The SCALE Program: Support for Caregiver Awareness, Learning & Empowerment
The Support for Caregiver Awareness, Learning & Empowerment (SCALE) Program is a series of six webinars facilitated by Leah Weisberg, RN and Michal Goldstein, MSW. The program aims to empower caregivers with practical information, and skills to enhance self-awareness with a focus on your own needs and well-being. Take the entire program or select a topic you are interested in.
You may also register for an online weekly small (1:8) group coaching session and/or a 1:1 counselling session with a nurse practitioner or registered social worker. This will be available to you when confirming your webinar ticket.
These support/counselling sessions are confidential and will allow you to consolidate what you learn with clinical support for growth and well-being. The booking for these sessions is through a secure and confidential link where you will be prompted to book a time of day that is most convenient for your. Please note that these sessions are limited and are first registered, first served.
If you cannot attend the webinars live, they will be recorded and available here after each event.
1. The Caregiver Role – March 9, 2020
The transition into the role of Caregiver comes in the form of three stages. Flowing through these stages, at different points of a caregivers experience, each stage has its own emotional challenges and growth experiences. This week we will explore the stages of the caregiver experience, the shifts it brings to your relationship with your care recipient, and we will begin discussing shifts you can make to improve your experience as a caregiver.
2. The Care Recipient’s Experience – March 16, 2020
Relationships, especially close relationships, are complicated. Many factors further complicate the relationship between yourself and the person you are caring for. Enhancing our understanding of the other’s personal experience and internalizing empathy, as well as determining healthy boundaries, helps to maintain health within otherwise complex relational dynamics. These topics, as well as a communication toolbox, will be explored in this week of the program.
The stress of caring for a person with an illness can take both a physical and mental toll on a caregiver. In this session, you will begin to understand how the nervous system responds during this time, and how this can be both helpful and harmful to the body. The difference between stress and burnout will be discussed, as well as key signs of when to seek outside help.
Automatic negative thoughts are uninvited mental narratives that shadow our understanding of reality. In this session the different types of automatic negative thoughts will be described, as well as how leaving these unchecked can lead to the development of emotions such as anger, sadness, anxiety and grief that are common in caregiving relationships. This week will be an opportunity to learn ways to reframe our thinking so that we allow room for curiosity and a healthy relationship with reality.
5. Self-Compassion and Mindfulness – April 20, 2020
In this session, we will learn how to utilize the mind-body connection to bring relaxation, self-compassion and overall mindfulness to our experiences. There is significant research demonstrating the positive impact of practicing mindfulness techniques on one’s emotional health and ability to cope with ongoing stress. This will be explored in the context of the caregiver role.
6. Communicating with the Healthcare Team – April 27, 2020
Caregivers that are equipped with tools and strategies to interact effectively with healthcare providers feel a greater sense of control and can ensure that their care recipient’s needs are addressed in the best way possible. In this session, we will show you how to communicate with the healthcare team and how to ask for what you need.
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Leah Weisberg (RN, BC-NC) is a Nurse Psychotherapist & Coach and Director of Interprofessional Practice at Dynamic Health Clinic in Toronto. She is a Board Certified Nurse Coach through the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation and views each person and situation from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual lens. Leah has seen first-hand the way caregiving affects one’s physical and emotional health, and she works with formal and informal caregivers on developing personal wellness plans that allow one to be in a better place to provide care to others. Leah is passionate about showing caregivers the power that relationships can have on the well-being of individuals and has worked with many nurses looking to decrease the stress involved in caring for sick patients. Leah is Past-President of the Canadian Holistic Nurses Association and a member of the Canadian Federation of Mental Health Nurses. She lives in Toronto and spends her time advocating for an integrative approach to healthcare. She speaks to a variety of audiences about the ways in which the body and mind are connected.
Michal Goldstein (RSW) is a Registered Social Worker working at Dynamic Health Clinic in Toronto where she sees adults for individual, couples and group counselling. She is also the founder of Creating Connections, a play-based therapy practice in Toronto, where she works with children suffering from mental health and behavioral challenges. She has over a decade of experience working with caregivers to support them in improving their ability to cope with the challenges inherent in caring for someone else. Michal has developed numerous workshops and support group programs utilizing knowledge of interpersonal neurobiology and mindfulness techniques to support individuals suffering from physical health, mental health, and parenting challenges. She is passionate about bringing evidence-based practice to the forefront of the clinical social work field. Michal knows both first-hand and from professional experience, the challenges that come with caring for someone with a physical and mental health illness and is grateful for the opportunity to bring more awareness, education and support to this community.