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Showing posts from 2015

Terror, Tears, Trials and Triumph. 2015, A year that has enabled new beginnings and solidified me. Mairead Ashcroft 30/12/15

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What a year !!! It was a time of tumultuous self understanding and extreme life experiences. It was a time of love, sadness, confusion, victory and joy. The year began with my knowing that after 16 long, long years, I would finally face my childhood sexual abuser, Brother Bernard Hartman from the Marianist Catholic order, in court. https://www.facebook.com/events/406451209531857/
The date was set for the 20th April. The waiting was drawing to a close and I was looking forward contributing to furthering the protection of other potential victims. To mark the event I planned a gathering at Altona Beach to raise awareness if Childhood Sexual Abuse.                                                                  As the time of the trial was coming close our family was engulfed in a disaster of what seemed, at the time, meteorologic proportions. My youngest daughter was hit by a car which resulted in a severe spinal fractures requiring intensive surgery and blood transfusions. I have never…

The Irresistible Psychology of Fairy Tales What can explain the recent explosion of interest in classic folk stories? By Ellen Handler Spitz

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Reducing Stigma around Mental Illness. I am one of the few who is employed because of, not dispite of mental illness, which had added very unusual dimentions to my life. Mental illness, like any illnes, can offer life fulfilling understandings of the self and all that it means to be me.

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Bipolar Disorder - Guide to learn more about the illness and treatments available.

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The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!

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The Journey of Mental Illness : "Experiencing mental illness is like a journey with a number of stages. Understanding the different impacts of these stages helps us to manage them better and move towards recovery." SANE Australia

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Coping with Pet Loss Grieving the Death of a Dog or Cat and Moving On. It has been 12 months since my little Daisy Dog was taken by canine lymphoma. I still chat to her occasionally and my memories of great times spent with her give me joy today.

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THE WELL OF BEING: I am honoured to be a speaker at this FREE Midsumma event. All are Welcome

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9 Mind-Bending Epiphanies That Turned This Author's World Upside-Down

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Make More Art: The Health Benefits of Creativity

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Everything We Think We Know About Addiction Is Wrong

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Yoga is often marketed as a weight loss tool minimising the whole self connection. Some practitioners are not adequately focused or trained in the true nature of the discipline. " The environment of the yoga class is particularly ripe for trauma triggering because of its inherently intimate nature, arising out of the integration of mind and body and the teacher's position as a leader and spiritual or physical authority, and the fact that trauma can be held in the body."

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Music - Tiernan McBride's film of Paul Brady's 'Arthur McBride'

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Biography and Biology: The Long term Consequences of Abuse. What impact does your childhood have on your health as an adult? For those who experienced abuse or neglect, trauma can push their brain’s fight-or-flight response into overdrive, leading to both mental and physical illnesses in adulthood.

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Birth Order Determines. . . Almost Nothing ... and what other factors, some of them hidden, really drive family dynamics.

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Ricky & Doris: An Unconventional Friendship in New York City. With Puppets!

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Enra " Pleiades " Enra - Motion Graphics Performing Arts

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Christmas is an opportunity to get together, give gifts and express gratitude. Yet it can also be a source of strain, longing and loneliness.While we should never suppress our sadness, if we let stress get the best of us or memories of yesterday’s yuletide take over, we allow our today to be washed away with the tide.

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The Twelve Days of Christmas - Frank Kelly - With Lyrics Getting into the Christmas spirit. This is an hilarious old rendition from my youth. Please enjoy.

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The beauty of simplicity and non-perfection. Mairead Ashcroft 19/12/15

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I see beauty everywhere. Of course, as the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and for me, I behold it every day and in every thing. I observe it in life and death, light and darkness. I embrace scars and blemishes and appreciate lumps and bumps. The roughness of bark and the smoothness of silk, the wings of a butterfly and the fluffiness of a caterpillar are equally beautiful to me. The things that I find most beautiful are the things that I see, hear, touch, taste and smell in the gifts of nature. I think that the story that lives within nature enhances it's beauty. What might be the history of a tree for example. What has it seen? What has it experienced? How are we connected and what do we have in common? Appreciating external beauty can calm and soothe my thoughts and feelings but is this enough? I believe that there is magic in being a living, breathing human as we have the capacity to experience, hold and share beauty from within. We can be enthralled by the e…

Mary-Anne Johnston, Jungian Analyst, Internal Family Systems training Working with our inner Parts “IFS is more than a therapeutic technique. It is a conceptual framework and practice for developing love for ourselves and each other.“ Dick Schwartz

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Stress, Trauma and the Body

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Music - Guitar instrumentals

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Humankind aims to support people living with chronic illness and their loved ones to achieve positive and respectful relationships - An initiative of Relationships Australia

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Trigger Warning for survivors of sexual abuse / rape : Somatic Experiencing Founder, Peter A. Levine, PhD on Sexual Abuse Trauma

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The Red Pencil is a very young and dynamic organisation in Singapore that brings the benefits of Arts to children and adults facing overwhelming situations, helping them to build coping skills to overcome difficulties. The foundation had the chance to intervene in the lives of thousands since 2011, in Singapore, where it was founded and overseas.

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Questions No One Knows the Answers to (Full Version)

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A new book for kids, by kids, shows the real-life ups and downs of childhood. "The book has five sections: feelings and emotions; how doing different things can change how we feel; precious things and how they make us feel; and the children’s collective thoughts on “what helps you feel safe, happy and secure”. Its 40 pages are a precious repository of honest emotion and wisdom from children who haven’t yet left primary school."

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Trauma and the Holidays : 3 Practices to reclaim Joy

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Brian Regan-Stupid In School. I connect to this cartoon so much. Even now, if it wasn't for spell check there is no way that I would have the guts to maintain this blog. As I have matured I have realized the different kinds of smart that are out there and I am yet to meet a single person who is a master of them all. Appreciate your own individual "Smarts" and never fall into the trap of allowing yourself to feel stupid.

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Mental illness looks different for every person who experiences it. Below are three honest accounts from people who live with schizophrenia — what it’s actually like, how it affects their lives, and what they wish people understood about it.

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Bilateral Drawing: Self-Regulation for Trauma Reparation Let’s draw on the power of both hands to modulate stress.

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Stanford anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann found that voice-hearing experiences of people with serious psychotic disorders are shaped by local culture – in the United States, the voices are harsh and threatening; in Africa and India, they are more benign and playful. This may have clinical implications for how to treat people with schizophrenia, she suggests.

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37 Art Therapy Techniques For De-Stressing During The Holidays

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4 Myths About Schizophrenia (and the Facts You Need to Know) Debunking widely held notions about the disorder.

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Music - Sara Tavares - Xinti

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Pets and our health: why we should take them more seriouriosly

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Bobbie, Daisy and Cat.Sadly Bobbie died of old age 2 years ago and Daisy died from Canine Lymphoma 12 months ago. Cat is kicking on strong and healthy at 10 years old.



https://theconversation.com/pets-and-our-health-why-we-should-take-them-more-seriously-47774


How Krampus, the Christmas ‘Devil,’ Became Cool - In Austria and parts of Germany, people still dress up as Krampus to scare children on Krampusnacht (“Krampus night,” traditionally held on December 5), as they did in the 19th century; but the Krampuslauf (“Krampus run”), in which men get drunk and run through the streets in frightening costumes, is, obviously, mainly for the grownups.

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Krampus ensnares a child with his famously long tongue in this Viennese card, dated around 1911. Traditionally, he held a bundle of birch sticks with which to whip naughty children.

Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man of math - James Earle

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"How cultural competence training transformed an organisation." I am so happy that I completed this course 2 years ago. I am actively using what I have learned with clients/patients at St Vincent's Hospital Victoria. With the help of the Aboriginal Liaison Officer I am able to build rapport and offer clients appropriate and culturally respectful care.

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For information on gaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Competency please follow this link. https://www.ccca.com.au/

At the age of 20 years old, artist Mariam Pare suffered an incident which resulted in paraplegia. She decided to indulge in her love of painting despite what may have been perceived as insurmountable obstacles.

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Historic Fairy Tales from 19th Century Ukraine - There's nothing like a good fairy tale collection for stories of intrigue, betrayal, fortune, and royal murder. If you’ve already blown through Hans Christian Andersen and the brothers Grimm's volumes of fairy tales, try a few Ukrainian folk tales, first published in 1894.

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FASD ( fetal alcohol spectrum disorder ) and Art Therapy: An Exploratory Review -The AT trauma protocol helps the client process trauma in a potentially non threatening way that addresses the client’s ability to differentiate from the trauma and recreate the narrative to form a healthy new narrative.

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Bracketing thoughts and emotions V's Dissociating from thoughts and emotions or Being Consumed by thoughts and emotions - How to maintain emotional stability during times of adverse stress when your child is looking to you for safety and comfort. Mairead Ashcroft 28/11/15 .

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Whether we are parents or not, children are exposed to how we behave in any variety of situations, e.g. our language, how we behave in public, what we say to one another and how we express our emotions throughout our day, just to name a few. As we know, children are like little sponges, absorbing everything that their senses are exposed to.
Many people have the difficult task in life of caring for a sick child. Often for the common cold but sadly, sometimes for illnesses that are long term and sometimes life threatening or terminal. My heart goes out to the families of children who were taken far too soon. Fortunately, my children survived their illnesses and continue to live productive, happy lives. I wasn't so sure in those dark hospital days, that we would ever get here but 25 years later, here we are.
As a mother who had spent many, many years at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital with my twins who were both born with Kidney disease, I wish to share a particular in…

Music - Bernhoft - Walk With Me

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Old ways reap rewards: Elcho Island women return to traditional foods, look to start health retreat A group of Indigenous women on a remote island off Australia's northern coastline are working to start their own health retreat, after overcoming chronic disease by returning to the land and the ocean. Reporter: Nadia Daly

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(I have found it a bit of a shame that this report has had a visual focus on what might be seen as the less palatable Traditional food to the Western palate but none the less, I hope these 12 Elcho Island women have great success in spreading their knowledge of the benefits of the Traditional diet.)

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-28/aboriginal-women-want-to-open-nt-community-health-retreat/6971012

Affluenza (1997) - I have shown snippets of this almost 20 year film before but I felt that as we enter the holiday season it is all the more important to remind myself to put the "Silly Season" into perspective.

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Nadine Burke Harris: How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime

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What is the most dangerous drug in the world? This sounds like a relatively simple question: Surely it’s the one most likely to kill you, right? As it turns out, it depends on a multitude of things, from the individual owner's risk to the wider risk to society – and perception plays a large part.

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Toxic parenting sets the stage for abusive adults and starts a cycle that is hard to escape. Thomas Fiffer offers 10 do's and don’ts to keep your parenting healthy and safe.

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Weapon Of Mass Instruction: Artist Creates A Tank That Delivers Free Books

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"Art and music are some of the ways through which people communicate with and about nature, be it through large-scale wind-powered installations or using technology to make planet-derived sounds."Kimberley Mok (@kimberleymok)

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In times gone by, people from all cultures would gain their wisdom not only through lived experience but by appreciating the importance of being connected to nature. Art, music, sculpture and dance were inspired by the powerful beauty of nature. This short film demonstrates how we might reconnect to nature to encapsulate it's beauty and magic.The creation of this one of a kind installation, powered by sea waves, produces light and sound, created by the environment.

Peer Recovery focuses on the art of healing

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“We have a lot of artists who didn’t know they were artists, but as soon as they sell a few pieces, they get their Etsy account, start promoting and selling their artwork,” .....“Then, instead of saying, ‘I have nothing,’ they can say, ‘I’m an artist; I have a way to increase my income.”
http://www.modbee.com/living/helping-others/book-ofdreams/article45888035.html


Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/living/helping-others/book-of-dreams/article45888035.html#storylink=cpy

Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessarily wrong or bad to be angry. Rather, it’s what we choose to do with that anger that determines whether it becomes a problem in our lives

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Let's change the story: Violence against women in Australia. This short animation might be an eye opener for many. I strongly encourage you to watch and share.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Beyond Blue - OCD is thought to develop from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. A number of factors may increase the risk of developing OCD, including family history, social factors and psychological factors.

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Link to the article - https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/types-of-anxiety/ocd
 This video is only an introduction but you can find a  series of 10 videos on understanding OCD treatment by Katie d'Ath, OCD treatment specialist on You Tube

Blending cognition and engineering to reveal the neural basis of creativity - Understanding brain activity that drives creativity could better improve art therapy, widely used as a treatment for mental illness.

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The Dharawal people of southern Sydney have known about the medicinal benefits of the local flora for millennia, but thanks to knowledge passed down the generations, the local community’s first indigenous PhD graduate in microbiology is using modern science to shine a new spotlight on the plant's potential.

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Music - Mari Boine - Idjagiedas [2006] FULL ALBUM (In the Hand of the Night)

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Stephen Fry on his experience of Bipolar Disorder "An Uppy-Downy, Mood-Swingy Kind of Guy"

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What's So Funny About Mental Illness? | Ruby Wax | TED Talks

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100 Art Therapy Exercises - The Updated And Improved List Paintbrush"The Healthiest Form of Projection is Art" (Fritz Perlz - Gestalt Therapist)

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