Tag Archives: self-reflection

Important Lessons From Vacation Time

Posted by: Andrea Cashman on May 4, 2015 2:38 pm

It has been almost four years since I took a real vacation (and not a stay-cation). The stress had taken its toll from working as a psychotherapist and a nurse over the last few years so when I finally decided to take a vacation this year to de-stress and unwind, I truly felt the positive gains from it and saw its benefits. I had decided I needed a beach vacation to be able to de-stress and self-reflect. It’s always important as therapists to schedule in these much needed breaks to reconnect with ourselves as human beings and recharge for ourselves and for the benefits of our clients. Yes, it’s hard to leave knowing some clients might feel abandoned or have difficulty coping without having their therapy sessions readily available during the week(s) you are away; however, not taking a vacation for yourself does harm to all parties. It not only can cause you burnout which will affect your clients but it also sends the message to your clients that they have to depend on you and that you are not a model of self-care yourself. Being well attuned to your own needs sets a good example. If you have a full case load and have complex clients that you feel may need some potential support while you are away, you can always designate a back up therapist to look after your clients as need be. This is at your discretion. Don’t hesitate to let your clients 22429_10153210437672440_816457692952054472_nknow you are away by preparing them in session and by changing your voicemail message and email vacation reminder.

So, here I was in Cuba last week, enjoying the beach and the sun. I was able to relax, meditate and reflect on myself as a person and a therapist. I recharged myself. I was away from all social media and email/phone correspondence and it was liberating. I was able to take in the culture and be humbled by my surroundings and took on a new appreciation for my life and felt true gratitude. I noticed how happy Cuban people are and how they use music, dance and song to express their happiness. I noticed how much they smiled and laughed and revelled in simple things. I wondered how disconnected we were compared to them and how much we take for granted. My take-aways were humbling and grounding for me. Even just taking care of my basic needs of sleep, food, water and sunshine/fresh air did a world of good. How many times do we have sleepless nights or don’t get enough vitamin D from the sun? – and how these factors lack in our daily lives and effect our work ethic. I even have heard of therapists who don’t schedule in a proper lunch break in between clients. How can you truly be effective and available when your concentration is off with your stomach rumbling? Not only did I think of these things, but I also had time to reflect on where I would like to be in a year’s time from now and where I hope my private practice will be as well. I hope you take the time to have a self-reflecting and recharging vacation time this year because you will not regret it.

Andrea Cashman is a private practice psychotherapist who has founded Holistic Counselling Services for individual clients seeking therapy in Ottawa, ON. She also practices at the Ottawa Hospital as a registered nurse. Feel free to comment below or contact her at [email protected] or visit her website at www.holisticcounsellingservices.ca

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

Who Do You See in the Mirror?

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on November 10, 2011 4:27 pm

Who do you see when you look into a mirror?  Do you recognize the image of the person looking back at you? How long has it been since you really took time to view your own image?  Are you familiar with your body’s changes and maturation?   If not, how long has it been since you recall really seeing yourself?  

Teaching your children to be honest with themselves, begins with you.  As parents, we need to be honest with our own person.  If we avoid being honest with our person, then our children will learn a lesson that it is okay to be dishonest with ourselves.  If you are dishonest with another, you will know the truth, but you will have to live with that falsity.  Ironically, if you are dishonest with your own person long enough, then this dishonesty will become your accepted truth. 

When is the last time you submerged into you own person? How long has it been since you spent time intra-reflecting?  Has it been a while since you spent time reflecting on your inner and outer being? Have you been capable of integrating your outer being with your inner being?  It is a difficult task for many to see their outer person, much less their inner being. Why?  When we see ourselves outwardly, our physical appearance, we see what others may interpret us to be. It is difficult for people to face their inner-beings.  Not only is it difficult, but it is not uncommon for an individual to avoid facing their inner being.  When we think of looking inwardly, it is more common that an individual will think on the negative, rather than seeing positive aspects of intra-reflection.  For many, they will only see their flaws, blemishes, and the perceived negative changes that life has brought about.  Whereas, few people spend quality time looking at the dichotomy of our makeup, the good and the bad, the yin and yang.  If we desire personal growth and maturation, then we must be willing to go deeper than surface level, we must be willing to know and face our inner being. 

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

How clear is your self-picture?

Posted by: Jeffrey Landine on May 6, 2011 9:07 am

By: Jeff Landine and John Stewart

As stated in our previous blog, one significant task of career counselling involves understanding and organizing clients’ self-attributes.  A taxonomy developed by Donald Super was articulated as a useful structure for understanding the various self-concepts and the self-concept system including the dimensions of esteem, clarity, consistency, realism, complexity and efficacy.

In the context of vocational self-concepts, clarity refers to the precision with which a particular self-concept is defined and consistency refers to the congruence that exists between self-concepts.  A clear self-concept would be one that is well defined and has clearly recognized attributes.  For example, a clear vocational self-concept such as punctual would be accompanied by the ability to define punctuality and supporting evidence of the possession of this characteristic.  A consistent self-concept would be one that fits easily and appropriately with other self-concepts in the system.  For example, it is easy to see oneself as both driven and conscientious with regard to work life but it would be much harder to see how one could be driven and laid back in their approach to work.

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