly, perhaps because of the culturally provocative nature of his ideas. The good doctor remarked on our responsibility to challenge ourselves on the differences between these two concepts. In his view, individualism referred to the rugged American ideal to reach for the golden arches of economic success through independence, hard work & freedom. Individuality was described as the freedom to express one’s sense of self in independent, and sometimes, unconventional ways.
Dr. Mate challenged us to think about the ways we work to support vulnerable people who for whatever reason might not have access to or the means to achieve on their own without a helping hand. He encouraged us to think about the ways our practices and systems support the most vulnerable in society.
As reflective practitioners, have you considered the ways you empower and foster your client’s individuality in session? How does a person’s individuality change or impact your theories, models, or planned treatment programs? Are you interested in clinical supervision on the implementation of CMT in clinical sessions with individuals ? If so, have you conducted research to explore who in your own community has the experience, skill, and compassion to provide case-based supervision that best fits your needs?
For support in Toronto consider connecting with me at https://hypersense-counselling-and-consulting.business.site/
#coaching #counselling #professionaldevelopment #individuality #individualism #psychotherapynetworkerconference
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
More than ever, there are several options for families to spend quality time together during the Spring or March Break, as referred to in Ontario. Historically, Spring Break began in the United States in the 1930s. Students in elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools were given a week off from school to spend time with family. Over the years, Spring Break has grown synonymous with much needed vacation time. March break is a welcome pause from the daily grind after long dark winter months. Local cities provide affordable activities, camps, and events for children and young teens. Where families plan personal vacation days to align with March break, parents have opportunities to spend time together with their children. Some people organize trips to family-friendly all inclusive resorts abroad that offer a good combination and balance of supervised child minding, adult only, and family based activities. Some people find the stress of travelling difficult. A fear of flying, jet-lag, and expected delays during peak travel periods are sometimes too much for children with emotional sensitivities. Expecting at least one tantrum is realistic and preparing yourself in advance for some problematical behaviour will help you to regulate your own mood, so your vacation remains mostly stress-free. Travelling to beach front resorts offers people in otherwise stressful jobs an authentic opportunity to unwind in the sun and sand. It is a time to leave all technology and business at the office and to retreat with your loved ones. Deep relaxation over a course of several days is a healthy antidote to chronic daily stress of work and city-living. Enjoy the sounds of nature and silence where possible, and minimize loud dance halls and parties. You may find that it takes a couple of days before you being to experience the wonderful sensation of unwinding from stress. The impulse to check your cellphone, email, or social media sites will diminish as will any thoughts about your never-ending to-do list. Small children and teens also experience stress and benefit from a techno-diet during vacations. Take this opportunity to re-connect with your children and your spouse. Enjoy the experiences of just being together and the simple pleasures that life without work or school related stress brings. Have you planned what you will be doing with your family this week? Do you feel confident about leaving your work related tasks unattended while you are away? How do you plan to cope with your impulse to check your email or social media while away?
#wellness #family #health #tantrums #vacation #springbreak #marchbreak
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
Clinical social workers and psychotherapists are drawn to work in the service of others. Learning to set limits on care-work is an ongoing process, especially in newer clinicians and therapists. During the initial stages of work with people requesting support for a variety of health problems, social workers and psychotherapists tend to over analyze, self-identify, and carry the emotional difficulties of clients. These are common and expected experiences in clinical work, and often become the subjects for discussion in supervision with caring, compassionate and competent supervisors. Clinical work refers to a range of regulated and alternative health services that may include massage, physiotherapy, occupational, speech and language, acupuncture, psychiatry, nursing, family medicine, and more therapies. All clinicians providing direct health care to patients or clients face challenges related to a healthy care-giving and care-taking balance. The process of care-giving is the work you provide to others seeking support. Care-taking is the work you do to take care of yourself. Every clinician, seasoned or otherwise is responsible for personal health and wellbeing. Mastering a self-care regimen takes time and practice. Seasoned practitioners and health care providers who maintain good health over the long run is never accidental. What are the strategies you use to maintain a good sense of humour, body-mass index, level of physical fitness, and spiritual wellness? What in your daily habits needs readjusting to ensure that the care-service you provide to others remains true to the original reasons for work in your field? How will you gain better control over your health moving forward?
#wellness #health #therapy #wellbeing #philosophyofcare
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