Postvention as Prevention

In my role as a social worker at a mental health clinic, I provide individual counseling services, which routinely includes a risk assessment regarding suicidal ideation, self harm, substances, etc. In light of tragedies such as the death of Robin Williams, it often includes discussion about how such an apparent suicide can affect the mental health of an individual patient, given how connected the public often feels to actors. …

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#Compassion, #Grief, #Humanity, #MentalHealth, #Suicide

Chronicling an MSW Internship: Client/Worker Boundaries

Recently, a part-time case manager and a part-time interpreter began work at my agency. They are meant to work as a team, as the case manager did not have the necessary language skills, and the interpreter did not have the necessary social work skills. The interpreter’s job description was what one would expect: accompany case manager and clients to appointments and provide interpretation.
It said nothing about plumbing.

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#Africa, #Refugees

Forget about vulnerability: let’s talk about shamelessness

Let’s get to my thoughts on vulnerability and shame that I promised almost a month ago—but first: hat tip to Brené Brown, who has really pushed the discussion on authenticity forward by speaking openly about her own vulnerability and shame. My two cents on this revolves around how shamelessness resonates ……

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#BreneBrown, #Failure, #Life, #Location, #Psychology, #Selfcare, #Shame, #Shamelessness, #Surprise, #TopNews, #Vulnerability, #Work

When it comes to love, don’t ask ‘why’ but ‘how’

Yesterday I started working on a Valentine’s day project that was inspired by a thought that came to me during my morning meditation. Here is the email I sent out to my list of loved ones last night. I invite readers to spread the love this week.

Dear friends:

On February 7th an insight came to me during my morning meditation: When it comes to love, don’t ask ‘why’ but ‘how.’ We could waste a lot of time pondering the why to no end. Asking why seems to imply that our loved ones “earn” our love by being or acting a certain way. Fact is we love whom we love. Why do we need explanations?

What truly matters is how we express our love. Do you show it through words or actions? Do you shout it from the mountaintops or send it out quietly into the universe? Most pertinently of all, do you love in ways that are consonant with the individual needs of others, or only in the manner you’re comfortable with?…

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#Life, #Location, #Love, #Meditation, #Photos, #Tech, #Work

A Civilized Heart?

At the beginning of the Enlightenment, the story of the world was told like this: Homo sapiens stand at the top of the evolutionary pyramid, the pinnacle species, a white man distinguished by his capacity for reason. One giant step down the pyramid stands the white woman, and below her are her children. Another large step down the side of the pyramid stands all the other races and below them, at the bottom, resides animals, plants, and earth. Each step down marks a distance away from reason and a step closer to the emotions, until finally at the bottom, there were no thoughts or emotions at all, just the body-machine and space. Here we would have found one of the heroes of the Enlightenment, René Descartes, asserting, as he repeatedly kicks a dog, that its cries were no different than the ticks of a clock. “Kick a dog, or vivisect a dog, and it yelped not out of pain but like the spring in a clock being struck.”

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#Compassion, #Enlightenment

Lessons Are Everywhere If You’re Looking

Not twenty minutes ago now, I was in my car nearing my destination here at work when a story on the radio prompted me to zone in and listen intently. Be it in the car looking out the window  listening to the radio or on the Internet, there are stories and lessons to be learned everywhere.

Apparently ……

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#Learning, #Lessons, #Stress, #Tolerance

When Holidays Stir Longing Rather Than Cheer

For many, the holiday season is a season of longing. Whereas some long for time with loved ones, others long for loved ones to spend time with. Children and grown-up kids long for the coveted gift. Many long for a new life or new sense of self, hence New Year’s resolutions. Still others long for the holidays to end, with their traffic jams, long lines, and sometimes manufactured good cheer….

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#Dissociation, #Grief, #Healing, #Love, #Relationships