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Archive for the ‘Self-Awareness’ Category

Making therapy accessible – Gainesville Sun

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By Voleer Thomas | For The Guardian

Gainesville native Kimberly Brown is determined to inspire the black community to use a tool to help individuals relieve traumas they have experienced.

I want to help with mental health, especially since it is seldom discussed in our communities, Brown said.

Brown in June launched Kimberly Kares located at 1731 NW Sixth St., Suite A, to provide more opportunities for the black community to utilize mental health and therapy services.

Her desire to work in the mental health field began when she was an intern at the Alachua County Jail and was inspired by her supervisor who was a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).

She was compassionate and did a lot of therapy, Brown said. Some of the inmates she worked with didnt come back. Thats what sealed the deal for me.

After receiving her undergraduate degree in criminal justice and pre-law at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Breach, she pursued and received her Master of Social Work at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

A few years later, Brown became a licensed clinical social worker and a child and adolescent trauma professional.

Brown formerly worked as a childrens counselor at Childrens Home Society in Gainesville and currently works as a medical social worker at the University of Florida for pediatrics.

Although counseling children is her specialty, Brown also sees the importance of working with adults.

Children are my niche, but I do see adults, Brown said. There are people that have adverse experiences as children and things dont go as they should as adults.

Brown said she loves seeing the recent increase of awareness from black people learning about therapy and the importance of seeking mental health help.

Nothing makes me feel greater, Brown said. It makes me know I made the right decision.

Brown is also an author who recently published two books this year that are titled Bella Noelles Affirmations and Bella and The Brain In: Exploring My Feelings.

The latter book was co-authored by her seven-year-old daughter, Bella Smith.

The affirmation book describes how Bella the fairy helps a child name Susie become happy again by telling her about the importance of affirmations and the book also comes with a page for a child to write in their own affirmations.

It is important for children to see characters that look like them, Brown said.

Her other book helps children navigate how to understand their feelings by using the character called "Bryan the Brain" to help another character named "Bella" process her feelings while she moved to a new town. The book also has coloring pages in the end.

Brown said it is important for children to learn techniques such as meditative breathing and positive thinking to help them cope with challenging emotions.

A lot of issues adults face started as a child, Brown said. It [the book] simplifies big scary words and creates self-awareness. By the time theyre adults they can use these calming skills.

Brown hosted webinars in the past with collaboration with other social workers to increase the accessibility of mental health. She plans to host them once every two months.

Thats my way of giving back free of cost, Brown said. Its important to take care of ourselves during this climate. We cant let it eat us up inside to the point were no longer self-aware. Its okay to be angry, but I dont want us to not take care of ourselves because of it.

Brown offers a free consultation over the phone to find out the best treatment for the client.

Her individual one-hour appointments are $90 and her family sessions are $100.

However, Brown provides a sliding scale for clients up to 50% off the full fee.

She said she wanted to provide treatment at a discounted price to help make therapy affordable for people living at a lower income level.

I will always work with them, Brown said. I want to maker sure my services are accessible to whoever needs it.

Brown uses a HIPAA-compliant software called SimplePractice to help with scheduling appointments and sharing documents with clients.

Brown is on therapy directories such as Therapy for Black Girls, Psychology Today and Trap Therapist to help as many people with their mental health as she can.

Its all about visibility, Brown said. There are therapists that look like you. For our culture, it is okay to seek help. You can go to church and still seek a therapist.

To schedule an appointment with Brown, email her at or call her at 352-562-0336.

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Making therapy accessible - Gainesville Sun

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October 28th, 2020 at 6:55 pm

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The 10 Best Ways To Make The Rest Of 2020 Suck Less – Forbes

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This has been the year none of us asked for or wanted.

From a global pandemic, countless natural disasters, growing social and racial unrest, and a substantial political divide to balancing working from home and remote learning, navigating the uncertainty has been challenging.

The good news is that we still have a chance to salvage the year. Here are the 10 best waysone for each week left of the yearto finish strong:

If 2020 has taught us anything, its that you must protect your time. Your ability to prioritize and focus your attention (despite countless distractions) is crucial. How and with whom you spend your time and your productivity while doing so, demonstrate your focus and commitment to whatand whomatters most. When you mastertime-management, youll learn to say no, do, decide, delegate or delete tasks, batch routine tasks, eliminate distractions, embrace mono-tasking, get to knowand workyour own rhythms, and build in breaks to recharge.

Most think ofself-awarenessas knowingyourself. Self-aware leaders have a clear understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. They are honest about what they want, their skills, and what matters most to them. They also have an accurate perception of what sets them apart and can then use their unique talents to magnify their impact in an environment that best suits them. Conversely, they also understand and acknowledge their blind spots and areas needing improvement.

But self-awareness is not just about knowing how you move through the world; its about knowing how your energy affects others. This perspective allows you to understand that everything is connectedyour interactions with other people, how they perceive you, your attitude, and your responses to them in the momentand all can be enhanced through better self-awareness.

Emotional intelligence is rooted in them, business leaders swear by them, and they remain in high demand. Im speaking ofsoft skills, those frequently misunderstood and undervalued skills that power career success.

Last year,LinkedInreleased its annualGlobal Talent Trends report, which explored the four big trends fueling the future of the workplace. Topping the list? Soft skills.

This finding underscores a fundamental truth: At its core, business is about relationships. No matter your job function or title, to succeed, you must interact with other people. And those who find a way to combine their hard skills with soft skills create environments that empower and ignite their teams, delight their customers, and fuel sustainable growth.

Far too often, we assume that everyone thinks, behaves, and communicates the same way we do. Worse, we make the mistake of focusing our sales pitches and communication about us rather than our intended audiences.

No matter your industry or profession,four words have the power to change your results instantly: Its not about you.

The finest leaders understand that by putting others first and adopting a service mindset, they can improve their communication and connection, establish trust, deepen relationships, and build business.

Curiositycan be defined as a strong desire to know or learn something. But its so much more than that.

When youre curious, youre open. Open to exploring new ideas, experiences, and possibilities. Open to meeting new people and learning new things. Open to leaving behind outdated mindsets and limiting beliefs to make room for your highest and best self. And its that opennessthat curiositythat fuels growth.

Career contrariansshare the ability to adopt an often unpopular perspective and make it work for them. Instead of conforming to conventional or practical approaches, education, or paths, and they seek alternative means to career fulfillment. This means they realize that there is more than one path to success (and its probably non-linear), are comfortable being uncomfortable (even, and especially, when they fail), trust their gut, play the long game, eliminate the negative self-talk, and understand that taking an alternative path may inspire someone else to do it, as well.

The benefits oflisteningare numerous. Active listening demonstrates respect, builds trust, and makes people feel valued. It creates a virtuous cycle: we naturally gravitate toward those who listen to us, and when we feel heard, we open up and share. Active listening also allows leaders to learn about things both good and bad, so they can discover new ideas and opportunities as well as detectand get creative about solvingpotential problems when theyre still in their infancy.

Fear is a powerful emotion. It often masquerades as a cloak of protection, keeping us from doing things that may cause us harm. But sometimes, the real damage comes from the inaction that fear enables.

We avoid at all costs those things that make us uncomfortable, but there is no growth in the status quo. Sooner or later, that caution and those fears that prevent you from getting hurt or put on the spot stagnate you.

Everything youve ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear; its time to stop hiding and go for it.

Wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. But it transforms into something truly powerful when it is shared.

Why? Because all the wisdom in the world is meaningless without application.

Yet many leaders eschew this and choose instead to hoard their insights, fearful of giving them away. They dont understand a simple truth:sharing your wisdom doesnt diminish your impact; it amplifies it. And today, the best way to magnify your message is to harness the power and reach of social media.

In 2020, you likely experienced some degree of pivotingdoes your career story align and support that change of trajectory? Everyone has a unique story, but not everyone leverages its power. Properly crafted,your career storyhelps to differentiate you from your competitors, highlight your value, and to draw others to you. It provides a common thread that weaves together your personal and professional experiences, as well as your transferable skills, making it easy for others to connect the dots. Because once you have your story, it changes everything, including how others perceive, pay, partner with, and promote you.

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The 10 Best Ways To Make The Rest Of 2020 Suck Less - Forbes

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October 28th, 2020 at 6:55 pm

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Creative Arts Therapy Club Reaches Out to Campus – West Liberty University News & Media Relations

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WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Oct. 28, 2020 How do you feel about the pandemic and COVID-19? West Liberty Universitys Creative Arts Therapy (CAT) Club offered the campus a chance to share their feelings about the pandemic this past Friday.

Students, staff and faculty were invited to enjoy an art activity or two on the quad, planned by the CAT Club. Activities included throwing paint balloons and writing out how you feel about the pandemic on a canvas.

TheCATclub wanted to helpthe WLU communityfind away toexpress frustrationwiththepandemicin a healthy way.So,club memberscame up withtheideaof fighting COVID-19 through art, explained Dr. Susan Ridley, who is an assistantprofessor of Creative Arts Therapy and program director at WLU.

The weather cooperated and the quad was sunny and warm, perfect for enjoying creative fun in the sun. Participants could also buy a raffle ticket for various prize baskets. About 40 people participated.

This was our first club activity and I suggested the idea as a way to express ourselves about COVID-19 and especially the resulting isolation that is a part of the pandemic. Its a great way to get the frustration out, said Manuela Hoffmann of Wheeling who is in her second year of the four-year degree program. She also is the vice president of the club.

Im very hands-on person, and the ability to do art through activity like this is therapeutic. It opens the doors for understanding and connects you to others.

Other officers in the CAT Club include: Savannah Allen, president, Juliana (Juju) Haug, secretary and Lindsay Manor, treasurer. The students look forward to planning more art therapy activities in the near future.

I love the Creative Arts Therapy program. It helps yourself and others, Hoffmann said.

Art Therapy is a mental health profession that uses art media and the creative process to explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.

WLUs creative arts therapy program is housed in the College of Arts and Communication and it first enrolled students in the fall of 2013.

WLU is the only public university in the state offering an undergraduate degree in art therapy and will soon add a masters degree in art therapy and counseling to its offerings.

Its new masters degree was recently approved by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and is now being examined by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The HLC is expected to visit in February for an on-site look at the program.

Once approved by the HLC, the two- year masters program is expected to enroll students in the fall of 2021. The Master of Arts in Creative Arts Therapy degree program will include60-credit hours andprovide the education needed forstudentsto apply for credentials as an art therapist with the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), expressive arts therapy certification with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) andWest Virginia licensed professional counselor (LPC) designation.Students will be required to complete post-graduate supervision hours and pass professional examinations.

For more information on creative arts therapy at WLU, please contactDr.Ridley at 304-336-8251 or[emailprotected], or visit the webpage

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Creative Arts Therapy Club Reaches Out to Campus - West Liberty University News & Media Relations

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October 28th, 2020 at 6:55 pm

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‘The Craft: Legacy’ is the sparkly savior your Halloween needs: Review – Mashable

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I drink of my sisters, and I take into myself all the power of 2021.

Image: blumhouse productions / columbia pictures

Call the corners, drink of your sisters, slap on a cat-eye, and have at it with the glitter: The Craft: Legacy is here and its spectacular.

Wait, you have good news? For this Halloween? Its surprising, I know.

'The Craft: Legacy' is here and it's spectacular.

In a year rife with misfortune, Blumhouses follow-up to The Craft seemed bound for failure.

Of course, revisiting a cult classic is always divisive, but first reactions to writer-director Zoe Lister-Jones Craft continuation were especially apprehensive. Concerns over the trailer varied, including "not enough Love Spit Love," "not enough Fairuza Balk," "not enough black," etc. Still, one sentiment appeared universal: Halloween already sucks this year, why ruin The Craft too?

And yet, when the credits rolled on my first at-home Legacy viewing (oh, I've watched it three times already), the furthest thing from my mind was what this successor could've or should've been.

A spunky little sister to Andrew Flemings 1996 goth-chic masterpiece the Craft director executive produced the new film as well, and it shows The Craft: Legacy is a worthwhile continuation of the outcasts-win universe fans already worship. But it also has enough magic to stand on its own as a fun, inclusive, and important gem that feels especially needed in this tumultuous time. That you don't need to have seen The Craft to appreciate its Legacy is a bonus.

Michelle Monaghan stars as Lily's mom Helen, opposite David Duchovny as Lily's mom's boyfriend Adam.

Image: blumhouse productions / columbia pictures

In this spooky-yet-sparkly sequel, Cailee Spaeny stars as Lily, a natural-born witch not yet in control of her powers. When Lily enrolls at a new school, she meets Frankie, Tabby, and Lourdes, played by Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, and Zoey Luna, respectively.

Together, the young women form a coven and vow to abide by all the laws of witchcraft introduced in the first film. Manon, binding, invoking the spirit, random butterflies and snakes it's all there. But the context in which our new heroines explore spell-casting is appropriately updated.

With the punk-rock pleather exchanged for a more ethereal, Euphoria-esque wardrobe and the '90s indie jams switched for 2020 artists like Princess Nokia (a soundtrack choice one character literally and rightfully screams with joy over), The Craft: Legacy assumes a recognizable Instagram aesthetic from the jump. The central characters take on familiar Gen-Z lingo too, and make enough contemporary references to firmly cement the film's status as a solid 2020 time capsule. It's very entertaining to watch, a snarky combo of over-the-top visuals and off-the-cuff wit typical of a generation born into the internet age and its consequences.

Please contact me directly if these girls need anything. At any time. For any reason.

Image: blumhouse productions / columbia pictures

Continuing the modernization, the magic itself is also improved. Not only are the special effects far more effective in The Craft: Legacy (thank god), the girls are also able to wield more power than their predecessors as a result. For example, Lily learns early on that she has a knack for telekinetically yeeting dudes across school hallways, and makes liberal use of it.

Keeping with the great tradition of being both totally obsession-worthy and kind of a mess, The Craft: Legacy never takes itself too seriously.

Good thing for the coven, too, because the central conflict of The Craft: Legacy is a somewhat higher stakes affair than the schism chronicled in the original. I won't get into too many details, since it's certainly better left unspoiled. But suffice to say, it's somewhere in the ballpark of Black Christmas meets Mean Girls meets a very specific scene from Halloweentown.

If all that sounds like it could be a little soapy, that's because it is. Keeping with The Craft's great tradition of being both totally obsession-worthy and kind of a mess, The Craft: Legacy never takes itself too seriously. Even in its most profound messaging (the girls barrel through social justice topics like all very online witches do), the tone is light yet sensitive, relaxed but sincere.

That the movie's more complicated conceits, notably including a discussion of informed consent as it relates to witchcraft, land as well as they do is a testament to both Lister-Jones' excellent writing and the tremendous talent of her young cast.

Spaeny's Lily is the earnest everygirl you want to root for; Luna's Lourdes is a formidable leader with warmth to spare; Simone's Tabby is a magnetic force with the best line in the movie; and Adlon's Frankie never met a scene she couldn't steal. Not to mention, Nicholas Galitzine's Timmy essentially, this chapter's Chris Hooker (played by Skeet Ulrich in the original) delivers a villain-turned-love interest as captivating as any other I've seen.

More daydream than nightmare, The Craft: Legacy delivers an enchanting outing that honors its origins while maintaining the ease and self-awareness characteristic of a timelessly great scary movie. Come for the love of what was, stay for the promise of what could be, and if it still doesn't jive with you? Well, maybe you aren't the weirdo ruling this witching season.

The Craft: Legacy is now available to stream through Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, iTunes, YouTube, and more.

'The Craft: Legacy' is the sparkly savior your Halloween needs: Review - Mashable

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October 28th, 2020 at 6:55 pm

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Following up with UO’s progress on combating racism and systemic oppression – Oregon Daily Emerald

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The University of Oregon Senate passed a Resolution Against Racism and Systemic Oppression on June 10, 2020. The resolution states that the university has much more work to do eliminating microaggressions, recognizing privilege and learning from the effects of structural racism and White nationalism on all People of Color. In turn, the resolution charges Senate leadership with determining how best to implement the changes that are listed in the motion.

The last line of the resolution reads in red font, The Senate hereby commits itself to revisiting each action presented in Section II of this resolution by the end of the 2020-2021 Academic Year. Four weeks into the school year, diversity and inclusion efforts are already well underway.

Yvette Alex-Assensoh, vice president for equity and inclusion and political science professor, is working with the Senate to follow through on everything listed in the resolution.

An important aspect of the Senates work is self-awareness and discovery, Alex-Assensoh said. The Senate is doing the right thing by starting off with themselves and then working together to move forward to institutional change.

According to Alex-Assensoh, it is important to be aware of the data around equity and inclusion at UO. She said such data will help the Senate to understand where the university is strong as well as where there are opportunities for improvement.

The lack of diversity is a situation of institutional underperformance, she said. This work is lifelong, and we are operating in ways that prepare us to engage, in an ongoing way, the work of equity, antiracism and inclusion.

Diversity and inclusion efforts are not just now emerging with the passing of this resolution. Fifteen years ago, the university launched the Summer Academy to Inspire Learning to get low income and underrepresented high school students to attend college. UO Economics Professor Bill Harbaugh said he helped start the program in 2005 when the Senate passed a different resolution regarding diversity.

It was all talk with no action, Harbaugh said. We thought, This is bullshit. Were going to actually do something.

SAIL brings local high school students to campus for a week-long summer camp run by faculty volunteers. This summer, the camp was conducted online, which Harbaugh said allowed them to reach students from all over the state. During the school year, SAIL staff members go to local high school classes and give presentations about what college is like and why its important.

The statistical analysis that we have been able to do suggests that students who come and stay in the program are about twice as likely to go on to college as the control group, Harbaugh said.

As for the UO economics department, Harbaugh said he noticed the majority of students in the major are White males.

I dont pretend to understand why that is. I love economics, I think everybody should love economics, he said.

However, there have been efforts to diversify the major, including the Women in Economics group and a discretionary fund used to increase offers to underrepresented graduate students during recruitment. The effects of gender differences and racial discrimination are being taught in introductory economics classes, and Harbaugh said hes trying to add a course on the economics of poverty into the curriculum.

It'll be interesting to see what the Senate does to follow through on all the promises theyve made, Harbaugh said. I think theres always things that could be done to improve.

Taha Mirghorbani is an undergraduate business major from Iran. He said business is a language that everyone speaks, and its important to look above the barriers of gender and race, even though they still exist.

I think the majority of the students at the University of Oregon arent necessarily considered ethnically diverse, Mirghorbani said. However, we have a lot of second-generation immigrants, and certainly there is that minority of immigrants like myself who are here for the first time ever and are trying to figure out stuff.

Mirghorbani said White privilege manifests itself in the sense that the majority of students who get into selective business programs have a background that helps them get there. He also mentioned that people from outside of the United States dont have those same connections.

We can always just be a little bit more direct about the matter of inclusivity, Mirghorbani said. Its important to be patient with internationals or people who come from outside the country. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

Lundquist College of Business Dean Sarah Nutter and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Chair Joshua Beck have been working to improve diversity in their department as well, although it was not the Senate resolution that prompted them to do so.

We recognized as a college, I think ahead of the game, that we needed to address and work on this, Beck said. So we have been.

Beck said the department has been very vocal about calling out and condemning racism. He said they are redoing the business schools website to improve student access to resources such as clubs, scholarships and mentors. Another diversity scholarship was added to help diverse students advance, and theres been a push for faculty to include more case studies with people from diverse backgrounds.

Were doing things like implicit bias training and teaching workshops on how to approach diversity, equity and inclusion in the classrooms, Beck said. Instead of trying to avoid those conversations, were really trying to engage those conversations in a thoughtful way.

Nutter said its all about actions the school can take to move the needle. For example, a new business course called Cross Cultural Business Communication will be offered in Winter 2021.

We definitely know we have a ways to go in diversity, and thats across gender and almost any other demographic you can think of, Nutter said. Its something that were actively working on.

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Following up with UO's progress on combating racism and systemic oppression - Oregon Daily Emerald

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October 28th, 2020 at 6:55 pm

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What it takes to become a collaborative leader – Chief Learning Officer

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In 2015, Ralph Stayer stepped down as CEO of Wisconsin-based Johnsonville Sausage, a position he held for 47 years. He expanded the butcher shop his father gave him into a $1.5 billion dollar global business and the largest sausage brand in the U.S. What is more interesting is how he transformed himself as the leader of this business in a way that enabled it to grow through a collaborative leadership journey. Beginning in the 1970s, Stayer may be one of the first business leaders to openly explore what it would take for him to transform himself from a command-and-control leader to a truly collaborative one and then go ahead and do it. He captures this journey in his 1990 Harvard Business Review classic article, How I Learned to Let My Workers Lead, which helps us understand the challenges and triumphs of the journey.

This journey is not for the faint of heart and is not for everybody. But if you see the market, technological and demographic realities of our digital age, this journey can help prepare you to lead in the remainder of the 21st century. What is this journey and why should anyone go on it?

Defining the collaborative leadership journey

When Steven Covey published The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, we were introduced to the idea of an inside-out journey to discover our character and the values and principles that shape our leadership. That is where the collaborative leadership journey begins.

It is defined as an inside-out journey of self-discovery, self-awareness and reflection that helps you define who you are as a human being and a professional, what you believe in, what you value, why you are here on this planet and where you choose to go with the rest of your life. It is about your self-esteem, sense of self-worth and the ground you stand on. It is a journey with no destination, but it is about lifelong learning, growth and development

There are five key dimensions of the journey essential for its success:

Is the view worth the climb?

Why should any leader want to go on this journey? The short answer is that the realities of the 21st century digital age require a new type of leadership. Covid-19, the economic collapse, systemic racism, climate change and the rise of the millennial workforce are all screaming for a new way to lead collaboratively. Twentieth century industrial age hierarchy is simply out of step with the times. Additionally, there are at least five benefits from doing this work:

Challenges to becoming a collaborative leader

Like every journey we take in life, you will experience roadblocks, barriers or unforeseen challenges along the way. Here are a few you may encounter:

7 steps in the collaborative leadership journey

This is a journey, not a destination. Here are seven steps you can take on your journey to becoming a collaborative leader.

Step 1: Make a conscious choice to begin the journey with eyes wide open. Be willing to look in the mirror and make the necessary changes

Step 2: Benchmark your leadership style; get 360-degree feedback. Do a skills assessment and identify where do you need to work to become more collaborative.

Step 3: Explore your personal history to see how your upbringing shaped your life and view of leadership. Understand what drives, motivates and inspires you.

Step 4: Discover the unique gifts you bring to the workplace special talents, skills or passions that you can give to others.

Step 5: Identify your core values, ethics and moral compass that guide your leadership, and how you live by them.

Step 6: Define your purpose. Ask yourself, Why am I here on this planet? What is it I am supposed to do while Im here?

Step 7: Develop your personal mission and vision statement, and clarify the legacy you want to leave behind.

Strong foundations

When you build a house, you need a solid foundation that can withstand extreme weather events. If you use the wrong kind of cement or do not prepare the foundation properly, the pressures of external events will cause it to crack. The same is true for your leadership. The collaborative leadership journey is designed to help you create a solid foundation so that you empower yourself and others and can withstand the turbulence that is all around us. By the end of your journey, you will have become the best version of yourself, the collaborative leader, who, in the words of Lao Tzu, 6th century BCE leader, is best when people barely know he/she exists, when his/her work is done, his/her aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves.

This article is based on the authors book, Leaderships 4th Evolution: Collaboration for the 21st Century.

Edward M. Marshall, Ph.D., is the author of "Leadership's 4th Evolution: Collaboration for the 21st Century and a thought leader in the field of collaborative leadership and cultural transformation. He has authored two best-selling business books, Transforming the Way We Work: The Power of the Collaborative Workplace, and Building Trust at the Speed of Change. He teaches leadership at Duke University, is an executive coach and manages a consulting firm. To comment, email

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What it takes to become a collaborative leader - Chief Learning Officer

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October 28th, 2020 at 6:55 pm

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The Unspoken Social and Emotional Benefits of a College Education – The Apopka Voice

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By Linda Williams

A college education is one of the most significant milestones in ones life. As a parting gift, your college education will reward you with innumerable practical and workplace-applicable skills to improve your marketability. Traditionally, most assume that a college education is only about financial and academic benefits. However, this preconceived notion couldnt be further from the truth.

While its certainly true that a college education often furnishes us with economic and intellectual advancement, other hidden benefits come with a college degree. For example, while earning an associates or bachelors degree, a student will derive emotional and health benefits vital for success in ones education, career, and personal life.

Of course, to access the above-mentioned benefits, youll need to successfully apply and enroll in the higher-education institution of your choice. If youre in the process of applying for colleges, its important to check out the admissions calculator by CollegeData. Using this online resource, students can calculate their chances of gaining admission to over 2,000 colleges and universities in the country. Its an easy process that helps estimate your admission chances and explains the rationale behind the results.

After submitting a college application and receiving an acceptance letter, you might wonder what awaits you in college. The reality is that these two to four years of college are packed full of fun and opportunities to exercise your independence, two things most college-aged students seek out.

However, the fun of spending time with your roommates and exploring the real-world are just two components of most students college experience. By the time you earn your associates or bachelors degree, youll have gained numerous social and emotional benefits along the way.

The social/emotional learning (SEL) that students go through in colleges is incomparable. It helps students achieve the following:

A concrete SEL program helps students capitalize on the following emotional and mental health benefits.

If you finished high school and felt plagued by low self-esteem, by the time youve completed your undergraduate degree, your self-esteem will have increased. Why? Because the college environment promotes emotional and mental growth.

Without your parents physical presence to provide guidance, social interaction is an unspoken survival tactic in colleges. As a college student, youll get to refine the interpersonal skills that help you interact better with your peers, raising your self-esteem. Upon graduation, you can carry these skills into a workplace environment or a potential interview.

One of the hallmarks of a college education is an increased sense of independence. Most graduates will claim the most notable benefit of the college experience is the freedom to set your sleeping schedule, plan your study sessions as you see fit, and engage in risky behaviors your parents would otherwise disapprove of. While a college campus may sound like a free-for-all, its a perfect environment to cultivate your autonomy.

Although some students choose to ignore their parents advice to abstain from drugs and alcohol, this increased sense of independence isnt entirely dangerous. For many, college empowers students to live on their own. It helps students make decisions and own them. Similarly, if they make mistakes, they learn from them and make better judgments in the future.

The support system, composed of roommates, mentors, professors, and friends, helps students become self-aware of who they are. In a college environment, students understand why they behave in a certain way and learn how it affects other people. This self-awareness helps students make responsible decisions and stay mindful of others needs.

Additionally, self-awareness encourages college students to mature into the adults theyre supposed to become. To avoid stunted growth, immerse yourself in clubs, study groups, and roommate bonding activities.

Through programs like SEL (social and emotional learning), students are less likely to exhibit stress, depressive symptoms, and symptoms of anxiety conditions. Even when faced with challenging situations, students feel equipped with enough life skills to resolve the problems at hand and self-soothe.

Unfortunately, SEL programs cant guarantee that students will remain 100 percent stress-proof. However, these programs promise to equip students with proactive stress management skills, reducing the chances of suffering from a debilitating mental breakdown due to intensive course loads.

College education instills social skills in students, which leads to positive social behavior. With these skills in their back pocket, students can relate better with peers, teachers, parents, and the general public. These interpersonal skills are enhanced further when teachers challenge students to look beyond the classroom and engage in networking activities.

In most cases, college students get to build relationships that last for a lifetime. Sometimes, a student will connect with a professor, who can later refer them to a full-time position. Others will build a close group of friends bound to appear in the graduates bridal party. Either way, these two to four years are an excellent opportunity to expand your current social network.

This self-driven motivation will eventually kick-in when students leave their parents and home communities to start their college journey. Once a student has acquired the discipline necessary, theyll notice an innate drive to excel in academics and personal growth matters. This drive is even more pronounced when students participate in extracurricular activities, such as sports and political organizations.

Non-academic engagements provide a fertile ground for students to learn group dynamics. This way, students develop leadership and followership skills that motivate them to become dependable team players in the future.

No longer are the days when faculty and staff expect students to cast their emotions aside and focus solely on academics. Today, besides benefiting students academically and financially, a college education is integral in equipping students with emotional benefits to cope with daily challenges.

Students cultivate excellent skills in problem-solving and emotional management when attending university. Such benefits guarantee long-standing effects that benefit schools, society, and the workplace. With these bonuses in mind, consider attending college even if a degree wont necessarily ensure a pay increase in your chosen industry.

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The Unspoken Social and Emotional Benefits of a College Education - The Apopka Voice

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October 28th, 2020 at 6:55 pm

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6 soft skills you’ll need for the post-Covid working world –

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As we rethink how we work during Covid-19, Hays Nick Deligiannis shares his advice on the most important soft skills for this new era.

One thing that is certain right now is that coronavirus is changing and reshaping our working world rapidly. You must therefore position and prepare yourself as best as possible as we begin to enter the next era of work by building on or developing these soft skills that employers will be looking for in future employees.

An ability to accept and adapt to change is vital because, like it or not, change will be a big part of the new era of work. Employers are increasingly looking for people who can move out of their comfort zone and see change as an opportunity for growth and innovation.

Through the pandemic, youve likely faced and overcome new adversities and challenges that you didnt foresee. So, despite the fact this may have felt difficult and uncomfortable at times, you will have been building up your adaptability and ability to deal with change in the process.

You should take time to acknowledge how your mindset may have shifted in recent weeks and months. If youve noticed that youve managed to adapt to the changes quickly, its likely that you will have done so using a growth mindset.

Professionals and organisations alike have been woken up to the fact thateverything can change almost overnight, and with this change comes demand for different skills. As a result, upskilling should have moved up your priority list.

You need to use this time of uncertainty to be preparing yourself for the next era of work. By devoting time now to upskilling and learning, you will be demonstrating to future potential employers your willingness to learn through how you used this time to better yourself and grow your knowledge base.

Regardless of the industry, a willingness to learn and a desire to stay on top of current trends and changes relevant to your profession is valued by employers both large and small particularly in a world in which the hard, technical skills that are in demand are changing and shifting constantly.

After all, showing that you are willing to learn is key to learning about and understanding any new developments from a technical point of view, ultimately helping your organisation to progress. This soft skill goes hand in hand with being self-aware. As changes occur in your industry, gaps in your skills and knowledge emerge. You must have the self-awareness needed to spot any new gaps, and seek to bridge them.

Grant Torrens, Hays Singapore regional director, hasoutlinedfour questions that you can ask yourself to review your emotional intelligence (EQ):

When navigating difficult times and new challenges, a high level of EQ is imperative. This is a skill we all must possess now and in the next era of work as, unfortunately, were bound to be facing more trying situations in the future. And its vital that youre able to deal with these scenarios successfully.

Developing and increasing your EQ will not only protect you as you approach difficult or potentially stressful times, but it will also set you in good stead to become a top performer in your current and future workplaces.

It is all well and good learning something new every day and thinking of smart solutions to challenges. But these soft skills get lost if youre not able to communicate and demonstrate them successfully to others, such as a potential employer in a job interview.

For example, stating that you are adaptable to change isnt enough; you need to use your strong communication skills to illustrate just how adaptable you are, perhaps by providing examples. After all, employers favour jobseekers who possess exceptional communication skills and are comfortable speaking with people at all levels of an organisation in a professional manner.

Its worth acknowledging, too, that communication has now changed substantially compared to those conversations and interactions we had with colleagues and stakeholders in the pre-crisis world. And as we transition to a hybrid working world with team members split between home-working and office-working strong interpersonal and communication skills are only going to become more important as we learn and adapt to building and maintaining relationships, collaborating and sustaining productivity virtually rather than in person.

Video calls, virtual conferences and online presentations also require new levels of self-confidence you might not currently possess, but will be able to develop in time.

Weve all experienced first-hand how things dont always go to plan. In all likelihood, none of us had predicted that 2020 would pan out the way it has so far. And with a rapidly changing world of work comes the demand for people who are quick to adapt and solve problems efficiently and effectively.

Hays CTO Mohit Talwar has shared advice on how to improve your problem-solving ability one tip being that you need to try and visualise the problem: A simple picture diagram can help visualise the most complex of problems in any area.

And leaders need to be involving their team in their problem-solving discussions more as we move through this crisis. So, its likely that you wont only need this skill to help you adapt to your personal career challenges, but youll also be brought in by your manager, and future managers, to help come up with solutions to changing organisational demands.

Also important in the next era of work is creativity. During these turbulent and unpredictable times, budgets are bound to tighten and cost consciousness will remain a focus. Employers therefore are looking for professionals who can come up with creative ideas and solutions to ensure deadlines are met and results achieved, despite limited or perhaps strained resources.

If youre struggling to see how you could be more creative at work, follow this advicefrom chartered occupational psychologist Dr Maggi Evans, in which she explores the steps you can take to start being more creative and innovative, such as:

And as Karen Young, Hays UK director, said, creativity isnt just important for creative jobs: This invaluable skill will become essential for problem solving, strategising and generating the ideas that will drive businesses forward.

By Nick Deligiannis

Nick Deligiannis is managing director of Hays Australia and New Zealand. A version of this article previously appeared on the Hays Viewpoint blog.

Originally posted here:
6 soft skills you'll need for the post-Covid working world -

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October 28th, 2020 at 6:55 pm

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My parents gave my brothers and me $8 million in bonds, stocks and ETFs. Id like to use my profit to travel. My parents refuse – MarketWatch

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Last week, my parents surprised my three siblings and I, by giving us an in-life inheritance of $8 million U.S. dollars in stocks, bonds, ETFs etc. in a shared account (25% for each). As my brothers and I were discussing that wed re-invest almost all of the profit, I told them Id like to be able to withdraw 0.25% of my part every year ($5,000 as of now) or even less, for travel expenses (traveling is my passion).

My youngest brother spilled this to my parents, and they told me that their wish is for this money to be used as savings for when we retire. I love my parents dearly, I have a huge respect for them, and Im really grateful for what they did, and would feel terribly awful to have a disagreement or even argue with them about this.

The Moneyist:I make $140K a year. Im trying desperately to help my half siblings: 2 are refugees in Turkey, 3 are in Syria. But how?

But Im also a 36-year-old man with no plans on having children, and having the opportunity to inherit this money early in my life, Id like to be able to use this very small amount to pursue one of my passions in life. Id be really grateful if you could share some advice on what to do in a situation like this. Thank you in advance.


Dear Wanderlust,

We are in the middle of a pandemic, so you probably dont need to worry about traveling the world for at least another year. If not more.

You can still travel, of course, and take time off, work-schedule permitting. But I agree with your parents. You should fund this on your own. It will help you to create a healthy work-life balance, something millions of people are reflecting upon during the coronavirus pandemic, and teach you to prioritize your income and expenditures. It will also encourage you to find ways to raise that $5,000 yourself, and excel at whatever it is you do best.

Until they relinquish control of this money, it belongs to them, and it is up to them to decide when and how you should spend it. If you had gone to them first and told them about your travel plans, what would have happened then? We will never know, unfortunately. Its quite possible that they felt like they had done something monumental and the first piece of feedback they received was, Yes, but It may have raised red flags for them.

If it were your decision alone? Travel while youre young and healthy. Knock yourself out. Susan Carlisle, a CPA at CDW CPAs in Los Angeles said travel can substantially enhance our life, and $5,000 a year wouldnt exactly dilute your nest egg. He is not asking to withdraw his $2 million share, after all: only $5,000 per year. As a CPA, a personal-financial specialist, a senior citizen with four grown children and six grandchildren, I say to this lucky young man, Safe and happy travels.

David Batchelder, a senior investment officer at the Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group in the Greater Boston Area, is concerned at the ambiguity surrounding this inheritance/gift and/or whether you are using the wrong term to describe it. If your parents have relinquished ownership or control of these investments, it is obviously a gift. It sounds like the parents have essentially (intentionally or unintentionally) given up control of the funds to the brothers, he said.

If I was in this position as a parent, I would love to witness my kids enjoying some of that gift while Im alive and able to experience their joy in making memories. We are talking about $5,000 of $2 million or 0.25% of the inheritance per year. Crumbs in terms of the whole cake. Looking at it solely from a financial planning perspective, this plan does not seem ideal for the parents or children as it potentially opens them up to estate, gift and tax issues.

The Moneyist:We bet on the wrong horse: I co-signed my nephews $55K student loan: He has no degree and no job. What should we do?

Overall, however, I dont believe that the expectation of a large inheritance is necessarily a good thing. Such a windfall could prevent you from experiencing failure, something psychologists say is useful, if not critical, in our social and professional development. Young people with more grit are more likely to show higher levels of self-control, resilience, passion, mental well-being and life satisfaction, according to a 2018 Frontiers in Psychology review of three studies.

In this review, three themes emerged among people with more grit: 1. Passion and perseverance, included themes of having short and long-term goals, resilience, dedication, and endurance. 2. Self-control, included time management, self-awareness, prioritizing tasks and knowing strengths and weaknesses. 3. Positive mind sets. This included having a positive attitude toward learning, the importance of feedback and constructive criticism and that success is not materialistic.

Thats probably why your parents may wish for you to wait and/or fund your own wanderlust: sacrifice and waiting for something that you really want can build character and make it all the sweeter when it happens. It can also change your outlook on the world: How can I make a living and contribute something meaningful to society? How much do I really need to be happy and healthy right here, right now?

We all have many wishes and dreams and goals. But what we have to give others is equally, if not more, important.

The Moneyist:My brother is in his mid-50s and nearly lost his home twice. Should I give him half of my inheritance to pay off his mortgage?

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at Want to read more?Follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitterand read more of his columns here.

Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyist private Facebook FB, -5.51% group where we look for answers to lifes thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

My parents gave my brothers and me $8 million in bonds, stocks and ETFs. Id like to use my profit to travel. My parents refuse - MarketWatch

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October 28th, 2020 at 6:55 pm

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‘They Look Like People’ and the Horror of Schizophrenia [Unveiling The Mind] – Bloody Disgusting

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Welcome toUnveiling The Mind. This bi-monthly column explores psychological horror and representations of mental illness within the genre.

Along with Dissociative Identity Disorder, Schizophrenia is another mental illness that finds itself popping up in many horror films. The disorder involves hallucinations, delusions, and other cognitive problems which can all lead to depression, substance abuse and even push one to suicide. Yet, in horror films and thrillers, Schizophrenia can often be played up for suspense. With particular attention to hallucinations and delusions, many filmmakers have used the disorder to highlight characters spiraling into manic violence (e.g. Michael Shannons character in Bug). Theres a hell of a lot more to Schizophrenia of course having the disorder is not a one way to ticket to becoming a movie villain.

They Look Like People, written and directed by Perry Blackshear and released in 2005, is a film that heavily focuses on Schizophrenia. Though it involves minimal fantastical elements, They Look Like People offers a grounded, heartbreaking view of the illness and it makes for one of the most intriguing psychological films Ive ever seen. Spoilers ahead.

They Look Like People follows Wyatt, a young man who believes there are demons planning an attack. The first scene shows Wyatt lying in bed; its late in the evening and there is only a little moonlight making its way into the room. There is a woman in the bed facing away from him. He stares at the back of her heard, watching as she rolls over. As his facial expression becomes more anxious, the camera then shifts and rests on the womans face; given how dark the room is, its impossible to see if her eyes are open or what she looks like. This opening scene establishes the sense of tension that Wyatt displays throughout the film. His belief is that the demons look like regular people at first, but that their true face is mutated and monstrous.

After this, Wyatt makes his way to meet up with an old friend named Christian. Upon connecting with one another, Christian offers for Wyatt to stay at his place. While Christian is preparing for a date, Wyatt makes his way to the building basement and tapes a knife under a table. The two eventually head out for a double date that involves Christians supervisor Mara. From there, They Look Like People follows the day to day life of Wyatt and Christian.

What won me over with this film was the depiction of Wyatts Schizophrenia. Though his beliefs and actions do help to bring about suspense and unease throughout the film, they are represented in a realistic fashion. Very little is over hyped, and instead, the audience is given a stark look at the horrors of this illness.

An element Ive picked up in numerous films involving some sort of delusional character is the immediate cry of denial Im not Schizophrenic! or I know the truth, you cant tell me Im wrong! Theres a scene where Wyatt goes to meet up with a psychiatrist, and within their conversation, he expresses how he does not think hes schizophrenic and how he has researched stuff online. This may not be much, but it is a different kind of denial than what the audience may be used to. Wyatt is not out right saying I dont have this, instead, hes making an effort to learn and speak to someone about his issues (even if his fears end up getting the best of him). This quality is further extended when we see Christian later confront Wyatt about the illogic behind a demonic presence and attack. Though Wyatt initially shoots down Christian for being ignorant, he eventually does realize his beliefs are not rational.

It should go without saying, but those who have Schizophrenia arent entirely devoid of self-awareness and reality. Though the scenes are brief, the audience does see Wyatt openly acknowledge the irrationality of his beliefs. Some may see this as a small detail, but I really thought it was significant to include. Throughout movie history, so many characters with mental illness are made to look incompetent like they cant tell what is real or not, or that they cant take care of themselves. Are there disorders that do render people into that sort of state? Yes there are, but psychology is extremely far more nuanced with specific situations and brain chemistry needing to be considered. Showing that Wyatt can address this aspect of himself displays a sense of self-awareness and adds depth to his character.

Along with his consistent anxiety, the audience primarily experiences Wyatts Schizophrenia through his visual and auditory hallucinations. The auditory stuff takes place via random phone calls he will get late at night. A muddled voice will speak to him, talking about the looming threat to come, or how he was chosen to see the demons, or how he cant trust anyone. Theres also a consistent ringing sound that appears throughout the film whenever his nervousness intensifies.

Regarding the visuals, there are only ever two instances where the audience sees the demons that Wyatt is so afraid of. When looking through a box in Christians apartment, he comes across a photo of himself with his ex-fiance, her eyes black and face distorted. In a conversation with Mara, her eyes go white and her mouth stretches to inhuman lengths. Another visual aspect comes in the form of the mutations he sees. A moment early in the film calls back to that scene of Wyatt lying in bed with the woman (who the viewer learns is his ex-fiance). When the camera settles on her face, the sound of crackling and stretching begin to play; its difficult to see what is actually taking place, but one can pick out small movements of her face shifting.

On a horror level, each of these hallucinations play into the films overall use of tension and dread. Visually, though the distorted faces are creepy, its the scenes involving the mutations that come across as the most disturbing ironically because one cant see what is taking place. Though there are minor glimpses of the demonic looking faces, one cant picture the exact horror and change taking place in the dark one cant imagine how something that appears human could just change into a monster.

They Look Like People isnt so much a slow burn film as it is a mindful study. Whereas other films may take that set up to explore a characters ever intensifying mania Wyatt remains mostly calm (though he is intensely anxious). However, he does have his moments that spark a sense of physical concern. There is a scene where he unpacks a bunch of weapons he bought from a nearby hardware store; hell, hes later shown standing on a roof top pointing a nail gun at people. Though he does not harm anyone with the nail gun, and has a moment where he contemplates killing himself, there is a moment where it is questioned whether Wyatt has harmed someone (but this is never answered).

Besides a few moments of outwardly aggression, the films focus is on Wyatts day to day paranoia. This progression can stir an anxiety within the viewer. Because of other horror films in the past, one is trained in a sense to keep an eye on an unhinged attitude just how long will it be until he snaps? Wyatts condition is much more drawn out, though.

And with his cautiousness, with all his worries and illogical behavior and beliefs one cant help but feel bad for him. When it comes to the specific horror They Look Like People is going for, the film isnt striving to focus on whether theres an apocalypse or not, but more so highlighting the mental hell that Wyatt is carrying. Through its grounded approach, the film exudes a constant air of heartbreak and worry.

It is by the end of the film that the viewer finds Wyatt in his most riddled state of paranoia. On the day that the war is supposedly to kick off, Wyatt leads Christian down into the building basement, both of them dressing up in hazmat suits. By this point in the film, Christian is in a depressive state; he recently has lost his job and Mara is not interested in him. His narrative has primarily focused on his insecurities; his fear of coming off weak and his efforts to appear macho. It is only by the end of the second act that Christian becomes aware of Wyatts fears. Throughout the film, though there are some rough patches, their friendship becomes strong, with each finding a comfort in the other.

The fear suddenly comes upon Wyatt that Christian may be a demon. Christian calls him out on this and offers for Wyatt to tie him up (as a sign of trust). Wyatt ties Christian up and places a bag over his head. As the lights go out, Wyatt begins to hear one of the voices from an old phone call. The sounds of crackling and shifting bone are heard from under the bag, providing the assumption that Christians transformation is underway. But, in each step that Wyatt takes towards Christian, a realization comes over him this is a delusion. He then stops himself, unties Christian and they both embrace.

Along with the characters, the viewers are dropped into a downright horrifying situation, left on the edge of their seat to see how far Wyatt will go. The decision to have him come to coherent senses is not only a tremendous upswing for the character and the audience, but also a brilliant display of logic and understanding found in individuals struggling with mental illness. Unlike other horror movies, They Look Like People is never trying to convince the viewer that this individual is totally mad or the bad guy but that he needs help (and that, to some degree, knows he needs help).

They Look Like People is a phenomenal experience. Not only does it make for a superb horror film, but it also stands as an incredible display of mental illness representation. For anyone interested in learning how to write characters struggling with mental illness, this is a film to watch. They Look Like People is a type of horror that offers a grim, realistic view of horrendous mental anguish. I cant recommend it enough. If you enjoy psychological horror or films with brilliant psychology to them, then They Look Like People is an absolute must see.

Thank you all for reading this months Unveiling The Mind. See you in December.

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'They Look Like People' and the Horror of Schizophrenia [Unveiling The Mind] - Bloody Disgusting

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October 28th, 2020 at 6:54 pm

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