Mental health, wellness, and self-care for those touched by intimate partner violence: Mini-series introduction
By Melissa Fickling, See the Triumph Guest Blogger
December can be a month fraught with mixed emotions and meaning – from holidays, to the changing seasons, to memories, it offers opportunity for reflection and self-nurturing if we allow ourselves the time. Starting this month, a group of students enrolled in a course I had the privilege of teaching, will serve as guest contributors to See the Triumph with a focus on mental health, wellness, and self-care for those touched by intimate partner violence.
We are a group of six women in a course titled Women’s Issues in Counseling. We come from all walks of life and all different academic disciplines. What we share, however, is a commitment to understanding and acknowledging the ways the social construct of gender impacts our individual and collective well-being. We have diverse interests, so you will hear about IPV from a variety of angles. We hope you will hear themes of hope and caring – themes which permeate the stories shared through See the Triumph all year round.
This semester, we have learned and shared about a variety of topics and their impact on the lives of women and people of all genders. There have been moments of courage, vulnerability, and healing in our time together. We have chosen to contribute to See the Triumph as a way to reach beyond the classroom to raise public awareness about mental health, wellness, and the impact of violence. We are grateful to be able to connect with you in this way.
By sharing our lessons and our stories we hope that you may feel empowered to speak out, share this information with a friend, or challenge hurtful words or behaviors when you see them. We also hope you will feel that you are not in this alone. As we move through the month of December and the days get shorter, I hope our words can be a source of light as we all continue our journey toward wellness and survival and triumph.
The term self-care refers to any behavior or practice which enhances or maintains wellness in one or more areas of your life, from physical to emotional to spiritual wellness. To start us thinking about ways we can practice caring for ourselves, we invite you to ask yourself the following questions:
Melissa J. Fickling, MA, LPC, NCC is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Counseling & Educational Development at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is the instructor for CED 574A: Women’s Issues in Counseling for the 2014-2015 academic year. Melissa has worked as a counselor in college, community, and private practice settings where she specializes in issues related to work, career, and transition. Melissa completed her doctoral cognate in Women’s and Gender Studies at UNCG. She is on track to graduate with her Ph.D. in May of 2015. Her dissertation is examining career counselors’ perceptions of social justice advocacy behaviors.