Welcome to my Blog!
This is a space where I’ll be exploring and sharing my thoughts on mental health and caregiving. I’ll also be posting about how mindfulness, compassion and self-kindness relate to these two main topics. My goal is to provide readers with useful information and perspectives that can help us all enhance our ability to engage in a happier and purposeful life. Sometimes I’ll treat these topics discreetly with separate posts about a mental health or caregiver topic while at other times I’ll be discussing how they connect in ways I hope you’ll find interesting.
For My Readers
If you want to learn more about common mental health issues, how therapy works and ways to improve resiliency then you’ve come to the right place. A section of my Blog page is devoted to these issues. If you are a caregiver to an adult or senior and want to read posts that directly connect to your experience from a writer who has lived experienced with and is trained in caregiver issues then you too will find a section of my Blog devoted to this area. Most of the content will be of an informational and practical nature. Occasionally I will link these issues to important developments in the news and social media.
Who I Am
By way of introduction, I’m a social worker living in Vaughan, Ontario in my 19th year of practice, a psychotherapist, a caregiver of an immediate family member (a parent, now for my second time), and a highly experienced and awarded case manager and health system navigator – please see my website’s About page and FAQ to learn more about my psychotherapy and case management practice. I have two beautiful children, one in high school and the other in university and I have one parent, my father, who my sister, brother-in-law and I assist in providing care.
My blog posts on mental health will mostly focus on those things we can influence; how we relate to our inner experience (thoughts, feelings and emotions), how we wish to act in the world and grounding ourselves in our values, what we find purpose in. I will draw from my training in and ideas about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Compassion Focused Therapy and Mindfulness. Readers will notice three big themes in my mental health posts: that we can learn to not be bound by negative thinking and distressing mood states; that we can grow our capacity for compassionate and kind acceptance of our experience; and we can always choose to move towards what is most important in our lives.
I’m also a mindfulness meditation enthusiast, have formally studied meditation with two different teachers and maintain a daily meditation practice. It is my personal and professional experience that there are a number of principles and practices of Buddhist meditation (of which mindfulness meditation is one type) that can benefit a wide variety of people. My goal in this regard is to share with you the secular and universally applicable ideas of mindfulness and, specifically, how they can help us live lives that are less controlled by our often-self-critical and judgmental mind.
My being a caregiver who also specializes in caregiver counselling will bring a perspective that I hope many caregiver readers find is rooted in personal experience, passion, and professional experience. This means you will sometimes see real and personal experiences described in my posts, along with some insights and practical advice from my many years of providing social work services to caregivers of both adults and seniors. While I occasionally refer to some of my personal experiences, most of the focus will be on non-biographical information and perspectives.
The most exciting aspect for me of starting this blog is having wider conversations with all of you! I hope you’ll subscribe to this blog and leave comments so that we can all benefit from our shared experiences on mental health, caregiver experiences and ways we can learn to thrive in light of the challenges we all face.