Should she stay or should she go?

Should she stay or should she go?

Should she stay or should she go? 

She looks so innocent sitting in the corner of my office. My little porcelain sparrow. Many a day I’ve glanced idly at her while deep in thought. A simple décor item that brings me joy. In the past week, three people have told me I must get rid of her. How has she offended them I wonder? She’s just been sitting there so quietly, minding her own business. I’m informed that in a Netflix series entitled ‘Dead to Me’, my little feathered friend served as a murder weapon. Even looking at her triggers some of my clients.

A couple of questions come to mind: do I remove her, and therefore eliminate the offending associations? Or do I keep her, allowing my clients to realize that her presence is benign and that not all sparrows are created equal?

These questions form the basis of PTSD. It is an injury of isolation and avoidance. We often believe that by eliminating or reducing exposure to triggering stimuli, we can keep ourselves safe. In truth, this just keeps us injured. Only by allowing ourselves to experience triggers without the associated negative consequences can we recover.

So the bottom line is…she’s staying!

Warm thoughts,

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

Communities Of Kindness

Communities Of Kindness

Communities of kindness

It’s easy to believe the world is going to hell in a handbasket. I’d like to provide evidence to the contrary.

I went to a rugby tournament with King’s-Edgehill School recently and was speaking to Robert, our bus driver. A former 911 Dispatch Operator, Robert is now joyfully transporting kids on a 60-passenger school bus.

“I LOVE my job!” Robert exclaimed excitedly.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“The kids are amazing, thoughtful, well-behaved, and appreciative. Every day, when they get off the bus, every student, without exception, thanks me.”

I hear similar feedback from teachers:
“Every day after class, the kids say thank you as they are leaving the room.” a Junior school teacher shares.

Even coaches have good things to say about their players’ behavior: “After each game, the players come up and shake my hand and thank me,” a rugby coach exclaimed. “They even helped me to pick up garbage that some of the fans had left behind.”

These students are the leaders of tomorrow; kind, thoughtful, and appreciative.

This fills me with promise and hope…something pretty wonderful to ponder.

 

Warm thoughts,

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

I feel the need to grow (things)

I feel the need to grow (things)

I feel the need to grow (things) 

We are well into spring, and with it, a chance to plant seeds, prompting the earth to give birth to a wonderous assortment of flowers and vegetables. I feel a deep sense of satisfaction digging my hands into the rich soil, enjoying the warmth of the long-awaited sun on my back. I know that my intentions are taking root.

Things take time to grow. We can’t eat the fruit that we planted today. In some cases, it may take years. It starts with an intention, followed by a period of nurturing, and care. This is not unlike any desired change in our lives. With patience, commitment, and gentle care, growth is inevitable.

It’s easy to get frustrated if things don’t feel quite right at a given moment. I hope that we allow ourselves the same grace as we might to the seeds that we plant, being patient as we allow ourselves to grow.

Warm thoughts,

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

 

 

Do you suffer from Imposter Syndrome?

Do you suffer from Imposter Syndrome?

Do you suffer from Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome is very real; we’ve all experienced it at some point. It’s that general feeling of self-doubt that creeps in silently, right when we’re expected to perform our best.

I was considering taking a risk recently, something that is a bit outside of my comfort zone.

I drafted a proposal to speak about a topic that interests me, on a subject matter that would stretch my abilities. I felt a wave of Imposter Syndrome wash over me. I had spent the weekend researching and working on it and submitted a proposal that I was rather proud of. What was that nagging voice in my head that challenged me, I wondered?

Then I realized the truth. Imposter Syndrome was simply a sign that I was pushing myself to grow. Venturing out of the land of predictable or ordinary, I dared to try to do something that scared me. There is the possibility I might fail. But then again, I might grow.

When you first started your profession, I bet that you struggled with Impostor Syndrome. Even if you are injured or unable to work, you might feel as though you haven’t earned the right to be off. You are used to caring for others. Caring for yourself might just feel wrong. Please know that this is the norm, not the exception.

I invite you to step forward into self-compassion.

Consider making space for yourself to grow. Whether through individual counseling, or group work. I’m willing to take a bet on you…are you?

Warm thoughts,

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

Beneath the shell

Beneath the shell

                                            Beneath the shell

I recently visited someone I love in a dementia ward of a care facility.

I took a deep breath as I walked in the door. It was suppertime and a large group of seniors were gathered at tables awaiting their evening meal. Some were talking quietly; a number were staring into space.

I joined one of the tables and learned through a caregiver that one of the seniors spoke French. Trying it on for size, I threw them a line in my best attempt at bilingualism.

The man to whom I had aimed the comment suddenly sprang to life, his eyes lighting up and he blurted out a lengthy response to my simple question.

As though a sleeping clock had suddenly sounded, all the members of the table perked up and a second person joined the conversation in French, only to be followed by a third…and then a fourth.

When I commented on how impressed I was by their fluency with language, one exceptionally charming elderly man turned to me and said, “My dear, it’s one of the four languages I speak.”

With the prompting of their caregivers, I learned that two of the five people at the table had published books. I congratulated them on this accomplishment of publishing a book. Again, the stately gentleman gently corrected me letting me know he had in fact, published three.

One member at the table was a retired psychiatrist, another was a former CEO of an international corporation. I never got to learn what the women that didn’t speak French did, because she insisted on speaking to me in Italian
After lots of teasing and laughter, I left the facility with my heart full.

I am reminded that though at times, we may seem to be only shells of our former selves, inside each of us lies a passion and a rich interior. The fact that we are no longer practicing it, makes it no less interesting.

Warm thoughts,

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

Breaking out of hibernation

Breaking out of hibernation

Spring is synonymous with renewal, growth, and the promise of new beginnings.

The days are longer, the landscape is becoming more colourful, and it’s hard to resist the desire to go outside and simply enjoy what nature has to offer.

If you’ve been hibernating this winter and not feeling up to much social interaction, we understand. We all emerge from our safe spaces only if, and when, we feel ready to do so.

On your terms, and your time we welcome you.

If you’ve yet to try our group programs or have been away for a while and want to try something new, our Creating Confidence and Clarifying Strengths program may be perfect for you.

It begins May 7th and it’s not too early to get your name on the list now.

Warm thoughts,


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