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Pathways To Parenting: Couples
 
Dreams Destiny or Determination: Your Career Choice
 
Career Quest: Career Planning As A Heroic Journey
 
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Good Goddess: Feminine Archetypes
 
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  • New TWN teachers overview video now available.

    Posted by Joanne Martin
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    The TWN is a therapeutic writing hub for facilitators, counsellors, intructors and other professionals.

    There are MANY lucrative reasons why you would want to sign up to become a teacher for the therapeutic writing network. The TWN provides increased marketing exposure for your business, increses revenue potential and gives you new avenues to promote your services.
    In this video we will explore the many great opportunities and features of the TWN for teachers. We briefly cover the benefits for students to provide context to our great services.
    Nov 04 Tags: Untagged
  • Launch Day!!

    Posted by Joanne Martin
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    The Therapeutic Writing Network had its official launch today in Chatham, Ontario. We would like to thank the local media for expressing interest in this unique business initiative.

    Although the site is now open, we will not be officially starting our courses until November 7th. In the meantime, take a look around the website, and see what we have to offer. Please note that we are still in the process of updating some of the features ad content of the website. You might want to bookmark the website and check in regularly. The first two courses that we have ready to go for the 7th are Grimm’s for Grown-up Girls by Joanne Martin, founder of C-Change, and Pathways to Parenting, by Dave Flook, Founder of Not all Dads are Deadbeats.

    We will be adding a downloadable press and media kit for facilitators and media outlets.

    Here is the link to the Chatham Daily News article about the launch.

    http://www.chathamdailynews.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3354323

    Nov 02 Tags: Untagged
  • TWN is seeking teachers.

    Posted by Joanne Martin
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    Oct 20 Tags: Untagged
  • Show all entries from Website Updates

Recent Posts

  • Are You In Your Right Mind?

    Posted by Joanne Martin
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    Wheels Are Turning - CopyWhat is keeping you awake at night, or is waking you up in the wee hours of the morning? Do you toss and turn as you try to think your way through the questions, problems, or decisions that are weighing on your mind? Day after day, or should I say - night after night – you are getting increasingly exhausted; but you are no closer to a solution. Do you feel like you are losing your mind!? You’re not. You’re just using the wrong part of your brain.

    Now, if you’re a scientist or other left-brain dominant individual, what I’m about to suggest may not make a lot of sense to you. It may not fit well with the way you see the world, or the way you operate in the world. Nevertheless, we know that you’re clever enough to understand that not everyone processes information or makes decisions in the same way. Oops! Did that sound condescending? Apologies! Because, of course, we right-brained folk know what that feels like; and it was not our intention.

    “Left-brain? Right-brain?” If you’re a “leftie”, you are already saying, “Hogwash!” Because, of course, neuroscientists consider the “Left/Right Brain” dominance theory to be simplistic, at best, an exaggeration and a distortion of scientific fact. Nevertheless, these terms do provide a common - if metaphorical – short-hand understanding of mental processing styles and preferences. Naturally, every healthy individual uses both “hemispheres” of their brain but, according to the theory, each of us has a natural preference for one “side” or the other.

    The left-side (L) of the brain is considered to be most adept at tasks that involve language, logic, numbers, reasoning, and analytical or critical thinking. The right side (R) of the brain is considered to be best at expressive and creative tasks including: recognizing faces, reading and expressing emotions, music, color, images, intuition, and creativity. These so-called “right brain” or “intuitive” methods may not work for you L-types. We get that! But that doesn’t mean they don’t work! Moreover, when we’re “stuck”, it’s often advisable – even for you - to get out of our preferred way of processing, and try something different. Indeed, that is how some of the most creative ideas are born!

    So, whatever issue you’re wrestling with, if you’re lying awake at night, trying to “think” your way to a solution, stop! Try something different!   Try writing, drawing, painting, storytelling, myth, metaphor, or collage. For more information, read our blog at http://www.c-change.info/index.php/blog/entry/a-whole-new-mind-a-book-review ; and for help getting into your “Right Mind”, contact C-Change. Let us take you on a voyage of self-discovery.

    Joanne Martin is the Creator of the Therapeutic Writing Network, and Director of C-Change Counselling.   She has over 30 years’ experience in human resources and professional and career development in industry and higher education, and in personal growth and development as a counsellor, educator, trainer and facilitator.   Joanne now specializes in therapeutic and/or expressive writing and story-telling, offering a variety of fun, imaginative, and developmental writing workshops – both in person and online.

    Feb 13 Tags: Untagged
  • Transforming Bad Habits Into Good Ones

    Posted by Joanne Martin
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    Kicking Bad Habits“Habit is either the best of servants or the worst of masters” ~ Nathaniel Emmons 

    You know that tingly feeling you get when you brush your teeth? And that nice, rich foam you get when you shampoo your hair? Well, it turns out that, for those products to work effectively, neither the tingle nor the foam is really necessary. In fact, the chemicals that create the tingle in toothpaste, and the foam in shampoo, were added to these products solely for marketing purposes! And then the marketing campaigns for those products were designed in such a way that we would crave the tingle, and crave the foam, and such that we would not be satisfied until we had experienced them! As a result, marketers were more successful in changing dental hygiene habits than dentists were, and consequently, were responsible for vastly improved dental health. Marketers know an awful lot about human behaviour. Specifically they know how habits are formed. And that’s what I learned recently, by reading The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do and How to Change It by Charles Duhigg .

    Habits develop because the brain is always looking for ways to save effort. And they’re not all bad!   Without habits, our brains would be overwhelmed by the minutia of daily life. When routines become habits, our minds become more efficient. We don’t have to stop and think about whether to brush our teeth before or after our shower, or which shoe to put on first. We can divert that mental energy to more creative purposes.

    The trouble is that your brain can’t tell the difference between bad and good habits. That’s why it’s so hard to create exercise routines, for instance, or to change what we eat. If we’ve already developed a routine of sitting on the couch instead of running, or snacking every time we pass a donut box, those patterns are stuck in our heads.   The good news is that habits are not destiny. Once you take control, and create a new pattern, you can transform those bad habits into good ones. Going for a jog or ignoring the donuts can become just as automatic as any other habit. These behaviours are easier to control once we understanding the “habit loop”.

    What is the “habit loop”? Every habit has three components:

    1.  The Cue: This is a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use

    2.  The Routine: What follows can be a physical, mental, or emotional routine.

    3.  The Reward: The reward is what helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.

    Over time the cue and reward become intertwined until a powerful sense of craving emerges, which triggers the response. It’s those cravings that drive habits; and figuring out what creates the cravings is the secret to creating new habits. Use the same cues, and get the same reward, but shift the routines.

    That’s how AA and other 12-step programs work. The meetings and sponsors form a structure that forces alcoholics to identify the cues and rewards for drinking; and they provide the same rewards as drinking. However, they create new routines. Instead of drinking, members relax and talk through their anxieties. The pay-offs are the same, but the behaviours have changed.

    If it works for them, it can work for you! What habit would you like to transform? Start by being more conscious. (Journaling can help here!) Break your habit down into the various components of the “habit loop”:

    1.  What are the cues or triggers that slip your brain into automatic?

    2.  What are the physical, mental or emotional rewards you crave? Note that these “rewards” may include “escape” or diversion!

    3.  What are the habitual routines you want to change? What routine can you substitute that will provide the same rewards?

    Transforming a habit isn’t necessarily easy or quick; it isn’t always simple. But it is possible. And now we understand how.

    Oct 04 Tags: Untagged
  • How’s Your Penmanship?

    Posted by Joanne Martin
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    Penmanship

    I have always felt that September was much more like “New Year’s Day” than January 1st. Going back to school, I had a pile of brand new notebooks, all of their pages blank with potential. Pencils and crayons of all colours were sharpened to a fine point. I was ready and motivated to make my mark.   Of course, I had a brand new eraser too, should there happen to be any false starts. But as I sat in a classroom with a new teacher, and new classmates, anything I had done or not done in the past no longer counted. I had the chance to start over from scratch, establishing brand new relationships. Here was a new beginning! 

    So, while we all hate to see summer slip past us, the way I see it, September is not the end. It’s actually the time to plan for the next cycle. Does September mark the start of something new for you? Maybe your “baby” has just started school? Or, with your “baby” now in college or university, you may be “empty-nesting”. Maybe you’re going back to school yourself, or would like to. What are the new beginnings you would like to make in your life right now? Imagine you have a brand new notebook, filled with blank pages; and that it represents the next chapter of your life. How would you like to fill it? How will you write that story? 

    While you’re out buying the kids’ school supplies, why not pick up a scribbler for yourself! Start jotting down your dreams, daydreams, ideas, wishes, hopes, goals, plans. Reach back and recapture those bits of you that you may have let go of earlier in your life, but for which you just might have room now. Start exploring what it is that may have got in the way. What can you do about that? What’s different now?  

    Thoughts like these can get tangled up in the tedium of day-to-day life and, in that confusion, may not seem worth exploring. But that would be a mistake! Capture them on paper, where it’s so much easier to sort out the threads. Use your pen to spin those threads. And, in time, that’s where you’ll find the gold! 

    If you’d like some help with that “journaling” process, some new techniques to help you get to the gold, join us for a Journal to the Self ® workshop, starting soon! 

    Journal to the Self ® Workshops
    at The Black Goose restaurant in Wallaceburg
    4 weeks: Your choice: evening or daytime:
    6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 12 to Oct. 3, or
    1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays, Sept. 13 to Oct. 4 

    Due to the "intimate" nature of this workshop, the group will be small. Don't wait too long! Sign up now! For more info, contact C-Change at (519) 436-6214 or e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

    Sep 04 Tags: Untagged
  • Olympic Reflections

    Posted by Joanne Martin
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    Olympic PhoenixThe Olympic Games are over now; and the athletes of the world are returning to their homes. Whether they won a medal or not, we hope they will all be treated as heroes. For, according to the Olympic Creed: 

    “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most import thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.   The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

    Some of them will compete again in four years, at the games in Brazil. But for many of these young athletes, the end of the 2012 Olympic Games may also be the end of an athletic career. After years of extremely focused, dedicated, and disciplined training, their lives will be changed forever.   Those who have won medals may begin new careers as sports celebrities, commentators, media stars, or doing product endorsements. Others may have to forge new beginnings in entirely different fields. Having lived by the Olympic motto for so long – “Faster, Higher, Stronger” – it may not be easy to come to terms with these transitions, whichever way they lead. And so it goes. Personal growth and self-development are not always easy.

    That is why I felt that the Phoenix was a most apt symbol for the Closing Ceremonies. The Phoenix is described as a bird with a colourful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet. Near the end of its life cycle, the Phoenix builds itself a nest of twigs and then ignites it. After burning fiercely, both the nest and the bird are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix arises, reborn to live again. It is an act of Creative Destruction, an alchemical process. In alchemy, common metals are transformed by fire into gold.  Symbolically, fire represents light, enlightenment, and illumination. When the Phoenix gives up its old and completed self, it does so because it is ready to be transformed and reborn into a higher realm.

    It’s easy to be cynical about the Olympics. Indeed there is no shortage of reasons to be cynical. But if you choose to, you could focus on the more positive aspects of the Olympic Games, and to be inspired by the symbolism of what they represent. And remember the Olympic Creed: “The most import thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.   The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.” And when one stage is ended, be ready to be enlightened, illuminated and transformed by what you have learned.

    Write about that!

    Aug 22 Tags: Untagged
  • What Makes You Mad?

    Posted by Joanne Martin
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    What Makes You Mad

    All it took for me today was a headline in the morning newspaper. It read, “Low-income mothers prone to anxiety”. “Anxiety”. That is what they call it today. What I’m talking about is that dis-ease that women get when they are simply overwhelmed.   In Freud’s day it was called “hysteria”. When I was still a child, my mother had a bad case of it. They called hers “a nervous breakdown”. She had several, in fact. They treated her with shock treatment. Not surprisingly, it didn’t help. Because it didn’t address the cause! The woman had eight children for heaven’s sake, one every two years. (She literally had them “for heaven’s sake” since she had tried the then new “birth control pill” but flushed it down the toilet because she was Roman Catholic, and the Pope had called it sinful.) Meanwhile, she had no family support. She was isolated, frustrated, exhausted, and broke!   “Breakdown”? Well, duh!

    Psychology was a young science back then - in the 50s - and it still is! Shock treatments are much less common now though. And there are many more women in medicine now. But the majority of doctors are still diagnosing this dis-ease that women suffer as though it were a mental illness, or a psychological disorder. And, for the most part, they are treating it with pharmaceuticals. But medication is never enough. And it certainly does not address the cause. Which is? In my opinion, and it is one shared by others, the problem is that for many women, her roles tend to subsume her very self. In those feminine roles she loses the opportunity to express herself and, with the exception of childbirth, to be creative. She becomes like a “caged bird”.

    A woman’s psychological development requires integration of many facets of herself in order for her to become a whole and healthy human being. When a woman is limited to only one or two roles, she can feel or act mad because the unactualized parts of herself are struggling to express themselves. If she is not aware of her frustration, her anger at her unlived life is likely to be directed unconsciously at her children, her husband, her parents, her friends, or even herself. This accounts for the inexplicable moodiness of many mothers who seem “mad” to their children.

                                                       ~ Linda Schierse Leonard, Meeting the Madwoman

    Doctors don’t have time to address this need; and pharmaceuticals certainly won’t do it. “Talk” therapy is expensive, and beyond the reach of most women. What is the answer? Other women! You need to know that while you might be angry, you are not “mad”, not if “mad” means crazy.   You are not crazy; and you are not alone. Talk with your “sisters”.   Join a book club. Or join a writing group! Go where your voice will be heard. Express yourself!

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