Is it just me or is locating a space to practice one’s craft a journey of trust, faith and patience? How many of the readers of this blog have had a similar frustrating experience in seeking an appropriate office space for your counselling practice? When this writer states, “appropriate”, what I mean is: one that has natural light and is not placed in the middle of a building. It means paying less than $1,000 per month for 100 to 200 square feet of space; or finding a space that is accessible to both seniors and those with special needs. Is it too much to ask to find an office that is within walking distance of a parking lot?
This writer lives in what I would refer to as a “village” even though others prefer to call it a “city”. I believe that this has something to do with access to more funds. The relevance of this statement relates to my dilemma with the lack of office space and the cost of office space in a village that is far removed from a big city environment. How many of you relate to this quandary?
I now understand why many counsellors choose to share an office space with several other practitioners: to share the cost along with other resources; I also understand that this allows for the appropriate cross referral of clients between counsellors with different skill sets. I now comprehend why it is quite common for many practitioners to work from a home setting, since it allows them to write off a portion of their home and to not have the pressure of additional rental expenses.
Another challenge that this writer has observed, especially in a smaller locale is the number of practitioners. The word “competition” never crossed my mind when I changed careers from the business realm to the helping domain; and yet, it is becoming more and more apparent that concepts like networking, marketing and communications are all fundamental to setting up a new practice. I am thankful that I have these transferrable skills from my old career; however, I would simply prefer to focus my energy on helping my clients.
I am curious to hear other tales that ring of persistence, patience and frustration regarding this topic. I thank you for reading this writer’s concerns. *The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA
When was the last time you heard of a bunch of boys being taken out to the wilderness by the men of a village to experience a Rites of Passage? My guess is that not many of you have. Fortunately for this writer, I have been involved in this work for both boys and men over the past dozen years.
My first exposure to this work came through a men’s group that I joined in Indianapolis (of all places). It was a safe place for men to gather to share their truth without judgement. I later learned that the man who founded the group was initially involved with a larger organization that was then called: “The New Warriors”. It would take me seven years until I met up with this organization again. By that time, it had changed its name to: “The Mankind Project” (MKP) – an organization based in the mid-western United States that has spread to many parts of the globe.
Once I connected with MKP, I was invited to attend a Rites of Passage weekend for men called: “The New Warrior Training Adventure”. This was a very powerful rites of passage experience that invited me to take a deeper look at my life. Since going through my weekend, I have invited many men to experience the weekend and it has changed many lives and rippled out into the world.
After being involved with MKP, I realized that I wish I had experienced this rites of passage when I was much younger, and was hopeful that my son could experience this for himself. Low and behold, I came across Boys to Men, a rites of passage experience for boys. I wasted no time in bringing my son to a weekend and, following that, organized several men in my community in order to bring the weekend to us. We ended up delivering the rites of passage several times in our own community!
This is powerful healing work for boys and men that I would invite therapists to investigate for clients with whom they believe would benefit from this empowering experience. There are a number of YouTube videos that are worth watching for further insights. *The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA
A new book has recently been published called Blue Mind: The Surprising Science that Shows how Being Near, In, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do. The author, Wallace J. Nichols, PhD, has written this book to bring awareness to the healing power of water. The difference between Red Mind and Blue Mind is that a Red Mind is one that has been impacted by the velocity of today’s society; as compared with a Blue Mind that has been calmed by the soothing effects of water.
Water has been a healing element for indigenous peoples since time immemorial; turning to water to take away illness and unhealthy emotions. To this day, First Nations in Canada still go to the water to cleanse or bathe throughout the year. It is common after each round during the sweat lodge ceremony for participants to turn to water to wash off. Today, many indigenous people have been impacted by mainstream culture and therefore many of the people have Red Mind because they are caught up in the pace of modern society. Water needs to be brought back to the people to decolonize their minds.
In his book, Dr. Nichols also writes about the impacts industrialization has had on water and why it is imperative for all of us to invest time and resources to clean up our water systems and to stop polluting. This is going to take a tremendous amount of willpower in order to consistently send this message to government and corporations. Restoration of ecosystems cannot occur, however, if pollution continues and global warming is not mitigated.
All of us will benefit immensely by embracing the healing powers of water and shifting our minds from Red to Blue; we will all be healthier and more connected to Mother Earth. It is about recognizing that by slowing down and experiencing the awe of an ocean vista, mountain, lake or steam, we will re-remember where we come from and know that by having a renewed connection with water, we will cleanse ourselves and feel better as a human species.
Grant Waldman, MA, CCC, CIAS III *The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA
Dave feels alone in the world. He no longer connects with his family and has few friends. He spends too many hours contemplating the darkness of his days, with no motivation to change his mindset. Day after day, he ruminates about how terrible his life has been; his voicemail tends to be full because Dave does not return the frequent calls from collection agencies.
It seems to me that there are many individuals in Dave’s situation across Canada. The levels of depression and anxiety are at epidemic levels, and the only entities gaining from this increase are the pharmaceutical companies that are, in my opinion, putting a band-aid on the issue. What people like Dave require is a connection with others. On the one hand, he needs to be validated and provided with insights as to how he can lift himself up and feel more positive on the other.
Many years ago, one of my supervisors said to me, “fail to plan, plan to fail.” When I think about this concept in relation to Dave, I wonder how many people are drifting aimlessly in our communities because they do not have a plan. How many people are alone because they lack structure and discipline in their lives? I can hear some respondents saying, “People who are depressed lack the motivation to get up and go.” I agree with this statement, and I also believe that it is through inertia that people change; that people need to go to work, or be in school, volunteer, or go on dates to be connected.
Dave needs purpose in his life to get out of bed; he needs a mission to move him forward. In my opinion, this is what individuals who find themselves alone sitting in the dark need to lift themselves up. Dave also needs to stay present rather than churning up his past that is gone or worrying about the future that has yet to happen. By being present, Dave can focus on his current tasks step by step in a way that he can manage. *The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA