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How Do I Get Through This ? . The Healing Process For Families. Family Outreach and Response. Individual Support Group support Courses on Family Mental Health Recovery Educational Events Peer Support Groups. What We All Want - Good Mental Health. To feel good about ourselves

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How Do I Get Through This ?

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How Do I Get Through This?

  • The Healing Process For Families


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Family Outreach and Response

  • Individual Support

  • Group support

  • Courses on Family Mental Health Recovery

  • Educational Events

  • Peer Support Groups


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What We All Want - Good Mental Health

  • To feel good about ourselves

  • To live in harmony with our family and our community

  • To know that we matter

  • To have the right to take risks and learn from our successes and failures

  • To feel proud of who we are, and have others believe our abilities

  • To have a home, a friend, and a meaningful role.

  • To know that through our actions we can shape our future.

  • To care for others, and to be cared about.

  • Opportunities for growth and learning


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But...

  • What happens in families when there are major barriers to good mentalhealth?


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Emotional Stages

  • Many people have heard of Elsabeth Kubler-Ross’s 5 Stages of Grief (1969). These stages were not originally the 5 stages of Grief but better: The 5 Stages of Receiving Catastrophic News.

  • The five stages define a process a bereaved person must go through in order to resolve their grief. However, grief is a complicated multi-dimensional, individual process that can never be generalized in 5 steps.

  • In 1991, the Grief Resource Foundation of Dallas, Texas found that, for them, a good working and practical definition of Grief as "the total response of the organism to the process of change"

  • A change of circumstance of any kind (a change from one state to another) produces a loss of some kind (the stage changed from) which will produce a grief reaction. Essentially: Change = Grief = Loss.


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Let’s take a common example…

  • We can extrapolate this idea to: The 5 Stages of Coping with Challenging Life Events.

  • As an example, apply the 5 stages to a traumatic event most all of us have experienced: The Dead Car Battery! You're going to be late to work so you rush out to your car, place the key in the ignition and turn it on. You hear nothing but a grind; the battery is dead.

  • What are the stages you go through?


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  • Denial

  • Anger

  • Bargaining

  • Depression

  • Acceptance


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Do you see yourself in any of those stages?


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Things To Remember

  • Any change of circumstance can cause us to go through this process.

  • We don’t always go through them in sequence.

  • We can go through the stages in different time phases.

  • The dead battery could take 5 minutes, a traumatic event which involves the criminal justice system might take years.

  • Members of families may be in different stages at different times.


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Moving Towards Acceptance

  • T = To accept the reality of the situation

  • E= Experience the pain

  • A= Adjust to the new reality

  • R= Reinvest in the new reality


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What do we need to get through challenging times?

  • Resilience

  • Capacity To Tolerate Uncertainty

  • Hope


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The Mystery of Resilience

  • Why is it that some families adapt and cope very well with serious stresses and others faced with similar situations struggle and slip into despair?


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  • Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficult situations. It is the natural, self-righting human capacity that allows people to cope and even thrive under conditions of adversity.

  • Families living with mental health issues demonstrate a tremendous amount of resiliency.

  • Highlight and direct your attention to this notion. Notice the personal and relational transformation and growth that can be forged out of adversity


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Resilient Families

  • Find shared meaning in their adversity

  • Mobilize their resources to counter stress and resolve problems

  • Communicate in a clear direct and supportive manner

  • Emphasize their families strengths


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What are your family strengths?


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Tolerating Uncertainty

  • When families are experiencing mental health issues, there is a great deal of uncertainty.

  • Nothing is permanent, static or fixed. Yet, our natural tendency is to seek security and reach for some certainty about the future.

  • Acknowledge the truth of change and accept uncertainty.


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Why do we worry so much?

  • Worrying helps you predict life so there aren’t scary surprises. This reduces your experience of uncertainty.

  • This gives you the illusion of control over unpredictability and gives false comfort. As a result you employ the strategy of worry more and more.

  • Is this fake sense of security worth all the energy and time spent worrying?


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If The Answer Is No...

  • Be aware

  • Don’t respond.

  • Let go

  • Be present-focused

  • Refocus your wandering mind


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How have you been coping with uncertainty ?


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HOPE

  • Hope is an elevating feeling we experience when we envision the potential of a better future, while still recognizing there may be obstacles along the path.

  • Hope is a tool that helps us live with large doses of uncertainty.

  • Hope is not given in a pill or needle. It can’t be seen on an x-ray. It is given and received through human relationships.

  • Hope is contagious.

  • Hope is hardest to access when we need it most

  • It doesn’t have to mean we have all the answers


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HOPE vs. OPTIMISM

  • Optimism fades when setbacks occur, where hope can endure.

  • “Hope means standing next to your relative in the present and admitting that the future is unknown and ambiguous. It means saying, “I don’t know for sure what tomorrow will bring. But I am here today. I believe in you. I am willing to walk with you into tomorrow.”

Quote Source: Pat Deegan Ph.D. Beyond the Coke and Smoke Syndrome: Working with People who Appear Unmotivated. National Empowerment Centre MA. USA


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What makes hope hard to access?

  • The Skidding Effect: “I’m trying to make a difference, but circumstances are out of my control”

  • The Bruising Effect: “So many bad things have happened that now I don’t seem to be able to cope with anything”

  • The Boomerang Effect: No matter what I try, I always end up in the same place”

  • The Alien Effect: “Nobody understands me”

Quoted From: Essential and Elusive: The Role of Hope in Counselling, Sherry Rodrigues-Antonucci


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Antidotes To Hopelessness

  • Be self forgiving and self-nurturing

  • Practice extreme self-care

  • Actively challenge internalized stigma about mental health issues.

  • Learn the facts about recovery- people do recover over time

  • Know that just being there for someone is enough. You don’t need to fix the problem or make it go away to be helpful

  • Accept that people are in charge of their own lives and recovery.

  • Find good support


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THANKS!

  • Family Outreach and Response: 416-535-8501 ext 1935

  • www.familymentalhealthrecovery.org


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References

  • Hollis, Vivian: An Introduction to The Intentional Use of Hope. Journal of Allied Health, 2007

  • Rodrigues, Sherry: Essential and Elusive: The Role of Hope in Counselling. Crossing Boundaries: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 2006

  • Walsh, Froma: A Family Resilience Framework: Innovative Practice Applications. Family Relations, April 2002.

  • TLC Group: Beware of the Five Stages of Grief, 2006. http://www.relocalize.net/node/4457

  • Center For Clinical Interventions: Accepting Uncertainty. January 2005.


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