September 26, 2018

The Power of Empathy

When you stop to contemplate what is in “your bubble” – what occurs to you? On a tough day, for me, it’s often thoughts of my kids and grandkids. I wonder how they are doing, I struggle with missing them, and I sometimes misplace that “missing” into blaming my husband for the yucky feelings. Sometimes that’s the stuff in my bubble. That being said, from Monday to Friday I am offered a fantastic way out of that bubble: my work! I count myself as extremely lucky in that my job absolutely requires me to get out of “my bubble” and join you in yours! So for 6 – 8 hours a day I don’t miss anyone, I am not angry, […]
February 27, 2018

Expanding our view of Depression

This post comes on the heels of reading Johann Hari’s brilliant book “Lost Connections: Uncovering the real causes of depression – and the unexpected solutions“.  Hari, J. (2018). Lost Connections: Uncovering the real causes of depression – and the unexpected solutions. London, Bloomsbury. Here’s a link to it at Amazon.ca   And here’s the link if you use Chapters/Indigio. In the book Hari delves into the many causes of depression – veering away from the medical/pharmaceutical model, and into, finally (for me), a much more systemic model. He posits nine causes of depression and anxiety – all around the axis of disconnection: Disconnection from meaningful work, other people, meaningful values, childhood trauma, status and respect, the natural world, a hopeful and secure […]
February 14, 2018

Sandboxes and stones

Often in my work, as many therapists do, I use metaphor to help clients access and articulate emotions that otherwise they could not express. Recently, I came across one that I found moving – it was the metaphor of a sandbox, and how a partner, the boy, could not get in to the same sandbox with the girl – who was sadly, instead, throwing stones and keeping him out. I found that powerful. It spoke to me of child-like longing for connection (on both sides!). It spoke to me of loneliness – I saw this boy wanting to play, wanting to join his love in the sandbox – but being prevented from doing so out of a need to protect […]
August 14, 2017

PTSD – a change in perspective

I found this essay on PTSD called The Bonds Of Battle, written by Sebastian Junger, in The BEST American Essays, edited and with an introduction by Jonathan Franzen, Robert Atwan Series Editor, 2016. It’s an intriguing and helpful look at how and why PTSD persists, in Junger’s estimation, due to isolation. I have seen clients come into my practice suffering from PTSD for different reasons.The common theme among these clients was their desire to be left alone. Yet, they suffered tremendously for the lack of connection and contact – even if they strongly believed that contact would be the worst thing for them. I find it hard to argue with Junger, who posits that what is needed, desperately, is not […]