Guardian of our Spirit through Mentorship

I understand that learning about mentorship is a lifelong process. I believe that mentorship is a kind of personal responsibility that we take to help and support others, and to let others help us. The roles of mentor and 'mentee' are interchangeable in that, at one moment the learner is the teacher and at another moment, the teacher is the learner. In other words, our roles within interdependency are constantly changing and evolving.

I believe that any form of communication is part of our mentorship to others. Ultimately, I believe that our guidance must be in support of the human spirit, including all of life processes, and that nothing should be revered above or below the natural flow of life. Unfortunately, I can see that many of the mentorship teachings that have been put in place in the modern world have overlooked the human spirit. What I do observe is a small ground swell of leadership models that are based on mentorship: these models focus on the value of life and, for now, are on the margins of our culture, waiting to swoop in and make a larger claim.

My Speaking Engagement in Belleville

I spoke to the Business and Professional Women's Club in Belleville with the intention of introducing some of my knowledge about psychotherapy and information about our work, to a smaller Ontario community. There were twenty-five women at the talk. The age range was from twenty to seventy five. I was invited to be a guest speaker by my sister Donna and to me, this was an honour and privilege. I felt very proud to be a part of her life in her work environment. She expressed the same sentiment to me.

I asked if anyone was aware of the practice of psychotherapy and only one person answered yes. I found that some people were very interested and that others would drift in and out. I learned that I needed to explore further how to capture the attention of people who have no knowledge about the psychotherapy profession. I know that there are more lessons to learn from this experience.

Editorial: Co-creative relationships

The overall reason the Esprit publication came into being was because we felt a need to share our pathways of discovery with others in the hope of connecting with a larger community. We are exploring how to co-create dialogue with our readers in order to understand how to foster healthy communications in our lives together on this planet.

For the most part we live in a hierarchical infrastructure where we all know that we can be placed above or below one another and in a patriarchal structure where one gender reigns. This leaves us to struggle with superiority or inferiority complexes.

The Human Side of a Therapist, Personally and Historically

I wish to share with you my thoughts on being a therapist from the perspective of my clinical experience with my clients. These thoughts were seeded early on in my practice and have grown steadily over the course of my work as a therapist for twenty years.

I have found a kinship with the views held by the intersubjective movement in the psychoanalytic literature. I believe that any theory in the field of psychology comes from a deeply held private place and is based on subjective experiences that are put into words (belly first, theory later), rather than objective fact. However, we often learn the net results of theorists' work and not the private process they experienced to arrive at their conclusions. Similarly, in our practice we often rely on these conclusions and teachings without exposing our own personal emotional processes. I believe our clients need to know that their therapist has also taken a therapeutic pathway for them to feel understood, secure, and connected. How this disclosure is made is a delicate art.

Mid-Life Retreats

I am a psychotherapist with a practice in St. Catharines and Toronto. I chose to become a psychotherapist through my experience of personal therapy and community work in the Therafields environment. The Therafields Grouping was created in the late 1960's in Toronto and continued until 1981. Therapists and activists worked with individuals and groups to foster personal and community growth. My relationships with some wonderful people in this grouping offered me fruitful knowledge in the area of psychodynamic therapy and a sense of community. It was a lifesaver. I then charted an independent path with mentors who were therapists and trainers. I will forever treasure them. With so many aspects to the journey, the road has been and is colourful, varied and rich.

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