Dear ESTD members,
Summer is almost over in many of our countries and with it the heat of summer days and nights. I hope your holidays (for those who have had some) were inspiring and relaxing. When traveling, we sometimes go far to get some new impressions and experiences. What a good moment during the year, when we are « offline » and just being private, getting our well-being enhanced! What does this mean to us as therapists or people engaged in assessment and treatment of trauma and dissociative disorders?
I suppose that for every human being, and especially for us as therapists, we need some time to relax and recover from hard work throughout the year. We need to take care of our well-being. With summertime and long days, we like to stay outside and meet people, we go visiting cities, relieve pressure on beaches or climb on top of exciting mountains, or take a walk in the countryside, whatever. I wish that all of you have had some time to relax and discover new frontiers, geographical ones, or more personal ones, inside ourselves. All this to promote so precious well-being.
What do we need to have real well-being and a work-life balance? Holidays or vacations? New impressions or meeting our beloved ones? Discovering new heights or far away countries? Whatever your choice is, the most important is to do something which promotes your with well-being, joy and happiness. Working in the field of trauma and dissociation is challenging and sometimes quite disturbing. Living is acting (cf. Pierre Janet’s theory of actions). We need to have activities (mental and behavioural actions) which give us a balance to recover from all the stories we hear, the consultations we provide and the fights we fight to help our clients/patients.
And for all the people who are experts by experience, I would like to point out the importance of giving oneself the time and opportunity to meet people, other countries, and to connect to a nice and relaxing environment.
The WHO-5 Well-Being Index*, available in 32 languages (1998, see the link: https://www.psykiatriregionh.dk/who-5/who-5-questionnaires/Pages/default.aspx) asks 5 questions to measure human wellbeing.
You can answer by
« All of the time - 5 »,
« Most of the time - 4 »,
« More than half of the time - 3 »,
« Less than half of the time - 2 »,
« Some of the time - 1 »,
« At no time - 0 ».
And the questions are:
Over the last two weeks:
1. I have felt cheerful and in good spirits,
2. I have felt calm and relaxed,
3. I have felt active and vigorous,
4. I woke up feeling fresh and rested,
5 . My daily life has been filled with things that interest me.
The raw score is calculated by totalling the figures of the five answers. The raw score ranges from 0 to 25, 0 representing worst possible and 25 representing best possible quality of life. To obtain a percentage score ranging from 0 to 100, the raw score is multiplied by 4. A percentage score of 0 represents worst possible, whereas a score of 100 represents best possible quality of life. A score below 13 indicates poor well-being and is an indication for testing for depression under ICD-10.
I wish you all wonderful magical scores from 80% upwards, or the energy and power to take action to raise your score.
From ESTD Newsletter Volume 4, Number 3, September 2015