Unveiling the Hidden Solution: Brainspotting – The Breakthrough Quick Fix for Mental Health!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

When Talk Therapy Falls Short, Discover the Astonishing Power of Brainspotting to Transform Your Life!

Are you tired of endless talk therapy sessions that leave you feeling stuck and frustrated? Frustrated with circular discussions that get you nowhere? What if I told you there’s a groundbreaking technique that can offer a rapid and effective solution for your mental health concerns? A method that can be done in person or virtually online?

Brace yourself for the rise of Brainspotting – a cutting-edge approach that’s taking the therapeutic world by storm. In this article, I uncover the secrets behind this little-known yet astonishingly effective therapy, designed to help you find healing when nothing else seems to work!

The Therapy Revolution: Brainspotting is revolutionizing the way we tackle mental health challenges. Developed by Dr. David Grand, this innovative technique bypasses the limitations of mere conversation and dives straight into the depths of your subconscious mind, where true transformation takes place. Enhance your traditional talk therapy sessions by augmenting it with powerful, focused, Brainspotting sessions. 

When Talk Therapy Hits a Wall: Have you reached a plateau or do you feel stalled in your talk therapy journey? Fear not! Brainspotting offers a lifeline when traditional therapy approaches fail to deliver the desired results. By targeting the brain’s emotional centre and encapsulated memories, Brainspotting processes and releases deep-seated trauma and emotional blocks that may have eluded talk therapy’s grasp.

The Rise of Brainspotting: While Brainspotting may not be a household name yet, it’s rapidly gaining popularity as the go-to quick fix for mental health concerns. As word spreads about its astounding efficacy, more and more individuals are flocking to trained Brainspotting therapists, eager to experience the life-changing benefits for themselves.

The Science Behind the Magic: Brainspotting works by tapping into the brain’s natural ability to heal itself. By focusing your gaze on specific “brainspots” linked to unresolved trauma, cognitive blocks, or emotional distress, Brainspotting therapy activates the brain’s innate healing mechanisms. It’s like hitting the reset button on your mind, paving the way for rapid and lasting transformation. There is still a lot we don’t know, and the science is evolving. What we do know is “Where we look affects how we feel.”

A Game-Changer for Most People: Are you skeptical about yet another “miracle” therapy? Rest assured, Brainspotting has been proven effective for a wide range of mental health issues. Whether you’re battling anxiety, fear, depression, grief, shame, past trauma, or even performance blocks, this revolutionary technique has shown remarkable success rates for most individuals, opening doors to a brighter and happier future. It has been effective with all ages, including children. 

Rapid Results, Lasting Change: The best part? Brainspotting is not a long, drawn-out process. Unlike traditional therapy that may span years, Brainspotting can yield significant breakthroughs in just a handful of sessions. Experience profound shifts in your emotional well-being and witness the transformational power of this accelerated therapeutic modality.

If you’ve been searching for that elusive quick fix for your mental health struggles, look no further than Brainspotting. With its rising popularity and proven effectiveness, this revolutionary technique is redefining the therapeutic landscape. Enhance the benefits of counselling by embracing the power of Brainspotting to unlock your true potential, heal your deepest wounds, and embark on a path of profound personal growth. Don’t miss out on this life-altering opportunity – discover Brainspotting today!

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

Trained in Brainspotting, Phase 1

Written with the help of ChatGPT


Top 10 Secrets to a Fulfilling and Happy Life

African Daisy, photo credit: Angela Gentile

While the concept of a fulfilling and happy life may vary from person to person, here are ten principles that are commonly considered important for achieving personal fulfillment and happiness:

1. Self-Awareness: Take the time to understand yourself, your values, strengths, and weaknesses. Cultivate self-awareness to make choices aligned with your authentic self.

2. Positive Mindset: Adopt a positive outlook on life, focusing on gratitude and optimism. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and maintain a resilient attitude.

3. Meaningful Relationships: Nurture meaningful connections with family, friends, and communities. Invest time and effort in building and maintaining strong relationships based on trust, respect, and support.

4. Pursue Passions: Identify and pursue activities, hobbies, and interests that bring you joy and fulfillment. Engage regularly in activities that energize and inspire you.

5. Work-Life Balance: Strive for a healthy balance between work, personal life, and leisure activities. Prioritize self-care, set boundaries, and create time for relaxation, recreation, and rejuvenation.

6. Continuous Growth: Embrace lifelong learning and personal development. Set goals, challenge yourself, and seek new experiences that expand your knowledge and skills.

7. Practice Gratitude: Cultivate gratitude by appreciating the positive aspects of your life. Regularly acknowledge and express gratitude for the people, experiences, and blessings you have.

8. Embrace Mindfulness: Be present in the moment and cultivate mindfulness. Pay attention to your thoughts, emotions, and surroundings without judgment, which can lead to a greater sense of peace and contentment.

9. Live Authentically: Be true to yourself and live in alignment with your values and beliefs. Avoid comparing yourself to others and strive for authenticity in your choices and actions.

10. Contribution and Giving: Find ways to contribute to the well-being of others and make a positive impact in your community or the world. Acts of kindness and service can bring a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Consider each point and reflect on your own experiences. Do you agree with these principles? Is there more you could be doing to enhance your own happiness?

Note that these principles are not a definitive formula for happiness, and each individual may have their own unique path to fulfillment. It’s essential to explore and discover what works best for you, adapting these principles to your own values and circumstances.

What other secrets do you want to share?

Check out my book, “Flourish or Fade: A Guide to Total Well-being for Women at Midlife and Beyond,” for a closer look at how to be satisfied in all dimensions of life. It can be purchased in paperback or ebook format on Amazon.

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

Written with the help of ChatGPT

Taming the Sweet Tooth: A 30-Day No Sugar Challenge Experience

Nutritionally, people don’t need any sugar in their diet. – World Health Organization

I noticed my chocolate and sugar habits were getting out of hand, and I wanted to cut back. Since my “Dry January” experience went so well, I thought, “I should try cutting sugar out of my diet for a month.” I wanted to reboot and reset my relationship with sugar, so I put a message out to my contacts to see if anyone else was up for if. I ended up getting five other ladies who were also interested in the challenge. Cutting sugar and sweets out of our diet for one month can’t be that hard, right? I created a group chat on Messenger and then made a private Facebook group so we could put our links to videos and other messages there for ease of sharing and reference.

Prep Week

The first few days was “Prep week.” We educated ourselves about added sugar (or “free” sugar), natural sugar (“good” sugar), artificial sweeteners, the dangers and problems with sugars, learning all the different names for sugar (maltodextrin, sucrose, etc.). We read labels, watched videos, read articles, and shared our experiences and thoughts with each other. Each of us had some choices to make. Did we want to avoid artificial sweeteners too? Did we want to allow small amounts of natural sugar sources such as honey and maple syrup? Did we want to count natural sugar grams (because sugar occurs naturally in foods such as fruit, vegetables, and milk products)?

Once we decided on our goals and reasons for wanting this sugar break (“Know our why”), and determined our individual “rules” and game plan, we had one last weekend to enjoy our sweets. I designed the challenge to start at the beginning of the week. For us, it was Monday, March 27, 2023.

Sweet tooth: A craving or fondness for sweet food. – Merriam-Webster

We Learned A Lot

The first few days were great! Swapping recipes, food item ideas, reading labels, supporting each other during this sugar fast was easy. We learned that certain wines have more sugar than others. We quickly realized that MOST packaged food has added sugar. Sometimes sugar is added for flavour, sometimes as a browning agent, and other times as a stabilizer or preservative. Sugar in bread helps feed the yeast, so it’s hard to find bread without sugar! Sourdough or pumpernickel can have no sugar, but it’s always good to check the labels if you are trying to avoid the sweet stuff.

I ran into a difficult situation the first week when my daughter and her boyfriend came over. We were celebrating Brayden’s birthday and Simone had brought over an Oreo Dairy Queen ice cream cake. Oh my gosh! It looked so good. As they were cutting it I could smell the sweetness and chocolate. I was encouraged to “cheat” and have a bit. It took all the willpower I could muster and I politely declined even a small piece. I had mixed feelings though. Not having a piece of birthday cake to celebrate a birthday felt wrong. I felt it was rude to not partake in the celebration. Was I rejecting the idea of celebrating a person? Was I saying “No” to him and “Yes” to me? Was it worth being “selfish”? How much did Brayden care that I didn’t have a piece of cake? I have no idea. But I know looking back, I feel that I should have cheated. I regretted not having that cake. Not for the sake of the taste, but for the social aspects of it. I learned a hard lesson that day. It is socially expected, encouraged, and polite to partake in having a piece of celebratory cake. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or some other happy occasion. In hindsight, I decided that I should have taken a small piece of cake in order to appease my manners. If the tables were reversed, I would have felt honoured if a person decided to “break the rules” for my birthday by having a small piece of cake to celebrate me.

The next challenge for me was trying to enjoy my porridge and finding sweets that would satisfy my growing craving for chocolate. I started putting a little cinnamon on my porridge hoping it would switch it up. My blueberries were starting to taste sweeter than I remember. Dried apple crisps were very sweet! Applesauce was hitting the spot (it has some “puree” in it so I am not sure if it had added sugar or not).

I was enjoying unsweetened Greek yogurt with strawberries and a small amount of honey. I found out that honey and maple syrup, although technically not “white sugar”, was still sugar but in a natural form.

My ladies were sharing stories about how they passed on certain pleasures like muffins and iced sugary drinks. I decided to avoid alcohol as well, so I enjoyed my SodaStream fizzy drinks enhanced with flavoured Bubly drops. We were doing great.

How do I know if I have a sweet tooth? A sweet tooth is a regular or consistent craving for sweets, like candy, chocolate, cookies, and cakes. If you would rather reach for a handful of gummy bears than some chips for a snack, you have a sweet tooth. If you feel that any meal without dessert just is not complete, you have a sweet tooth. Source

I Hit A Wall and Changed Course

At the two-week mark, I hit a wall. Easter was coming, and we had a big family gathering planned. There was going to be lots of food and I am sure desserts. I was finding it too difficult to continue with the challenge the way I had been doing it. I decided I wanted to switch gears and integrate what I had learned about sugar, so I decided to try sticking to the 25g or less of added sugars daily (or 175g weekly). That way I was still being very mindful of my sugar intake and keeping it at a healthy level according to the leading world experts such as the World Health Organization (WHO).

I was able to enjoy eating at Easter and have a small piece of, again, Dairy Queen ice cream cake! I had a small piece and I estimated it was about 25g worth of sugar. I enjoyed it immensely and I felt like I could have eaten the whole cake!

My Recommendation

I would suggest moving forward that if you are interested in doing a 30-Day No Sugar Challenge, start with a Prep Week (7 days) then consume no added sugars (according to your own rules) for two weeks (14 days). Then take the next nine days incorporating what you learned into your everyday habits to see how you can change your eating habits for the better.

I am so glad I joined this group thank you Angela for being such a good leader.  This group gave me the motivation and more awareness of all the hidden sugars.  And I have overcome many challenges.  I think going forward I will be carrying this forward and sugar will not control me.  I also will educate others around me.  I have lost some weight also.  Sugar also affects the heart and since I have heart disease is more important that I stay off.  Thank you again Angela it was fun and you made it supportive and informative. – Francesca

It Was Worth It

I am so glad I did this challenge. It has rebooted my relationship with chocolate and sugar and I feel much better for it. I am sleeping better. I have less aches and pains, I lost four pounds, and I know my heart and brain thank me for it. When I have a sugary treat like dark chocolate I will enjoy it and think about how much I will have and why. I think I have lost interest in sweet sugar-loaded drinks like Pepsi. Just like alcohol, I will have the cake on special occasions. Sugar and alcohol are not necessary in our diets, so for me, learning how to enjoy these “treats” in a healthy way was the main goal.

A few sugary items that I would normally have – such as the occasional can of pop at work – I tried a little bit of root beer & right away it tasted like pure sugar! I looked on the label & it contained 42g of sugar so that’s something I will be staying away from going forward. – Lori

A special thank you goes out to my No Sugar Gals who went along with me on this challenge.

On to the Next Adventure – Yoga

My next adventure is going to be a 30-Day Yoga Challenge. If you are interested in joining me, please let me know. I have created a private Facebook group and you are welcome to come along. It is based on Yoga With Adriene’s Center program and it’s completely free. We start Monday, May 1, 2023.

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

You may also like: 30-Day No Sugar Challenge Prep Week

You may also like: Sugar, Heroin, and Alzheimer’s Disease – Kick the Sugar Habit to Decrease Your Dementia Risk

How to Journal and the Benefits of Journaling

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Journaling is a practice that has been around for centuries and has been used by many individuals as a way to reflect, plan, and process their thoughts and emotions. Writing down your thoughts and experiences in a journal can be a therapeutic and enlightening experience that can lead to a number of benefits. I have been journaling for as long as I can remember. It all started with my tiny daily diaries when I was about 10 years old. I often recommend journaling to my clients as a way to help them process and move forward with issues they are struggling with. In this article, we will explore how to journal and the many benefits that can come from incorporating this practice into your daily routine.

How to Journal

The beauty of journaling is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Journaling can take many different forms, and it’s up to you to decide what works best for you. Some people prefer to write in a physical notebook or journal, while others prefer to use a digital platform. Our mobile phones have a “Notes” feature that many of us use to record our thoughts, feelings, and other ideas as they come to us. There are also different types of journaling, including daily journaling, gratitude journaling, and goal-setting journaling.

To get started with journaling, simply set aside some time each day to reflect and write down your thoughts. Some people find it helpful to write in the morning as a way to start their day, while others prefer to journal at night as a way to wind down and reflect on the day’s events. You can also choose to write in your journal as often as you like, whether that’s daily, weekly, or on an as-needed basis.

When you sit down to journal, it’s important to be open and honest with yourself. Write down whatever comes to mind, without judgment or criticism. Remember that your journal is a safe space where you can express yourself freely and without fear of judgment. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling. Just let the ideas flow from your head and heart to paper or keyboard. If your writing contains sensitive and private information ensure you can maintain privacy and keep your writing safely stored away from the eyes of others.

The Benefits of Journaling

1.Reduces Stress and Anxiety

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that it can help to reduce stress and anxiety. By writing down your thoughts and emotions, you can process and release them in a healthy way. This can help to reduce the physical and emotional symptoms of stress and anxiety, such as headaches, fatigue, and mood swings. You may discover something you never realized you were concerned about before providing insight into how you can reduce your feelings of stress and worry. Expressing yourself on paper (or via a digital platform) may help you discover hidden or buried feelings. This gives you an opportunity to release whatever it is that you are holding on to.

2. Improves Mental Health

Journaling has been shown to be an effective tool in improving mental health. Studies have found that journaling can help to improve mood, reduce symptoms of depression, and increase self-awareness. By writing down your thoughts and feelings, you can gain a better understanding of yourself and your emotions. You can get to know yourself in a way you never did before by letting your thoughts flow freely without judgement. Negative self-talk may be expressed outwardly and this gives you an opportunity to challenge these negative thoughts and turn it around.

3. Increases Creativity

Journaling can also be a great way to boost creativity. By giving yourself the space to write freely, without judgment or criticism, you can tap into your inner creativity and come up with new ideas and solutions.

4. Enhances Memory and Learning

Writing down your thoughts and experiences in a journal can also help to enhance your memory and learning. By reflecting on your experiences and writing down what you’ve learned, you can better internalize and remember the information.

5. Helps with Goal-Setting

Journaling can be a helpful tool in goal-setting. By writing down your goals and tracking your progress, you can hold yourself accountable and stay motivated to achieve your goals.

6. Helps Shift a Negative Pessimistic Outlook

Writing down things you are grateful for can help shift a negative thinking pattern. I often recommend a Joy Journal or Gratitude Journal to my clients. Whenever we are feeling trapped in a negative-thinking cycle, it is often helpful to focus on the things we are grateful for. Write down at least three things that bring you joy or things you are grateful for on a daily basis. It could be in the beginning of the day or at the end of the day. The simple things count too! For example, “I am grateful for my pillow.” Or, “I appreciate my partner for all they do.” Within a few days this habit will help improve your negative attitude.

In conclusion, journaling is a powerful tool that can help to improve your mental and emotional well-being. By taking the time to reflect and write down your thoughts and experiences, you can reduce stress and anxiety, improve your mood, boost creativity, enhance memory and learning, and achieve your goals. So why not give journaling a try and see how it can benefit you?

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

Written with the help of ChatGPT

More information on How to Start a Journaling Practice from Psychology Today.

Stressed Out? Consider Counselling and Speak to a Therapist

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Stress is a normal part of life and can be caused by a wide range of factors such as work, relationships, financial problems, aging, caregiving, and health issues. While some level of stress can be helpful in motivating people to take action and find solutions, chronic stress can have a negative impact on a person’s mental and physical health.

People may seek counselling for stress because it provides a safe and supportive environment to explore and understand their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours related to stress. A therapist can help individuals identify the root cause of their stress, develop coping strategies to manage it, and learn relaxation techniques to reduce symptoms of stress.

Therapy can also provide an opportunity for people to process their experiences, address past traumas or negative life events that may be contributing to their stress levels, and develop a better understanding of their emotions and thoughts.

In addition, counselling can also help individuals with stress-related conditions such as anxiety, depression, and burnout. By working with a therapist, people can gain a deeper understanding of their patterns of behavior and thought, and develop a more holistic approach to managing stress.

Overall, therapy for stress can provide people with the tools and support they need to manage and reduce stress levels, and improve their overall mental and physical well-being.

Check out my Psychology Today profile for up-to-date information on my counselling services.

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

Made with the help of ChatGPT.

The Magic Wand – A Brainspotting Therapy Session

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I would like to tell you about my recent therapy experience. I believe in order to be a good therapist, one should be seeking therapy as needed to deal with their own issues. Even the best therapists need a therapist occasionally! To optimize my emotional and psychological health, I occasionally seek outside help. With this in mind, I saw Clinical Social Worker Ruth B.Z. Thomson of Winnipeg, Manitoba, for a therapy session. She used a therapy technique called “Brainspotting” (BSP) which was new to me and which I was very curious about. 

“Brainspotting is a powerful, focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing, and releasing core neurophysiological sources of emotional/body, pain, trauma, disassociation, and a variety of other challenging symptoms. Brainspotting is a simultaneous form of diagnosis and treatment, enhanced with bilateral sound, which is deep, direct, and powerful, yet focused and containing.”

David Grand, Phd, Brainspotting Developer and Trainer

By the way, bi-lateral and BIO-lateral are two different things. It sounds confusing, but here is a way to explain the difference. Also, there is a link between brainspotting and EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing).

After filling out forms and consenting to treatment I entered Ruth’s beautifully decorated and comfortable office. She said I could choose any chair to sit on. There were about six chairs. I scanned the room, chose a chair, sat down, and got comfortable. I rearranged the cushions and used a little step stool. She sat across from me. She told me after a brief talking session, I would be listening to music with headphones, and she would use a wand for me to look at and focus on. The wand looked like one of those telescopic back scratchers and it had a dark blue handle.

We chatted for a bit to discuss my issues and then she told me we were going to get started with the brainspotting treatment. She passed me the headphones and made sure I could hear the music in both ears. It was not too loud as she also wanted me to be able to hear her. She said she was going to be watching me and I was to focus on my physical and emotional responses related to the issues I had presented to her with. 

The music she chose for me is called “bilateral” and it’s not exactly music. It was calming peaceful sounds such as chimes, waves, and birds chirping. The sounds alternated between the left and right ears. 

The music was very relaxing and calming. I noticed a yellow “glow” around the wand. (It almost looked like a magic wand!) Ruth held the wand to the left of her, almost at an outstretched arm’s reach, at eye level and I stared at it. She moved the wand slowly and watched my physical reaction. Sometimes I blinked more or fidgeted or took deep breaths. She also watched my facial expressions. 

After a few minutes she moved the wand and asked me to follow it. She moved it to the right of her body. It was about eye level. Very slowly and methodically she would move the wand up or down all the while watching my reaction. 

She asked me what I was feeling and thinking. I shared my thoughts, then she took the wand and moved it back to her right side. 

The music was very calming. I processed some feelings and thoughts. At one point I felt mad, and this was a bit of a revelation. This was good!

She then had me talk it out some more until I was done with my observations and feelings about the issue at hand. 

Then Ruth had me close my eyes and brought the wand closer to me. She had me open my eyes and I followed the wand, and she brought it back to her right then circled downward and back up closer to me. She repeated this closeup – back to the right – downward swoop movement in a fluid moderately paced motion about 4-5 times. It was like drawing a sideways “D” in the air with the wand. We then paused for a bit. 

Photo by Laura Stanley on Pexels.com

She then had me do a relaxing visualization. I found myself on a hammock in Hawaii! All the while the bilateral music played quietly in my ears, alternating between left and right.

After the guided imagery was over, she had me take off my headphones. There was a long pause as we sat in silence. She then asked me for my thoughts. 

I told her I like analogies to explain things when I can’t quite put my feelings and thoughts into words. I told her it felt like I was put into a long, dark tunnel and now I’ve come out of the tunnel and I’m not quite sure where I am. I’m looking around, but I’m not quite sure what just happened and where I ended up. It feels good though. I told her I think it’s going to take me a little while to process what just happened. She agreed and said that it will take a few days for the neural pathways to change. She told me to drink lots of water and gave me a couple pages to read on brainspotting.

As promised, she emailed me this link as an example of bilateral music – 1 HR Bilateral Music Therapy – Relieve Stress, Anxiety, PTSD, Nervousness – EMDR, Brainspotting (best heard with headphones). 

I am hopeful that this treatment will help me with my issue, and I could already tell just a couple hours later that I was already feeling some benefit. 

For more information on brainspotting check out David Grand’s book, Brainspotting: The Revolutionary New Therapy for Rapid and Effective Change.

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

The Ten Dimensions of Wellness from an Aging Well Perspective (Podcast)

Have a listen to my interview with Dr. Andrea Wilkinson on the BrainShape Podcast, “Flourish or Fade with Angela Gentile.” Episode #121.

It was fun being a guest for the second time with Dr. Andrea. My book, Flourish or Fade: A guide to total well-being for women at midlife and beyond is available on Amazon. For more information on Dr. Andrea, please check out her website, https://www.brainshape.ca/ I hope you enjoy the interview!

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

Flourish or Fade: A guide to total well-being for women at midlife and beyond – Book Now Available

Angela Gentile’s newest book is now available for purchase from Amazon.

>>>Buy the Paperback on Amazon ($16.99 USD) 

>>>Buy the ebook (Kindle) on Amazon ($5.99 USD)


Flourish or Fade: A guide to total well-being for women at midlife and beyond provides you with the information and tools needed to improve life satisfaction. The Flower of Wellness Method will help you devise a plan to balance your body, mind, and soul. 

You will learn how to enhance your overall well-being by exploring the ten dimensions of wellness: 

Physical, Emotional, Brain, Social, Sexual, Spiritual, Environmental, Recreational, Financial, and Occupational.

This anti-ageist, realistic, and optimistic approach to life in the middle years and beyond will provide you with inspiration and tips that will have you feeling confident, happy, and satisfied with whatever may come your way. 

The Flower of Wellness Method is a fresh and contemporary approach to finding balance.

Do you want to flourish or fade in the later years? It’s your choice. 

Angela G. Gentile, M.S.W., R.S.W., is a registered clinical social worker/specialist in aging with more than 25 years of experience working with older adults and their families. She was born and raised in Ontario and now lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


“Flourish or Fade” Book Launch Giveaways and Contest Details

Celebrate National Women’s Health Week with us! On May 11, 2021, at 8:00 pm CST, Angela G. Gentile will be hosting a Zoom book launch for her newest book, “Flourish or Fade.” Register on Eventbrite to attend. There are a number of awesome books, services, and products that have been donated by some amazing women to help make this book event special. Please see the list below and enter to win! (see Contest Details below).

Flourish or Fade

1. Angela G. Gentile: “Flourish or Fade: A guide to total well-being for women at midlife and beyond” (paperback, $21.00 CAD value). Now available!

BrainShape Accountability Calls

2. Dr. Andrea Wilkinson: BrainShape Accountability Calls ($300.00 CAD value)

“Free Phase II Accountability Calls with Dr. Andrea of BrainShape” ($300 CAD value)

Accountability Appointments take place via TWO 60-minute video calls. 

CALL 1: Discuss your concerns and struggles + build a plan to help you address them (e.g., sleeping difficulties, chronically stressed, low energy, lacking mental focus, etc.) Whatever the problem, let’s talk about it & build a plan you can implement right away. 

CALL 2: Accountability Appointment to check-in on the goals you set out in Call 1.

The winner of the BrainShape Services prize will book their INITIAL CALL by visiting www.BrainShape.ca/call and book a time in Dr. Andrea’s calendar. This is a free offering of the supportive elements provided inside the Brain Vitality Blueprint, and helps people take the first step towards improving their health and well-being. 

How I Made a Huge Mess of My Life

3. Billie Best: “How I Made a Huge Mess of My Life” (paperback, $12.99 USD value)


The World Came to Us

4. Molly Duncan Campbell: “The World Came to Us” (paperback, $12.99 USD value)


The Playground of Possibilities Card Deck

5. Kay Ross: “The Playground of Possibilities” (card deck, $20.00 USD value)

This card deck is a self-help, personal-development tool with 52 questions for you to ask yourself. Every question starts with “What would be possible for me if I…?”, to prompt you to let go of your old, limiting thoughts, beliefs and stories about yourself and the world, choose more useful ones, take inspired action, and improvise more resourceful, joyful ways of being. Kay was born in Scotland, grew up in Australia, and has lived in Hong Kong for 27 years. She’s passionate about personal development and healing, and is also an improv performer. The deck costs $20 USD plus postage from Hong Kong (the full amount depends on the number of decks ordered and the destination).  


Seize the Moment!

6. Camille Goscicki, of Vitalaging4women, “Seize the Moment! A Guide to Living in the Present” (ebook, $4.99 USD value)

Do you live with regrets from the past, and fear the unknowns of the future?

It’s time to let go of fears and regrets and live for today. Seize the Moment! is your mini-guide to grab the present moment and live for today. It includes three bonus worksheets that will help you become more mindful. (Everyday mindfulness tips, practicing mindfulness, and becoming present for peace of mind.) Note: eReader not included.


The Unexpected Journey of Caring

7. Donna Thomson: The Unexpected Journey of Caring (hardcover book, $39.00 CAD value).

“The Unexpected Journey of Caring: The Transformation From Loved One to Caregiver” by Donna Thomson and Zachary White, PhD with a foreword by Judy Woodruff (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019) Available at all online booksellers Hardcover – $39.00 CAD)

With a foreword by Judy Woodruff, The Unexpected Journey of Caring is a practical guide to finding personal meaning in the 21st century care experience.

Personal transformation is usually an experience we actively seek out—not one that hunts us down. Becoming a caregiver is one transformation that comes at us, requiring us to rethink everything we once knew. Everything changes—responsibilities, beliefs, hopes, expectations, and relationships. Caregiving is not just a role reserved for “saints”—eventually, everyone is drafted into the caregiver role. It’s not a role people medically train for; it’s a new type of relationship initiated by a loved one’s need for care. And it’s a role that cannot be quarantined to home because it infuses all aspects of our lives.

Caregivers today find themselves in need of a crash course in new and unfamiliar skills. They must not only care for a loved one, but also access hidden community resources, collaborate with medical professionals, craft new narratives consistent with the changing nature of their care role, coordinate care with family, seek information and peer support using a variety of digital platforms, and negotiate social support—all while attempting to manage conflicts between work, life, and relationship roles. The moments that mark us in the transition from loved one to caregiver matter because if we don’t make sense of how we are being transformed, we risk undervaluing our care experiences, denying our evolving beliefs, becoming trapped by other’s misunderstandings, and feeling underappreciated, burned out, and overwhelmed.

Informed by original caregiver research and proven advocacy strategies, this book speaks to caregiving as it unfolds, in all of its confusion, chaos, and messiness. Readers won’t find well-intentioned clichés or care stereotypes in this book. There are no promises to help caregivers return to a life they knew before caregiving. No, this book greets caregivers where they are in their journey—new or chronic—not where others expect (or want) them to be.

“Nobody grows up planning to be a caregiver, but many of us will become one and sometimes when we least expect it. Thomson and White bring powerful insights to help understand what it means to be a caregiver and how to truly support those of us who will travel this unexpected journey.” – Samir K. Sinha, director of geriatrics, Sinai Health System and University Health Network, Toronto; health policy research director, National Institute on Ageing


Keeping it Together

8. Eleanor Silverberg: “Keeping it Together: How to Cope as a Family Caregiver without Losing Your Sanity” (paperback, $20.00 CAD value)


I Could Be Wrong

9. Billie Best: I Could Be Wrong (paperback, $7.99 USD value)


Contest Details:

  • Contest open to adults aged 18+, worldwide. No purchase necessary.
  • Identify which prize(s) you would like to win. Submit the item name/number, your name and email address to Angela at caretoage@gmail.com. (Your name and email address will not be given out to anyone else, unless it is required in order for you to obtain your prize(s)).
  • One entry per person, per item.
  • Entries accepted from Wednesday April 21, 2021 at 5:00 pm CST until Saturday May 15, 2021 at 12:00 noon CST.
  • Winners will be drawn on or before Sunday May 16, 2021 at 12:00 noon CST.
  • Qualified winners will be notified by email and your mailing address will be required so we can ship you your prize.
  • Every attempt will be made to get your prize to you, however, in the unfortunate event there are restrictions in your country, you will be ineligible. In that case, another draw will be made to seek a suitable winner.

Good luck!

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW


Weaknesses Are Only As Strong As We Allow Them To Be

I saw this quote on Instagram, on the Optimal Living Daily account (@oldpodcast) — “The more willing you are to face your weaknesses, the less likely they are to remain weaknesses.” I wanted to know more about Tynan, the person who was quoted. I took his quote, put it onto a picture my husband took while on vacation in Hawaii, and wanted to share it. I hope this inspires you to face your weaknesses, too.


What weaknesses are you willing to face?

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW