So often when my patients sit down with me, I ask them to "tell me what is going well for […]
By Kimberly Sogge on November 8, 2018.
One of the marks of existence, along with that seed of unsatisfactoriness that sows itself into even the most blissful experiences, and that growing awareness that the world dances along happily without regard to our story about our personal selves and our opinions, is that flowing, powerful, irrepressible energy called CHANGE. As practitioners we are not immune to this, it is part of our common humanity, the flow of change and transformation from moment to moment, sometimes terrifying, sometimes thrilling, many times easy and peaceful.
At this moment in time, Spring 2018, our practice is changing and growing. As we reflect on how you as a community have responded to our values-based actions of offering evidence based Third Wave psychotherapies and training, we realize you were ahead of us on the wave of change all along. There are so many people in our community ready for the positive, practical, and empowering skills and experiences expressed and formulated in psychotherapies based on contextual behavioural science, that we needed to catch up with you.
We began our psychology practice over ten years ago, in the heart-mind of Dr. Kimberly Sogge and her mentors, psychology professionals and researchers who cared about putting psychological science and evidence based psychotherapy in the service of human wellbeing and growth. As we grew as a psychology practice we attracted highly qualified and enthusiastic clinical associates, both psychotherapists and psychologists, who resonated with our practice values, and who expressed a presence and an energy for behavioural change supported by contextual behavioural science, collaborative practice, diversity, empowerment and other of our core values that continually impel us forward both personally and professionally. Working on the basis of our intuitive commitment to shared values, with minimal change to our organization and physical resources worked well for quite some time. Until recently, we were able to serve most who requested our brand of psychological service; as a team we continued to support one another in (very tiny!) shared space; we never openly recruited (in fact every week we sadly turned away professionals who shared our values and wished to move in the same direction in practice). As that tricky mark of existence, CHANGE would have it, things changed!
As we grew we no longer had the personnel, time or space resources to fully support our intentions. We had to make you wait as our schedules were full. We could not all fit in our closet-like filing room. We had to offer our groups through other organizations. As we began to grow beyond the capacity of our small shared space at 9 Lewis Street in Centretown Ottawa, we rented church halls and meditation rooms from our neighbours, which was a wonderful opportunity to connect more to our community, but which also took enormous resources in time, contracts and rental fees. We were concerned that perhaps in some way were unconsciously limiting our capacity to care effectively and serve our values, unless we woke up and fully and lovingly embraced change.
Just as we frequently counsel others, we needed to step out of our comfort zone, into the self compassion zone, and embrace the discomfort of growth and change. Like a river swelling in its banks with spring, we needed to find new channels in which to flow.
We are now stepping out of our comfort zone. We are growing beyond the work of our founder and clinical director, moving in the same valued directions, with the same energetic love of what we do, but with both new and familiar faces joining together, letting the flow of our right work as psychologists and psychotherapists grow as it wishes to in greater and more skillful service of the psychological wellbeing and growth of the Ottawa/Gatineau community.
As we grow we recognize that this growth and change we are experiencing as a practice is not about us or even our own doing, but is the work of this place in the ancient Ottawa Valley, both the people of Ottawa/Gatineau community, and of the tremendous flow of the rivers around Ottawa, the Great River. We are not original. This place, Ottawa, where three rivers, the Ottawa, Gatineau, and Rideau all meet, has for thousands of years been a place where many different communities of people met, got to know one another deeply, taught each other, offered healing, traded, and where people grew and thrived.
Out practice and our work is not just business, neither is it about us; our intention as a group of practitioners who all share the value of building our work on mindfulness, compassion, and contextual behavioural science, is about continuing to honour with our actions, that which has been honoured in this place by those who came before us. Naming ceremonies, across cultures and history, have traditionally been about setting a direction for a life, and for marking changes in identity. As of July 15, 2018 our practice will change from Sogge & Associates Practice in Psychology to Ottawa River Psychology Group.*
With a change in name, we offer a change in symbol. Dr. Sogge will continue to be represented by the circular mandala, a symbol of both the flow of life and what in mythology is called the ouroboros. Ottawa River Psychology Group will be represented by the moving wave logo below . The three waves in our new logo are homage to the contextual behavioral science that flows underneath all of our work. The larger wave flowing through everything is the living power of this place, referred to for thousands of years as the Great River. Our new website will be www.Ottawariverpsychology.com.
We have learned from elders that whenever many rivers come together the place is a sacred place, new energy is created and new things happen. We see the power of the water, just steps from our new office door at 44 Hawthorne Avenue near the Pretoria Bridge, and all that is built around it. We recognize in large part our lives and our community are in this place because of the river. We also recognize that as a psychology practice we are changing because of the extraordinary power that is produced by coming together, just as the rivers do in Ottawa. The power created by coming together is not about growth for growth’s sake, but is about supporting life and expanding the circle of compassion, as Albert Einstein said:
A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
In our new space at 44 Hawthorne, opening on July 15, 2018, and with additional team members, we hope our work as Ottawa River Psychology group will shift us as professionals from our comfort zone of Sogge & Associates Practice in Psychology, to a larger vision inspired by the community and the land where we practice: Ottawa River Psychology Group will continue to invite seeing more deeply and extensively our shared connections within and without, continue to invite opening to the resources within and without, and continue to support evidence based practice, and the science of mindfulness and compassion, for the benefit of all we welcome through our doors or in our classes.
We are honoured to serve you, and we offer our deep gratitude to you for being ahead of us, leading us to this change.
-Kimberly Sogge & the Sogge & Associates Practice in Psychology team
*We will indicate both names on our documents for some time, to assist in the transition with employers, funders, insurance companies etc.