CEUnits Blog

Microaggressions and Mental Health


January 16th, 2022

Microaggressions manifest as subtle but pervasive forms of prejudice. They may be barely perceptible, but microaggressions are damaging and dangerous. For many people, they constitute daily abuse. As mental health and social workers, it’s important to identify and confront microaggressions. Recognizing them will help you to challenge them institutionally, professionally, and personally.

Our ability to defend against microaggressions depends on vulnerability and resilience. For people who are already dealing with mental health issues, the impact of microaggressions can be overwhelming. Prejudice against mental illness is deep-rooted in our language and cultural norms. People don’t always realize the extent to which they are suffering from microaggressions. They can be painful, but hard to pinpoint. This is true in both clinical settings and our day-to-day experience of, and participation in, microaggressions.

Implicit and Explicit Bias

Mental illness microaggressions are varied. They often focus on either invalidating people’s experiences or blaming people for their condition. They may include an implicit or explicit assumption that someone may be violent, dangerous, and volatile. Or, helpless, incapable, and inferior. These are all alienating and damaging assumptions. They are also often inescapable for people dealing with mental health issues. Mental health microaggressions are perpetrated by family, friends, health professionals, and social workers.

Often, microaggressions relating to mental health take the form of a compliment. “You’re doing so well!”. Or, “but you don’t seem crazy?” They can be all-pervasive and are often ingrained within people’s daily experiences. This applies to all walks of life, from the clinician’s couch to the Christmas dinner table. How can we make space for working with microaggressions? How do we get better at noticing them, and calling them out?

Noticing and Confronting Microaggressions

We need to talk about microaggressions. Make space for talking about them with your clients. With your family and friends. Get more and more versed in knowing what to look for. You might ask yourself, do I experience microaggressions? If you belong to a minority group, you likely do. Do you notice when they happen, and what do you do to deal with them? Is there an element of prejudice at play, in the way that someone is speaking or being spoken to? How might you help to challenge that? Listen to your clients. Unpack the specifics about the types of microaggressions that they experience.

Combating with Vulnerability and Resilience

Once you’re able to identify what a microaggression looks and feels like, you can start to work with them. Work with your clients, your colleagues, and friends to legitimize microaggressions. Define clear boundaries to help them feel competent when addressing everyday prejudices. This may involve challenging people head-on, or it may mean being better able to meet microaggressions with compassion. Removing their harmful impact calls for a combination of strength and compassion. Vulnerability and resilience can dissolve both the appearance and impact of microaggressions.

Barber, S., Gronholm, P., Ahuja, S., Rüsch, N., & Thornicroft, G. (2020) “Microaggressions towards people affected by mental health problems: A scoping review.” Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 29, E82. doi:10.1017/S2045796019000763




Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention: Addiction Recovery in a Post-Pandemic World


January 16th, 2022

The pandemic has made addiction recovery harder than ever. Recovery programs, which are often an essential lifeline, have been disrupted or canceled. Treatment has become even less accessible. As in-person services have lessened, addiction specialists are combining mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral release prevention skills to help people stay sober.

Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention helps resource individuals who need support. By cultivating mindfulness techniques, you can begin to foster a self-care system.

Here are five steps to adopting Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention. These can help support recovering addicts in the absence of interventions and group-based therapies.

 

1. External Orienting

 

The first step in cultivating a mindfulness-based approach is external orienting. This means sitting and noticing the world around you, and how it makes you feel. You might feel the chair beneath you, the earth under your feet. The color of the sky outside the window. How a tree moves in the breeze. Notice these things and anything else that draws you in. Is there one thing that brings a greater sense of stillness, or of connection? Writing down what you notice can help to develop an awareness of how you respond to different external triggers.

 

2. Internal Resourcing

 

Once you are comfortable with external orienting, you can begin internal resourcing. This means recognizing how you experience external triggers in your body. Creating a body map can help: draw a basic body outline, then tune in to your body. Notice how you feel, where there’s tension, where there’s ease. Mark these on your body map. Tune back in. See if you can breathe into areas of tension. Can you release pressure? Can you change your inner experience? Mark any changes on your body map. Spending five minutes a day doing this can help to create mindful awareness. You will develop body literacy and notice how your body responds to different triggers.

 

3. Urge Surfing

 

This helps people in recovery to notice their urges and cravings when they arise. Noticing means that you can start to be curious about these urges. What triggers them, how long do they last, how might you make them subside? With every successfully surfed urge, you become a better surfer. You create new neural pathways which will help you to navigate the next wave. The next wave may be bigger and longer, or smaller and softer, depending on what triggered it. The point is, no matter how big the wave, every time you practice surfing with mindful awareness, the better you get at it.

 

4. Stay with what arises

 

For many addicts, the need to control or fix situations is at the root of their addiction. This may be because you have learned that this is how you handle triggers, by reaching for the bottle, the pill, the release, to ‘help’ manage it. By letting whatever arises run its course you can unlearn these addictive habits. Mindfulness is about learning to stay with what arises. Without judgment or attachment.. When you stay with what arises, you can develop responses that are solution-based. Not problem-focused.

 

5. Solution-based responses

 

Mindfulness allows you to stop, notice, and witness urges and cravings. If you can remove yourself from the story, then you can regain control of your narratives. Pausing provides you with an opportunity to respond with intention, kindness, and compassion. It stops the automatic reaction. You can better communicate your needs to yourself and others. It will help prevent the urge to drop back into addictive behaviors. Mindfulness can enhance your ability to cope with emotional distress. You become more confident in your ability to respond with a solution-based approach to the triggers and challenges that are a part of modern life.

It seems that the pandemic might be a part of modern life for a while. Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention is a solution-focused response to the pandemic itself.

Enkema, M., Bowen, S. (2017) “Mindfulness practice moderates the relationship between craving and substance use in a clinical sample.” Drug Alcohol Depend, doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.05.036




Polyvagal Theory: Meet Your Clients Where They Are At


December 7th, 2021

By Libby Waite

The science of feeling safe enough to fall in love with life” – Deb Dana

Applying Polyvagal Theory in psychotherapy is a powerful way to work with trauma. It means creating a circle of co-regulation between yourself and your client. It involves an interactive process that engages both of your nervous systems. It allows you to meet your client where they are at.

Polyvagal Theory takes its name from the different aspects of the vagus nerve. There are three pieces; the ventral vagal, the sympathetic nervous system, and the dorsal vagal.

When we are in a ventral vagal state, we are part of the social engagement system. We can connect with other people. We are safe, engaged, open, and curious. When we sense danger or threat, we move into our sympathetic nervous system. In this state, we can feel hostile, anxious, and hypervigilant. Many people who face sustained challenges in their lives become ‘stuck’ in this state. This can trigger anxiety attacks and other neurological issues. When we are in this state for a very long time, or when we face a mortal threat, we move into the dorsal vagal zone. In this state, we become numb, we close off, we shut down. We may experience disassociation, a sense of despair, or deep depression.

Using Polyvagal Theory in psychotherapy involves working with these different states. You work with your client to find out which state is ‘home base’ for them. Together, you then carve out new pathways back to the ventral vagal state. This is the place where your client can begin to feel safe, supported, and connected.

Staying Alive: Neuroception

All three of these states are central to our survival. It’s not that any one of them is bad, they all serve a purpose. Many times, when we experience trauma, they serve to keep us alive. Our sympathetic nervous systems mobilize and protect us whenever we experience a threat. This is the fight, flight, freeze, or fawn response to danger or triggers in our environment. Helping your clients to recognize how these responses have served them is a fundamental part of healing trauma.

Our bodies know how to keep us alive. They know this through neuroception. This is the level of awareness below cognition. It’s how the nervous system absorbs information from the environment. It’s the part of us that operates before thinking, before perception.

You can help your clients move from a sympathetic or dorsal state by using titration. This means feeling slowly and softly into the different vagal states. You can help your clients to navigate their way to safety so they reach the ventral state. You can co-create a visualization so that they feel in control of how much, and how fast, they move between states. You might have them imagine a dimmer switch, which they can slowly turn up into a sympathetic state, or down into a dorsal state. Imagining a handbrake or bicycle brakes are other ways to help your client feel in control of the process.

Imagery: The Language of the Nervous System

Working with Polyvagal Theory in therapy means learning how to resource. Before you resource your clients, you need to resource yourself. Before a session, you can ask yourself: What state am I in? What do I need to be anchored in ventral? And throughout a session with your client, keep checking in and feel: Where is the other person? What does their nervous system need, and how can I give it to them? Using images is a powerful way to help yourself anchor at the beginning of a session. They can also help bring your client back to a ventral state throughout a session. Work with your client to find images that are soothing to their nervous system. These will become the fundamental language of your reciprocal healing journey.

Using Polyvagal Theory in psychotherapy involves engaging your social nervous system alongside your clients’. It goes beyond active listening. It asks that you journey with your client as they safely explore different aspects of their nervous systems. Together, you map routes back to a ventral state. It means accepting your clients exactly as they are, and meeting them where they are at. When you as a therapist are open and receptive to this journey, you’ll find that your clients feel accepted and understood. Together, you can begin to heal trauma.


 
Dana, D., (2018) The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation, W. W. Norton & Company: New York.




Raising Resilient Children: How to Support Children Impacted by COVID-19


December 7th, 2021

By Libby Waite

What effect will the pandemic have on children and child development? The answers to this scary question will only reveal themselves with time. Psychological studies have shown that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have a negative effect on neurocognitive development. Now, we are facing an entire generation of young people who have had to deal with unprecedented trauma.

Cultivate Resilience and Become a Part of the Cure

Although ACEs can impact neurocognitive development, they are also an opportunity for growth. This growth has to be at a socio-ecological level. The consequences of COVID-19 have created an especially complex adverse experience. These will likely have a detrimental effect on brain maturation. Governments have a responsibility to create policies that will support young people. But, you also have a part to play in the collective healing of our children. Whether you are a parent, caregiver, teacher, social worker, counselor, or therapist, you are a crucial part of the cure.

There is potential for a more humane, sensitive, and compassionate generation to emerge from the pandemic. To help cultivate this, you can help children develop greater resilience. You are especially needed by children who already face intense ACEs due to socio-economic realities. If you are a social worker or therapist, you might want to think about how you can best serve these communities.

Find Our Shared Humanity

Modeling and teaching empathy, patience, and active listening are key. At school, children will be mixing with peers from diverse households. Their different values might include vaccine mandates, face masks, and our everyday behaviors. Adults also have to deal with new divisions in response to COVID-19. Different people have different beliefs, and always will. That doesn’t mean they are our enemies. Teaching children that everyone is worthy of respect will help them recognize our shared humanity. Then, children can meet their peers with acceptance, sensitivity, and compassion.

If you are a therapist or work one on one with children, find opportunities for new conversations. Why do children think other children/families behave differently? You can reach the conclusion together: it’s not because they’re bad people. Everyone is doing their best and trying to keep one another safe in whatever way we can.

Celebration: Co-Regulation and Re-learning to Learn

Children need to be in community with one another. If you are a teacher or social worker, you have the opportunity to bring diverse groups of people together. It could be for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a casual Tuesday afternoon playgroup. Celebrations can foster a sense of belonging. They make children feel a part of their community. They create positive social interactions with peers. Children will feel safe and resourced.

The priority right now is not academic achievement. Children’s nervous systems are running on overdrive. Their capacity to retain new information has likely diminished since before the pandemic. This isn’t something to worry about. Instead, we can acknowledge this, normalize it, and help find ways for children to resource. Then, they can return to a more supportive state. A great way to do this is to find as many opportunities as possible to be out in nature. Group nature excursions will allow children to co-regulate. They will learn how to support and ground together.

The disruption, uncertainty, and isolation of the pandemic are likely to have long-term repercussions. We don’t know how these will impact the young people who have had their lives turned upside down by COVID-19. And, we won’t know for many years. The best we can do right now is to work with our children. To go into our communities. To help children feel safe and supported as they find new ways to experience childhood in a post-COVID world.


 

Araújo, L. A., Veloso, C. F., Souza, M. C., Azevedo, J., & Tarro, G. (2021). The potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child growth and development: a systematic review. Jornal de pediatria, 97(4), 369–377.

Berken, J. A., Heard-Garris, N., & Wakschlag, L. S. (2021). Guardians at the Gate: Early Adversity, Neurocognitive Development, and the Role of the Pediatrician in the Era of COVID-19. Frontiers in pediatrics, 9, 665335. https://doi.org/10.3389/fped.2021.665335




Fighting the Mental Health Pandemic with Feedback Informed Therapy and Deliberate Practice


November 14th, 2021

By Libby Waite.

We are facing a new pandemic. This pandemic is difficult to spot, hard to diagnose, and harder to treat. If you are a mental health practitioner or social worker, then you know this. You are on the front line of this new pandemic. You are holding the wave of collective trauma, grief, and depression that is sweeping the world in the wake of Covid.

Whilst the mental health pandemic that we are all dealing with is overwhelming, it can also be a moment to pause and reflect. If you are a therapist, a counselor, or a social worker, then this is a good time to ask yourself: why do you do this work?

Time To Reflect: How Can You Best Serve Your Clients

In times of great desperation like this, it can seem easy to cling to things we know. But actually, it’s a wonderful opportunity to bring in new practices. Effective healing means responding to people’s unique needs, insights, and emotions. Feedback Informed Therapy, developed by Scott D. Miller, can help you to meet your clients where they’re at.

Feedback Informed Therapy: Centering Clients’ Needs

Feedback Informed Therapy places clients at the center of the therapeutic journey. It allows them to feedback on the progress of their treatment at the start of every session. Sometimes this will mean understanding what’s working, sometimes it will help to determine what’s not. It also empowers clients by making them feel understood and heard. Studies have shown that clients are more likely to stay in therapy when they’re engaged in their treatment. They show a 50% reduction in deterioration rates. And, 25% improvement in outcomes following treatment. Feedback Informed Therapy provides you with a reliable assessment of your clinical practice. It will enable you to better understand how to serve your clients and also refine your own methods.

Defining and Refining: Deliberate Practices for Growth

Data from Feedback Informed Treatment can help define areas for growth through Deliberate Practice. This specialized method pushes people to higher levels of personal capacity, capability and achievement. Deliberate Practice works by establishing clear goals, providing ongoing feedback, and nurturing improvement through repetition. Practitioners who adopt both Feedback Informed Treatment and Deliberate Practice find that their clients improve up to 10 times faster.

How to Handle the Mental Health Pandemic: ‘Whatever Works’

As we find ways to deal with the mental health pandemic, we must remain curious. Scott D. Miller emphasizes the importance of utilizing ‘whatever works’, as long as it’s ethical and meaningful. This is more important than sticking to any particular training or therapeutic process that restricts what is needed in the moment. Your clients have distinct needs, and you have distinct means to meet them. Utilizing ‘whatever works’ enables you to stay in relationship with your client, every session. The more tools you have at your disposal, the easier it will be to slip in line with their needs. Feedback Informed Therapy and Deliberate Practice are two great tools to help you do just this. Finding different ways to work with your clients and facilitate healing is essential. This is how, together, we can heal the mental health pandemic.

References:

Miller, S.D., Hubble, M.A., & Chow, D. (2020). Better Results: Using Deliberate Practice to Improve Therapeutic Effectiveness. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Miller, S.D., Duncan, B.L., Brown, G.S., Sorrell, R., & Chalk, M.B. (2006). “Using formal client feedback to improve retention and outcome: Making ongoing, real-time assessment feasible”. Journal of Brief Therapy. 5 (1): 5–22.


 

About the author

Libby Waite is a research psychologist specializing in the intersection of Western Psychotherapy and Eastern Spirituality. She is a bodyworker and yoga therapist who combines Body-Mind Centering, Somatics, and Jungian psychology. Her work has been published in the International Journal of Jungian Studies.




Change Your Mind, Change Your Life: Mindfulness and Neuroplasticity


November 14th, 2021

By Libby Waite.

The shape of your mind is defined by what you think at every moment. Your everyday thoughts are crucial in determining the structure of your brain and your behaviors. Studies with mindfulness meditators have shown greater brain density in areas dedicated to attention, learning, and compassion. This is the effect of sustained mindfulness. What you practice grows stronger.

When Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science

Mindfulness is not a buzzword. It’s the evolution of centuries-old wisdom. A tool for self-development and meaning-making that sits at the heart of Buddhist teachings. Today, mindfulness has been adopted by therapeutic modalities, corporate think tanks, and wellness apps. This reflects a growing recognition of its potency for change. But how, and why, does mindfulness work?

Developments in fMRI have shown that every time we learn something new, we change the structure of our brains. This is neuroplasticity. When we engage in a new task or learn new information, there are changes in the chemical reactions between neurons in our brain, helping us to store things in our short-term memory. But, if we practice mindfulness whilst we learn, we change the physical connections between the neurons. This alters the structure of the brain and enables us to retain information in our long-term memory. Mindfulness develops our capacity to learn, grow, and transform.

Being Mindful of the Moment, in the Moment

Mindfulness involves drawing on the present moment to reflect on the true nature of things. It means stepping back from obsessing about past events or worrying about future problems.

As meditators practice cultivating awareness, gratitude, and compassion, they grow their brain capacity. New neuronal pathways connect different parts of the brain. This is how mindfulness and neuroplasticity work; it’s not only what we pay attention to, but how we pay attention.

Expanding our Capacity for Growth

When we are stressed, overworked, and exhausted, our nervous systems move into a space of hyperarousal. This increases the grey matter in the amygdala and stimulates the release of norepinephrine and cortisol. These flood our system and shut our learning centers down as we move into survival pathways. Our potential for neuroplasticity and self-development becomes limited.

When we practice mindfulness, the opposite happens. The grey matter in the amygdala decreases. We increase our capacity in the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. These areas of the brain relate to emotional regulation, decision-making, and memory. Dopamine releases into the system and facilitates learning. So, when we practice mindfulness, we are not only experiencing more peace in that moment. We are also expanding our capacity to return to this peaceful state again and again, as we create new neuronal pathways.

Mindfulness is recognizing these changes in our state. When we become aware of all the stages of our moment-by-moment experience, we better understand how to regulate our systems. Direct experience of our mental habits through mindful tracking helps us become aware of our experience before we act.

How to Cultivate Meaningful Change

If you want to create new pathways for growth, then ask yourself: what will you fill your mind with? What do you want to grow? Mindfulness not only changes the shape of our brains. It changes who we are and how we move through the world. It’s an essential tool for therapists, clinicians, and social workers who want to help their clients make meaningful changes to their lives.


 

About the author

Libby Waite is a research psychologist specializing in the intersection of Western Psychotherapy and Eastern Spirituality. She is a bodyworker and yoga therapist who combines Body-Mind Centering, Somatics, and Jungian psychology. Her work has been published in the International Journal of Jungian Studies.




Social Media-Induced Mass Hysteria


October 13th, 2021

As the world knows, social media is famous for starting voguish challenges, humorous memes, and silly dances that spread all over the world and are shared by hundreds of millions of kids, teens, and adults. We all remember the “ice bucket challenge” and the “Harlem shake” but even though they may seem light-hearted and funny, these well-known fads also caused dangerous injuries globally. Well… there’s a new kid on the block and it’s causing young people to believe they have suddenly developed Tourettes syndrome.

Tourette Syndrome from.. social media?

In the last two years, the number of Tourettes cases are rising and creating social media-induced mass hysteria.

According to the research team led by Dr. Kirsten R Müller-Vahl at the Hannover University Medical School, an increasing amount of videos have been released in the last two years on popular social media platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. These videos have one thing in common, they are broadcasting young creators who claim to be suffering from Tourette’s syndrome and romanticizing their tics, which young audiences are voluntarily or involuntarily mimicking. Tourettes syndrome is a childhood-onset chronic combined motor and vocal tic disorder. It is not an abrupt disorder and usually gradually develops as children get older.

So how did this happen one may ask? Well, the social media epidemic of new cases appeared in 2019 after a 22-year-old man named Jan Zimmermann started his YouTube channel called “Gewitter im Kopf” (English: “Thunderstorm in the Brain”).

pexels-andrea-piacquadio-3755620

Photo caption: How damaging could social media actually be?

What’s really happening?

Zimmermann films himself going about his daily life, and what it’s like to live with Tourettes. The researchers who examined his videos observed that he was exaggerating his symptoms and that it is obvious to experts regardless of whether it was deliberate or not. He shows a number of movements, vocalizations, words, phrases, and bizarre behaviors that he claims are tics but are unusual “common” tics seen with Tourettes. Nevertheless, Tourette experts can see that there are symptoms of illness but no clear measures of such, to make a diagnosis.

Viral sensation

A few months after his first video was released, it attracted more than a million viewers making Zimmermann the newest, top dog German youtube content creator. Since then he has created hundreds of other videos and obtained nearly three million subscribers.

Following his fame, he started creating merchandise with his famous “vocal tics” and began marketing himself to his followers. What are the repercussions of this fame? Well over the course of two years unusual floods of Tourette cases started being diagnosed by young people. What did they all have in common?

  • Identical vocal and movement tics
  • Identical tics of Jan Zimmerman
  • Tics only appearing when he/she did not want to do something they didn’t enjoy (school/chores)
  • Tics suddenly going away when enjoying fun activities
  • Most important: They ALL watched Zimmerman’s YouTube channel

All tic-like behaviors that were manifested were identical to YouTube star Zimmerman. Interestingly enough, many that were diagnosed prior and then told later they in fact did not have Tourettes had zero tics immediately after the diagnosis. Other’s had tics that became minor and gradually went away completely.

Social media for generations

This tells us that social media has the capability to cause mass hysteria worldwide and whether you voluntarily or are involuntarily manifesting these symptoms, they have a real effect on people, especially adolescents who are easily influenced. What will be next or what social media-induced illnesses may arise in the future, no one knows, but it’s time we are aware of it as well as our younger generation.

Many young people are now going through identity crises and these may be coping methods of how to fit in. (See Facebook’s own internal slide deck indicating a percentage of teenagers are seeing a harmful reaction to Instagram.)  It’s more than just trying to fit in in school nowadays with matching necklaces and dye-tipped hair. These kids have a whole other life online once the school bell rings that can be even more criticizing than having in-person relationships.

 




World Mental Health Day 2021


October 13th, 2021

World Mental Health Day was Sunday, October 10, 2021.. The day provides a timely reminder of the importance of taking care of our own and each other’s mental health. The stress and uncertainty of recent months and at this point years has taken its toll on many of us. It’s more important now than ever to discuss mental health care and let it be an open, caring, and honest topic.

Millions of Americans every year are living with a mental health condition. We all know one person or another who lives or even suffers from mental health issues, and whether directly or indirectly mental health affects us all. Whether it’s you, your sibling, your co-worker, your neighbor, we all have the duty to take the first step to help someone who is secretly suffering by being aware.

Raising awareness about mental health

Each year, during the first week of October, the National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMI) participants across the country to raise awareness of mental illness, the battle against discrimination and misinformation by providing support through Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW).

Even though mental health conditions are important to discuss yearly, it is crucial to bring it to the spotlight during MIAW so mental illness discussions can have dedicated time for mental health advocates to unify and share their thoughts and research regarding awareness of mental health care.

This year’s MIAW’s campaign is called, “Together for Mental Health,” aimed to call attention to the importance of advocating for greater care for people with serious mental illness (SMI). Throughout the week NAMI will be showing real stories and voices of people living with SMI and the need for better crisis response and mental health care.

What is considered SMI anyway?

Serious mental illness is defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.

Mental Illness Awareness Week runs from October 3–10 and coincides with additional related events:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 5: National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding
  • Thursday, Oct. 7: National Depression Screening Day
  • Saturday, Oct. 9: NAMIWalks United Day of Hope
  • Sunday, Oct. 10: World Mental Health Day

At CE Units we recognize Mental Illness Awareness Week for the entire month of October.

Here is a video by NAMI highlighting what it is like to live with borderline personality disorder told personally by someone dealing with it firsthand.

Borderline Personality Disorder – What I Wish People Knew

#Together4MH

#Mentalheathday

 




National Recovery Month 2021


September 15th, 2021

Recovery is for everyone, because it benefits everyone. We applaud National Recovery Month for highlighting the diversity of faces united by this experience. As we know gender, socioeconomic group or cultural background, does not exclude anyone from mental health and substance abuse challenges.

Worth watching: Personal and professional stories that inspire

Our own biases of what the recovery experience should like, can actually impede it. Every individual has their own unique experience often shaped by external factors like the access to care they have, their immediate support system and community, as well as their own life, like their religion, sexual-orientation and cultural beliefs.

How can our professional approach impact recovery?

Our strength is our diversity. Accepting that recovery journeys can look different, and treating clients with compassion, empathy, and giving respect to their own lived experiences, can dramatically improve their outcome.

As mental health professionals it can be a challenge to know how to best cater to all our clients. What is considered normative now, can be very different from 10 or even 5 years ago. Even using language and terminology that reflects the society and the individual can advance their recovery greatly.

These courses could be relevant to you:

Free resources

If you are looking for ways to participate, visit the Faces of Recovery website for their Free Tool Kit.

 




Recovery and recovery support


September 12th, 2021

With recovery support systems changing in their approach as we all adapt to working online, the pillars of recovery remain the same.

Vital aspects of addiction recovery

 

  • Health — managing mental health or symptoms – like substance abuse.
  • Home— having a safe environment to live.
  • Purpose— being independent and living with purpose, such as study or work commitments, that offer healthy routine and structure.
  • Community— having a social life whether it be family or friends; or a more formal recovery community, that offer support and care.

 

What courses does CE Units offer to professionals who work in recovery?

There are several pathways that cater to mental health professionals who work with addiction in mental health care. Our courses are created by qualified professionals and delivered online for convenience.

Whether you are a social worker, psychologist, addiction consultant or mental health care nurse, our courses are set at different levels for different professions.

Some of our most popular courses to support mental health recovery are:

1. Cultural Competencies

2. Mindfulness

3. Spousal Partner Abuse

Why choose CE Units courses?

CE Units is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CE Units maintains responsibility for this program and its content. See all of our available courses here.