Why emotihealth? Well, for the past 10 years, I have dedicated my life to learning about my own and others’ emotional health. I believe deeply that the root to many of our human problems comes down to our unconscious emotional system. That means, unfortunately, that most of us (including myself), don’t always understand what causes our suffering because, quite simply, we are unaware of it! In my experience, it often takes someone or something to happen to bring our unconscious patterns into our conscious awareness, some kind of emotional conflict or crisis that requires us to evaluate our inner world.
The role of the unconscious utterly fascinates me, as much as space and the possibility of infinite galaxies fascinates others. To express the role of the unconscious in words is really like trying to explain quantum physics or the beauty of a flower; you need to connect to and experience it before you can really understand it. I have seen on countless occasions, the benefits of helping people access their internal emotional world. When we truly begin to see and experience what is inside of ourselves, deeper understandings can flow, and from this change can emerge. This is why emotihealth was born.
In particular, emotihealth hopes to serve the many and varied healthcare professionals who care for us all. We believe that through emotional connection, experiential events, emotion-focused resources and spaces that promote a deeper understanding of the self and others, we can begin to improve the emotional health of those who work in healthcare. In so doing, we hope to reduce the emotional burden that weighs us down and contributes to burnout, stress and the many forms of suffering that exist all around us.
A bit about me and my work:
I am an Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada and a Clinical Psychologist specializing in Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP). I have now completed 4 years of post-doctoral ISTDP training with Dr Patricia Coughlin and 3 years of advanced supervision with Dr Allan Abbass specializing in medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) or Psycho-physiological disorders (PPD). This comprehensive training has significantly deepened my therapeutic knowledge, enabling me to assess and treat a diverse range of emotional difficulties.
I currently work at the Centre for Emotions and Health and I have just completed a three-year pilot project to provide consultation, assessment, treatment, teaching and research using ISTDP to address the unconscious emotional processes that are believed to underlie many physical and somatic difficulties. These include: chronic pain, chest pain, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal issues, headache, migraine, memory difficulties, muscle weakness and other mind body problems. These difficulties are often co-morbid with anxiety, depression, personality issues and/or trauma. See here if you are interested in learning more about this project: http://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/6/12/109
I am committed to the dissemination and promotion of ISTDP as an integrated, open and inclusive model of therapy. I am particularly passionate about using the ideas from ISTDP to build emotional health and capacity in clinicians across all fields of health; without taking care of our own mental and emotional well-being, we limit our ability to care for others. Emotihealth aims to create a ripple effect of caring that starts from within and expands far and wide.