I am interested in a wide range of practice areas. Currently the areas closest to my heart include family therapy, supporting new mothers, working with women to support health and body positivity, offering bedside presence and Threshold singing to the dying and their families, and working with my fellow social workers to understand and support each other through meaningful self/collective-care.
COLLABORATING WITH FAMILIES
Collaborating with families is a central part of my social work career path, and I want to continue to study family therapy approaches, and to develop skills and abilities to families family therapy. I am interested in working with families affected by addiction, mental illness, terminal illness, death and dying. I am also very interested in the dynamics and relational patterns in blended and large families.
I plan on taking in training at Guelph University to deepen my understanding of postmodern approaches to family therapy through the Certificate in Couple and Family Studies.
I am also really interested in continuing reading and study of Harlene Anderson's Collaborative Therapy.
In 2005, shortly after my first daughter's birth I developed severe postpartum depression. The medical care I received included anti-depressant medications, therapy, and attendance of a day program. I also benefitted from the support of community organizations that help mothers.
I want to become involved in Families Matter: a local agency that supports mothers and families, and offers group and peer support for women facing postpartum depression and psychosis. I received support from this agency myself, during a time when very few community resources existed form new mothers facing a mental health diagnosis related to postpartum.
Families Matter (Website)
When the Bough Breaks: A Documentary about Postpartum Depression
Shields, B. (2005). Down Came The Rain: My journey through postpartum depression. New York, NY: Hachette Books.
(This book by was the first resource I found and it helped me to have courage to speak openly about my experience.)
I am including a brief article for a local magazine, Birthing Magazine, in support of mothers.
Helping women love themselves
LOVING YOUR BODY - NO MATTER YOUR SIZE
I experienced significant weight gain throughout my postpartum depression. Long before I worked on returning to physical fitness and strength, I focused on unconditional self-acceptance. I healed the shame of weight gain and began the work of returning to self-acceptance and love, with a lot of hard personal work.
I want to help women develop the self-love and acceptance necessary to begin a healthier way of relating with our bodies. I envision working with other health professionals to assist women in establishing lifestyle practices that support healthy living, at whatever weight, with a grounding in unconditional self-love and body-positivity.
The Body Positive (website)
I am including an article published in Birthing Magazine.
THRESHOLD SINGING AND BEDSIDE PRESENCE
I plan on continuing my training and education in the organization of Threshold Choir International. After a leave of absence to accommodated my MSW program, I plan on establishing new threshold group with a focus on developing a contemplative and mindful approach to bedside presence.
I am also very interested in becoming involved in the supports that exist for people choosing MAID in Calgary. I have been in conversations with members of Dying with Dignity, and hope to continue to become involved in this organization.
SELF-CARE FOR SOCIAL WORKERS
Workshops in Authentic Self-Valuing
I would like to build on the presentation I created with a fellow MSW student, and to offer a workshop exploring critical reflection on concepts of self-care and burnout for social work practitioners. The idea is not so much to encourage social workers to engage in our typical understanding of what self-care is (baths, drinking water, doing yoga). Our construct of self-care tends to be very isolating. Instead we can search together for ways to value our selves and each other, support authentic hope for a better world, engage in practices and behaviours that bring us together as social workers, and deconstruct constructs such as the self struggling against burnout in isolation.
I am interested in pursuing involvement with the Alberta College of Social Workers, and joining or creating some movement around collective/self-care for professionals.
TRAINING, COURSES, CERTIFICATIONS
I am interested in pursuing these trainings in the near future.
It may take a little bit of time and convincing my family to let me leave them for a week, but I hope to attend the training session At the Vancouver School for Narrative Therapy in the next year or two. Studying with Dr. Stephen Madigan and all the other faculty would be amazing. In the meantime, there is a vibrant community of Narrative Therapist in Calgary, who organize workshop and events in town.
September - November 2017
Dr. Neufeld's work is centred on Attachment Theory.
Some of the topics addressed include:
-the psychological changes at puberty that impact adolescents and those that parent and work with them
-how to deal with the premature loss of power and influence with an adolescent
-the rites of passage that must be endured for the adolescent to mature
-how to recognize when rebellion is healthy or a result of adults being replaced by peers.
INTRODUCTION TO HAKOMI
I very interested in learning about body-psychotherapy. I look forward to attending the introductory training weekend being offer this September. As a very intellectual and "heady" person, I am curious about learning to connect with my experiences through the body. I am attracted to the core principles in Hakomi:
Hakomi’s core principles of gentleness, compassion, mindfulness, and going with the grain, stem from Buddhism and Taoism. (...) Hakomi is the therapeutic expression of a specific set of Principles: Unity, Mind/Body/Spirit Holism, Organicity, Mindfulness and Non-Violence. These tenets inform every aspect of the work. (retrieved http://hakomicalgary.ca/about/)