Benefits to Starting a Private Practice

Posted by: Natasha Minor on July 8, 2016 3:49 pm

I’d like to challenge the widely held perception that it is not easy for therapists, and especially recent graduates, to find success in private practice. Most of the existing negative opinions on private practice come from a place of fear. An example of this is when I heard a colleague say they didn’t think that the market could sustain another person in private practice. If I hadn’t done my research, I might have believed what I heard and been drawn into their place of fear – believing that I wouldn’t be successful if I started a private practice.

Well, I do not want to live in fear! I choose to operate my practice from an abundance mindset. I truly believe there are enough clients for those who are able to help them – and I believe these clients can be ideal clients you love to work with. Doesn’t that sound great?!

I’ve put together a few reasons that I feel have made my decision to start a private practice worth all of the hard work.

Freedom and FlexibilityPrivatePracticeWoman

Running your own business is a lot of work. This is especially true in regards to a private practice as you have to market yourself to the world so they notice you and the amazing service you provide. However, being your own boss means that you get to set your own hours, choose the message you are sending and choose the population you want to work with.

It was so exciting to pick my own office space and decorate it the way I wanted. I was the one who decided what my practice policies would be. I continue to make decisions for my business that I am comfortable with as a therapist. Yes, there is a learning curve with this (like if and how you should charge for a late cancel or no show) but once you do it a few times it becomes a lot easier to stick to your policies.

Less Chance of Burnout

Sometimes, working for agencies or other clinicians can be challenging and exhausting. They may require that you work long hours, give you little control over who you see and you might not agree with all of their policies. This can lead to burnout or compassion fatigue and your clients might not get the best care you are able to give them. Since running your own private practice gives you the freedom to choose who you work with and how often, going into the office can be quite enjoyable. In addition, your work week will likely be less than 30 hours which leaves a lot of time for family, friends and self-care activities.

The Money

I know – we didn’t get into this profession to get rich. However, we also didn’t put all that time and effort into grad school so that we could live paycheck to paycheck either. Working for an agency means you may be salaried which limits your earning potential.

In private practice you have the ability to set your own fees and choose the number of hours you wish to work. You can also take on a speaking gig or run a workshop to increase your income. Working for an agency may limit your ability to develop additional streams of income if a non-compete clause is in place. In addition, you might not have the time or energy to put into such things if you are working 40 hours a week at an agency.

I’m not saying starting and running a private practice is an easy endeavor. I’m saying if it is what you have dreamed of then you should not let fear hold you back. I encourage you to take the leap and start living your dream sooner rather than later.

If you have any questions or would like to connect, I’d love to hear from you!


Natasha Minor, MA, CCC, RP runs a private practice in London Ontario where she specializes in helping overwhelmed women find their voice and believe in their worth so they can create a more authentic and satisfying life.




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Emotional Disconnections – Why Does My Partner Keep Shutting Down?

Posted by: Danielle Lambrecht on July 6, 2016 1:09 pm

Relationships have the power to heal trauma! A secure bond between a couple that is nourished and maintained has the ability to heal old wounds. When one or more partners struggle with insecure attachment, couples therapy requires a strong focus on adult bonding. It is through this re-attachment process that couples can survive relationship issues.CoupleHugging

Some couples may have had difficult childhoods and had insecure attachments with their main caregivers. Others may have had traumatic events in their early years that have left emotional wounds. Shutting down or withdrawing has been their only source of coping with their emotional pain. If a partner tries to reach out and comfort the other and receives an opposite reaction of withdrawal; this can leave the couple in an emotionally disconnected cycle.

Childhood traumatic events that have led to insecure attachments or fear of getting close to others needs to be addressed in couples therapy. Often it is the fear-based thoughts of the partner that prevent adult bonding. A situation within the relationship can cause one partner to relive “past” thoughts such as “He’s going to leave me like my mom”, “I’m not good enough, I don’t deserve her”, and “I’m not lovable”. These locked up thoughts can be followed by “knee jerk reactions” and withdrawal and shutting down can occur. The emotional disconnections manifest, and the couple do not feel safe or comforted and can find it very difficult to reconnect.

To be able to break the cycle of emotional disconnection is to be able to turn to your partner and notice their emotional pain and reach out and give comfort. There has been multiple studies showing that physical and emotional closeness can relax the nervous system and slow down and eventually stop the “fight or flight response”. However, Sue Johnson (2008) advises reaching out and comforting your partner does not guarantee 100% response back as  “mis-attunements” can still happen. She encourages couples to keep turning towards each other, reach out over and over again, and find the emotional connection.

There is hope, when the couple is able to move through their fears, “mis-attunements”, and old thought patterns. It takes courage to be vulnerable and to work together to heal old wounds and traumas. The reward though is a couple that finds solace, comfort, and safety within the other and an attachment that may have never been experienced before.

Danielle Lambrecht Counselling

Danielle Lambrecht, RSW., MC. CCC ©2016




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Starting Over at 35 – Inspiring Story of Career Change

Posted by: Mark Franklin on July 6, 2016 12:40 pm

Listen to this episode of CareerBuzz at CareerCycles.com

On the surface Melissa Hughes had it all. In her words “On the outside, my life at 35 looked great  —  a promising career, a doting partner, an elegant home, things, vacations, a big engagement ring, money in the bank… There was just one problem: I wasn’t happy.”

After a series of career error corrections Melissa sums up her career aspirations as “…wanting to do meaningful things with good people”. Melissa, a communications professional with past careers in journalism and classical music, publicized her tumultuous story of Career & Life change in her Huffington Post article Starting Over at 35.

In this episode of Career Buzz we talk to Melissa about her inspiring story and learn about her mantra on career & life.

Also in this episode; we speak with David Bowman, founder of TTG consulting, a consultancy specialized in corporate career change & transition, about Career Management in organizations and the importance taking control of your own career.

CareerBuzz is hosted by Mark Franklin, president and practice leader of CareerCycles.




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Importance Of Toys and Play In Learning and 3 Immigrants Share Their Secrets Of Success In Canada – CareerBuzz Podcast

Posted by: Mark Franklin on July 6, 2016 12:39 pm

Listen to this episode of CareerBuzz at CareerCycles.com

Ever wonder what it’s like to immigrate to Canada? In this episode of CareerBuzz Mark interviews 3 immigrants from the Toronto Region Immigration Employment Counsel (TRIEC) about the strategies they used to find success and ways immigrants can make new connections, integrate into the Canadian workforce and learn to love their new home.

Also on the show Ilana Ben-Ari, founder of 21 Toys discusses her growing start-up company, the importance of toys and play in learning and her company’s new game The Failure Toy, which teaches how to reframe failure as feedback.

CareerBuzz is hosted by Mark Franklin, president and practice leader of CareerCycles.




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Making Contact Inside the Computer

Posted by: Sherry Law on June 29, 2016 11:49 am

Over the last 2 years as I have delved deeper into virtual reality (VR) I have learned things I never expected to experience. The fact that VR is programmable means that the experience is solely dependent on ones imagination (and perhaps a little aptitude for software development). VR transports you immediately into a new reality and this holds many implications. The truth is that the physical body, or meat space, does not go anywhere. It is the mind or the psyche that is convincingly transported and the focus of my exploration. This is the true potential for the impact of VR.

I recently received a consumer version VR device. This device not only allows you to glimpse into another world, but also provides you the ability to manipulate the world around you with your hands. In addition, the technology provides the freedom of movement throughout a play area where you can walk around, sit, dance, pivot, the full range of bodily motions as long as it is within the bounds of a play area. This transforms ones understanding of the lived experiences almost 100% from the meat space into a digital realm. When you can train your aim inside an archery simulation and the fidelity nearly reflects reality, it is a strange experience indeed. I have never done archery myself, but being able to have some measure of behavioural mimicry to archery was not only a fun experience, but immersive and tiring! Having to duck and dodge enemy fire, destroying enemies with accurate aim, and spinning around at a second’s notice to ensure no one was attacking you from behind was thrilling. To imagine that this is the new world of the gamer, no longer bound to a computer chair, but sweating instead in a dimly lit room, practicing proper aim that can maybe be carrieblogphotosherryd into the real world. On the score board, your abilities are compared against the best in the world and usernames compete in a never ending battle to the top rank.

I also experienced an amazing level of intimacy in VR. Coming headset to headset with other people around the world, playing games and chatting with them through mics was absolutely astounding. I could see their heads move about as they thought about the ideas I shared with them. People witnessed my hands held on my hips as I wait for them to take the next shot at pool. We giggled together as we threw chairs all around a digital bar and made a mess with beer bottles and books. I high fived someone from Germany, we chatted about what a strange experience VR was, we looked at each other’s computer screens to check time zone differences between me and someone from Illinois, and goofed around with the interface as we learned and tinkered with our new toys. I was approached by a Frenchman from Austria that even wanted to show me around the digital space while I practiced my French. We spent time with phantom others in our minds, while our bodies remained alone and without company, yet I felt connected online for the very first time. I have made several friends already from around the world.

Does the mind care that you are not physically next to a person? No. I can say for myself that my mind was thoroughly convinced that I was properly socializing with others beside me, sharing and laughing together in a room. Meeting with strangers was no more jarring than in person, and in earnest, less so because all my fears of judgment vanished with the replacement of my body as an avatar. However, my expression, who “I” was did not vanish, and was perhaps enhanced by the removal of my distracting physical self.




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

“The Quickest Way to the Truth”: Confronting Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and Beyond

Posted by: Denise Hall on June 22, 2016 3:47 pm

From the plea bargain and previous acquittal of Gian Ghomeshi to the sexual harassment class action suit against the RCMP and other high profile cases, sexual harassment is definitely in the news but are we seeing justice done? Christy Clark said recently that sexual abuse, assault and  harassment are a part of women’s everyday lives. These acts of violence and abuse continue to occur at alarming rates. A CBC guest Rebecca Solnit on the Sunday Edition’s  June 19, 2016 discussion on violence in the US  indicated that a rape occurs every 107 seconds and spousal abuse every 17 seconds. Why are we not doing enough to protect women in their homes and their workplaces?

The CBC executive whose quote I have used in the title was abused at work while a male coworker stood by. She agreed to an apology and a peace bond from Ghomeshi instead of enduring a trial. She may be quite right in stating that the truth can get tangled up in the justice system and the court of human opinion. Forgoing her anonymity, she felt the truth would best be served by making a statement about the abuse. Perpetrators seem to be able to continue harassing and abusing and evade responsibility for their actions. Gian Ghomeshi was acquitted of six charges in the first court case and PeasandHammerbarely offered an apology or took any responsibility for his actions in the second.

In the memoir “No One To Tell” Janet Merlo, a former RCMP officer in British Columbia, outlines the abuse and gender inequality she endured during her time with the force. Merlo was named as the representative plaintiff in the class action suit of over 100 women against the organization. Going through the courts is not working very well for the victims, mostly women. So what can be done to stop the rampant abuse and bring the perpetrators to account?

As a therapist I work with victims of sexual harassment, rape, physical assault and violent acts mainly perpetrated by men, many unreported. Discussing this issue with other therapists they tell me that the women they work with state that if they had a chance to go back they would not report sexual harassment and sexual assault. They say it is just too horrendous an experience to report. Furthermore many victims report losing their jobs while the offender(s) keep(s) their position. Women in male dominated occupations tend to fare pretty badly in the places they work.  I have heard reports directly from women in construction jobs, police forces, and the military.

Politics aside, Christy Clark, BC Premier, recently disclosed being a victim of an assault when she was 13 years old. She said she never told anyone because of the shame associated with being a victim. Some people are cynical and say that her report was politically motivated. I am thinking this is not the case.  Most women feel a high degree of shame associated with being a victim and I question why women and, specifically our premier, would talk about a traumatic and highly intimate situation for political purposes? Claims from perpetrators that women report for financial or other reasons are usually way off base. There is no amount of money in the world that would make up with the horrific circumstances, terror and public scrutiny involved with disclosing sexual harassment or assault. Also, research on recanting suggests that many victims recant because of the consequences of going through with the accusations for their families and the community.

I watched a Norwegian movie last week called HEVN (“revenge”) and the heroine of the film was bent on revenging the rape and subsequent suicide of her younger sister who was in her teens when the rape occurred. Initially she was going to kill the perpetrator but settled on setting him up and stripping him of his family and stature in the community. If the court system does not provide justice then must victims take retribution into their own hands? The problem with doing so as an “eye for an eye” suggests, will leave both parties injured, most likely badly. More succinctly, violence is not the answer.Violence is the problem.

The women in the RCMP have initiated a class action suit to settle their grievances around sexual assault and sexual harassment. Maybe civil action is better for compensating victims. Civil actions have a lower burden of truth and they can provide compensation for suffering and loss of positions the victims aspired to and felt proud of.

WorkSafe BC now accepts sexual harassment and bullying under their mental stress provisions if the abuse if work related. It is also incumbent on employers to have a system of regulation and protection in place. Certainly the criminal courts did not appear to serve Gian Ghomeshi’s victims well. Many victims just keep quiet and perpetrators continue to harass, abuse, and rape because they believe they can and they believe THAT THEY WILL NEVER GET CAUGHT.

Another high profile example is the Stanford sexual assault case where the perpetrator’s father wrote a letter decrying the six month sentence for his son, Brock Turner, stating it was too harsh for “20 minutes of action”. What if he got 20 months for each minute of action? Legal experts have said that this sentence was more in line with a “first offence of burglary or auto theft”. Another comment from Danielle De Smeth, a California based criminal attorney, was that “it emboldens those of privilege or an athletic background”. Sure does! Two young black men were hung in the 1942 on a bridge on the Chickasawhay river for being within 10 feet of a white teenage girl.

So what is the quickest way to the truth and how are we going to stop perpetrators from sexually abusing? Sexual assault and harassment is a technique of power as is withdrawing reproductive services for women. Rape is used by soldiers in war zones to totally control the vanquished. Racism is more of an issue in economically stressful times. Maybe, sexual assault and harassment is like racism where the perpetrators objectify and dehumanize their prey because they feel they are losing power economically and politically. Mark Lepine killed 14 women in Montreal for just that reason. In spousal abuse perpetrators keep their partners powerless so they will not leave. Sexual abuse and assault are the tools that perpetrators use to subjugate women and children.

Maybe the solutions to stopping abuse lie beyond the criminal courts in changing workplace culture, economic inequality and societal attitudes. As long as women remain unequal economically and societally along with ethnic minorities and are kept powerless to bring the abusers to account, the abuse will continue despite the criminality of the acts. Even if we have regulations that prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace, many victims will not speak up because of fear of losing their jobs, being ostracized for speaking up, and concern about the onerous process of going through a system that is fraught with difficulties. This is a challenging issue and we must do a better job of protecting women in the workplace and in the community.

Your comments are welcome




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Thera-spraining Psychotherapy: What it is and What it is not.

Posted by: Denise Hall on June 13, 2016 12:34 pm

This blog post is meant to unravel the puzzle that is therapy. In the past therapy was considered only for people with serious
mental health issues. Therapy has become much more accepted as a way of changing one’s life,
recovering from grief and trauma, relationship breakups and family and parenting issues. In
fact, there is evidence to suggest that it can be very beneficial in relieving depression and other
issues. It also is effective in reducing the need for pharmaceutical intervention in some
situations.

What does the therapy process look like? Contrary to what some people think, therapy is an
active process requiring work, openness and cooperation on the part of the person seeking
therapy. The therapist does not change you, they are, in effect, a facilitator of change. How
much you change (or even whether you change) is up to you.

Well what does therapy do? Therapy changes the brain as Norman Doidge the author of The
Brain That Changes Itself” aptly illustrates. Having a skilled person validating your experience,
listening with nonjudgement, and focusing on your strengths does wonders for most brains that
have a tendency to focus on the negative side of any experience and produce emotions such as
shame and guilt. Therapy can help you think differently about your situation and with
understanding comes clarity. It also helps you remember who you truly are and encourages you
to accept your strengths as well as your human flaws.

Knowing you are not alone and that someone really understands what you are going through
has immense therapeutic value. Family and friends can be supportive too but most of us would
rather not burden friends too much and usually most people just keep their feelings to
themselves.

Therapy is also preventative. It prevents and/or mitigates conditions such as high stress,
depression, anxiety, chronic pain and PTSD that left untreated can cause associated physical
conditions such as stomach ulcers, cardio/vascular events, panic attacks, isolation, suicide,
physical deterioration, musculoskeletal challenges and debilitating pain, and addiction
to opioid medication.

What therapy does not do? Most of us in our ever increasingly complex and fast-paced world
are looking for a magic bullet or a quick solution that will alleviate or solve a difficulty. Therapy
is not a quick fix for many reasons including that situations are usually complex and accrue over
time. Healing takes time. Untangling the many factors in a situation is a process and our
defense mechanisms often get in the way. We usually need a safe place to freely explore the
landscape around issues causing frustration and pain. Many people have never had a safe place
to do this.

Another thing therapy costs money, upwards from $100.00 to $200.00 per hour. Depending on
the qualifications of the therapist. Most psychotherapists have a Master’s degree and are certified by
provincial or national bodies (for more information on practice requirements for psychotherapists
across Canada, please see https://www.ccpa-accp.ca/profession/regulation-across-canada/).
Psychologists are regulated provincially as are registered social workers. I definitely would
recommend counselling or therapy with someone who has had rigorous education, training and
supervision.

The good news is that it might not take a lot of sessions to get you feeling better about your
situation and feel like you are gaining more control over your life. For complex issues involving
trauma it can take much longer. I remember a therapist telling me that if personal growth was a
priority then I would find the money to pay for therapy. I do not see it as simple as that now
that I have been a therapist for years. Most people have competing priorities these days and
therapy is usually put on the back burner. Although it is likely to be beneficial, managing a
household, paying rent and food costs are a high priority in most everyone’s life.

Although there are some options for therapy with psychiatrists that practice therapy, employer
funded programs and government and community organizations, there are usually wait lists,
number of sessions is time-limited, and acute conditions take priority. The Globe and Mail
published an article last fall that made the case very well for government funded mental health
services accessible to everyone. Many countries do provide therapy and the cost to taxpayers is
outweighed by the reduction in cost in the general health budget and employer funded
disability plans.

A word of caution about therapy though; growing as a person can change your life priorities
and the relationships with those around you. It also can be challenging! Opening yourself up to
someone maybe for the first time is scary. We are afraid usually of being judged by others. The
evidence for addressing issues rather than suppressing them is strong. Unexpressed feelings
can manifest themselves in health conditions, chronic pain and addictions. Many people have
tried self-medicating when issues have become too much leading them into a dangerous
trajectory.

I am hoping this blog post helps you understand what therapy can do for you. Remember you
are the captain of your own life when you take part in psychotherapy. What you get out of it is
up to you and I encourage you to shop for a therapist that fits for you and that you feel safe
with. In case you would like to speak to me further about your situation, I am available for free
30-minute telephone consultations if you would like to explore it for yourself at 604-562-9130
or email [email protected].




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Emotional Disconnection is like Inflammation of the Body—It Hurts!

Posted by: Danielle Lambrecht on June 3, 2016 12:02 pm

When couples experience emotional disconnection it is like a virus that invades the body and spreads. It is painful and sometimes long lasting and chronic. It is more difficult to clear up after it has invaded the entire body, but it is possible! Like any unwanted invader, it must be noticed, and dealt with, and have the proper antidote. The antidote is creating continuous “moments of connection and bonding” between the couple; keeping them immune.

Over thousands and thousands of years relationship bonding has been known as an ancient primal need. It carries within it a fundamental system built to assist human survival. It has been attachment science that has demonstrated that infants who do not receive human touch do not thrive. Throughout the human lifespan and even into the last stages of life, studies have shown men have shorter life spans without a mate. The evidence is closenessthere, that attachment is not only essential for human survival, but integral to optimal health and wellness. Therefore, why it is very important to understand how emotional disconnection between two people can be harmful.

Two people that are bonded are a system of attachment. Each person integrates “self” into the system and it becomes “one”, but interdependent on the other. Secure-based relationships have this well-established attachment system that allow for hardwiring, or fixed connection to each other. It makes for a strong emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual connection and a strong knowing that each one can depend and trust the other.

Emotional disconnected partners have less of secure base or attachment to the other due to ongoing “bond ruptures”. These bond ruptures create emotional and physical distance, insecurities, self-doubts, emotional pain, and continue to erode the couples system of attachment. The couples’ primal need is not met and the relationship becomes an insecure-base of indifferences.

One of the main strategies to create a secure-based relationship is to stop bond ruptures that create gaps and distance between the couple. How to do this, is by doing the exact opposite. By using proximity and reaching out to your partner you have them notice that felt sense of connection and safety. Partners long for attachment and a simple turning and reaching for your partner whether that be in loving words or a physical gesture, the positive, connective energy is the same. When you seek closeness with your partner you stop the “inflammation invasion” and create a safe haven again. It does take time.

Danielle Lambrecht Counselling 2016 ©




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Why is it so hard to communicate with my partner?

Posted by: Danielle Lambrecht on May 19, 2016 10:44 am

communication2This is one of the main questions I hear in relationship counselling. It is not an easy one to answer at first. The reason for this is that each person’s style of communicating can be different from the other. When this is the truth, it needs to be recognized during the beginning of therapy and then addressed with the couple.

If one person has a passive style, it means this person will not be direct with what they really think or how they feel. Their behavior may be incongruent with what they are saying to their partner and this can lead to confusion within the couple.

If the other person is aggressive, they may show frustration, be irritable, and could be verbally abusive. This person may have learned this style growing up and not know any other way to get their needs met. However, this style can and will erode a relationship. In addition, when met with this aggressive style, their partner could retreat, withdraw, and shut down.

I would eventually see this couple in my office. They would both be at their wits end and know that they cannot communicate effectively, but are stuck in old reinforced communication styles. There are power struggles, ongoing unresolved conflicts, silent treatments, and one-up-man ships behaviors because each wants the other to meet their “needs”. This couple can walk into my office at a stalemate in their relationship, both unhappy, worn out, and want their relationship to change.

When both walk in to see me…their communication style is the very first and most important subject to tackle in order to see changes.




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Wildflowers Mindfulness

Posted by: Dawn Schell on May 9, 2016 10:28 am

Need another app to help you meditate?

No?

Well you might want to reconsider when you see the new Wildflowers Mindfulness app from Mobio Interactive.[1]  This beautifully designed new app was released on May 2, 2016 and is free for the first month.

The aim of Wildflowers Mindfulness is to assist individuals with developing a mindfulness practice.  Research has shown that practicing mindfulness can improve both physical and mental health.  It takes practice to really become comfortable with it and make it work for you.   Given how busy our lives can be it isn’t always easy to make the time to practice.   It’s like lots of things that we know are good for us and that we “should” do.  Sometimes a little help is needed!  That’s where an app like Wildflowers can come in handy.

There are interactive lessons on mindfulness, a library of meditations, and a journal to track your progress.   The creators of this app have also designed a feature that makes meditation suggestions based on your mood.  The page lists a number of different feelings and you can pick the one that is the closest fit and the app will suggest a variety of meditations for you to try.

One of the really fun features is you can use the camera on your mobile device to calculate your heart rate.  That’s right.  I said, the camera!    You can use this feature to calculate your heart rate both before and after a meditation and see how well you were able to relax.

Give it a try today and as the creators say, “Make friends with your mind”.

***

Dawn M. Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate of Worldwide Therapy Online Inc.  http://www.therapyonline.ca

[1] http://www.wildflowersmindfulness.com/#home




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA