Merry Christmas to my estranged family

Dear family,
Today is the one year anniversary of arriving in Greenville’s Intensive Care Unit where I almost died from another brain injury secondary to the first one I’ve been healing from for over a decade now. I am alive. …

Ancestral Healing

What Jung calls “participation mystique,” is the deep enmeshment that can happen in intimate relationships when an individual doesn’t do the inner-work to heal their unconscious pain. The wounds get passed through the generations, metastasizing through our relationships and literally shaping our children’s lives. The sickness will stay in the family tree until someone in the outer branches has enough support and awareness to face and move through that ancient grief. … [click on title to read and view more]

Families Healing Together

By Krista MacKinnon

I’ve worked in the mental health system for twelve years now, and prior to that was a patient for three. My family was educated to believe that I would be sick my whole life, and that they should have very little hope for my future. When I became a family counsellor, I vowed to never “educate” anyone in such a way. Since then, I’ve watched “Recovery” grow from a subversive whisper to a full-blown growing paradigm in mental health services. Countries have adopted Recovery and implemented its model into their health care planning, academics have studied it and written thousands of articles in peer reviewed journals, organizations have restructured and reorganized their teams to reflect it’s principles, and brave everyday people have told their personal recovery stories to friends, colleagues, conferences, and the media. Recovery is a strong political force, a narrative, a system, a way of life, and a tool. So why then, has this incredible force of “Recovery” not leaked its way over to Family Education? As far as we’ve come (and I mean that as a global community) why are our most intimate loved ones still being educated in old school reductionist ways of thinking about what gets called “mental illness” “Schizophrenia” or “Bipolar Disorder”? Why are there still support groups for families out there where the facilitator thinks it is perfectly okay for families to strategize and brainstorm together ways to sneak their loved ones their medications to “keep them well” or “prevent relapse”? … [click on title to read and view more]

Unlived lives

Motivation to do what we can to become conscious.

“Jung felt that the “unlived lives” of the parents deeply impacted the lives of the children, as if “branding” the children with a particular destiny. The unlived lives of the parents is an ancestral inheritance which has great weight and gravitas, in that it literally shapes the lives of the children. Jung elaborates on the notion of the parents’ unlived lives when he says it is “that part of their lives which might have been lived had not certain somewhat threadbare excuses prevented the parents from doing so. To put it bluntly, it is that part of life which they have always shirked, probably by means of a pious lie. That sows the most virulent germs.” … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Ancestral Healing

What Jung calls “participation mystique,” is the deep enmeshment that can happen in intimate relationships when an individual doesn’t do the inner-work to heal their unconscious pain. The wounds get passed through the generations, metastasizing through our relationships and literally shaping our children’s lives. The sickness will stay in the family tree until someone in the outer branches has enough support and awareness to face and move through that ancient grief. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Are holidays with your family difficult? Some thoughts on self-care

(from the archives) A holiday can be a minefield of triggers, expected and unexpected, for those of us who grew up in dysfunctional/abusive/neglectful family systems. If you’re one of us, take care of yourself during this holiday season. Give yourself the option to step away from family activities and interactions if you need to. Make a safe space for yourself. Allow time and space for whatever feelings may come up and be as kind to yourself as you can. …

“easter”

In the years since this dream came to me, I’ve gradually worked my way to a deeper, fuller appreciation and understanding of the circumstances of my father’s life, which has helped me heal myself in relation to my inner father, the father I internalized as a child and carry with me at all times. But my relationship with my outer father, the man himself, has never improved, and I don’t believe it ever will. … [click on title to read the rest]