Ever wondered what motivates health professionals to write? The answers may surprise you. Welcome to Medika’s author interviews with some of our more prolific authors. These professionals have been kind enough to allow us a glimpse into their lives as they share what motivates them, why medicine is important to them and how they view the writing process.
Tell us a little about yourself Lisa. Where were you born and do you still live in your birth country? Tell us a little about your family and what made you choose your current field.
Hello and welcome! My name is Lisa Bradburn, let me tell you a little about myself before we begin. I was born in the north end of Toronto, Ontario, Canada and apart from living previously in London UK and New York City, today I continue living in my home country and divide time between Toronto and a beautiful spot in the world called Rice Lake in the Kawartha Region of Southern Ontario.
My family dynamic is quite interesting and diverse – at last count, I have 15 siblings! Let me explain. I was adopted at three months old and as I’ve gotten older have discovered many other half-blood siblings. Along the way, my adopted parents have divorced a couple of times and step-siblings are included in the overall number. We are a large group and I stay in touch with those I know.
In 2014 my Uncle Donald passed away from terminal bone cancer. A few months prior to his death, I left my consulting job, moved in, and took care of him in his time of need. The experience left a profound mark on me because I witnessed first hand the fragility of life and also the consequences of our actions. After Donald’s passing, I went through a period of grief and underwent various psychotherapy modalities to help reorient my behavior and ways of thinking and existing especially related to adoption, parental relationships, and of course time with my uncle.
After experiencing positive seismic shifts through deep therapy, I felt an overwhelming desire to pursue psychotherapy as a profession to complement the work I already do in my professional life as an Agile Coach. My vision is to be a lighthouse for others experiencing dark times with a focus on adoption, tech addictions, socialization, and leadership; topics near and dear to my heart.
How long have been in your profession and what changes have you seen?
In this present moment, I am halfway through my third year of five studying Gestalt Psychotherapy; a particular modality of psychotherapy focused on principals of “here and now”, bodily awareness, and relational experiences with others to name a few key aspects. Next year I begin private practice through the Toronto Gestalt Student Clinic and will continue to utilize the skills in my corporate coaching practice.
My upcoming goals include furthering speaking engagements and webinars dedicated to Agile Coaching and Psychotherapy, opening up a virtual private practice, and building an online ecosystem through writing and videos dedicated to relevant topics in my fields. In 2021, I am also gearing up to become a professionally certified practitioner for the Enneagram, a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions.
The Enneagram will be a vital part of my psychotherapy and coaching practice as a vital tool to allow clients to better understand the motivating factors behind their behavior. On top of future goals, I have also decided to “give back” and each year will dedicate pro-bono time to one client who otherwise cannot afford psychotherapy services with the hope of supporting small, purposeful shifts to the life of another.
What motivates you and drives you?
What drives me every day is having a vision and purpose – not only from the micro day-to-day level, also from a macro life perspective. The vision is somewhat fluid. For example, a decade ago, I never would have imagined entering into psychotherapy, however, the foundation or spark of interest was there whether I knew it or not.
Ultimately I love being the support for others to make positives change in their life. And I also believe life is to be enjoyed and to inject fun into everything I do. This aspect of my macro vision that existed in my twenties, is prevalent today and I guarantee will persist well into my eighties and God willing much longer!
What does your writing offer you, seen from an emotional perspective?
Writing is a major passion of mine where I am able to communicate vulnerabilities and weaknesses to the world. Sometimes it is easier to relay the most difficult situations to an unknown audience than it is to a member of my family. Writing is personal therapy, and many times, allows me to better understand my emotional state.
I find a weird sense of joy writing about my shortcomings (spoiler alert – there are many!) and how I have overcome hardships in my life with the hope my words impact someone. One day in the not so distant future when I’m in private practice, if my clients read my work, they will quickly find out I’m as human as they are – a mix of flaws and shining qualities.
What are your goals and aspirations for the next decade? Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
In this life I’m fortunate to have experienced numerous crowing glories. The reason is because I’m an “Achiever” personality type and goal oriented. Stuff get’s done! Keep in mind there are healthy and unhealthy sides of the coin. I used to live in an unhealthy state and the older I become, I am able to consciously gauge when the darker habits are trying to lurk back in. Perhaps the mindset shift IS the ultimate crowning glory!
The other week I participated in my first coaching and psychotherapy webinar. More speaking opportunities continue to surface and I look forward to getting comfortable public speaking and working with crowds. The experience is terrifying and exhilarating at the same time!
Other ultimate achievements in random order: escaped death at least 3x, have performed stand up comedy for Second City, drove a military truck up 5th Avenue, New York City to close the 2016 Veterans Day Parade, published author of short stories, working on becoming a Level 2 Ski Instructor etc. Keep throwing myself in uncomfortable situations and see what sticks!
What are your views on healthcare right now and how can we improve the quality of care to patients.
Since I’m a Canadian writer and health care professional, I can speak from a “northern” lens. While the global perception is that my socialist nation has “free” healthcare to all, and yes, there is some level of truth to this statement, the reality is, we too have fundamental structural and social flaws to our system.
Canadians face a two tier healthcare system – standard and private. Standard level care can mean long wait lines and pending where people live, a lack of necessary resources such as mental health professionals in rural or aboriginal areas. Private care allows people in higher income brackets to pay a membership fee for premium services and gain immediate access to health care providers.
One major difference between standard and private is the approach to healthcare with a focus on preventative and holistic measures in the latter category. For mental health professionals such as myself, I fully support and will utilize virtual/online therapy. As mentioned before, I am a champion of providing professional services pro-bono to underrepresented people who cannot afford the luxury of a psychotherapist.
If every therapist added 1 pro-bono client to their case load, I’d like to think we’d help make a significant difference in the lives of others. I also like the current research and trends for further exploring alternative therapies for patients suffering from trauma – such as clinical trials with psilocybin, MDMA and other modalities such as EMDR to name a few examples.
Finally, I also appreciate how healthcare is becoming more personalized to fit the needs of an individual rather than a one size fits all blanket approach.
Do you write for other publications, blogs and columns?
At present moment, I am focusing on building a Medium audience and write for a variety of publications found within the online ecosystem. My work is also published across other international platforms such as Panodyssey in France and CoFoundersTown in India.
Finally, I’m in the early days of experimenting with video and intend on making my YouTube channel more professional in the months ahead. Please excuse the present user experience! .