Barrie Uncovered

Shifting Focus – Mainstream Therapy

A Message from Angel Powers at Mainstream Therapy...

“Here we go again!  Another lockdown and another disappointment.  More stress, more worry.  More uncertainly.  I’m not one to add to the problem because I am a solution – focused person.”

“However, that being said, we cannot deny frustration accompanied by the on-going state of affairs that are out of our control.”

“While it I important to express your frustrations to an appropriate person – I get it, call me.  I offer a 30 – minute free consultation.  Call me…we can chat about it.”

“How about we focus on tender love and care for ourselves.  One thing I know for sure is that we are all connected by grief due to the loss of many things over the course of the last year.  Loss of jobs, fiancés, security, loved ones and life in general.  Grief connects us all in some way…right now.”

“One thing I find myself helping people with right now is shifting focus.  Shifting focus on what I can control right now.  I cannot control school closures, business closures, vaccine rollout, or how other people choose to handle the pandemic.  What I do have control over is how I show up in my life for myself and my loved ones.”

Expectations...

Parents, we are not meant to wear the many hats that we have to wear right now.  The expectation that you can be a teacher, a parent, and a worker is too much.  Take a look at what you’re expecting for yourself.  Are your expectations realistic?  An expectation is a resentment waiting to happen.  Where can you make a shift and move towards a realistic expectation for yourself?  Can you ask for help for your children for school?  Can they miss a day?  Can you shift the focus toward connection and away from perfection?

A Childs Brain

Our kids have been through so much this year!  They are spent!  They are done!  From a development perspective, their brains are not developed enough to handle all this uncertainty and stress.  The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional expression, problem-solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behaviors.  It doesn’t fully develop until the age of 25 (give or take).  The frontal lobe is considered the “control panel” of the brain.  If your kids are having meltdowns or seem moody or irritable; it’s because they might not be able to decipher that the March break was supposed to happen in March not April….and that isn’t “normal” to them and they don’t know what to expect.  Routine gives children a sense of safety, isn’t it safe to say that all our world routines are out of whack right now.  Take it easy on them and yourself!

Nurture Yourself

We are people too.  Don’t forget about nurturing yourself, with the responsibilities that you’re putting on yourself, as well as what others expect from us; how often do you stop and actually take time for yourself?

Here’s a gentle reminder…  It’s okay to say no.  It’s okay to miss a day.  It’s okay to not be okay…and it’s 100% okay to ask for help!

The Trouble With Independence

Independence is a trauma response.  I’m talking to the “Wonder Woman” or “Superman”….the “I can do it on my own because I have always had to” attitude.  We aren’t meant to do it on our own.  The reality is that this superior independence is a trauma response because you don’t feel supported or you’re not supported.  You have learned from a young age that you couldn’t rely on anyone.  Human beings area wired for connection.  This state of independence is a safety behavior because you may not trust the human connection.  I urge you to lean on your friends, family and community.  Call someone and talk it out.  You are not alone!

The Reality Is...

When you have to choose between the math test and teaching your children how to cook or do household chores – choose the chores.  Do not underestimate the benefits of teaching your children how to cook, do laundry or manage a budget with grocery shopping.  Heck! Get them a pen pal and have them write a letter to someone in another province or country!

This is hard!  You are not doing it wrong!  You’ll make mistakes…and that’s okay!  When you make a mistake, try to do something different next time.

Always in Service.

Lovingly…

Angel

Written By: Angel Powers/Jane Laker

Photo Credit: Stephen Elliott

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Spring – A Time for Rebirth with Mainstream Therapy

Written as a Life Lesson by Angel Powers

As winter comes to an end and the temperature is warm, the ice melts, and buds begin to grow on trees; our earth is telling us it’s time for a new rebirth.

Many people look at spring as the “New year”; winter being the time for hibernation.

As the bear prepares food for winter and sleeps for the winter time it hibernates to rest and restore its body, its mind, and its soul.

When spring arrives it’s time for a rebirth, and new beginnings.

Is There Something that Needs to be Reborn Within You?

Perhaps with the nicer weather you’ve started moving your body more; I know I have after this long dreadful winter. I’ve been walking three days a week; up bright and early at 6 AM.

There are many times I’m just too tired and my scheduled day ahead seems too much, but I know if I get out and even move my body for a half an hour I will feel better.

Perhaps it’s time to clean your closet, or that bathroom sink that just tends to pile with stuff.

We live in a culture of instant gratification, and with this mindset also come an unhelpful thinking style called “all or nothing thinking“.

When we fall into these thinking traps, we cut ourselves off from achieving something before we even start.

We have the mindset of “Oh well, why bother!”  

“If I work out for a month and only lose 1 pound I think, its hopeless why should I even try.”

Learning From Nature!

We could learn this teaching from the earth itself; when the snow melts it doesn’t melt in one day.  You see when earth is changing seasons, if all the snow were to be melted in one day we’d be at risk of a flood. 

 When was the last time earth skipped winter?

The bird teaches us to look at things from the bigger picture. The turtle teaches us to assimilate to our surroundings, in the water it is fast and agile; on land agility is slow and steady.

When I’m too busy running around in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I miss these moments, these teachings that are available to me in abundance if I would just tune in.

Tips to use your environment and Body as a Vessel of Information

  1. Slow down simply by activating your breath. Start with your hand below your navel; while you inhale bring your hand up slowly to the top of your nose. As you exhale press your hand in a downward motion stopping when your arm reaches a full extension. Do this 7-10 times to activate a sense of calm.
  2. In our chaotic world, calm sometimes brings anxiety. Be present. Look around you. Notice your immediate environment. The walls, the floor, the temperature, what you’re wearing, who is there, the time of day, the day of the week, the day of the month and so on…. in this moment, there is nothing to fear, or to be nervous about.
  3. Say out loud or in your head (out loud is better if you can) a.) allow me to set aside everything I think I know to see a different perspective. b.) If my environment was trying to communicate something to me in this very moment what is it trying to teach me? c.) What can I learn from…. name your surroundings i.e. the brides, my kids, the dog, traffics, the song on the radio.

Recognize the Message

The truth is, our environment is constantly communicating with us, nudging us and teaching us what we need to know. The trick is to slow down long enough and to be open to the message we are receiving.

When we receive mail it is our job to open the envelope and read what’s inside. If you receive mail and stick it in a corner or throw it in the garbage and choose not to open it, you are choosing not to read the message that has been delivered to you. So, if you are the kind of person that opens your mail when it is delivered, could you choose to open the deliveries that are in constant supply to you everywhere you are?

MAINSTREAM THERAPY

Written by: Angel Powers/Jane Laker

Photo Credits: Stephen Elliott

Are you a Barrie based business looking to expand your digital footprint?  Let us know!  We can help get you Uncovered!

HERE WE GROW AGAIN!

HERE WE GROW AGAIN!

Something that I find truly wonderful is that we are finally de-stigmatizing mental health.  Mainstream Therapy is growing again to fill voids in the healthcare system.  Angel Powers, owner of Mainstream Therapy would like to introduce her team to us.

Angel’s team takes a creative and critical thinking perspective while assisting you in getting the most out of life.  What I really love when speaking to Angel is her ability to think outside the box. Mainstream Therapy is always looking for new ways to integrate healing and growth.  Angel herself would like everyone to know that they welcome partnerships with people who have ideas to help people grow.  Whether you’d like to book a consultation, or are interested in a partnership, call 705 717 2107

The team has been hard at work setting up group platforms for “Family Connectivity Workshops”.  Her team has been trained in modern up to date therapies; however they all use their ability to read people very well.  If you’re not comfortable talking to your therapist remotely (due to COVID) or face to face in an office – strap a pair of snowshoes on – your therapist will join you!

By blending the traditional and spiritual models of therapy, Angel and her team have created a perfect way to meet the needs of anyone seeking healing and change.

INTRODUCING ANGEL

Angel Powers is a Registered social service worker/intuitive coach and Reiki master who is known for her use of both traditional and non-traditional methods.  She offers individual counselling, child and youth counselling as well as mindfulness meditation.  In Angel’s words, “Your journey is your journey.  I’m a neutral party and active participant.  Together we will set goals and achieve them…I will help you get the most out of the life you want.”

INTRODUCING COURTNEY

Courtney Burden has both a Master’s degree and her social service worker designation.  Courtney’s passion shines through when working with couples and families in particular.  Well trained in the “Gottman Method” Courtney will help you to find the most positive relationship possible with your partner.  In Courtney’s words, “I integrate my experiences with substance abuse, family violence and loss into helping my clients find success through troubled times.  I am a strong advocate for normalizing therapy and mental health care.”

INTRODUCING LAURA

Laura Kyrkos graduated as a social service worker with honors.  Her true passion lies with assisting children and youth to navigate through our education system successfully while taking control of their mental well-being.  She has worked extensively supporting and transitioning children and youth who have been placed into community supported homes through the CAS.  In Laura’s words, “It’s time for a person-centered approach to healing; feeling better in a comfortable and flexible atmosphere that is specific to your needs.  We can work on exploring your thoughts, feelings and coping strategies to face life’s challenges with ease.”

INTRODUCING JENNY

And Finally…Our Newest Member – Jenny Wilson-Munn

Jenny is here to welcome you to a fresh start on a healing journey at Mainstream Therapy.  Before joining Mainstream Therapy, Jenny worked as an Educational Assistant with the County of Simcoe.  Those 18 years allowed her to interact with many children and young adults with developmental disabilities.  Her long-term experience in the service industry has taught her to meet and exceed each client’s needs within various settings.  On a personal level, Jenny believes in the power of positivity.  Her career experiences, training qualifications and wisdom gained through life has given her the ability to empower the core of our culture.  Jenny is a strong advocate for mindfulness practice and personal growth.  She looks forward to not only guiding you on your first steps through healing at Mainstream Therapy but to develop a relationship with you.  After all, we are people helping people.

REMEMBER...

If you have been struggling – with anything – anxiety, depression, guilt, motivation or feeling stuck, book a 30 minute complimentary telephone consultation.  There really is someone to talk to.

Are you a Barrie Based business looking to expand your digital footprint?  Let us know!  We can get you uncovered!

CHRISTMAS, COVID & KIDS

CHRISTMAS, COVID & KIDS

‘Tis soon the season to celebrate Christmas, but COVID is changing many of our traditions this year.  When it comes to family time, it may be best to preplan the holidays a bit more this time around.  As adults, there’s a very strong desire to fight change, and the kids in our lives feel our anxieties.

I spoke to Angel Powers of Mainstream Therapy today about how we can create a different yet meaningful Christmas this year.(https://mainstreamtherapy.com)  Angel is a clinical social worker/therapist who has been in the trenches helping so many work through the changes that COVID has been creating.

The first advice Angel gives is to turn negative thoughts into positive ones.  We can only think one way at a time and should always work at keeping everyone on the right track.  In Angel’s words; “Where focus goes – energy flows…if we’re constantly focusing on what’s missing and how disconnected we are, we’ll amplify those feelings.  Instead, if we focus on reframing the way we look at connectedness, we can turn a negative into a positive.  For instance, if I close my eyes and imagine I’m walking to the fridge to get a lemon, imagine that I’m cutting and smelling the lemon, even biting into it I will always salivate.  The reality is that our brains don’t know if we’re imaging the lemon or actually eating it…perhaps this could be a key component to helping fill the void of disconnectedness.”

She asks everyone to create new family traditions that can replace not being able to gather in our larger family groups this year.  Keeping close to home there are still wonderful activities to do as a family.  Angel has given us a few ideas, but we’d love to hear from you as well.  Share your ideas in the comment section…your thoughts may help someone in a difficult time!

Ideas from Angel

  1.  Take a walk through some of Barrie’s beautiful trails – taking pictures.  We are blessed with a wide variety of trails limiting no one.
  2. Take a drive as a family to check out the Christmas Lights. (Maybe even open your windows and sing carols as you go…could be fun!)
  3. On the East Coast, they call this “Mummering” – visiting neighbours to sing, play music or act silly – only because of COVID you’ll need to stay outside.
  4. Set up a “minute to win it” afternoon or evening.  The short games can be hilariously funny with little to no cost.  If you’re not sure of the games, search online, there are great ideas to be found.
  5. Start a Christmas movie tradition during the holidays.  The memories made watching movies as a family can last a lifetime.
  6. Create stories and relive funny Christmas memories.  We all have one or two of those.  You might be tickled pink at what wee ones come up with!
  7. Put away the electronics for an evening and drag out the board games -Who remembers the last time you played Risk?
  8. At the times you would have been together with other family and friends, arrange to get together via Face time or Zoom.  The seniors in your life may really appreciate that.

Most of all remember, Love has no bounds – focus on that.”  Keeping your thoughts on togetherness and closeness will help everyone to make this a Christmas to remember in a great way!

MAINSTREAM THERAPY

"When we hold ourselves back, we deprive the world of the gift that is you.
-Angel Powers

FrontLine Workers

Today I had the opportunity to speak with Therapist Angel Powers about the increasing need for seeking therapy during this Pandemic.  We discussed the shifts happening in mental health with various populations in the City.  According to Angel, our front line workers are starting to understand more than ever that therapy is a very important part of their personal health care regime.  The fear of many is that when the Pandemic is finally under control we’ll see many more front line workers breaking down once their “fight or flight” mode ceases to be necessary.  Angel firmly believes that everyone needs to be proactive and wise enough to start self-nuturing… front line workers most of all.

Our Youth

The next concern is for the youth of today.  During the summer Angel was able to hold youth circles outside with great success.  She now has set two platforms for youth circles via Zoom; children ages 9-12 and 13-16 years old.  She finds that there is a distinct increase of anxiety in our youth today.  Most noticed is that there is much more impulsive behavior and a lack of connection with their community.  This often ends up in our youth feeling harassed by adults over choices being made.  Angel understands the need for physical outlets so well that she’ll meet her clients at the batting cages, on the track or even hiking.  For this age group – that’s a definite plus!

Couples Therapy

Mainstream Therapy offers Couples Therapy as well, but notice that women in general recognize the need for therapy sooner.  They seem to understand when they are in an identity crisis and emotionally bankrupt.  Angel and her staff work diligently in de-stigmatizing the therapy process.  The therapists use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focus Therapy as well as Energy Work, including Reiki, Intuitive Training Therapy and Timeline Therapy.

Angel's Story

Angel’s own life story has compelled her to become a therapist, having been born into addiction and domestic violence.  By 8 years of age, Mom, Angel and her brother were in hiding in a women’s shelter, landing later in Vancouver where their names were changed.  During a freaky moment they were discovered in Vancouver causing them to flee with new names once again, to the East Coast this time.  Returning to Vancouver later, the family underwent intense therapy.  To make matters even more difficult Angel suffered a very nasty dog attack causing years of PTSD.  She attests to the value of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helping her to overcome her fears.

By 2012 Angel had started her career as a therapist, finally opening Mainstream Therapy in 2019.  She aspires to be Canada’s #1 Hub for Mental Health, Personal Development and Spiritual Growth.  During the Pandemic their business has moved online through Zoom, Facetime or over the phone.  As one client said, “The very fact that kept me from therapy was face to face.  The fact that it’s over the phone – that’s what I like the best.”

 5 STEPS TO SELF – HEALTH 

  1. Talk about your concerns with a professional if possible.  They are unbiased and can be openly honest.
  2. Monitor your “Check-outs”.  How often are you using alcohol, drugs, social media, t.v. or shopping to escape your reality?
  3. Take care of your body – it’s the only one you have.  Sleep, nutrition an exercise are vital.
  4. You are the average of the 5 people who surround you – connect with people who nurture you.
  5. Love yourself first – you’re better for everyone else when you do.

In closing, Angel tells me that at Mainstream Therapy it’s always about the client and navigating change.  It’s people helping people as we’re in this journey of human life together.  Make a choice and call Angel at (705) 717-2107.

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