Tag: mental health

Invited to write feature essay on Creativity, Artists & Mental Health

MHcompensation

Ian Thomas, Compensation, 2013 Slab-built, molded earthenware, slip, electric fired, paint, image transfer, charcoal, 18” x 8” x 8” thread, glue 96” x 84” x 48

 

Mid-Winter, I was commissioned to write the Feature Catalog Essay for The Society for Contemporary Crafts‘ upcoming exhibition,“Mindful: Exploring Mental Health Through Art.”

This will be a unique exhibition offering powerful artistic responses on the role creativity plays in self-expression and mental health, as well as looking at the links between artistic tendencies, attempts to live creatively, and mental dis-ease. 

Looking forward to reflecting and writing on this in the upcoming months….

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Far more admirable than getting what you want…

My Intro to Spiral, written in December, seems apropos to pull out this Spring a.m. ~

 

So often in life, outcomes disappoint us. We don’t end up with what we thought we wanted. We don’t understand what we actually have. We don’t become who we really wanted to be. And yet who we are right now holds such significance, as well as any keys to what we may later be.

We look for wellness and wholeness and strive to understand lack of ease and progress in our lives. But it overwhelms.  The truth must be in aiming high but preparing ourselves mentally for acceptance no matter where our understanding or achievements get us.

Success and fulfillment?  Maybe they are best defined as personal and professional accomplishment and growth regardless of whether we get exactly what we thought we so desired, or whether great money or fortune follows….

Surely we can be more well by striving for what we need, desire and hope to get a better handle on… yet at the same time letting go of outcomes.

Define what you aim for, what success or understanding or fulfillment would constitute for your self and life.

But recognize perhaps that more gratifying than making great money is to make a difference, to contribute, to create.

That far more admirable than getting what you want is understanding the situation you are in and making the very best of your understanding of this for your self and your life.

 

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Two pieces on Dysfunctional Families and the work of Dr. Charles Whitfield

“Helpful, good books have been written over the last few decades about dysfunctional families and the wounding that is often carried from childhood into adulthood. Many have incorporated the belief that children in such families adopt particular roles which help them to manage and ease the pain.

Dysfunctional families are affected by mental illness, trauma from tragedy, or simply by being headed by individuals with very poor parenting skills. There is no pretty way around that statement and plenty of authors have courageously and professionally touched the subject, as a simple Internet or library search will show….”

 

View this article where it was originally published on PsychCentral

Lisa A. Miles c 2013

 

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“Charles L. Whitfield’s 1987 book Healing the Child Within is aimed at adult children of dysfunctional families. The ideas he presented synced up with the 12-step recovery movements for families afflicted by alcohol and addiction (Al-Anon, Nar-Anon). It made perfect sense that the pain of those with alcoholic parents was similar to that of individuals in families whose parents were dysfunctional even if not abusing substances….”

 

View this article where it was originally published on PsychCentral

 

Lisa A. Miles c 2013

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Teaching Mental Health in Junior High

View this article where it was originally published on PsychCentral

 

“Some children might start identifying what they are going through at home with an ill parent; others could begin to formulate an entirely new way of being when it comes to the stress and tension they’ll meet with throughout life. Many lives could be potentially changed if young people from junior high on began to learn signs and symptoms….”

 

Lisa A. Miles c 2013

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Two Upcoming Speaking Engagements

I’m presenting for the 3rd time in 9 years at NAMI-PA’s statewide conference, Harrisburg, October 25-26.  

Title of presentation:  “Family Members as Treatment Team Coordinators.”  

Why is it that families are so kept out of the loop when it comes to the health of a loved one?  Caring, informed and involved family members must be the Treatment Team Coordinators for loved ones with mental illness and substance abuse!  More details TBA.

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I’m honored to have been invited by Ann Dugan (Founder & Asst. Dean, Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, Katz Graduate School of Business, Univ. of PGH) to be a featured Speaker/Program Leader in their prestigious 2014 Member Educational Series.

August 19, 2014, 8 – 10:30 a.m.  

My presentation will center around Emotional Intelligence & Cross-Disciplinary, Creative Applications in Business Coaching.

More details TBA

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Mental Health in the Form of a Home

chip&jesseMay2012

Lisa A. Miles c 2013   www.lisamilesviolin.com
All Rights Reserved

 

There was an interesting headline recently in the New York Times asking, “Can a House Confer Bliss?”

Despite its locale in the Real Estate section, I figured this article just had to delve into a wellness topic that was close to my own heart — finding serenity in a home.

The subhead, “Homeownership gets a knock from some experts in well-being,” though, made me sigh. Other people out there must get it, I had originally thought. Apparently not.

As the 20-year owner of an old house on a hill overlooking cityscape and rolling river valley, I have long known that a home can be a real harbor for the soul.
Was I just lucky, or crazy, or for some reason especially acclimated to this sensation that I love my house and even the ground it sits on? (Probably a little of all.) I do believe, though, that if it was a fairly good enough choice in the first place, where we put down roots can really become us.

I needed only scan the article a bit to see dismaying anecdotes, such as people unhappy with having to maintain a house rather than just clean an apartment. Many disliked the steep initial costs associated with (some) real estate purchases.

Readership was centered on New Yorkers, who ironically plunk down their earnings monthly on rents equivalent to full house down payments in other parts of the country. This article took the angle that a house, nevertheless, is just a big thing, and some people like experiences better than things. I am one of them. (My husband, on the other hand, likes things, and fills some rooms of our home accordingly.)

A house is much more than a thing. I will always steer people toward finding a place to truly call one’s own.

Nothing makes more sense financially. Equity aside, a house can confer bliss.

It is where loved friends and family are perhaps invited in for joyful parties; it is that place of peace, mainly, which recharges our batteries and can provide contentment and good feeling to rival that of therapy or marriage or job success. Well-matched, or at least adjusted to fit the style of personalities living in it, a house is a place of retreat from the outer world. (Who doesn’t occasionally need that?)

Finding or “making” one’s home is a gratification not unlike finding a career. It shelters and nourishes, and is an extension of the self. Indeed, where we plant ourselves should be a balm in our life.

The rooms of our old place provide me comfort and happiness, quite simply. Outside, sitting on a patch of the sloped ground, my eye adjusts to points far past while under a canopy of trees, and stillness fills me. It is literally my one favorite place in all of the world, this backyard. It is our own.

There I find the drug of satisfaction and peace, amid a life that has known a little frenzy.

 

Image:  Chip & Jesse (Vojta)

This piece was originally published on PsychCentral

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Going After Goals Yet Letting Go of Outcomes

bestbluemask_L

 

 

A recent article of Christine Lattimer of the UK inspired me to think on Goals/ Outcomes further–

Good advice in article, esp. ‘Going After a Goal’ but being able to “Let Go of the Outcome” at same time~ How true in business, career and interpersonally!  (This adage should be in all such, as well as mental health and employee EAP program, “manuals”…and indeed is found in some).

This is an important truth in life, especially when disappointments of any kind get us down.  We must aim high but  prepare ourselves mentally to feel satisfied when high outcomes are not in the cards for us.  Similarly, we must define success as personal and professional accomplishment regardless of whether great money, “following”/fame, and traditional definitions of “success” in personal and relationship happiness occurs.  

Define what you aim for.  Define success for yourself.   Though making great money (or at least a decent living) is always desirable,  more gratifying for sure is to do good work, to make a difference, to contribute, to create.  

Ask yourself–What have you actually done?  

What would you like to do?  Get to it.  Then the outcomes might even surprise you.

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Zen & Martial Arts Life-Lessons on the Path Around Anger

 

Psych Central

 

Awareness of when anger and conflict are imminent, and then using best practices to completely deflect or even transform it is one of many core truths in Zen and martial arts.

See this article where it was originally published on PsychCentral

 

 

Lisa A. Miles c 2013

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Motivational Enhancement Therapy: For Substance Abuse & More

 

 

Psych Central

 

 

Motivational Enhancement Therapy could go a long way toward offering new insights to those affected by the varied symptomatology of many mental illnesses, as well as interpersonal and professional human relations…

See this article where it was originally published on PsychCentral

 

Lisa A. Miles c 2013

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MH in school curriculum

Re-reading a reply of mine to a comment posted on one of my articles made me desire to post it alone.  Like money skills, which are not taught as part of most junior high and high school curriculums (and I mean dealing with ill-minded banks, not just balancing your checkbook)–  mental health awareness is also given the shaft.  

Dealing with our emotions and stressors is something that should be a part of the curriculum in schools. If only mental health were considered as important as gym class…. (and we know it is even more important, as the foundation for somatic health)!

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