‘Are we mindful enough of self care?’ was the question we were asked at the beginning of the talk.  I think the answer we all arrived at is that we are not!  We looked at the impact of loss, change and trauma on ourselves as therapists and the different signs of ‘leakage’ in our body, emotions, mind and spirit such as tears, depression, sleeplessness, and ill health.

What are the key elements of our self care and how can we be more pro-active?  We did revealing pieces of art work in creative break out rooms to help us see where we go or what we do for self care.  Physical activities, sport, nature, quiet time, and holidays as well as professional support like supervision, CPD, and peer groups are some of the ways we care for ourselves.  Most of us realised we need to do more to make sure that these ‘props’ to strengthen our ‘houses’ need to be maintained and strengthened.

Jacqueline provided us with a wealth of material and metaphors. One I liked was the story of the frog put into a pot of water where the water is slowly brought to the boil without the frog realising it.  I also liked the ‘Lessons from Trees’ , particularly ‘it pays to branch out’ and ‘bloom where you are planted.’  Which ones speak to you? Another new interesting tool that Jacqueline offered was the Johari window, which was new to me.

Just as different people experience stress in different ways, so the appropriate ways to self care differ too.  The wide variety of tools and messages that Jacqueline offered could easily fill a day workshop. Face to face rather than on zoom would have been welcome for this talk, but sadly covid concerns prevented this.

Anyway, thank you so much Jacqueline for an encouraging reminder of the importance of self care, and I need to finish this review now in order to go  out for a long recreational bike ride in the winter sunshine!

David Brown