COVID-19: Support for Your Safety and Ours

COVID-19 has changed our way of life in ways we never expected. Many - if not all - of our activities have been impacted leaving us feeling at a loss to find comfort and security in our usual ways of coping with stress. It is not unusual under these circumstances to feel anxious and concerned [...]

The Refugees of Mindfulness: Rethinking Psychology’s Experiment with Meditation

A well-thought through article on informed consent and the impact of mindfulness meditation in clinical settings.

Aloha Dharma

“Jill” is 32 and works as a lawyer in the southwest. She wrote to me explaining that during her meditation she sometimes feels a panic attack coming on and has disturbing mental images. She cannot control it and does not know what she is doing wrong. When we talk for the first time I ask her when it began. “It started a few months after my therapist taught me mindfulness…”

file000351809409Third wave Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the marriage of modern psychology and ancient buddhist meditation. It has grown rapidly in the past decade, and many psychologists and meditation teachers are enthusiastic about the development, seeing it as a blend of the very best of eastern wisdom with western psychological science. Third wave CBT goes under a variety of names such as Mindfulness-Based CBT (MBCBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). There are…

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Further Comments on Happiness

A brilliant examination of the way we become caught in the false promises of the Happiness Industry. Also read the previous post, a review of Sarah Ahmed book, The Promise of Happiness.

Smiling Buddha Cabaret

Drawing in part on some of the points made in Sara Ahmed’s book The Promise of Happiness, which I just reviewed in the last post, as well as current events there are a few more points about the topic of happiness I wish to touch upon.

Self-help books are full of advice about attaining “happiness” but many of them don’t define what they mean by “happiness”.

What does “happiness” even mean in common parlance? Ask a dozen people and you’ll get a dozen answers. Words like blissful, relaxed, stress-free, joyful, carefree, comfortable, ecstatic and peaceful would possibly be used. The problem with these is they don’t really refer to anything. They have no relation to one’s context. They are states of being that seem to be achievable in isolation or that is the way they come across in these books and other media.

The thing is we don’t live…

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Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day in Ottawa Officially Proclaimed

We are honoured to have been invited to be part of this historic moment in MENtal Health progress in Canada. The first ever Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day proclaimed in Ottawa and actioned by Jean-Francois Claude, a graduate of the Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic’s M4 program. Thank you, J.F. and may this initiative grow into a nation-wide endeavour!

The Men's D.E.N.

Mayor Jim Watson (r) and Orléans Ward City Councillor Bob Monette (l) present founder, Jean-François Claude, with the official Proclamation marking June 10, 2014 as Men's Mental Health Awareness Day in Ottawa. PHOTO: Benjamin Leikin, Ottawa Public Health. Mayor Jim Watson (r) and Orléans Ward City Councillor Bob Monette (l) present founder, Jean-François Claude, with the official Proclamation marking June 10, 2014 as Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day in Ottawa. PHOTO: Benjamin Leikin, Ottawa Public Health.

Ottawa ON — The first of what will hopefully be an annual Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day in Ottawa was held on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.

The day kicked off with a special presentation ceremony in Mayor Jim Watson’s Office at Ottawa City Hall, where The Men’s D.E.N. founder, Jean-François Claude, received a framed, signed copy of the official City of Ottawa Proclamation from the Mayor and City Councillor Bob Monette.

Representatives from The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, the Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic, Partners for Mental Health, the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre and Ottawa Public Health were also in attendance.

The day was capped off with Breaking Down…

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On the origins of my journey to recovery…

A powerful story of meeting depression with openness and courage.

The Men's D.E.N.

(Originally published in April 2013 atçois Claude, Founder, The Men's D.E.N.

In the late Spring of 2012, I went to see my General Practitioner (GP) after a nine-year hiatus. I was physically healthy throughout my thirties, and simply did not see a need for any kind of medical check-up.

What finally prompted me to make the call, and virtually beg my doctor’s office to take me back as a patient, was self-diagnosed professional burnout. I’d been burning the candle at both ends for so long, that I’d finally hit a wall after a string of 60 to 70 hour work weeks.  The BlackBerry was, for years, a permanent fixture in my hand, and unplugging, even for just a few hours, was to my mind not even a remote possibility and simply unfathomable.

Imagine my state of shock when my GP promptly informed me that “burnout” was not a medical condition and that in…

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