Tag Archives: mind

Inside Out: Using Pop Culture to Engage and Educate Youth

Posted by: Anna Coutts on August 24, 2015 1:08 pm

How good is your knowledge of pop culture? If you’re working with teens and children, being pop culture savvy can greatly enrich your work. While being up on the latest trends isn’t a job requirement, it certainly helps with building rapport and relating important skills to clients in a way that sticks. It’s for this reason that I’m always on the lookout for positive popular media I can incorporate into my work. Recently, I found a new favourite in the Pixar film Inside Out.

Even if pop culture isn’t for you, Inside Out is still worth checking out. The film is like a dream come true for therapists: it’s a perfect teaching tool and a great way to build rapport all wrapped up in one entertaining film. The messaging is amazing and the film is engaging.

The film has so much potential to be used therapeutically. It externalizes emotions in concrete, fun ways that kids can understand. It teaches them about the importance of different emotions, the difference between these emotions and the reason why we need to experience all of them in order to function effectively. It shows kids the negative impact of ignoring feelings. It even offers kids strategies for effectively managing emotions and educates them about the science of the brain.

Given it’s popularity at the box office, almost all my clients have seen this film. Every time I use it in session, even the shyest, most disengaged kids noticeably brighten up. Its numerous positive messages makes it an extremely versatile tool. I’ve used it to teach clients everything from how to identify positive and negative self-talk to how to effectively communicate emotions to parents.

If you work with youth and haven’t seen yet indulged in this delightful film, don’t delay it any longer. Catch it before it leaves theatres! I promise, you won’t regret it.

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

Inspiring Fitness and Activity

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on January 10, 2014 4:00 pm

“Great changes may not happen right away, but with effort even the difficult may become easy.”
~ Bill Blackman

If you have a desire to inspire another, first be inspired yourself.  Inspiration can only occur if you understand what it is to be inspired.  The process of inspiring others, is frequently the messages we receive from our religious, political, and motivational leaders at the beginning of a new year.  The messages are often reminders of our abilities to be renewed.  In fact, if you consider the United States President’s, State of the Union, it is almost always placed at the beginning of a new year.  Why?  It is a way of implying that we can begin again and anew.


The tradition of setting a New Year’s resolution dates back nearly 4,000 years ago. “The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year, which began in mid-March, that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.  March was a logical time period for the New Year because spring begins and crops are planted.  But the Babylonians had a greater motivation to stick to their promises than what we have today, because for the ancient people of Mesopotamia, keeping their promise would mean that their gods would bestow their grace on them throughout the course of the following twelve months, and breaking them would put them out of favor.” (Holloway, 2013, Online)

New Year’s Resolutions are frequently battered with physical intentions.  Acknowledgment of one’s physical and psychological limitations is a way of expressing we have room for improvement, without declaring that “I have need for improvement.”  As a society, we typically shy away from expressing such limitations or needs, because of the stigmas associated with limitations or expressed weaknesses.


A weakness or limitations is good.   Acknowledgement of a weakness or limitation is the recognition that you, or we, have an ability to improve or make a marked change in our lives.  It is when something is clearly noticeable or evident that people recognize our desire for improvement.

The avoidance of our limitations and weaknesses stems from our fear of failure.  The fear of failure is limiting, smothering our very ability to breath and function.  If we live our lives fearing the possibility of failure, then we are not living life to it’s fullest.   Fear is frequently the catalyst that drives people away from pursuing their ambitions, goals, desires, and life’s callings

“Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.”
~ Charles F. Stanley

It is crucial that we recognize that our weaknesses, limitations and failures are nothing more than  guide maps indicating our current positions within life.  We should continuously seek to be our absolute best.  Even if, there is a barrier blocking our pathway, find a way around it or through it. Fundamentally, we are the only rulers and narrators of our lives.  No one else can determine how we live our lives.

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