Welcome To My Medium Page
Here, I dive into my passion for Coaching and Psychotherapy, where I am today in my journey, and what the future holds.
The following autobiographical interview is taken from the Medika.life health and wellness publication and repurposed for Medium.
Tell us a little about yourself. 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. I was born in the north end of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Apart from living previously in London, UK, and New York City, I reside between Toronto and a beautiful old stone house on the south shore of Rice Lake in Southern Ontario.
My family dynamic is quite interesting and diverse — at last count, I have 15 siblings! Let me explain. At three months old, I became adopted. And as I’ve become older, I discovered many other half-blood siblings. In parallel, my adopted parents have divorced a couple of times, and step-siblings come included in the count. We are a large group, and I stay in touch with those I know.
In 2014 my uncle Donald, whom I was close to, passed away from terminal bone cancer. A few months before his death, I left my consulting job, moved into the family farm with him, and took care of my uncle in his time of need. The experience left a profound mark on me because I witnessed the fragility of life and the consequences of our actions — and inactions. 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. During this time, I discovered the root cause of my internal strife related to my origin story of adoption and parental relationships, including Donald. 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, focusing on adoption, tech addictions, socialization, and leadership, topics near and dear to my heart.
How long have you been in your profession, and what changes have you seen? If you're still completing your studies, what are your goals for the next few years?
In this present moment, I am inching into my fourth year of five studying Gestalt Psychotherapy, a particular modality of psychotherapy focusing on principles of “here and now,” bodily awareness, and relational experiences with others, to name a few. Next year, I begin private practice through the Toronto Gestalt Student Clinic and will continue to utilize my corporate coaching practice skills.
My upcoming goals include increasing the number of global speaking engagements and webinars dedicated to Agile Coaching and Psychotherapy. I will open a virtual private practice, register and become a part of the many therapy and coach apps available and build an online ecosystem through writing and videos dedicated to relevant topics in my fields.
In 2021, I will become a certified practitioner for the Enneagram, a personality typing system 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 tool to allow clients to understand the motivating factors behind their behavior better. In the summer, I will begin the journey of becoming a Co-Active Coach practitioner to build a more robust coaching foundation.
On top of future goals, I will “give back” to my community. Each year I 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 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 concept aligns with my above goals and is somewhat fluid. For example, a decade ago, I never imagined entering into psychotherapy; however, my natural curiosity and passion for people led me down this path. When we remain open to possibilities, incredible shifts, and brand new directions will take place. 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. I hope to retain this level of excitement well into my eighties and nineties — God willing.
What does your writing offer you, seen from an emotional perspective?
Writing is a significant passion of mine where I can communicate vulnerabilities and weaknesses to the world. Sometimes it is easier to relay the most difficult situations to an unknown audience than a close family member. Writing is personal therapy, and many times, it allows me to understand my emotional state better. 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 writing, they will quickly find out I’m as human as they are — a multi-faceted mix of flaws and shining qualities.
What are your crowning glories so far? What are you most proud of?
In this life, I’m fortunate to have experienced numerous crowning glories. I attribute my drive to succeed and goal orientation to living what the Enneagram calls the “Achiever” personality type. However, I am also mindful of the need for a healthy balance and much more aware when the darker habits are creeping where I lose myself in the busy-ness. Perhaps the mindset shift IS the ultimate crowning glory!
In December 2020, I participated in my first coaching and psychotherapy webinar and felt exhilarated by the experience. More speaking opportunities continue to surface, and I look forward to becoming more comfortable in public speaking and educating, enlightening people.
When I look back over my lifetime, other notable achievements come to mind in random order:
- I escaped death three times; kidney blockage, a surgery that went wrong, a skiing accident. My time is not up yet!
- When I performed stand-up comedy at Second City, the experience was both joyful and terrifying.
- In 2016 I was granted the exciting opportunity to drive a military truck up to 5th Avenue, Manhattan, to close the 2016 Veterans Day Parade. Waving to crowds and being the aid to Santa Claus!
- In my early thirties, I became a published author of short stories.
- I am working on becoming a Level 2 Ski Instructor fuelling my passion for downhill skiing.
- Continually throwing myself in uncomfortable situations and see what sticks!
What are your goals and aspirations for the next decade? Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years, I’ll be in my mid-fifties. Wow! Between now and then, I welcome the opportunity to adopt a child and provide love, support, and understanding. If the stars do not align for adoption, I will nurture my niece and nephew's growth, both under 12.
Right now, I’m concerned with how generations before me are growing up and becoming addicted to technology and for those who experience helicopter or bulldozer parenting. Often the outcome of these challenges equates to a lack of resilience in people, isolation, loneliness, and an inability to communicate and socialize effectively. If I can be one small drop of positive change in these areas, I hope to create a lasting ripple effect.
What are your healthcare views right now, and how can we improve the quality of care to patients? For instance, is going digital and online an adequate and viable alternative to personal contact?
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. Routine level care can mean long wait lines and pending where people live, lacking necessary resources such as mental health professionals in rural or indigenous 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 significant difference between standard and private healthcare is the 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 a psychotherapist's luxury. If every therapist added one pro-bono client to their caseload, I’d like to think we’d help make a significant difference in the lives of others. And one method to reach out to underrepresented people is through online therapy services.
I fully support and endorse alternative therapies for patients suffering from trauma — such as clinical trials with psilocybin, MDMA assisted psychotherapy and other psychological modalities such as EMDR. Finally, I appreciate how healthcare is becoming more personalized to fit an individual's needs rather than one size provides an all blanket approach.
Do you write for other publications, blogs, and columns? List them.
Currently, I am focusing on building a Medium audience and writing for a variety of publications found within the online ecosystem. I am grateful to the BeingWell health and wellness community and sister publication Medika.life for seeing the value of my work and publishing across their platforms.
Social media outreach continues to be an essential part of growing the ecosystem. To date, I am on the following platforms:
In January 2021, I become a Brand Ambassador for PlentyWorld.com; a UK based start-up company focused on providing value and high-quality mental health products to passionate consumers. My social media content will be directed toward PlentyWorld’s critical messaging and cause in the coming weeks and months. A portion of PlentyWorld’s sales is donated to several different charities around the world, including Mental Health Awareness.
2021 marks the year I will continue to grow my audience across 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.
Building a personal brand and developing an ecosystem aside — the most valuable aspect of the future lies in the challenging work and forming and maintaining the client-therapist or coach-coachee relationship. Therapy and coaching are akin to putting a mirror to oneself. In recognizing and challenging my shortcomings, I am present and available to be with my clients. I’m excited for what the future will bring and look forward to the many meaningful conversations that lie ahead.