DiscoverThrivival 101: A Fresh Take on Self-Care for Female Mental Health Clinicians
Thrivival 101:  A Fresh Take on Self-Care for Female Mental Health Clinicians
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Thrivival 101: A Fresh Take on Self-Care for Female Mental Health Clinicians

Author: Dr. Karen Dyck and Dr. Melissa Tiessen

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As mental health clinicians we all know that self-care is important. We talk with our clients about it ALL.THE.TIME and yet, ironically, we often struggle with it ourselves! Even worse, we tend to do this in silence, because, who wants to let any of our colleagues know that we might be struggling with our own self-care? After all, aren’t we supposed to be the experts in this?! 

Here’s the thing: There are unique factors (about our training, our work, and our gender socialization) that contribute to the very real and normal struggle that we, especially as female mental health clinicians, have when it comes to our own self-care. The good news is that together we can lessen the struggle but only if we’re willing to break the silence. 

Join us, Dr. Karen Dyck and Dr. Melissa Tiessen of Intentional Therapist, to learn how to re-think what challenges our self-care efforts as females in this profession.  And get on board with a whole new concept of what self-care can look like, using our 4 C’s model:  Connection, Compassion, Courage, and Creativity.  We hope that through our down-to-earth discussions with other like-minded mental health clinicians you will be inspired to elevate your own self-care, and move from simply surviving to truly thriving.  

Because, in the end, taking care of ourselves is not only how we best take care of our clients, but it’s also how we create the kind of life from which we don’t need to escape. (We know, intriguing concept!) 

To learn more about Intentional Therapist and our 4 C’s model of self-care, visit us at: www.intentionaltherapist.ca

27 Episodes
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Many women at some point in their careers will experience the major milestone of becoming a mother. It's a life-changing experience, yet how often do we talk about how this transition impacts our work?In this month's episode of Thrivival 101 we were so pleased to speak with Lori Mihalich-Levin and Arianna Taboada about the work they do to help parents thrive in both their parenting and professional lives. Lori shares some of her own challenging experiences as a new working parent and how this...
As clinicians we’re familiar with the concept and importance of resilience but how many of us actually think about resiliency for ourselves? In this episode we speak with award winning workplace mental health expert and psychologist, Dr. Marie-Helene Pelletier about her recent book The Resilience Plan: A Strategic Approach to Optimizing Your Work Performance and Mental Health. Marie-Helene explains how a resilience plan differs from traditional self-care and identifies the key ele...
In this special podcast episode, we, Dr. Melissa Tiessen and Dr. Karen Dyck, dedicate our discussion to what is perhaps our favourite 'C' from our 4 C's model of self-care—Courage. We provide a quick overview of our 4 C’s model of self-care and why Courage is the C that we like discussing the most, as well as why we view it as the essential fuel that helps to move us from thinking about and planning self-care activities to acting on them. And we had the pleasure of incorporating a...
Listening to the wisdom of our body is an essential component of self-care, yet how often do we truly embrace this? Do we even know what that would look like? In this episode we speak with Courtney Amo, Dr. Julie Beaulac, and Casey Bergland, the authors of the book entitled The Mind Body Way: The Embodied Leader’s Path to Resilience, Connection, and Purpose. Our guests use the term “leader” in a broad sense to include both the traditionally recognized leadership roles but also those tha...
As clinicians we often speak with our clients about the importance of boundaries but how often do we actually apply that same wisdom to our own self-care? In this episode we speak with psychologist Kim Long about the incredibly important yet uncomfortable topic of boundaries. Kim shares some of the common misconceptions about boundaries, some of the reasons why this is so hard for female clinicians, and how this might show up differently if we’re working in a public versus private...
As female mental health clinicians we receive multiple messages or “scripts” through our socialization as women and mental health clinicians about things like professionalism, productivity, caregiving and even what it means to be a “good therapist” and a “good woman.” And the reality is, these messages come from systems that are based in a western, capitalist, patriarchal society. In this episode we speak with Silvana Espinoza Lau about how these “scripts” and oppressive symptoms ...
In this long overdue episode, we, Dr. Karen Dyck and Dr. Melissa Tiessen, discuss the factors that led us to start Intentional Therapist and begin hosting this podcast, Thrivival 101. We also explain why we believe self-care is a four-letter word, share how we are redefining self-care, and how our 4 C’s framework - Connection, Compassion, Courage, and Creativity - can help female clinicians (regardless of our work setting) put more of ourselves into our schedule and create a life from w...
In this episode we connect with Dr. Stephanie Grunewald, psychologist, coach, and entrepreneur, to learn more about her RESET model and how she helps her clients achieve a life and business aligned in purpose. Stephanie shares some of the common traps impacting ambitious women and how her own experience of connecting with her values resulted in her making the very intentional decision against expanding her own counseling business. She also explains her RESET model and how her work...
For those of you who are familiar with Intentional Therapist and the 4 C’s model of self-care you know our Connection pillar includes not only connecting with others but also connecting with our own values. For many people, faith and spirituality are important values that we often don't talk enough about. In this episode we speak with Whitney Owens about the ways she incorporates faith into her practice. Whitney talks with us about some of the common misconceptions about fait...
Supervision and consultation are important components of mental health clinicians’ training and professional development. These activities can also play an important role in clinician wellness and self-care. In this episode we speak with Shannon Heers, founder of Firelight Supervision, about the differences between consultation and supervision, how these activities contribute to clinician wellness and what we can do to get the most out of supervisory/consultation experiences. ...
Remember that feeling you had as a kid, when your interests were held with such intensity and passion that they couldn’t help but bring you joy? When was the last time you experienced - or allowed yourself to experience - that type of passionate interest in something? In this special bonus episode we speak with author Tabitha Carvan about how Benedict Cumberbatch helped her do just that, and why it’s so hard, yet so important, for women to reclaim this part of themselves. Al...
Female mental health clinicians face many barriers to engaging in truly meaningful self-care practices, perhaps the most powerful of which are societal messages that encourage us to adopt a self-sacrificing way of being that focuses primarily on the needs of others. In this episode we have the pleasure of speaking with Enid De Jesus, a Florida Licensed therapist and coach who’s made it her mission to help sensitive introverted women create lives that honor their own needs. Enid sh...
When’s the last time you sat down to really reflect on your values? In this busy world it’s so easy to go through life without really giving this much thought. Yet, setting some time aside to do just that can help us truly create a life from which we don’t need to escape. In this episode we speak with Lisa Mustard, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (and co-member of the PsychCraft Network), about a pivotal time in her career and how examining her values and priorities s...
When female clinicians think of self-care the term “organizational systems” probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind (probably not even the last thing). Yet, having effective organizational systems in place at work (and home) can be such an important step in our self-care journey as they have the potential to help us feel less overwhelmed, work more efficiently, and (by doing so) can help us put more of ourselves into our day. In this episode we speak with Liz Gray, the f...
If you’re like us, there was probably a time in your career when you sought after that oh so elusive “work-life balance” and saw that as the true mark of self-care. The only problem, of course, is that “balance” is incredibly hard (if not impossible) to find and, as it turns out, may not actually be what we truly need to thrive. In this episode we speak with clinical psychologist and parent of three, Dr. Yael Schonbrun about “work-family enrichment” and how adopting this mindset c...
In this episode we reconnect with Arianna Smith, licensed professional counselor (LPC) and copywriting coach for therapists, to learn more about her 2-month sabbatical and her transition back to work. Arianna shares some of the challenges associated with planning and returning from a sabbatical, what she learned about herself as a person and a therapist, and how she’s used this information to reshape her work and personal life. She also shares some tips for how to make the most of...
When most of us think of self-care we probably don’t think about developing a side business. We know that wasn't our expectation when we started Intentional Therapist. And yet, enhanced self-care is exactly what a side business can offer!In this episode we speak with Dr. Tamara Soles about what led her to create her side business (including a podcast and online parenting course) and how these activities fit into her self-care. We specifically talk with Tamara about how the 4...
All of us undoubtedly know firsthand how challenging it can be to regularly incorporate wellness strategies into our workday. The idea of moving into private practice can become particularly appealing as it is often seen as providing opportunities for us to take more control over our work life and build a practice that supports our wellness. Sadly, many female clinicians quickly learn that by moving into private practice they have simply traded one demanding boss (and work environ...
Unfortunately as women and mental health clinicians, we receive many messages (from society, and also through our training and work experiences) that contribute to us developing beliefs and behaviours that get in the way of creating full, sustainable, and happy private practices. In fact, these messages are so strong that many of us can’t even imagine what a full and happy clinical practice might look like. Allison Puryear knows this experience all too well and is using her “nearly diag...
“I’m not sure I’m well suited for this profession.” Sound familiar? We’ve heard this from other female therapists more times than we can count. But is it really about us being ill suited for this profession or is it really more so that our practice/work setting is ill suited for us? In this episode we speak with psychologists, Dr. Kelly Yanek and Dr. Michele Kinderman, about what led them to leave their standard jobs and develop their innovative therapy practice, Welln...
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