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Measuring growth

Measuring growth

On the surface, a young seedling looks fragile. In fact, it has likely spent a good deal of energy and time growing roots, and building strength even before it breaks the earth’s surface.

Trauma recovery is like that.  Chances are, a great deal of growth happens even before anyone notices.  When people come for their first group session or counselling appointment, they have usually started a change process even before walking through the door.  Merely deciding to make a change is a step in the right direction.

You may be unsure if you are ready to join a group, but the fact that you are starting to think about it is evidence that you may be further along than you think.  Some people may get a new plant and think it is just beginning.  In truth, we know that it has already had to prove it’s resilience by making it this far.

We invite you to imagine how it might feel to sit in a group with others who understand what it took for you to get here, as they have had to do the same.

A strand of trees grows stronger than a single seedling. 

This fall we are offering a number of groups. Something for everyone, irrespective of where they are in their recovery.


If you’re thinking you may be ready to join a group this September, give us a call.  

We’d love to hear from you.

Warm regards,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

You do you

You do you

It’s been a few weeks now since we’ve been allowed out and I still can’t get my haircut. Things are returning to normal, but not for me.  My roots are exposed, clear as day for everyone to see.  I feel vulnerable, and less than my best self. 

Everyone around me is looking good while somehow I got left behind.  I even know someone who has had his hair cut twice already.  How did I end up I the slow lane, I wonder?

In groups, it’s inevitable that some members will recover quickly, while others, who do the exact same programs, may take longer.  It’s easy to fall into the comparison game, measuring ourselves by the progress of those around us.  

I do have a hair appointment, but it isn’t for three more weeks.  I tell myself it’ll be worth the wait.  I imagine myself emerging from the salon thrilled and confident with the transformation that will inevitably occur.  I hope you can do the same.  Do recovery on your time.  You do you, and don’t worry about the rest.  As long as you keep plugging away, it’ll come…in good time.

Warm regards,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

Two steps forward, one step back

Two steps forward, one step back

They may reappear when you least expect it.  Just when things were getting better, a symptom returns, reminding you of a past that you had hoped was left behind. 

What does it mean when old symptoms reappear?  

Even when you’re working hard on your recovery, it’s normal for symptoms to occasionally come back.  

It’s really hard to feel like you’re not making forward progress, or that you’re not recovering even though you’re doing the work.  But we know that recovery isn’t linear.  Our symptoms serve as indicators that our total load has crept up higher than is healthy.  By paying attention to it, we are able to examine the areas of our life that need to be addressed.  

There’s a lot of background stress these days, so don’t be surprised if the buffer is thin.  The amount of stress we can handle under normal conditions isn’t the same as what we can handle during challenging times.  Instead of judging ourselves, let’s try to practice compassion.  See if there is anything you can do to lighten your load, and remember… this too shall pass.  

Warm regards,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

Dawn of a new beginning

Dawn of a new beginning

Today is the day things start to return to normal.  The dawn of a new beginning.  Stores will open.  We can go out for dinner again.  Heck if I’m lucky I may even score a haircut in the near future.

When we are faced with threat, it’s normal to be hesitant to step back out there.

It’s like falling off a horse… it can be hard to get back on.  The problem is, if we don’t, it will be hard to get back into a normal routine.  A natural recovery curve happens after any traumatic exposure.  It’s natural to want to hide in order to keep ourselves safe, but we will never really know that the danger has passed until we leave our rabbit holes. It’s only by putting ourselves out there, that we are able to know that we can experience new things without negative consequences.  

If we avoid going out, we never learn that it’s safe. That’s when we get stuck.

So I encourage you to go out.  Do it safely, of course, practicing social distancing and proper health precautions.  But take the steps necessary to restore a semblance of normalcy to your life.

Enjoy the beauty of the sunrise.  Laugh with a neighbour.  Share a meal with a friend.

Warm regards,

The trouble with trauma

The trouble with trauma

The trouble with traumatic memories is that we play the same internal tape over and over again.  Like an LP on repeat, they seldom vary.  We get stuck in a loop that doesn’t allow us to see things through a different lens. If we keep our thoughts and feelings inside, they don’t shift.

U2’s Bono said it right when he sang about being stuck in a moment that you can’t get out of

That’s why I love group work. It’s hard, to be sure, but the insights and reflections of others allow us to see ourselves in a different light. Experiences that might originally have been terrifying, can transform to courageous in the retelling.

There is a traditional Lakota expression that says “Healing takes place in the spaces between people.”

No truer words were ever spoken.  I’d like to take my hat off to the twenty courageous men and women who recently successfully completed the Emotions Management and Healthy Living programs.  Even with the multiple layers of challenge going on in Nova Scotia, they stepped forward, ready to tackle material that has for years kept them from living their fullest lives.  They started the process of reshaping history in the retelling.  It was a unique experience to be sure, to be processing, in real time, layers of trauma as it unfolded in our province.  

Congratulations as well to twenty new people who have stepped forward for the Trauma Recovery and Body and Mind Health and Recovery programs.  The world may be on pause, but there’s a powerful, strong group of you moving forward. 

Warm regards,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

How do we mark the passage of time?

How do we mark the passage of time?

Many people I’ve talked to recently complain about the challenge of feeling unmotivated.  It seems they’re working twice as hard as usual, less than usual, or having to balance a full work load while co-habitating an overcrowded house. The consistent theme is that they don’t feel motivated. 

I often think of my working life as blocks of concentrated energy punctuated by tantalizing rewards.  Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but I love it even more when I know there is a vacation coming, or a family outing.  Or even a simple night out with friends at the movies or local pub.  

The strange thing about time recently is that many days feel the same.  Excitement consists of the sun coming out, or having time to work the garden in the evening.  Such is life.

Today I noticed a few businesses starting to open their doors.  It felt like spring was finally here.  Perhaps we’ll all catch that forward momentum as we look ahead.

If you’re looking to boost your energy and motivation, check out our new on-line course starting next Friday:  Mind/Body Health and Recovery.  A holistic look at getting better. Each day, we’ll spend time checking in with each person to see how they’re doing, and do some fun exercises with Dr. Adrienne Wood to learn how making a few simple changes can have a profound impact on health. Sleep better, look better…feel better.  I’m in.

Now that’s something to look forward to.  Hope to see you there!  We still have few seats left.

Starting May 28: Mind Body Health and Recovery

Warm wishes,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong