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Introducing Edgewood Health Network

Message from Laura Bhoi, President, BHS

I wanted to share with you some exciting news. On July 31, 2014, we joined together with Edgewood Treatment Center (Edgewood) to become one of the largest single providers of adult addiction and mental health treatment in Canada. A truly national option, this Canada-wide network combines our world class mental health and addiction centres and outpatient offices under the Edgewood Health Network (EHN).

Bellwood and Edgewood have always shared an important and common focus: the needs of our patients. Our passion for this work is evident as collectively we have more than 50 years of experience in the treatment of mental health and addiction. Canadians will be comforted to know that we are going to continue the tradition of providing quality care – we will continue the work that Dr. Gordon Bell began decades ago. Now, alongside Edgewood, the care that we deliver will be at an even higher standard. Under EHN, our patients’ health will be our priority – including the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual components, as well as the family and community system.

Laura BhoiTreatment is personal and no one method works for each patient. Our treatment models at Bellwood and Edgewood have helped many Canadians successfully overcome their addictions. With the help of qualified, caring, and committed staff, many are in recovery today. Under EHN, this is not going to change; there will be even better access to more experts and the most recent research.

We have always been steadfast in our commitment to providing high-quality, customized, long-term continuing care and support to our patients. As EHN, you can expect to continue to receive this high standard of care with a robust admissions process, and improved communication and service levels, at every location of our national network.

Managing a chronic disease is not always easy without support. We’ll offer a Continuum of Care so that we can follow the path of our patients from their first point of contact, through inpatient or outpatient treatment to continuing care, and build an important relationship for life. Under EHN we will have a national presence that will provide patients and families access to the necessary services, resources and care across the country.

We are excited to share our experience and programs under this new integrated Edgewood Health Network to create a patient-focused model of care.

This is an important milestone in our history and we are thrilled to be working together to support the needs of Canadians. Many years ago, we set down a path of delivering the best treatment possible; now under EHN we look forward to achieving even greater success for the next 50 years and beyond.

Laura Bhoi, President, BHS

Self-Compassion and Psychological Well-Being: Applying Self-Compassion Principles to Well-Being

Written By: Barak Raz

Our post-modern, technologically advanced, individualistic, wealthy, progressive and competition-driven society appears to have lessened our capacity to be compassion-ate with others and ourselves. Numerous mediating factors might contribute to this situation, including compromised traditional, social, communal and cultural ties, ur-banization and emigration trends, economics, globalization, politics and neo-liberal market pressures. Current studies in health, psycho-social and psychiatric domains further echo alarming client reports of growing sense of alienation, lack of support, dissatisfaction and lower sense of happiness, which may further have direct and indi-rect impact on the well-being of adults, children and families . It is in this context, that self-compassion is gaining momentum as an emerging and meaningful field of psy-chology with wide range application potential.

The concept of self-compassion has roots in ancient philosophies, ideologies and cultures, and occupies important aspects of many religions. However, it is only re-cently that self-compassion has been researched in more formalized settings. More-over, although relatively new to psychology, self-compassion concept is surprisingly fitting with several psychotherapeutic approaches such as cognitive, positive, human-istic, present and strength focused schools of thought. In general, self-compassion refers to the way we relate and treat ourselves. More specifically, it involves feelings of caring and self-directed kindness in the face of personal, interpersonal and contextual suffering and involves the recognition that one’s perceived suffering, failures and inadequacies are part of the human condition . Furthermore, research on the applicability and effectiveness of self-compassion is showing great promise in such areas as stress reduction, anxiety, depression, quality of life, self-esteem, intrinsic motivation in the classroom, emotional intelligence, emotional maturity and improved psychological well-being . Research has been demonstrating that treating ourselves in self-compassionate ways might be of outmost importance to our sense of psychological well-being, in the context of academic, occupational, health and personal domains.

To further understand self-compassion, it would be useful to expand discussion on suffering. According to studies in this area, suffering can be experienced in response to an event, a situation, an emotional response, a psychological state, spiritual alien-ation, or a physical response to illness or pain . Suffering manifests as a pattern of decreased self-care and ability to relate to others, and diminished autonomy. Where self-compassion by comparison, manifests as a pattern of increased self-care capacity, compassion, empathy for others, increased relatedness and sense of community, autonomy, efficacy, independence and healthier sense of self in the face of suffering. One great example of the use of compassion in the face of suffering is described by Dr. Frankl, a holocaust survivor and psychiatrist :

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”


Furthermore, research has identified several important aspects of self-compassion including, self-kindness, non-critical self-judgment, communal sense of humanity, i.e. a sense of belonging and ability to show empathy to others, social connectedness versus isolation, and mindfulness versus identification. It is also worth noting that self-compassion and empathy for others have been identified as powerful contribu-tors to well-being in that they add to our sense of security and attachment to our her-itage, as well as attachment to our social, cultural and spiritual spheres . In addition, personal characteristics such as sociability and extraversion/introversion, to name a few, as well as cultural values, such as individualistic versus collectivistic values, might also impact our sense of well-being.

It is interesting to note that these self-compassion aspects appear to be consistent with research findings on psychological well-being components. More specifically, although this subject matter is recognized as complex, research suggests that in general, psychological well-being includes subjective, social, and psychological di-mensions as well as health-promoting attitudes and behaviours. Factors that have been found to correlate with psychological well-being include self-acceptance, mean-ingful ties to others, a sense of autonomy in thought and action, the ability to manage complex environments to suit personal needs and values, the pursuit of meaningful goals and a sense of purpose in life and continued growth and development as a person . These similarities may further support our recognition of the potential value and strength of self-compassion approach.

Equally important is the fact that the positive effects of self-compassion appear to impact physiological well-being. For example, studies looking at meditation and self-control techniques aimed at fostering an attitude of self-compassion, have demon-strated to strengthen neuro-physiological and immune systems .

Following this brief introduction and discussion of self-compassion and its overlapping consistency with psychological well-being, we can now look at several strategies aimed at applying self-compassion to everyday life, whereby leading to an increase in our capacity for self-compassion and further contributing to a healthy sense of psy-chological well-being.


Lastly, given our discussion, consider the following clinical vignette. Imagine seeing a client or hearing a friend express the following belief: “he or she will not love me be-cause I am no good”. A cognitive therapist may look at the negative self-value and self-assumption of being no good and un-lovable; confront the imbedded negative self-expectation that another could not love him/her; or discuss the low self-efficacy perception that one is incapable of being good or loved. How would you approach this from a self-compassion perspective?

In conclusion, the use of self-compassion concept to improve psychological well-being in the face of suffering and modern day pressures appears to offer significant value. Self-compassion refers to the manner in which we relate and treat ourselves in the face of suffering, and research is showing promise in applying self compassion to the treatment of various mental health and everyday challenges, including stress, self esteem, depression, anxiety, emotional maturity and sense of well-being. In addition, self-compassion appears consistent with positive and cognitive based psychological schools of thoughts, as well as with findings on important well-being components. This article further presents several self-help strategies using the concept of self-compassion to everyday life challenges, which are aimed at increasing our inherent capacity for self-compassion and sense of psychological well-being.


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A peek into – The Many Faces of Addiction Symposium

In a few weeks, Bellwood will be hosting a very special event, and we are quite excited.

We are excited with the breadth, depth and freshness of this year’s The Many Faces of Addiction Symposium and can’t wait to see everything unfold in Toronto on October 16th and 17th.

Now in it’s fourth year, the goal of the Symposium has always been to bring together experts in the field of addiction and mental health to discuss and gain new insights; to learn what’s new and the best practices on helping those struggling at home, in the workplace, and in our communities overcome addictions.

This year we are expecting nearly 200 delegates from across North America to learn from the best, share first hand knowledge and examine the illness of addiction. We are looking forward to the delegates exploring the latest and proven treatment options, workplace management techniques, recovery best practices and much more.

Based on emerging new areas in addiction and delegate feedback, this year we have carefully designed sessions to focus on the areas of concurrent trauma/PTSD and substance abuse, Internet and gaming addiction, best practices for managing employees with addiction, and clinical techniques for achieving excellent results. Each session has been structured to delve into the depths of addiction in a dynamic and interactive framework.

Over the year, the organizing team has worked hard to bring together leading experts, clinicians, and academics from Canada and the United States to seek out answers to the tough questions surrounding addiction and mental health.

This year’s expert keynote presenters include:

and many more.

Yes, there is no doubt we are excited!

We would like to invite you to join us and take advantage of this opportunity to hear from leaders in the addiction and mental health field; and gain new insights into how to help those who are struggling at home, in the workplace, and in our communities.

Whether you are a healthcare or corporate professional, or an individual whose life has been touched by addiction, we are confident that this year’s Symposium will provide education, training and information about new tools and emerging practices to help people heal from addiction.

Mark your calendars; registration is open and space is limited.

See you on October 16th and 17th at the Ontario Science Centre.