Honouring Grief

Posted by Salley-Ann Ross.
Honouring Grief

Grieving and comprehending this with supported individuals whether they live independently or within their family is an area that is complicated and has no clear definition.  In essence there is no clear “way” to grieve. Grieving a loss coupled with cognitive challenges can take  this life process to another dimension, requiring a different understanding and support. 

For caregivers, we may feel helpless and may revert to the following in order to protect our loved one.  The following are areas to avoid when a supported individual is grieving:

How Fear Can Bring Opportunity

Posted by Alyson Jones.

As a Therapist I have developed a philosophy by which I practice therapy, and live my life. This is the MORE philosophy. MORE is a frame by which we can authentically move through the opportunities life presents, and experience exceptional outcomes. In a previous article I discussed how the M in MORE stood for movement, and how this was essential for our mental health.

This article is focused on the second principle of MORE which is “Opportunity.” Life is filled with opportunity, and the best guides to choosing your opportunities are your curiosity and your fear. To understand this further we are going to look at the life of Brianne, but first we need to gain a better understanding that opportunity does not always look the way we think it should. The key is to stay curious in life and you will have some interesting experiences.

The More Stuff We Have, The Less Joy We Feel

Posted by Alyson Jones.

As a therapist I often see people searching for fulfillment and meaning in their lives. Many people come into my office trying to figure out why they have so many beautiful things in their lives, but are unable to enjoy life. They often seek therapy because they are feeling unsettled and unhappy. This seems to not just be an individual struggle, but a societal struggle as well. It appears that as a society we have an abundance — but we are struggling with high levels of depression and left feeling unsatisfied despite all of the beautiful stuff we surround ourselves with .

We might not have the concrete struggles that previous generations experienced, but we certainly do have our own struggles; in essence, they are of a different kind. When I look around I see so many people trying to fill their lives with more stuff, more people, more rewards, and more indulgences. But there is something to this culture that seems unable to fill itself up.

You Cannot Have The Big Love Without The Big Risk

Posted by Alyson Jones.

We want to love, and be loved. This is something we desire in all of our important relationships — the problem is we don’t want to be hurt. To think that love is a shield that will protect you from pain is a set up for failure and disappointment. In fact it is quite the opposite as love always brings the risk of pain alongside with the joy of connection. When you truly connect and are present with another human being you create a powerful emotional vulnerability in yourself and others, and this opens us up to the biggest of emotions.

We protect ourselves from vulnerability by detaching when we could be connecting. Sometimes we focus on the wrong thing like a petty problem at work, or the driver who cut us off on the way home, when our loved one is right there in front of us. Then there are the moments when you are having a real connection with somebody and you suddenly draw back. You do not know why you are drawing back, but all of a sudden it feels like it is too much. You might even remember feeling this with the people you love the most. The moment of connection can be overwhelming so we disconnect and quickly look away and change the topic. Why do we do this? Because we fear vulnerability.

6 Steps To Becoming A Hero to Your Children

Posted by Alyson Jones.

Fuse via Getty ImagesAlthough we may not quite fit into the sleek spandex superhero suit that dominates our children’s entertainment, there certainly are other ways in which we can become a hero to our children. The problem for many parents is that they want to become friends with their children, rather than heroes. Our children do not need more friends, and they certainly do not need their parents competing with their friends for their attention. A hero does not beg for attention or approval. Children do not need us to be cool – they need their parents to be parents. But, do our children need us to be heros to them as well? The answer to that is yes. But to understand this we should look at what a hero is first.

A hero is not perfect. In fact, all the most interesting heroes have vulnerabilities. Superman has his kryptonite, Ironman has a weak heart, Batman is haunted by past trauma and the Hulk struggles with his emotions. Sounds pretty human and vulnerable to me! One of the first rules of being a hero is to accept that you are flawed. In my book “MORE A New philosophy For Exceptional Living” I discuss the concept of the double edged sword. On one side of the sword is our greatest strength and on the other is our greatest weakness. They are two side of the same thing. We can transform our flaws into something exceptional. The superheroes mentioned above each found a way to transform challenge into growth.