It’s not uncommon in my therapy office to talk about social media. Specifically, I’ve been having a lot of conversations about wanting to not be on social media but having a hard time stopping.
When people bring up the topic of their social media use, it’s usually said with a bit of a guilty look, and can come across as a shrug off comment. “I really shouldn’t be using my phone so much,” they might say in an off-hand way. But, since people are paying me money to notice things, I don’t just shrug it off. Instead, I invite them to talk about it. So many of my clients are finding that they’re on social media more than they actually want to be, and that it’s causing upset in their lives. These are some of the things we’ve been talking about in those conversations.
1. Getting clearer on what is it about our social media use that we don’t like.
Sometimes in having this conversation, we realize we're actually okay with our social media use. But 95% of the time we can easily rattle off some reasons why it’s no longer serving us, including:
I ignore my partner when I’m on my phone. We just sit on the couch near each other having conversations with strangers. I don’t like that. I miss him.
It makes me feel shitty about myself. I can’t help comparing myself.
It makes me mad. All I see are more and more stories about how terrible the world is.
Once we start listing the reasons it’s not working for them, we start to feel a little more adamant that we don’t want to be spending very much time on social media. My next question is this (and you can ask it to yourself now): “So, why do you spend so much time on it?” This isn’t a judgment question – it’s a curiosity. I have plenty of my own reasons but I always think it's important to understand our very individual reasons for it. The most common responses I'm hearing are boredom, habit, feeling anxious, and “I don’t know”.
2. Understanding why we're using social media
If we don’t know why we’re drawn to social media, we can start noticing. What happens in the moments leading up to checking your social media feed? What time of day is it, where are you, and what are you doing? For me it often comes when I’m waiting for something. Like waiting for my partner to be done fixing the camera he’s working on so that we can hang out. Or waiting for my coffee to warm up in the microwave for the third time. Or waiting for a show to download. (Darn buffering…) It also happens a lot when I’m taking care of my daughter and getting tired. I love spending time with her, but as any parent knows, it’s exhausting sometimes.
Once we know what hooks us in, we can think about how else we want to meet those needs. Personally, I had to ask myself what I actually wanted to do while I was waiting for my partner to be done fixing his camera. The answer came easily: reading. I really like reading, and I usually have several books on the go. And I usually don’t end up finishing said books before they’re due back at the library. I would be a much happier person if I spent more time actually reading the books that I’m so into reading. As for the times that I’m getting tired with caregiving, feeling drawn toward social media is usually a good cue for me that it’s time to go outside, or have a dance party, or get really into whatever she’s doing, or make myself a coffee.
3. Now what?
Having a better understanding of the impact our social media use is having in our lives and what’s driving it is absolutely foundational. Once we have that figured out, we can start to think about what we want to do with this information. The most common response I get when I ask people about this is “I guess I just won’t check my feed as much”. It seems like just deciding to stop is the most obvious answer and yet! It’s not as simple or easy as that. If it was, I wouldn’t be having so many conversations about it. We think we can just rely on willpower and this leads me to my biggest piece of advice: don’t rely on willpower.
In Kelly McGonigal’s book “The Willpower Instinct” she talks about how willpower is like a muscle. You can work it out and make it stronger, which she recommends, but at some point you’re willpower muscle is going to get tired. And then all the social media and ice cream that you’ve been avoiding will be consumed in a regrettable moment of furious indulgence. (Relate, anyone?).
Rather than relying on will power, I usually encourage people to set up the structures that will help them. I originally got this idea from the HOME Podcast by Laura McKowen and Holly Whitaker.
Structures are the things we set up ahead of time to make life easier. So if we’re working on spending less time on social media, one structure we could set up would be a really long and annoying password to get into our social media accounts. We could delete the apps off our phones. We could leave our phones at home or in the other room. The extra effort it takes to go get our phone unlock it and type in a long password is enough time that the automatic impulse can be brought to our conscious awareness and we can make a decision about whether or not we actually want to do it.
We can also set up structures to make other, more desirable habits a little easier to access. So for me, it might be having a dance party playlist already ready, or a good book on the corner of my nightstand.
I'm a big believer that we can all be more conscious about our social media use and make sure our relationship with it is still serving us. Good luck, all!
It’s hard saying no. For a lot of new therapists, we really struggle with the idea of disappointing someone in our care.
It can be easy to feel that because our clients need something, we need to be the one to give it to them. I hear new therapists say things like “but they need evening hours – they can’t make it during the normal workday“ or “they need a sliding scale – they can’t afford the full fee”.
It’s true that a client may very well need these things. Some clients are dealing with financial security and would be at risk of losing their jobs if they had to take appointment hours during the workday. Some clients have such tight budgets that they’d have to give up some of the essentials in order to make it to even an hour of therapy per month. And absolutely there are times where I’ll meet a client on these things – giving a sliding scale where I can for the clients who need it most. But it gets really tricky when we see ourselves as “the one and only” that can solve these problems or fill these gaps for our community. Remember – we all have limits. That’s what makes us human.
What I’d love to share with each of you is something I learned through my Somatic Experiencing training. They taught us that feeling as though we have to be the one to save the world is actually a trauma mentality. It stems from a belief that the world is inherently unsafe, and what’s more, that we’re the only ones that can protect others and ourselves from it. I was blown away to first learn this. I just thought everyone felt this way. Through my training, I started to see things differently (and more importantly, I started to feel differently about them).
I began noticing what was happening in my body when I would have thoughts like “I have to fix this”. It turned out I was feeling the activation of the stress response cycle. My body was moving into fight/flight/freeze. This thought was coming from a place of desperation, scarcity, and fear. And it may seem obvious, but I’ll say it anyway: when we approach our clients from a trauma mentality, we’re of little help to them (especially if they’re dealing with trauma themselves).
Let me put it this way. If we’re both stuck in the whirlpool of trauma, then that means no one is actually standing on the edge, grounded and able to offer a connection to hope or aliveness. It’s just two people caught in the waters. And if you think your clients can’t pick up on this, you’re wrong. They may not be able to name it directly, but we all know the difference between what it feels like to be supported by someone who is empathizing with our pain and someone who’s overtaken by it. Our clients pick up on our nervous system cues, whether we’re in a calm place or a desperate one.
In order to be of real help to my clients, I had to start discerning when my actions were coming from a trauma response versus a healed place inside. I began noticing the physiological response. I noticed that I felt especially triggered when clients were talking about injustice in the court system. (Like when a family court judge grants custody my client’s abusive ex because there’s “no evidence of danger to the children” Ugh!). Now let’s be clear – we should all be angry when something so obviously wrong happens. Taking a moment to be angry with my client about what she’s going through is a pretty human response, and I think a good place to start. But as the therapist, it’s also my job not to get stuck in anger. I still need to be grounded enough in my own nervous system so I can guide her through and help her process the experience. Ideally I want to help her listen to what her anger is telling her, and understand what she wants to do with it.
These days, when I notice myself getting activated, I take the time to ground back into myself. When I can feel my feet rooted into the floor and stay connected with the slowness of my breath, I know I’m on the right track. I continue to do a lot of personal work on my own activation and stress response in order to help with this. (And here I can’t say enough about the benefits of doing your own personal work through as a therapist).
When I’m connected to my wise, grounded self, I know in my whole body that it’s okay to say no, and I want to pass on what was so clear inside me to each of you now:
You can hold onto yourself in the face of other peoples’ disappointment.
You can say no and still be a good person.
You can know that you’re doing enough and that doesn’t mean you have to be doing it all.
Here’s one more thing to think about as you work on saying no and respecting your own limits. When we take on our community problems, we allow the system to continue on as is, unchallenged and broken. Eventually there are too many clients who are failed by the system than we can support and we need to draw a line. In my experience, it’s better to draw the line before we get to our breaking point. And better to put the responsibility back where it belongs – on the broken system.
My good friend Lily recently did an episode on "mom pressures" for her podcast. She asked to write a few things about the pressures moms face, and I accidentally wrote her a novel about it. Here's what I came up with one evening.
Pressure around whether or not to even have children, and if you have one, pressure to “give them a sibling”
So many clients have told me about constantly getting questions from friends/family/coworkers/acquaintances/strangers about whether or not they’re having children. Some of these clients are actively trying to get pregnant (and struggling with it). Others haven’t decided about parenting but are feeling the weight of other people’s expectations. And some are decidedly not having children and hate having to justify themselves. “You’ll be a great mom!” one of my clients was told. “That’s not a good reason to have kids,” was her (awesome and hilarious) response.
And then the questions you get when you have an only child. I personally don’t mind questions out of curiosity/interest, but a lot of times the seemingly innocent “are you going to have another?” turns into that person convincing me why it’s important to give my existing child a sibling to socialize with. The thing is, I don’t want a second child. So, there’s that.
Pressure about the kind of birth you’re going to have
I was asked too many times if I was going to have a “natural” birth. This one always confused me because I definitely wasn’t planning an “unnatural birth”, whatever that might involve. Turns out what people meant to ask was whether I was having a vaginal birth or a c-section. I guess when you put it in those words, it’s more obvious how intrusive of a question it is.
People also really want to give you their opinions about whether or not you should get an epidural. I kept hearing about the importance of “trusting in your body’s ability to give birth without medication”. What people never understood was that I have a pain disorder which would have left me wildly incapable of getting through the birthing process without medication. But most people didn’t ask about what the best fit for me would be – instead, they told me. By the way, A., was 9lbs2oz and getting an epidural was the most amazing thing I could have done for myself to have enough energy to get through the labour. No shade to women who decide to do things differently – I just wish there wasn’t so much pressure to have a one size fits all birth experience.
Pressure around breastfeedingI got really lucky with A. She began breastfeeding about 10 minutes after she was born and she just figured it out immediately. It didn’t go perfectly all the time, but I definitely didn’t have some of the struggles that other women had. Many clients had to deal with pressure from health professionals, other moms, and “well-meaning” relatives to do everything in their power to give their babies breastmilk. There are so many reasons why breastfeeding just doesn’t work. And the pressure to make it work “no matter what” just gets to be way too much. Caring for an infant is hard enough without this added pressure.
Pressure to recover quickly after childbirth and get your “pre-baby” body back
After I left the hospital, I was given a small amount of painkillers. I cried the first time they ran out. I refilled them two more times after that. I was just barely making it through from one dose to the next, for weeks. My partner went back to work after two weeks, and I’d say that’s a pretty standard amount of time, but let’s put this in context. I couldn’t walk without pain for two months after A. was born. Getting up and down the stairs was hard enough. I had to do this by myself for 11 hours a day on little to no sleep while I desperately waited for my partner to come home. Everyone thought I should be doing better than I was, and while I think my pain was greater than average, I know I’m not alone in the pressure to recover quickly. It helped so much to have my physician friends liken childbirth to a “major trauma”. I felt like I’d been hit by a car, and yet I was expected to take care of A by myself on top of my recovery.
I don’t know where the idea of getting a “pre-baby” body came from, but this much is clear to me: when you go through a pregnancy and deliver a baby, your body is never going to be the same as it was before that. For some people, it might look very similar, but trust me that you don’t go through something so altering without that being transformative in every way. You now have a different body. A body that grew a tiny human inside of it and brought that human into the world. I don’t understand why there’s a pressure to pretend that never happened.
Pressure to have your life centered around your child
Moms are expected to give 100% of their time and energy to mothering, and, here’s the crucial part – they’re expected to do all with complete satisfaction and enjoyment, as if it’s their only life purpose. I know some moms who enjoy the daily tasks of mothering. But I also know some moms who – despite loving their kids and being a mom – don’t. There’s no one right way.
Pressure to simultaneously have a full life outside of raising your child
I don’t know how intentional this one was, but I definitely felt the pressure to be doing a lot of exciting things in addition to keeping a tiny human alive. People weren’t sure what to talk about with me, and so after a question or two about how my daughter was doing, they would ask, “So, what else are you doing?”
As it turned out, keeping a newborn alive actually covered it. I think it’s just naivety – people don’t always understand that being a new mom literally takes all your time and energy.
On this note, I find it interesting that people call parenting a full time job, when in my experience it is actually more like three full time jobs – a daytime job, an evening job, and an overnight shift job. Three full time jobs where you can’t count on getting a lunchbreak or even a coffee break, or even a shower. This is what mothering is like. And that leads me to the biggest pressure:
Pressure to always be on
The biggest thing that added pressure to absolutely everything was that you never, ever, get a break. As a mom you’re not allowed to have a five minutes in the bathroom without being interrupted. There’s a pressure to always be on, always be available, and to do it all without complaint. It’s completely invisible labour and that’s probably the worst part of it.
"It's Actually a Good Thing": A Little Reassurance When Your Loved One is Working on Their Boundaries
As a partner/friend/lover/ally of someone who is working on boundaries, you may be noticing some changes. Like most changes, this can feel pretty scary and you might be unsure or hesitant about what’s happening. That’s why I wanted to write you this letter. I think it’s normal to feel afraid in times of change, especially when the change involves something unfamiliar.
I hope to ease some of those fears by reminding you that having someone in your life that’s working on boundaries is actually a good thing (yes, even for you!). By working on boundaries, they’re aiming to reduce exhaustion, resentment, and burnout. They’re trying to make sure they have more in their tank, and that means less snapping at you and less passive aggressive comments (if that’s a thing that happens….). They’re trying to make sure you understand each other better and ultimately grow closer – even if it feels like they’re pulling away. They’re building a life that has more capacity and energy to give.
We know you didn’t sign up for this. And hey, things may have seemed really great before. There may be a part of you thinking, “why change at all?” But even though things may have seemed great before, and chances are there were many great things happening, your loved one was likely feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and bitter. They may have been experiencing low self-esteem, anxiety, or depression. Don’t get me wrong – you aren’t to blame for this. It's more that your loved one has now realized that there are some things that they need to change in the way they approach all relationships so that they can feel healthy and grounded. They’ve been too used to saying yes to everything, taking care of others before themselves, and putting their needs on the backburner. Now it’s time for that to change, so that their relationship with themselves and with you can move to a healthier, more balanced and ultimately more fulfilling place.
Annina Schmid (M.A.) is a feminist counsellor who helps women recover from binge drinking and disordered eating, as well as families with young adults who "failed to launch". Annina employs Solution Focused Dialogue to support and empower her clients in making lasting life changes. She works from a strengths-based harm reduction approach. Annina works with all genders and people on the LGBTTIQQ+ spectrum.
As a counsellor who works mostly with women who struggle with disordered eating and binge drinking, I have started running monthly online support groups at the beginning of the year. Here are the four most important things I have learned from my participants:
1. Recovery is really possible
First and foremost, I want to stress that recovery from an eating disorder or problematic substance really is possible. Participating in an online support group can be a great reminder of this fact, as group members constantly share their successes and recovery wins. In my groups, I make it a point to focus on what is going well for my group members. As everybody is already beating themselves up enough about what's not going well anyways, people have found it beneficial to be reminded of the many ways their recovery is already happening. Group members are explicitly encouraged to share recovery strategies that work for them personally, in the hopes that others who can relate can draw some inspiration from their achievements. Group members bear witness, encourage, celebrate and support each other every step of the way.
2. Rejecting the diet mentality is the first step to getting better
When it comes to eating disorders in particular, recovery is tough: wherever we go, we are bombarded with diet messages. "Eat this!" "Don't eat that!" "Work out!" "Join this useless cleanse, diet or health trend!" We have to be really strong and secure in our desire to get better in order to actually get better, and often the first step is debunking popular diet myths and unfollowing people who make money off of making us feel bad. As you might know, research shows that diets don't work: 95 out of 100 people who lose weight will gain it back within two years, and the five that don't usually keep it down by means of disordered eating. Therefore, one of the first suggestions I make to anyone struggling with their body image is to unfollow social media accounts that perpetuate the thin ideal and look for body positive messaging instead. Great places to start are @bodyposipanda, @jenniferrollin and @immaeatthat who will all tell you that your life truly begins once you realize that you don't need a special occasion to enjoy cake.
3. Sharing your feelings is healing
Providing a supportive environment conducive to healing is my number one goal with these groups, and time and time again I get to witness how even just being in the presence of others who "get it" is a healing experience for my participants, who often struggled in shame and silence for years - and all by themselves. While group members usually live many thousand kilometres apart from each other, there is great comfort in knowing that their eating disorder is not due to a personal character flaw, and that there are many relatable elements between them; even across age groups, income levels, and ethnic backgrounds. For the purpose of healing, I would strongly encourage anyone whose thoughts are consumed by food to share their secrets with their family, friends, a professional, and/or in an in-person or online support group, because keeping them to yourself will perpetuate, and over time most likely worsen, your condition.
4. Food is supposed to taste and feel good
There is absolutely nothing wrong with liking to eat food! On the contrary, we are biologically programmed to do so. Food is supposed to make you feel better, and our tendency to seek solace from it is therefore perfectly understandable. We all eat emotionally sometimes and that is more than ok. Taking up less space in the world does not make you a more worthy or loveable person, and you deserve happiness and freedom from your eating disorder no matter what size of clothes you are wearing! Realizing that we often apply harsher standards to ourselves than others is another big learning. Those group members who are diligently practicing being kinder to themselves will often recover faster.
(And for those of you who have more technical questions: I run my online groups via Zoom and use Acuity Scheduling and Stripe as booking and payment tools. The groups work very well in adjunct to individual therapy or counselling sessions, and if you could benefit from participating or have a client who might, here is more information and this is where one signs up.)
Alright y'all, big announcement time! I'M MOVING... UPSTAIRS! I'm excited to share with all of you that as of May 31, I will be relocating upstairs, to the 5th floor of College Plaza. The new space I’ll be practicing out of is located within Transcend Psychological Services and Blossom Counselling, though of course I'll still always be Feminist Counsellor Edmonton. It’s a dedicated therapy office which means I get to work alongside some amazing therapists. It's got some big beautiful windows, a little more space... and I'm so looking forward to sharing it with all of you.
For clients, there are two major changes that will affect you in this move that I wanted to let you know about. The first is that I’ve switched one of my usual working days, so I'll be in the office available for clients on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 9am and 4pm.
The second change is that I will no longer have access to reception, so in addition to being able to communicate with me via email, I will also be introducing online booking in June! I know some of you will be pretty excited about that. If you have any questions about how this might affect you, please don't hesitate to reach out by sending me an email at email@example.com
Looking forward to seeing you in the new space!
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
As health professionals in positions of power, we have certain standards of practice we need to adhere to it in order to protect the public. The Standards of Practice of the College of Alberta Psychologists are “the minimum standards of professional behaviour and ethical conduct expected of all regulated members”. These include informed consent, avoiding dual relationships, and acting within our scope, to name a few. These are incredibly important to know and adhere to, and yet it’s not enough to ensure that we’re working in a way that’s ethical and sustainable.
A lot of our work involves being in touch with our own very individual and unique boundaries. For example, what’s the right number of clients per day? I know plenty of folks who understand that four people per day is their maximum, while others regularly see seven or eight. And what’s the right amount of money to charge? Some of my colleagues go with the standard rate as suggested by the Psychologists Association of Alberta, while others leave room for a sliding scale. What about cancellation fees? Some people charge the full rate for a cancellation no matter what the reason, while others make the decision based on the individual situation and the reason for the cancellation.
What times will you see clients? What issues and populations will you work with? What kind of advocacy work are you willing to do? All these are important questions related to our boundaries, and none of them have a one-size fits all answer.
So just how to we go beyond the minimum standard, and develop professional boundaries that are truly a fit for us? I’d love to share my unique definition of boundaries to give us a place to start: “Boundaries are the external expression of our internal limits”.
So that means if we’re consistently feeling burnt out and exhausted after seeing six clients a day, we may need to adjust how much we take on in a day or the types of issues we’re working on. If we’re feeling resentful about a client who has cancelled last minute, we may need to adjust our cancellation policy, or have a conversation with the client. If we’re not as present with our clients as we’d like to be, we may need to take a break, get more sleep, refocus our energy, or consult with our colleagues.
If there’s something we’re not sure how to handle with respect to boundaries, getting ideas from our peers or supervisors is a great first step. We can learn a lot from the mistakes and successes of those who’ve come before us. But it doesn’t end there. We also need to take the time to get a felt sense of what’s right for us.
When we make decisions related to our practice or the type of work we do with clients, we need to consider what our body is already telling us about this decision. When we listen to ourselves and make decisions that are in line with our boundaries, there tends to be a “yes” feeling that goes with our decisions. It might feel like relief, calm, or “rightness“. When we’re going against what actually feels right to us we can feel unsettled, unsure, or “not quite right“. Resentment, exhaustion, and burnout are sure signs that we’re ignoring our boundaries, but there can be subtler cues that we’re crossing a line. If we listen to these internal signs, we can create a practice that honours our limits and is sustainable over time.
1. Accept your pain
At the risk of sounding too obvious, you’re in pain. Even if you don’t want to be. Even if you think you should be better by now. Fighting it isn’t working anymore. Pretending it’s not there isn’t working anymore. Accept that you’re in pain.
2. If “curing” your pain doesn’t work, try managing it
When our goal is to cure pain, we can end up dismissing strategies that help us to manage it. I remember an eye-opening conversation with a friend a few years ago about pain. “Yes, meditation helps,” I admitted to her, “but the pain always comes back after a few days. Nothing I do is really getting rid of it.” “What if you didn’t try to get rid of it?” she asked. “What would happen if you just kept meditating, every day?” It may seem obvious from the outside looking in, but I’d never thought of this before. I felt that I must be doing something wrong if I couldn’t find a cure, and if the pain didn’t go away for good, then it wasn’t worth doing. “If I was meditating everyday…. I guess I’d be feeling better than I am right now,” I laughed. “But it also makes me want to cry – to let go of the idea that I’ll actually get better.”
And that leads me to…..
Grieve the life you thought you had – the one that wasn’t impacted by chronic pain. Grieve the loss of anything you can no longer do because doing so would increase your pain. Grieve the person you used to be before you realized that “doing all the right things” doesn’t always lead to a cure. Accept that the things we go through in life can feel unfair and unjust. As Cheryl Strayed puts it in Tiny Beautiful Things, we assume that because mercy has always more or less been granted us, it always will be. But it isn’t. We need to accept that awful things happen to people all the time, and then let ourselves grieve it.
4. Embrace your new life
When you’re done grieving, remember that there is a full and wonderful life awaiting you. It may not be the life you envisioned, but it’s yours. I can’t speak for anyone else, but dealing with pain has helped me to really make sure that what I’m spending my time on is worthy of my time. Because I don’t always have time that’s pain free, I find ways to embrace it. I’ve stopped doing the things that hurt me, and I have a better relationship with my body. I also unexpectedly found myself connected to my humanity and my compassion in a way that just wasn’t possible before.
Day after a rough migraine and I look a little worse for the wear but happy to be alive. When pain is at a 10/10 I try to keep reminding myself that it will eventually pass. (Did those new grey hairs sprout overnight? I wouldn't be surprised...)
I want to offer some assurance for anyone struggling with setting boundaries. Ready for it? Deep breath.
It’s not your fault.
Yep, I said it, and I’m going to say it again. It’s not your fault.
In my experience, there are plenty of good reasons we struggle with setting boundaries. Most of us are taught some pretty messed up stuff about them. We’re taught to put others first, even at a detriment to ourselves. We’re taught that we need to keep things smooth at the surface, even when that means underlying issues go unaddressed. We’re taught to be polite and deferential. We’re not taught how to listen to our needs, let alone speak them.
We’re taught these things so completely from such a young age that it’s hard not to believe them. The ideas given to us by someone else can start to feel like our own.
So, once more – take a deep breath. Remember that it’s not your fault. And even more, we can work on believing something different about our boundaries. Like that we’re allowed to have them, as a start. And that doing so doesn’t make us rude, selfish, or wrong.
I've created a PDF with 5 more affirming beliefs you can play with about boundaries. Try them on. See how they fit. Create your own, if you like.
You’ve got this.
All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter and you'll instantly get a copy of this free PDF. From there, I send out emails about a dozen times a year with handy guides I've created, information about the latest groups I'm offering, news about community resources, and a curated collection of the best articles and resources related to mental health from a feminist counselling perspective. And remember, you can unsubscribe at any time if it no longer works for you.
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After having this book on my shelf for several months, I read it over the December break, knowing that I needed the time and space to fully immerse myself in it. And I did. I sat on my office couch, and in my bed at home, and I had a good long cry or two (or more). I let myself take in the sorrow of the letter writers' grief and be moved by it. I let my guard down and allowed myself to be different. I even took off my psychologist hat (a thing I almost never do) and let myself read it as a person first.
This book will transform you, if you let it in. I definitely recommend reading it over several sittings (all at once could be overwhelming) but within a short enough time frame that you can stay down in the depths with it. I thought it might be too much but the order of the letters has been designed wonderfully, so it intersperses shorter more humorous letters with the more difficult ones. I was particularly moved by the letters that had to do with family and mothering, but really this is a book about life.
Trigger warning: Cheryl Strayed talks pretty openly about her childhood sexual abuse, and a number of the letters have to do with sexual violence. I absolutely found it readable - and I don't always - but it wouldn't be the best book for someone in the early stages of healing from trauma or dealing with active flashbacks/nightmares.
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Nicole Perry is a Registered Psychologist and writer with a private practice in Edmonton. Her approach is collaborative and feminist at its heart. She specializes in healing
About the Blog
This space will provide information, stories, and answers to big questions about some of my favorite topics - boundaries, burnout, trauma, self compassion, and shame resilience - all from a feminist counselling perspective. It's also a space I'm exploring and refining new ideas.