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The New Parents Practicing Law Group
is pleased to invite you to join them for the following webinar: 

Thursday, April 16, 2020
 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Tuesday, April 21, 2020
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Join Nicole Gillis-Copping, "Registered Clinical Social Worker" MSW, RSW with Forbes Psychological Counselling as she presents a Survival Guide to  Working from Home while Parenting During a Pandemic. Nicole will be presenting a keynote address for 25 minutes and then answering your questions for the remainder of the time. Please provide your question in your RSVP

Gather your two-legged and four-legged family members and
12:00 PM - 12:50 PM
Once we get your e-mail, we will send you a Zoom invitation to join the class


The Alberta Lawyers Assistance Society: Assist, Forbes Psychological Services and the CPA Assist
invite you to join the following series of free webinars:

April 15 - Thamerai Moorthy
Mindfulness in Turbulent Times
11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (MDT)

April 22 - Matt Cairns

Working from Home: Fortify your Core
11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (MDT)

April 29 - Laurie Zalmonowitz

Resiliency in Times of Uncertainty
11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (MDT)

Registration details are found in the links for each seminar.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office..


There will no doubt be many clever names for 2020 when we reflect back on COVID 19, but what I am calling it right now is The Year Spring Forgot Us. Temperatures are below seasonal averages, we are still getting snow and we are hunkering down to defeat a pernicious virus. It doesn’t feel like we are emerging from the dormancy of winter, so how do we find that sense of joy and renewal that spring usually brings?

We are still in winter, weather-wise and COVID-19-wise. While we know that meteorological spring will eventually arrive, we don’t know how long our “winter of discontent” will last. We feel uncertain and without control, both of which are associated with anxiety.

When we feel anxious due to circumstances we don’t control, psychologists recommend identifying the things that you do control. Right now, we are required to practice physical isolation and we don’t know how long we will be doing this—timing is as much out of our control as is creation of a vaccine—but we can control how we implement physical isolation in our homes and our home-based work premises. Some people will choose to hermetically seal themselves into their houses while other people will go for long walks every day, keeping more than a metre from other walkers. Some people will choose to do as much communication as possible via email while others will seek out opportunities to try Zoom and GoToMeeting. When we consciously look at what we actually exert control over and make choices about, we see that we are not in fact powerless. So: control what you can and accept what you can’t.

We all have different tolerance levels for uncertainty. People who are uncomfortable with uncertainty employ strategies from endless list-making to seeking reassurance to avoidance or procrastination (or the opposite extreme, hoarding supplies perceived to be indispensable). These strategies are time and energy consuming and the bottom line is that we can never eliminate all the uncertainty in our lives—kind of like spinning endlessly on a hamster wheel because you are never going to arrive at that destination.

However, we can learn to tolerate a higher degree of uncertainty. Counsellors can use a technique called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help us change ways of behaving and patterns of thinking, or you can challenge yourself to act as if you were not experiencing uncertainty. Check out this resource from Anxiety Canada for the do-it-yourself approach.

Assist’s professional counsellors can help. Remember that you are entitled to 4 free professional counseling sessions per year per issue (and COVID-19-related issues count as a separate issue). Please call us 1-877-498-6898 to schedule an appointment (which will be conducted online or by telephone.) If you are in crisis, you can reach a professional counsellor 24/7 through this number.

Learning to control what you do, in fact, control makes me think of the Serenity Prayer, which people often associate with Alcoholics Anonymous. This prayer asks for:

…the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

The origin of the Serenity Prayer is unknown. It has been accredited to Aristotle, both Saint Francis and Saint Augustine, and early Sanskrit writings. Even if you don’t believe in a Higher Power in a conventional sense, you can still see the wisdom in this simple verse.

Our Lawyer 12 Step Groups in Calgary and Edmonton are continuing to meet online. If you are a lawyer or articling student in recovery and wish to connect with one of these groups, please call me at 403-571-1066 and I will arrange an introduction.

If you are a parent literally juggling small children (we have seen something pretty close to this in our yoga classes!) and working from home, join us for one of two online resource sessions, offered at different times because families have different schedules. Each session will feature a presentation from a family counsellor who is also a parent of triplets and navigating the parenting while working from home conundrum too, and then she will answer questions that participants submit. To register, email Eileen at

Please check out our webinar series with the CPA Assist, above. We need to take care of our mind, spirit and body during this unusual time. These sessions run on Wednesdays from 11 to 12, so you can still attend online yoga at 12. We will start yoga a few minutes late to allow for transition, and Eileen will monitor the virtual waiting room so that participants can enter when they are able.

And remember that if you just need to connect with someone or chat, you can always call Eileen (403-571-1063) or me (403-571-1066.) We have chosen to work with lawyers who are dealing with challenges because we care. We can offer our good listening skills as well help you find resources.

Stay well,

Copyright 2020 Alberta Lawyers' Assistance Society, All rights reserved.
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Assist: Alberta Lawyers' Assistance Society · c/o JSS Barristers · 800, 304 8 Avenue SW · Calgary, Alberta T2P1C2 · Canada

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