Tired or depleted?

An overloaded tree in Watson Lake, Yukon

Hi, I’m back! My blog has been quiet as I was on the road pretty much the whole month: I spent a week in the Yukon with Victim Services, a week in Cuba for a holiday with family, two days in Ottawa running a Train the Trainer session, what felt like ten minutes in Halifax for a workshop with Victim Services and finally three days of training in Kingston. Hectic? You bet. Rewarding and replenishing? Absolutely.  I am often told “Françoise, you are a busy person” and I would agree that I tend to like things on the active side, but there is a tremendous difference between being busy and being overwhelmed. I think it really depends on the nature of what you are doing and how much support you have at home.

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It’s that time of the year again: Take the 5/30 Challenge! C’est le retour du défi 5/30!

This wellness challenge is an initiative of heart institute of Montreal. For the next six weeks, you are invited to commit to eating at least 5 portions of fruit/vegetables per day and exercise for at least 30 minutes daily (these can be three separate 10 minute activities such as climbing the stairs, walking to the grocery store and going for a walk at lunch, or one thirty minute exercise session).

You can make this commitment on your own, with your family or create a work team. If you are reading this before March 1st, you can enroll in the challenge online (even if you are not from Quebec).

Relevez le défi 5/30! Une initiative de l’institut de cardiologie de Montréal. Pour les 6 prochaines semaines, optez de manger au moins 5 fruits ou légumes par jour et de faire 30 minutes d’activité physique. Vous pouvez vous inscrire sur le site ou relevez votre propre défi au bureau ou avec votre famille! Visitez leur site pour plus d’information.

Tools for private practice

Ah! I am back, after a rather unpleasant five days of fever/coughing and feeling generally really crummy. I am still sounding like a one-man band but feeling back to myself. It’s not easy for a normally high energy person like me to be sidelined for this long, but I was a good girl and got lots of rest and drank more lemon tea than you can shake a stick at. I have a bit of a backlog of resources I would like to share with you, so I’ll post them in the coming days. One of them is from Lynn Grodzki and is intended for anyone out there wanting to launch a private practice or needing more help with the marketing/financial aspects of their existing practice. Lynn is a highly accomplished therapist who has written several excellent books on the business aspects of running and maintaining a successful private practice. I recently read “Building your Ideal Private Practice: A Guide for Therapists and Other Healing Professionals” and found it was filled with invaluable information on identifying your niche clientele, establishing realistic goals and making sure you take smart, calculated risks with integrity. Lynn also writes a regular newsletter which you can subscribe to and she very generously shared all her books with me when I sent her a quick email.

The topic of launching and marketing a private practice or consulting business is a topic that my friend Robin Cameron and I enjoy tremendously. In fact, when she returns from her world travels (Robin is on a sabbatical with her family), we plan on offering more resources on this topic, likely in the Fall.

Listen to this week’s episode of White Coat Black Art: Public Health, Private Lives

Click here for the podcast version of this week’s show, featuring Daniel Carlat, author of the the new book “Unhinged: The Trouble with Psychiatry – A Doctor’s Revelations about a Profession in Crisis”, Dr Raj Sherman, the former Progressive Conservative member in Alberta who was recently booted from caucus because of his openly critical views of the government’s stance towards health care and overcrowding in ERs. Also on the show is Françoise Mathieu talking about chronic stress among health care workers and the cost of caring.

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“Le syndrome d’épuisement professionnel n’est cependant ni un prix à payer inévitable, ni un cauchemar redoutable qui devrait tous nous démobiliser. Véritable leçon d’humilitée, il est là aussi pour nous rappeler nos limites, nous faire prendre conscience que nous aussi (et pas uniquement les malades) pouvons craquer, souffrir, baisser les bras, et du coup nous rassembler dans une même “humanité” avec ceux que nous soignons.”

Consoli dans “Le burnout du soignant” (2003)

Books for your toolbox: Some great reads to navigate Compassion Fatigue

I have been doing a lot of training this Fall, offering the introductory course on compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma, the Part Two compassion fatigue workshop (a brand new presentation), a series of workshops on mental health, crisis intervention and the compassion fatigue train the trainer. I love doing these presentations as they are always different:  each group has different needs and reactions, and each group has resources that are best suited to them.

I will soon be winding down for the season and taking the month of December off to retool and…read lots of books! I grew up in a book-loving family and the best part of Christmas was always settling down with our new book haul and settling in for hours of pleasure and escapism. We used to go to this wonderful second hand bookstore in Montreal called the Book Nook (sadly, long gone) and do most of our gift shopping there.

In the spirit of the holidays,  here are the books/CDs I would recommend you put on your wish list:

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A new website! Welcome

Hi to you all and sorry for the long silence as I was working on the migration of my website and blog to this new platform (and thank you to my web wizard James Beardmore of Pointy Design for all his hard work). Why the change? Well, first of all I needed to integrate my blog and bookstore into my website on the same platform as opposed to having three disparate sites floating out there in the websphere. Secondly, I wanted a format where I could make the changes and updates myself rather than have to ask a webmaster to do them each time.

So I am very excited about this change and hope you will like it too. If you see any glitches or have any questions about where to find something you used to find easily, please do not hesitate to drop me a line or write a comment. Starting next week, I will resume my weekly blog on compassion fatigue resources.