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Trauma, Self-Care and #MeToo | November Meet-up Recap

First, a shout out of gratitude to Susan Rochow, Registered Psychologist with Eckert Psychology and Education Centre, for being a guest facilitator! Our meet-up conversation this month took us through...
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When the “C” Word Visits Your House

  You never forget the day you're told your kid has cancer. December 6, 2001. My boy was diagnosed with a Wilm’s Tumour when he was 10-months-old. It’s a tumour that...
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Perspective: September BFF Meetup Recap

Our conversations during our free monthly meet-ups take us in a variety of directions, and in order to ensure we circle back for reference, we’re going to start posting these resource blogs...
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Cats and Forgiveness (August Meet-up Recap)

Our conversations during our free monthly meet-ups take us in a variety of directions, and in order to ensure we circle back for reference, we’re going to start posting these resource blogs...
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Two Frogs Across Canada and Their Place in My Heart

Did you know that one in three girls and one in five boys will be victims of unwanted sexual activity before the age of 18? I do, now. Thanks to the...
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June BFF Meet-up Recap & Resources

Our conversations during our free monthly meet-ups take us in a variety of directions, and in order to ensure we circle back for reference, we're going to start posting these...
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Trauma’s Effect on the Brain: A Case Study

Corey Deacon, neuroscientist at Neurvana Health, conducted brain mapping (QEEG) for a few members of Breaking Free Foundation, so we could learn a bit more about brain chemistry, trauma and...
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The day bullying pushed me to the edge

As a member of the Breaking Free Foundation team, and open advocate and Victor, many people are familiar with my trauma stories and struggles with PTSD. And part of my ongoing conversation...
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The link between child bullying and adult PTSD

Today is Pink Shirt Day, an awareness initiative focused on anti-bullying, a topic that rarely gets associated with trauma, but it should. Recent updates to the definition of PTSD, as well as...
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EMDR 101: What is it and how does it work?

If you've ever attended one of our BFF meet-ups, you've likely heard Theo Fleury talk about his successes with EMDR therapy. When it comes to trauma treatment, this particular type of...
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Real People Share on the Benefits of Therapy

The benefits of verbalizing our feelings by talking to a therapist, have long been proven to help us on a therapeutic and scientific level. But if you've never experienced therapy before,...
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Blue skies, ropes and not-so-private parts

What a gorgeous, blue sky day. As he cinched the rope around my waist, I instinctively knew this was no blue sky, innocent outing. I begged Mom not to make...
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The Most Offensive 4 Letter Word I Know

For all of you who tuned into this blog, just waiting to expand your vocabulary with the most offensive swear word I know, you'll be happily disappointed. The word is...
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Media Literacy Week: How the Media Can Better Support Trauma Survivors

*This was originally posted on the 'Conversations with a Rattlesnake' blog It's Media Literacy Week in Canada. The media has many important roles, and timely and sensitive coverage of stories can...
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Tips for responding to trauma and mental health disclosures

Trauma and mental health issues are not necessarily more prevalent now, but the awareness about these issues is certainly growing. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 57 per cent of...
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“December 18, 2003”

This day started out like many of my other days in university except that it was the day before I was leaving to go home for Christmas break. I had...
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Forgiveness Trumps Hate

In light of the the Graham James parole request that is making headlines across the country today, Theo Fleury has decided to forego making a comment about this story, and instead use...
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Ripple Effect: The Widespread Trauma of Shootings

Trauma is defined as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience, a definition that describes mass shootings and terrorist attacks perfectly. Violence, especially when it's targeted towards a specific group, has...
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What Art Taught Me About Sexual Abuse

Today is my last day of counselling for the treatment of sexual abuse. I went to 25 sessions, spread out over two long years. When I started, probably fortunately, I had...
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Sleeping in a Safety Net: a Metaphor for My PTSD

I recently returned from a month-long trip working and living abroad, in Indonesia. The trip was amazing, but my PTSD presented a fair set of challenges for myself and my roommates....
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The State of Mental Health in Canada

It's Mental Health Week in Canada, a time for our country to reflect on the elephant in the room—mental health. Mental health affects every Canadian, whether directly or indirectly; 20 per cent...
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How to Cope: Dealing with Trauma of Natural Disasters

By definition, trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience, a definition that natural disasters fits right into. When Mother Nature's wrath wreaks havoc, it can take both a physical...
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Sexual Assault in the Workplace: Compassion Trumps Credibility

Sexual assault in the workplace is a serious issue, an issue that has garnered a lot of extra attention as of late, with many big companies facing allegations and investigations...
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Connection, Growth and Change. It all matters

The Board and I recently participated in a team building workshop. Each of us had a different idea or expectation of what was going to transpire, and I think it’s...
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What to expect at your first therapy session

Going to see a therapist for the first time, can be understandably nerve-racking, but if you know what to expect it it will likely put you at ease. Understand that...
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The BFF Chair shares her mental health story with CMHA

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in Calgary launched a 60 day initiative recently, to help end stigmas surrounding mental health and addiction. Each day, their website featured stories about resilience, strength and hope in healing. The Breaking Free Foundation Chair, Amber Craig, shared her story on the CMHA blog. Her piece:
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I missed RAK Day. I felt guilty. I wrote.

Yesterday was Random Acts of Kindness Day and somehow I missed it. I was offline for most of the day but it still seemed weird that I was completely unaware....
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The Elephant in the Room

What an appropriate mental picture of our unsaid words and unresolved issues. We may not physically see the "elephant", but boy is it there! "When you avoid something, you automatically...
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Meet Shandra Carlson: Foundation Administrator for BFF

January is a very exciting month for the Breaking Free Foundation, not just because we're looking ahead at all the great things to come in 2016, but because we welcomed...
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My Heroine’s Journey

In my past life I was a counsellor at an organization that provided support for women and children who were experiencing homelessness, poverty and family violence. It took me a...
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Orange the World: Ending Violence Against Women and Girls

November 25th marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which is the start of a 16-day activism campaign against gender-based violence. From 25 November, the International...
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‘Room’ Perfectly Paints the Ripple Effects of PTSD

  **Spoiler alert: if you have not read the book 'Room', or watched the movie, you may want to wait to read this blog until after you do so.  The...
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Child Abuse Awareness Month: Responding to Disclosures

October is Child Abuse Awareness Month in Canada, and now is the time to pay attention to an epidemic in our country—one-third of Canadians have been abused as a child....
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Your Story is Unique, Share It

I have heard many stories, shared in deep sadness and pain, and also been witness to the immense inner-strength and resilience present in so many people affected by trauma. However,...
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Stress Response: How Slow Breathing Slows us Down

  Previously published on the 'Conversations with a Rattlesnake' blog.  When we are in a stressful situation or state of mind, “fight or flight” comes into play as a response....
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If you must call me something, you can call me “strong”.

  Labels. When I look back at my life thus far, it seems every segment of it has been defined by a label someone gave me. My biggest mistake, was...
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A letter for men, from a sexually abused woman

                This is a letter to the men out there. Men in my past, men in my life now, and the men I’ll...
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The Healing Benefits of Writing About Trauma

When someone experiences something traumatic, whether first-hand or by witnessing, they can develop stress reactions or develop PTSD. Symptoms of trauma can range from flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, detachment to disorders...
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