Writing Blog Posts??? So - Not - Me!
By Kelly Ainslie, MC, BSW, RSW, RCC
“Be careful with your words. Once they’re said, they can only be forgiven not forgotten.”
I am a helping professional – a registered social worker and mental health clinician. I will write for courses I teach, and for client’s who need professional reports, but I have not been inclined to write for the sake of writing. So, when I moved to a new province, and had to start a business from scratch, right after being told to create a website, I was informed I needed to blog. This is contrary to everything I have done up to this point. I am used to co-constructing my conversations – sharing my ideas in a one-sided forum is new, and a bit scary. My way around the one-sided dialogue – I will be sharing my co-constructed conversations and experiences!
In order to do this blog, I knew I couldn’t just write about another person’s stuff – regurgitate a bunch of information that everyone has heard before. You know what I mean? The “Five Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety Today” or “Do You Have Depression – Check Yourself Here!” That’s not to say this isn’t important information, and indeed, much of what I plan to share will be in conjunction with various therapeutic approaches, with all relevant, accompanying language attached! But this will include my experiences with each said therapy. I needed to share my real-life experiences as a helping professional, because these are all approaches, techniques, or methods I have done or tried on myself, with friends and family, or often with the help of some amazing clients! I want my blog to reach people who want to know that there has been success, or not, with different therapeutic techniques. And just because I have not had success with a certain modality, it does not mean that there isn’t a slew of other counsellors out there who have had success; again, these are MY experiences.
So, whether you have happened upon my blog for yourself personally, or as a therapeutic practitioner, remember to take this information as one helper’s experiences. I am setting out to give you my encounters and insights (over 2 decades and counting!) of working in all kinds of government and private work settings, with many different populations of clients experiencing a variety of physical, psychological and social problems. I have provided unique supports and services to each of them. I have been fortunate enough to have these experiences, and now I will share them with you. Please know that any client examples provided have been changed to honor their privacy, while still capturing my experiences with each.
I do want to emphasize that this is a BLOG POST. This is not a means of self-treatment. If you are reading this thinking this is the self-help page you’ve been looking for, it’s not! These are my experiences as a helping professional, but they do not replace the importance of a healthy, meaningful therapeutic relationship. If you fell and broke your leg, you would go to a doctor to get it examined, x-rays, and have a cast put on. While wearing a cast, you would need crutches to move around successfully. You would then have the doctor check it for when the cast was ready to be removed, and once done, it will take a bit to walk properly again, sometimes with the support of your crutches for a bit longer. You would not look up a blog post after breaking your leg to get the appropriate treatment. Mental health therapists are like the crutches you can use while you heal. With the knowledge that eventually, you will be able to walk on your own again without supports. Please seek help if needed. Checking your mental health is as important as following up with an exam from your doctor, or an appointment with your dentist. Poor mental health functioning can affect all areas of your wellbeing, including your physiological health. If you notice that you are experiencing mental health symptoms that are impeding your relationships and/or your regular day-to-day functioning, and these symptoms are not going away, or are getting worse, please seek counselling supports.
Moving forward on this journey together… Kelly
Kelly Ainslie is a mental health clinician, holding Interprovincial Registration as a Social Worker and as a Registered Clinical Counsellor in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. Kelly specializes in meeting the unique counselling needs of women, couples, older adults, and vulnerable populations diagnosed with intellectual disabilities.