Book Club – Why has Nobody Told Me This Before?
By Alyssa Russo – Clinical Health Coach/Occupational Therapist at Working To Wellbeing
Here at W2W, our continual aim is to connect the dots between the biological, psychological and social aspects of healthcare with an ultimate goal of supporting people back to function and employment. Along the way, we ensure we keep up-to-date with the latest relevant trends in order to benefit our patients. We achieve this by utilising a wide array of research and resources, sharing these amongst our colleagues and learning from the extensive experiences of our professional peers.
To further facilitate this continuing professional development, W2W has launched an internal book club. It’s a monthly meeting where colleagues can meet and discuss, with varying degrees of passion and enthusiasm, books that have some corresponding connection to our clinical practice. We can also help one another benefit from alternate angles and unconsidered perspectives.
July’s selection is Why has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr Julie Smith. The book purports to contain a collection of life skills that help us along the rocky road of simply existing, examining themes that we humans continuously grapple with, such as emotional pain, grief, fear, stress and self-doubt – all while attempting to achieve a meaningful life.
The July W2W book clubbers have chosen to focus solely on the cluster of chapters specifically on motivation this month. In these, Smith delves into the difference between procrastination and anhedonia, the perils of self-criticism, and how by making one small change – even when we really don’t feel like it – we can set in motion a series of events that puts us on a new and more positive path. In a nod to neuroplasticity, Smith likens these new, healthier routines to fresh, unpaved avenues in our brain that need deliberate and consistent repetition in order to become well-trodden and automatic. In short, practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect, but it does make it easier. When things are easier, we do them more: action begets further motivation.
Smith also advocates being aware of why you want to alter your habits, connecting this impetus to your innate values and unique sense of self, thereby establishing behaviour change as part of your core identity for longer-term success. Not only is this something we as clinicians can posit to our patients to increase the likelihood of them achieving their goals, it is something I need to remember myself when both the TV remote and rowing machine beckon.