WORKING IN THE MENTAL HEALTH FIELD requires that we bring our personal selves into our professional work. The use of self is the key to providing compassionate and respectful care for the clients we serve. It is also important to know what our strengths, weaknesses, biases, beliefs, and values are and how they might impact clients. This is what I call our personal lens. This lens is a product of our genetics, experiences, culture, perceptions, temperament, relationships, and education. Our lens has similarities with others but it is unique. It shapes how we view our world and the world of our clients.
Examining this lens is a crucial part of us staying well emotionally, mentally, and physically. If we are not well, we cannot provide good care. Being aware of how our lens impacts others and ourselves is also critical to the quality of care we give. Reflective practice is the activity of engaging meaningfully in the process of examining our individual lens. It is a process of creative exploration. There are myriad ways to do this: writing, art, photography, music, or spoken word. My preferred medium is writing. Yours may be something else.
I want to engage practitioners in conversations about reflective practice. This blog is a space for these conversations to take place. To stimulate discussion I will post questions. These questions are a starting point. They are seeds. They are meant to provide a framework for the topic. Where we end up is anybody’s guess.
This is my current vision for this site. You will help shape the direction of this blog. You are a part of the site’s growth and evolution.
Consider yourself invited. Welcome to a place where thoughts, feelings, and ideas are explored and shared.
Welcome to explore mental health.
This is where the heart and soul of Explore Mental Health resides. It is the blog area for this site. This is where material and comments are posted. You are welcome to add as many pieces as you’d like. You can add comments directly to the site below each piece. Feedback and discussions are encouraged. You'll find questions to start a conversation at the bottom of each article. Click here to participate.
I primarily read non-fiction books and that’s what you’ll find here. I review books about mental illness, mind/brain science, and philosophy. I give you a bit about the book topic and more about what I think about it. I love thinking about thinking and ideas ignite my imagination. I hope the reviews inspire you to read the book or look into the topics. Click on the book cover image beside the text and it will direct you to the author's website. Have a book you like? Tell us! Explain what it’s about and what thoughts emerge while reading it. Click here to participate.
For the uninitiated, podcasts are audio shows based on topics. It’s radio without the annoying announcers and minimal ads. The episode length of the podcasts I review are between 15 and 60 minutes. You can find them in iTunes. Work the google or ask a friend to find out how to download them onto your phone or iPod. My areas of interest are science, philosophy, history, and stories about real people. In this section I say a little bit about what each podcast is about and why I like it. I love listening to them. I play them in my car and listen to them with headphones when I exercise. Click on the podcast image beside the text and it will direct you to the podcast's website. If you find an interesting podcast and want to say why you like it, write it up. Click here to participate.
This section is dedicated to interesting websites I’ve come across. Some are blogs and some are not. I explain what the sites are about and why I find them interesting. Click on the website image beside the text and it will direct you to the website. Feel free to contribute your own cool sites. Click here to participate.