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ANZAC DAY 2020 – For the Veterans
And the families who love them For me personally Anzac Day brings up a lot of memories of my father Major Bradley Richards who sadly passed four years ago this May. His years of service brought many incredible memories, some he would share, many he wouldn't, it also brought up a lot of difficult feelings that at times I saw him struggle with. I am sharing this updated post one year on but in such different circumstances. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of traditional Anzac Day services for the first time since World War II but it is...
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Supporting Your Eating-disordered Loved One This Christmas
Feelings, not Food. Connection, not Control. Supporting Your Eating-disordered Loved One This Christmas: “A focus on the food misses the boat completely and locates the problem in the food, when in reality the problem is in the struggle to stay viably connected to others.” For families where what happens at the dinner table has come to whisper of whether their loved one will cope or collapse, live or die, meal times become horribly tense or conflictual encounters that everyone dreads. Eating a meal with your anorexic, bulimic or body dysmorphic child or partner is no walk in the park and...
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When helping is hindering
Understanding Enabling Enabling is the word most often used to describe the behaviours of … being over-responsible in another person’s life whilst they are under-responsible.perceiving a loved one to be less capable than ourselves and doing for them what they are capable of doing for themselves. protecting our loved one from the natural consequences of their own behaviour and absorbing these consequences for them.engaging in a level of care or involvement in the person’s life and problems that is not age-appropriate, or that is out of alignment with the person’s reality needs. When working with alcohol and drug-addicted people, and the families who...
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Divergent Principles
‘It’s the Principle of the Thing’ One of the hardest experiences for families to manage is when the principles of one of its members diverge from what the family considers to be their collective family principles. This can happen in subtle ways in any family on any day of the week, but it happens in very striking and gross ways when people are caught in an addiction or other mental health crisis. People do not behave at their best when they are drowning in their own struggle.  Principles fall by the wayside, usurped by the need to simply survive, the...
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Myth, Medicine and Paradox in Suicide Prevention
As R U OK Day and World Suicide Prevention Day rolled past, much was stirred in me around suicide. I have worked with many suicidal people over the years and have brushed up against the looming spectre of it in my own family more than once. I have come closer than I would ever like to come again to losing someone I love dearly to suicide, and I have often been a witness to the aftermath of suicide, as families grapple with the tragedy that is left in its wake. How things end in suicide for people is nuanced and complex,...
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Why Women’s Health Week isn’t the key to your wellbeing: you are!
As I scrolled over the media surrounding Women’s Health Week in anticipation of adding to the discussion, I felt an unease wash over me and wondered how I was going to contribute when what I saw didn’t ignite within me any sort of inspiration. There was nothing ‘wrong’ with what I saw; images of happy and healthy women, contributions from wellbeing experts and a plethora of suggestions on how to reach optimum wellbeing, it was more about what I felt …which was less encouraged and more pressure to look outside rather than in for my best possible self. So…. instead...
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