It’s that time of the year again…the Christmas/holiday season is upon us at last.
DPSN has been running now, in one form or another, for 10 years! We’ve come a long way in that time, from our humble beginnings as the Diversityworks Peer Support Network, through to our latest iteration as a weekly blog and Facebook page. We’ve seen our hugely successful MyFilm, 100 Days and #UMAL2M projects. And in the last four years we’ve welcomed on board some fantastic regular guest bloggers.
A few weeks ago I got asked to give a guest lecture on addiction to a psychology undergraduate class at the University of Auckland. To be fair, I was asked to fill in for the person who usually gives the lecture, who couldn’t make it. But I still felt just a little bit chuffed to be asked at all, given that I’m still really early in my career. And nervous of course, giving a lecture to 150 students is no walk in the park when you’re not the biggest fan of public speaking!
I have a confession to make (but it’s not such a bad one). TED, a worldwide organisation which brings together speakers on education, business, science, tech and creativity, has a Youtube channel entirely devoted to short educational videos on a wide range of topics. My confession is that I’ve been slightly addicted to watching them lately, finding myself lost in a spiral of absorbing information on everything from how you digest food to how people lived in ancient Rome. They’re fascinating, and I strongly suggest you try them out.
I came across an interesting new term the other day – “proxemics”. Proxemics, a term coined by cultural anthropologist Edward Hall, is defined as the study of human use of space and their environments. In particular, the ways that we view our environments and the effect this has on our behaviour, communication and social interaction – something which is strongly influenced by culture.
As someone who works a regular 8.30am to 5.00pm job (plus extra…), I read with interest about a New Zealand trust management company, Perpetual Guardian, and their trial of a four day working week. That’s working a 32 hour week, for the same salary as a full time employee.
I have a strong value around generosity in my life. I like to give to others, whether it be time, energy, or money/resources (when I can afford it). I try to be a giving and generous friend, partner, family member and employee. I’ve based my whole career as a therapist around being generous – giving freely of my emotional energy and support to others. This isn’t always a good thing.
What do you think of when I talk about addiction? Maybe wild parties, immoral people without boundaries, illicit drug use, a debaucherous lifestyle? Perhaps you imagine the popular idea of an “addict” – someone who either can’t control themselves or makes a choice to take drugs to the detriment of their own wellbeing.