Why we wear orange

CASASC reaffirms the statement that every child matters.
We honour the 215 children who were found at the Kamloops Residential School, their families and our community who is grieving at this time. We chose to wear our orange Made to Respect t-shirts today (May 31) as a visual symbol of our awareness of the need for ongoing reconciliation and accountability. We encourage you to seek further information about the experiences of Indigenous people, especially in regards to residential schooling.
We are here to support our community during this time. If you need support, we have our 24/7 Sexual Violence Help Line by phone at 1 866 956 1099 or by webchat at www.casasc.ca
You can also reach the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line by phone 1-866-925-4419

iRespect Myself, iNourish My Body – Recipe 1

The first recipe in our weekly self-care: iRespect Myself, iNourish My Body recipe series is a super easy, “pack now, eat later” Greek chicken bowl that is perfect for those busy weekday lunch ideas.

A great balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats; this Greek Chicken Bowl has everything you need to give your body back everything it requires to help you power through to the end of your workday.

Let’s all take a little bit of time this month to slow down, practice self-love and gratitude, and give back to our bodies.

 

This post is part of CASASC’s Respect Month – a month-long awareness campaign that acknowledges Sexual Violence Awareness Month through the concept of respect.

Book of poetry speaks to healing journey

Local artist and mental health advocate Sabrina Samuel has released a book of poetry with a portion of proceeds supporting CASASC.

The book She Was is inspired by Samuel’s healing journey, with each poem telling the story of incredible women along the path.

“The work illustrates our dynamic power, but also our humanity,” said Samuel. “Women are multi-dimensional. My hope for the book is that it will be an agent for positive change, celebration, collaboration and discussion. I’m deeply grateful for the help I received from CASASC, so I wanted to partner with them.”

The launch of She Was coincides with Sexual Violence Awareness Month (SVAM) in the month of May and leads up to Mother’s Day.

Samuel said all art is a response to something.

“When you use metaphor to address pain, you can reach people differently,” she said. “I understand fully that racialized women are the most vulnerable to abuse, harassment and assault. I don’t want to be a statistic. This work has shown me I’m owning more of my story each day by drawing strength from my feminine influences.”

She Was is available for purchase in-person at Cheeky Couture’s Boutique on Gasoline Alley, Housewarmings in downtown Red Deer, at the CASASC main office or by emailing surrenderliving@gmail.com

Copies are $20 each with 50 per cent of the proceeds supporting CASASC. A $5 delivery fee will be charged to orders outside of Red Deer.

She Was has been selected by Lloydminster and Vermillion for Equity’s Monthly Book Club for May 2 at 2 p.m. Samuel will also be a guest on Coffee Chat with CASASC on May 6 at 10:30 a.m. on CASASC’s Instagram page (@CASASC3).

Samuel is hosting the She Was Author’s Launch on Friday, April 30 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. The launch will feature a reading, input from other readers, a Q & A segment, door prizes and giveaways.

For more information about She Was visit facebook.com/surrenderliving or www.surrenderliving.com

Readers are encouraged to participate in the She Was challenge by selecting a poem from the book and recording themselves reading it on Facebook or Instagram. Dedicate the post to a great woman and tag them to do the same. Tag @surrenderliving and use the hashtag #shewas to be entered into the challenge. The winner will be selected at the end of SVAM.

Join the conversation for the month by using the hashtag #SVAM for Sexual Violence Awareness Month. Help us eliminate sexual violence in our community by creating a culture of respect.

The healing power of Yoga: A kids’ perspective

When we shift from focusing on “fixing” the child to “connecting” with the child, we create a safe space that allows them to discover skills that support healing.

The yoga experience allows us to connect through presence, excitement and mindful care, all the while creating the space for children’s own bodies and minds to do the amazing things they were made to do.

When children have been abused, their bodies shut down in a completely different way. Child sexual abuse indicators can include:

  • Sudden sensual fear, panic or reluctancy to be alone with certain persons
  • Sudden fear of places or locations
  • Regressive behaviors
  • Compulsive lying or stealing
  • Unexplained evidence of physical trauma to genitals
  • Not sleeping/nightmares

Yoga can help children get back into their bodies without being afraid. There are many techniques we can use when children have gone through trauma:

Keep it simple – Demonstrate first and find the simplest variation of the pose for them to start from. Be sensitive to the children’s needs. Allow them to relax whenever they need to and make the class short enough for them to be able to keep their attention focused without tiring.

Breath – Help them to breathe more deeply and learn how to control and be aware of their breath through a variety of breathing exercises.

Success builds success – Always focus on the children’s strengths, as a weakness in one area often creates strength in another. If we start where it is easy for that child, they will gain confidence and slowly respond to more challenging areas. We never begin by attempting to work on the ‘issue’ first.

Sometimes I give squishy balls to children with special needs to keep squeezing while they are lying down. This helps them to keep the rest of their body still. Heavy blankets also work well.

Sensory bags are great for autistic children or even for shy children. They feel safe inside, and the contact from all sides is very comforting.

When working with children who have been abused in some way, we must make the space inviting and not scary for them. We allow them be their own guide in the class and invite them to do the poses they feel comfortable with. There is no touch/adjusting in class. If the child wants to lay down the whole time, that is fine, as that is what their body is telling them to do. Yoga is an invitation for the body and the mind. We need to hold space for children who have undergone a trauma, and in class, that is what we can do.

*All information is from the Teaching Rainbow Kids Yoga Training Manual.

The importance of self-care

CASASC is your safe place. No matter where you are in your healing journey, we are here to support you along the way. Our goal – to empower you on your journey towards healing.

Self-care is an important part of the healing process and can help make the impacts of trauma more manageable. According to Raphailia Michael “self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to a good relationship with oneself and others.”

In this, we would like to introduce a new series – #Theimportanceofselfcare

Over the next month, we will be featuring a daily self-care tip on our social media channels. This is to support all our journeys toward healing.

NEW group – Intro to mentalization

Join us for this psycho-educational group that offers an introduction to mentalization.

This mentalization-based group is designed for individuals that come from broken attachments, are in unhealthy peer attachments and have a history of trauma, sexual abuse and a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Mentalization-based therapy (MBT) is a specific type of psychotherapy designed to help people with BPD. Its focus is helping people to differentiate and separate out their own thoughts and feelings from those around them.

 

What are the aims of MBT?

-MBT aims to improve a person’s ability to mentalize in close relationships.

-Having improved mentalizing ability means:

-Experiencing a more stable sense of who you feel you are

-Being less likely to let emotions get the better of you

-When emotions do get the better of you, you are able to regain your composure more quickly

This should mean that you become stronger emotionally, engage in harmful behaviours less, are less likely to get into interpersonal conflicts, and are better able to deal with any conflicts that do arise.

 

How does MBT help you improve your mentalizing?

To be good at something, you need to practice it. In the MBT program, participants can practice mentalizing skills together with the therapist and other group members.

 

How is MBT structured?

The MBT program consists of:

  1. Mentalization-based problem formulation
  2. Crisis plans
  3. Psychoeducational group therapy: 12 weekly sessions, each 1.5 hours-long
  4. Individual therapy: once a week for around 18 months
  5. Group therapy: weekly sessions of 1.5 hours for around 18 months
  6. Possible addition of art therapy
  7. Appointment(s) with psychiatrist for relevant prescriptions if needed
  8. Collaboration with other agencies on work-related support

 

What does the therapist do in MBT?

MBT therapists may provide advice directly, but they mainly try to think and reflect with you about problems to help you gradually develop your own solutions. This means taking on a curious and ‘not-knowing’ attitude about yourself and others – other patients in the group and people in your everyday life – particularly about experiences, thoughts and feelings.

 

What does the patient do in MBT?

-To make good use of treatment, patients are encouraged to:

-Talk about events from their own lives, especially recent events that have been stressful

-Try to understand more about these events, using a curious, open and ‘not-knowing’ attitude

-Allow other group members to take part in this process by exploring their own problems and other people’s problems in the same way

-Work with the therapist and the other group members in the same way, to understand events that happen within the group

-Try to develop a constructive relationship with the group members and the therapist

As part of the program, patients are encouraged not to have contact between each other outside of the therapy sessions. If they do so, they should try to talk about these contacts in the therapy sessions.

 

What else do I need to know?

The individual and group therapists meet regularly and discuss how therapy is going.

The group therapist does not usually mention in the group anything he or she has discussed with patients in individual sessions. You, the patient, get to choose what you want to talk about, and when.

However, sometimes the group therapist can address specific serious topics directly, even if the patient does not want to talk about them. For instance, these may relate to violence or threats, serious breaches of the treatment contract, or suicide attempts.

 

The group is facilitated by Michelle Moger and CASASC therapists.

Find out more info and/or to reserve your spot email casasc@casasc.ca or call 403-340-1124.

NEW parenting group

Join us for Rest, Play, Grow – a book discussion group starting on Jan. 14. at 6 p.m.

Rest, Play, Grow is grounded in the integrated, attachment-based and developmental approach to making sense of kids created by Gordon Neufeld.

Participants will read two chapters of Rest, Play, Grow by Debra Macnamara during the week and then come together to share insights, questions, and experiences. In case a participant is not able to do the reading, there will be a review of the material at the beginning of each meeting.

 

Rest, Play, Grow: Making Sense of Preschoolers (Or Anyone Who Acts Like One)

Based on the work of one of the world’s foremost child development experts, Rest, Play, Grow offers a road map to making sense of young children, and is what every toddler, preschooler, and kindergartner wishes we understood about them. Baffling and beloved, with the capacity to go from joy to frustration in seconds, young children are some of the most misunderstood people on the planet.

 

Chapters (topics covered):

-How Adults Grow Young Children up

-The Preschooler Personality: Part beauty, part beast

-Preserving Play: Defending childhood in a digital world

-Hungry for Connection: Why relationship matters

-Who’s in Charge? The dance of attachment

-Feelings and Hurts: Keeping children’s hearts soft

-Tears and Tantrums: Understanding frustration and aggression

-Alarmed by Disconnection: Bedtime, separation, and anxiety

-“You’re Not the Boss of Me”: Understanding resistance and opposition

-Discipline for the Immature: Buying time for the child to grow up

-How Young Children Grow Adults Up

 

Discussions are facilitated by Michelle Moger and CASASC therapists.

Rest, Play, Grow runs for 6 weeks.

Find out more info and/or to reserve your spot email casasc@casasc.ca or call 403-340-1124.

You have the right

You have the right to be yourself.

You have the right to take all the time you need to heal.

You have the right to love and be loved again.

You have the right to say no but you also have the right to say yes.

Take a deep breath and remember to live.

Healing is important but so is getting to where you can enjoy life again.

Find your inner child and nature it.

 

-Unknown, A Survivor

Be patient with healing

Through my experience with sexual assault I have found an inner strength that I have never knew existed.

With determination I refused to be the victim and pull the blankets over my head and hide.

Being sexually abused is not my fault.

Be patient with the healing, if taking it day-to-day is overwhelming, take it hour-to-hour

Only a crayon

I only have a crayon to write with but here is what I want to say…

I am brave

I am beautiful

I am smart

I am strong

I will never give up and I will overcome any obstacle standing in my way.