During a recent training trip in Quebec, I took advantage of a warm afternoon by taking a stroll down a remote country road. At the end of the road, the sound of a trickling waterfall caught my attention. Drawn towards it, I spied a small blue door supported by weathered stone pillars. On the door was a sign declaring “Propriete Privee,” or private property. Surrounding the small waterfall were five lines of barbed wire, ensuring that no one enter the property.
What a shame, I thought to myself, that such a special spot be barred from view by others. The owners may have had good reason to guard their property – perhaps trespassers had abused the privilege of visiting. I realized though, that those past incidents served to form the rationale for a permanent barrier. The gate served not only to keep people out, it also prevented people from coming in.
It isn’t uncommon that we build barriers to keep ourselves safe following trauma. Whether it’s imaginary walls or barbed wire, the thought of letting others in can be threatening. I have no doubt that when we build the walls we do so because they are needed. How do we know, though, when it’s safe to take them down?
Joining a treatment group offers a safe way to connect with others. You’ll never be asked to share anything you aren’t ready to share, and we offer a structured and supportive way of exploring topics that we hope you’ll find useful on your journey to health. We still have a few seats left in the “Stop Faking Good & Start Feeling Good” group, please call to sign up soon to avoid disappointment. Our upcoming Community Connection days allow a more informal way of connecting and having fun. Running over three Fridays in October, the first one on October 4th is for Veterans and First Responders who have taken programs at Landing Strong. The second (being held on October 11th) is opened to those who have taken group programs with us and to their partners, spouses and others who have been important supports. On October 18th, we welcome anyone who has taken a Landing Strong Program as well as any Veteran, Military Member or First Responder who might be thinking of taking a program, but aren’t sure and want a chance to test the waters. We are offering these Community Connection Days free of charge, just give us a phone call to let us know you’re coming.
Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong