New Year, New Decade, New You – 2020

Aurora Festival of Lights in Toronto, Ontario

One of the main reasons societies celebrate “endings and beginnings” each year is the hope to begin anew. It is a time when people review the past year and decade reflectively.

You may have lost family members and friends due to illnesses, misunderstandings, divorces, or tragedies. At the same time, your life may have been blessed with family weddings, the birth of children, new degrees, credentials, diplomas, promotions, or a new job or business!

Everyone in society shares in the passing of the old year and the hope of the new year in common. New Year’s day is a statutory holiday for everyone to remember how fortunate you are to begin anew.

You may find yourself wishing you had reacted to something differently. You may also find yourself seeking to make amends with people you may have hurt or offended. The road you take in the New Year is completely up to you.

Starting slowly and honestly to review what aspects of your life you wish to improve, change, sustain, or maintain this year as the foundation to the next decade is an excellent way to move forward in your life.

Some people benefit from making a list of goals, ideas, resolutions, or plans for the next year. You may also expand your list to include a 3-5 year plan. Having an overall structure or framework for you to organize immediate and future goals is healthy and critical to success.

None of us experience success in isolation. Ensuring that you cultivate healthy and happy family relationships is essential to feelings of fulfillment, gratitude, health, and wellness.

In this past decade, North American societies have learned to talk openly about mental illness and the years of silent suffering caused by the social stigma created by misinformation and bias.

Know the signs of mental illness and be there when your friends need you most. Forgive yourself if you have missed the needs of others due to petty distraction or busy-ness.

Gone are the days of historic institutionalization where people lost self-determination and freedom due to episodes of depression, mania, anxiety, or psychosis. Canadians have come a long way due to the bravery of individuals such as Margaret Trudeau, Clara Hughes, Princes William & Harry, and Michael Babcock.

The constitution has also caught up accordingly and people with mental disabilities are protected equally under the law – even in the workplace and academia.

Your mental health and wellness is far too important to be misunderstood or mistreated. More service is needed, so you can find expert support at school or work without barriers.

Connect with a Registered Social Worker and Psychotherapist today who will truly remind you about your rights to be Well!

#NewYear #Let’sTalk #Heal #Wellness #KnowYourRights

Essentials to Healing

Trusting your therapist is key to healing.

As a Registered Social Worker and Psychotherapist, there are key aspects essential to healing. It is important to recognize when you need help with a problem or situation. You are likely to know that it is time for assistance by episodes of feeling unwell.

The degree of suffering is often the measure by which individuals or families decide to engage in counselling conversations with a licensed, certified, or regulated mental health professional.

It is critical to understand that not all mental health practitioners possess the same level of knowledge, practice skills, training, and lived-experience in culturally diverse settings.

As you embark on one of the most important decisions of your life to engage the services of a mental health practitioner – it is advised that you take time to select the individual with whom you feel most comfortable.

How you feel about your counsellor or therapist is actually a valid and reliable indicator about your eventual health outcomes. In short, if you feel that your therapist can empathize with and understand your particular problem, then your health outcomes are promising.

In fact, research shows that empathetic doctors yield positive results with patients, especially in relation to active engagement in mending one’s own health or mental health problems.

In truth, you are the key to your own healing. Shifting your perspectives about a problem or multiple repetitive problems that trouble you and your family over and over again is an important first step to getting better. A problem is only a problem when it is a problem.

Start your journey of emotional healing with a personalized thought analysis. Whose problem is this anyways? What is your role in the problem? And finally, are you or are you not invested in repairing it?

Once you decide to secure help to address a person, family or social problem, it is time to find the right counsellor, therapist, or psychotherapy-informed health and wellness coach for you. You will know the right service provider by the way you feel.

Again, research findings suggest this sense of therapeutic alignment takes less than 30 seconds to establish. So, if it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. A seasoned therapist is not fazed by a client’s decision to work with someone else.

Trust your gut and listen to your internal sense of wellness as you reclaim what you deserve and need to be healthy.

We provide only the best at Lakeside Wellness Therapy Affiliates.

#heal #wellness

Talk Therapy & Healing Words

Expressing differences requires attentive listening

One the key elements of counselling is the transformational power of words used to describe events, feelings, and memories. The role of your therapist is to be keenly aware of the details you share about the problem you are experiencing.

Where you opt to engage in couples counselling, this listening role of your therapist intensifies. The ways you speak about your problems constitutes the “evidentiary support” for mood, poor health, or generalised unhappiness and problem resolution.

Healing begins as soon as you speak, write, or share your views about the problem you are experiencing. The process of articulating a problem for another person to understand also helps you to further process and understand the problem for yourself. In this way, talking about your problem develops a framework for understanding it.

Therapeutic or counselling conversations are different from causal discussions with friends or family. A third party listener who is dispassionate that is, uninvested in your problem offers a neutral listening ground for the articulation of your problem-based perspective to take place. This is often an important first step, although not really needed to heal. Solution-Focused Therapy SFT begins by exploring times when the problem is different, less intense, or absent and never really enters the problem per se.

Once stated or articulated, your problem may be viewed, analysed, explored, and investigated by your therapist and yourself.

Of course, conversations are dynamic and transactional, such that your therapist contributes words or perspectives during the initial sharing of your problem. Some therapists and models only listen during this initial session. Others trained in single session or solution focused models, use even this first session to enter or join in the ways you tell your story, so to offer plausible words or perspectives for understanding your problem.

You will decide which models of therapy work best for you by how you feel at the end of your session and over the first couple of weeks of treatment.

Understanding other points of view is important to getting better

You will also begin to feel better as the words and perspectives used to describe your problem change. As your heart heals, your words and perspectives do as well. Remaining open to the views of your therapist and those involved in counselling with you guarantees improvement.

#wellness #SFT #couplescounselling #healingwords