Dr Wendy’s Blog

Dr Wendy’s Blog

Through Dr Wendy’s blog I aim to provide helpful and informative posts that add to the personal and professional lives of my readers.

With over 30 years as a health professional (clinical, education and research), I have a strong interest in better education and training for all people working with people. I’m passionate about things like Professional Boundaries, Nursing, Training, Professional Supervision, links between childhood trauma and mental illness and workplace bullying. I’ve been training in Psychodrama for over 20 years  – some might say a life-long learning – and I’m committed to using experiential learning in the work I do with individuals and groups.

I also have the great honour of being invited to regularly present and facilitate at national & international conferences on the topics of boundaries, bullying and mental health in the workplace.

I hope that you’ll take a few moments to see what I have to say, and I encourage you to respond with your comments. I’d love to hear your opinions and insights on the topics I discuss here, to have you a part of this conversation…

To read a post, click on either the title of the post, or the ‘more’ link at the end of an entry below.

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Professional Boundaries and Cultural Bias

Posted by on 15 Mar, 2016 in Boundaries, Boundaries, Dr Wendy's Blog, Workshops | 1 comment

Professional Boundaries and Cultural Bias

Professional Boundaries and Cultural Bias

Sometimes the obvious connections slip to the edge of my consciousness. I had not made a specific link between professional boundaries and cultural bias until a couple of weeks ago.

I was invited to facilitate a seminar for Interpreters on the theme of Cultural Bias. As I was researching content for the seminar, and more specifically, from the discussions during the seminar, light bulbs started going off in my brain. Neuroscientists would say it was the sparking of my neurons – however I like the image of the light bulb, I guess I just have to be careful when I switch the light bulbs off and on.

(more…)

Why You Want Critical Feedback

Posted by on 7 Apr, 2015 in Boundaries | 0 comments

Why You Want Critical Feedback

Today I thought I would write about feedback, specifically what is known as critical feedback.

I have experienced critical feedback that has had both a positive and a negative impact on me. In reflection what has made the difference has been the delivery style of the individual who has given me the feedback. Where I experienced that the individual giving the feedback actually did have my best interests at the centre of their interaction with me I took in what they said and allowed myself to digest and make my sense of what they were saying. I felt able to approach them later to ask for clarification which also helped me to come to decisions.

(more…)

Reflecting for a moment…

Posted by on 15 Jan, 2015 in Dr Wendy's Blog, Good reads | 0 comments

Reflecting for a moment…

A new year begins and with it endless possibilities and choices for the present and future. I received a lovely present in the post today. A calendar of photos which captured moments from a holiday I had in Italy last year, was hand delivered. Only twelve seconds were captured and yet so much more time, emotion, thoughts and friendships are held in those seconds. How many lifetimes do we humans live in a second? If we were to capture 60 seconds of delight, joy and enjoyment that we experienced in a day how much richer would we be, I wonder.

I have also been delighting in the daily photos and videos that I receive via email of my great niece born last month in Scotland. I see her face change as she takes in her environment and the actions and voices of those who engage with her. I enjoy very much all of the seconds that I watch her. The magic of the internet to be so close to someone and at the same time thousands of miles away. Amazing. (more…)

Welcome to 2014

Posted by on 24 Jan, 2014 in Boundaries, Boundaries, Dr Wendy's Blog, Nursing | 0 comments

Welcome to 2014
Welcome to 2014

Welcome readers, to another year. What does 2014 hold for you, your family and your community? What specific plans have you made for the year in terms of holidays, study, changing jobs or developing a new skill for the job your currently hold? Is this the year to start that activity that you have been talking about for some time? That book you always wanted to read, has it been purchased yet? If so have you made the book visible to remind you of your wish to explore the writing held in the pages?

I ask these questions of myself as much as to you. When I actually allow myself time to pause and consider there are many things that I have put on hold for a number of years. I say to friends “I will do that one day”. I might even set a plan I will do a certain activity by a specific date. The date comes and goes and somehow I have managed to fit something else into the space. The book sits beckoning, the golf clubs become a beautiful landscape for spiders to weave upon and the book that I want to write remains unwritten. Yet I have not given up on these plans, they remain planted in me and yes I will get there.

On a different topic yet somehow related I invite you to look at a new TED talk posted in December 2013. It is well worth a visit. The speaker is Andrew Solomon and he talks about depression – his experience of being depressed and also depression as a broader theme. He starts his presentation by saying “I felt a funeral in my brain” and I was intrigued. One word that he used several times during his presentation really resonated with me, VITALITY. As a mental health professional for over thirty years, I do not think I have been so awakened to the nexus between depression and vitality.

As I listened to Andrew, I considered the restrictive language that I have used as a health professional when talking about depression. It is as if the word itself or perhaps our interpretation of depression creates a void in using a more extensive, elaborate, and descriptive language. Then I wonder in what ways the language we use when interviewing individuals who have depression may actually assist in keeping a depressive theme going? What would be altered if we were to ask questions about vitality? I suspect we would witness different stories emerging from the folks we engage with. Give it a go next time you talk with someone. Be curious about vitality, what does it mean to and for you?

Wendy

http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_depression_the_secret_we_share.html [Photo by LadyDragonflyCC – >;< via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons]

Are you Crossing the Line?

Posted by on 8 Apr, 2013 in Boundaries, Boundaries, Dr Wendy's Blog, Nursing | 0 comments

Are you Crossing the Line?
Crossing the Line?

I have just returned from Adelaide where Colleen and I ran a one-day workshop, “Crossing the Line”, on Professional Boundaries as part of the Nurses for Nurses Conference held there 14th & 15th March. Those who have been to one of our boundary workshops will know that this is an area of professional passion for me. I’m always delighted to meet with a group of participants and share what I have learned, and also to hear their professional stories of boundary intrigue and transgression.

As part of my introduction to the boundary workshops, I share with the group that the content could easily fill four or five days training. In fact, at a recent workshop one participant suggested a five day residential and I am warming up to that idea for 2014.

Generally by lunch time on day one, participants express to me,

I can see how this could be five days long, I did not previously appreciate the complexities of professional boundaries.

This gladdens my professional heart to see so early on in the workshop that participants are delighting in their understanding of the depth of knowledge required to maintain safe boundaries in the clinical arena.

In professional boundary work I have done with individuals and groups I have become increasingly aware of the relevance of boundaries in order to maintain one’s own well-being (and that of the client). With knowledge and skills gained through participation in our workshops and through robust and challenging discussions, action and role plays, individuals inform us later,

I can go to work now, set limits, enjoy the day, feel satisfaction with what I have done, and enjoy being with my family.

For some this awakening has moved them from a state of negativity about their work to enjoying the work they do. For others, its a relief to learn that its okay to say ‘no’, to set limits and that indeed, in terms of professional ethics, it can be a requirement of the professional role.

I believe that an integral missing link to boundary maintenance is having a good understanding about attachment theory. I believe attachment theory offers an insightful lens through which to understand, create and maintain boundaries. Just as clients may become attached to professionals, I believe that professionals can also become too attached to clients. This opens up both parties (and potentially their respective families) to ab area of professional investigation that many would never have envisaged. Attachment theory and boundaries are a realm that I will write more about in future blog posts, so stay tuned.

To me, boundaries encompass all that it is to be human and a professional. I like a quote by Schimelpfening (2007),

Boundaries are the emotional and physical space that we place between ourselves and others. Setting proper boundaries is important to our mental health. When appropriate boundaries are not set, we run the risk of becoming either too detached from or too dependent upon others.

As always, I welcome conversation and comments from you about my blog posts.

Wendy

Ref: Schimelpfening, N. (2007). about.com.health. Accessed http:// depression.about.com/29/12/2010

Do You Inhabit The Third Space

Posted by on 26 Jan, 2013 in Dr Wendy's Blog, Recommended Reads, self-care | 0 comments

Do You Inhabit The Third Space
The Third Space

I love encountering books that expand my understanding of my actions and specifically how I conduct myself in relationship to others. The Third Space, by Adam Fraser (Random House 2012), is such a book. For me, the main focus of the book was the importance of becoming thoughtful about transitioning.  This is the Third Space of the title – the time we spend switching between first and second space (where I am currently, to where I want to be).

Each time I read another chapter in the book I observe an excitement in me about the possibilities that I can create for myself in my personal and professional life. Thus transitions that I make must be meaningful to me. (more…)

Local Editorial Love

Posted by on 19 Jan, 2013 in Dr Wendy's Blog, Lockyer Valley, Workshops | 0 comments

Local Editorial Love
Hot off the press

Our very own Laidley newspaper, “The Valley Weekender”, has kindly given us a local editorial feature in their first 2013 edition.

The newspaper publishes each fortnight, and includes local news, events, and articles about Laidley and Lockyer Valley residents, and towns.

The 18th January, 2013 edition includes features about the Laidley swimming pool, a pilot programme for a local bus service, mention of a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at the Laidley Library and some great ideas to celebrate Australia Day.  Where else are you going to find details Yabby Races and Dunny Races. There’s even an article about the Miss Pinup Australia contest entrant, Miss Sheree Sherbet, for those who just love all things vintage.  We wish Miss Sheree well for the State Finals in February.  We’re proud to be in such fine company in this publication, and excited that local folks will learn of Davaar’s training and workshops this way. (more…)

The Times they aren’t a changin’

Posted by on 15 Jan, 2013 in Dr Wendy's Blog, Mental Health | 0 comments

They knew that, back then?

Hello fellow travellers of interesting ideas and curious wonderment.

I have included in this entry an extract from the inestimable The Times newspaper from 1853, cited in a book I am currently reading:

The Times - 1853

Nothing can be more slightly defined than the line of demarcation between sanity and insanity. Make the definition too narrow, it becomes meaningless, make it too wide, and the whole human race becomes involved in the dragnet. In strictness we are all mad when we give way to prejudice, to vice, to vanity: but if all the passionate, prejudiced and vain people were locked up as lunatics, who is to keep the key to the asylum? Cited in Summerscale, (2008:342).
(more…)

Hello, 2013

Posted by on 2 Jan, 2013 in Boundaries, Complex Trauma, Dr Wendy's Blog, Workshops | 0 comments

Hello, 2013
Hello, 2013

A hearty welcome to 2013 and I hope that you had a celebratory time over Christmas and New Year.

Here at Davaar its time for us to focus on the year ahead, in terms of workshops and training for 2013.  If you’ve taken a look at our calendar you’ll be aware that we have a busy year already scheduled and there’s still more in the pipeline. (more…)

Nursing News from Buffalo, NY

Posted by on 22 Dec, 2012 in Dr Wendy's Blog, Nursing | 0 comments

Nursing News from Buffalo, NY
Exciting news for nursing, in Buffalo, NY

I have a strong commitment to strengthening nursing identity and professionalism and where possible will inform you about achievements of colleagues with whom I have travelled in the world of nursing. (more…)

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