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46 Pioneer Level 3

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    Youth and adults facing substance misuse and mental health challenges.

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  1. Frankly, it would depend on the resources of said "older, fatter, unemployed guy living in a single room". And, from my experience, many of them do recover when given resources, just as your friend was able to do.
  2. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say all problems are thinking problems. My belief is that the mind and body are so inextricably linked that it's hard to disengage one from the other. A few years back I began having extreme anxiety leading to panic attacks when highway driving. It was rather intolerable to the point that I'd have to pull off and stop. I'd recognize the mental and physical anxiety symptoms (racing thoughts, panic, breathing rate, etc.), but the anxiety could not be ignored. Part of overcoming that, for sure, was learning to question my thinking when I'd first recognize the anxious thoughts (is this a 'dangerous' situation for me? Why is this different from city driving - or is it so different?). Consciously asking myself these things went a long way in resolving the anxiety, and I've not had those episodes in some time, thankfully. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is a researcher who has done work on trauma, and its connection to neurological and physiological changes. These changes are manifested outwardly in how we respond to stress, and can be examined in our clients by subjective reports of their thought processes. So in that respect "thinking problems" are part of the problem - and we can/should certainly use the tools we have to address thinking errors and the like - but not at the expense of considering neurological and physiological changes that may affect our thought process.
  3. JRAyres

    The Coffee Lounge

    I wondered where you were 😄 How do you take it?
  4. JRAyres

    What is Branding?

    One person I think about as far as branding is 'Mark Zuckerberg'. Aside from "Facebook", (whose values, vision, and mission I don't know), Mr. Zuckerberg hit a branding goldmine, in my opinion, with his dress - it's the same T-shirt, jeans, and casual shoes. Every picture I see of him is the same - and I don't believe the explanation that it's just a style choice that helps him focus on more important things. It's 'Facebook' branding that sells. it's simple, but it's genius. And, perhaps, that style reflects an overall image of 'Facebook' that attracts its users. So, to me, branding has to do with that overall image - what do we want to project - who do we want people to believe we are (and is that really who we are)? If Mr. Zuckerberg portrayed one image publicly, but ran his business dealings another way, he wouldn't be true to his branding. And it's the same for us. One small change I made about six months ago was to start placing a "mission statement" at the top of any resume I sent out. In a sense, it's my 'brand'. It's who I am as an individual and professional, and the attitude and values I hope to bring to a team. It also serves as a reminder for me of the goal I've set for myself professionally - what I'm striving for, and constantly seeking ways I can grow toward the ideal expressed in that statement.
  5. JRAyres

    The Coffee Lounge

    Garlic. Coffee. Garlic. Coffee...
  6. JRAyres

    The Coffee Lounge

    Well now I have "sugar guilt" (is there a coach around to help me? :D) Having an "Iced Java" - sounds good until you realize it's just a sugary coffee flavored syrup with milk. There is coffee in it, so it counts, right?
  7. I know what some might be thinking - oh great, another catch-phrase that does nothing for those we're working with except for them to blow smoke at us. But what I learned early on is that I could look at this another way; a way that made sense in the coaching or counselling relationship. Typically when I'm working with someone who expresses self-doubt or some other expression of defeat or being unsure about a step they're considering, I share this with them - with an explanation. Let's say there's a person I'm working with who says "I'd like to cut down on my soda intake, but I'm not sure I can do it". Now, I can go back and forth with yes you can, no I can't, yes you can, no I can't - or I can suggest they "fake it 'til (they) make it". In other words, if they have doubt about whether something can be accomplished, act as if! Go ahead and try it anyway. Sometimes, the "proof" we need that something can be done, is to do it in spite of doubt. Take the one day away from soda, then check in with us as to how it worked out. Keep trying the experiment and checking in as to whether the change is possible in spite of doubt. Become convinced by doing. Fake it 'til you make it.
  8. JRAyres

    The Coffee Lounge

    That actually does sound good, a bit more of a mellow taste than white. Raw sugar works well for that, too
  9. JRAyres

    Whats in a Logo?

    I recall that when it came time for a logo, my wife and I did a lot of brainstorming at first - shapes, colors, background, font, illustrations, etc. She was adept at using Photoshop and Publisher a bit, and did some drawing/rough "sketches" for about a week or so - really tried to hone in on what she wanted. It was primarily her business. Eventually, she came up with about four or five designs that could work, and we set about "cancelling out" each one until we'd arrived at the "best". It was quite the process, but she was determined to find what was perfect for her. Afterward, she submitted what she had to a graphic designer to get some templates, as well as different formats for letterhead, website, marketing material, etc.
  10. JRAyres

    The Coffee Lounge

    Brown sugar... Is that a European thing? Not many that I know drink it that way.
  11. JRAyres

    The words we use

    "Are there any other options?" vs. "I just want to give you/help you look at other options". The first might enable the person we're working with to explore things/meanings/goals/directions on their own. For one who might have several ideas about "next steps" toward a goal or desired action, it could be helpful in narrowing down options that, for them, might not be feasible or could help them brainstorm what else might work. The responsibility would be theirs to explore options for themselves. The second relies on our "expertise" or "knowledge", and assumes that we know what is right for the person. When we outline next steps or "best options" for them, we are no longer working along-side them, but are coming from above ("I know") looking down ("you don't"). And it could well be that the person isn't looking for options at that moment, but is merely trying to sound out an issue or problem, and to come to their own solution.
  12. JRAyres

    Read any good books lately?

    I'm waiting on a couple of good reads to arrive from 'Amazon' - both to do with substance misuse ("addiction", if you will) and recovery. Being a native of the U.S.,much of the emphasis there is on the abstinence/medical/disease model of addiction - and that's the model I was taught and believed in for a long time. being in Canada now has changed my perspective to a "Harm Reduction" model - recognizing the freedom of the individual to make conscious choices for themselves to reduce the harm that has happened as a result of substance misuse. These books help again to clarify the model and to sharpen the point of view. I was confronted(or, I should say,my worldview was confronted) by reading "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts" by Dr. Gabor Mate - a clinician and speaker who works in the 'Downtown East-side' of Vancouver. He recognized that for many of the people he worked with, abstinence wasn't really a factor for them, but helping them to identify changes for themselves - helping reducing the harms that they identify - led them to a better quality of life. So I'm intrigued by this kind of information, as well as early attachment theory and trauma, which has a large impact on the addicted person.
  13. JRAyres

    The Coffee Lounge

    What's a forum without a coffee lounge? Come in, sit, chat, and have a cup! 🙂 Having some Mc'Ds coffee while I'm looking around the forums. Thanks to everyone who set all this up and for your tireless work. The coffee's always on so feel free to relax - you've all earned it!