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Bear Psychology Podcast

Dr. Anna Baranowsky is a Canadian Clinical Psychologist, CEO of the Traumatology Institute, Founder and President of the Board at Trauma Practice. She is the author of two books on trauma, numerous courses to help train professionals in trauma mental health and the developer of the Trauma Recovery Program for Self-Guided trauma care. She works with trauma survivors and those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on post-traumatic growth and recovery.

Through her work she believes that when we share, dialogue and feel supported, it provides a powerful foundation for forward movement in our understanding and the care needed. In her own words "I have found that the most profound changes occur when a person truly feels heard and understood - I like to think of it as deeply BEARING WITNESS to life evolving. We can feel incredibly stuck when we live with our fears, stressors and troubles in isolation."

Dr.Baranowsky is the host of the Bear Psychology Show, focusing on bearing witness to Evolving Mood, Mind, Health. Her talks revolve around recovery, relationships, work and life adventures.

She is dedicated to assisting organizations and health professionals who help trauma survivors to ensure a trauma informed lens of care can grow in community health networks. With that vision in 1998, the Traumatology Institute Canada (TIC) was established. TIC has trained thousands of individuals nationally and internationally.

Dr. Baranowsky serves on the board of directors of the Academy of Traumatology and is a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress through the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and is recognized by The National Center for Crisis Management. She has published in the area of Post-Traumatic Stress, Compassion Fatigue, and therapeutic relationships (the Silencing Response).

Copyright:  Dr. Anna Baranowsky, 2020

Jan 6, 2020

Setting Yourself Up for Success

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit” – Will Durant

The year 2020 is upon us and it marks the end of the decade. Millions of New Year’s resolutions will be made; however, the 8% success rate shows we just don’t know how to stick with them. We want to share with you the psychology behind starting new habits, changing old habits, and staying motivated. Think of this as your toolkit for setting yourself up for success – not just in January, but every day!

Making behavioral changes:

Habits are conditioned responses, and so to create new habits or change old ones, we must identify our cue that stimulates undesired behavior, and then change our response. Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit states simply we must pick a small action, pair a new habit with an existing habit, and make it relatively easy to do, at least in the first week. Here is a short video clip about identifying the habit and changing your response.


Another great way to change behavior is by changing your self-story through story-editing. Your self-story is your personal narrative about who you are that guides your behavior. Dr. Timothy Wilson, an expert on story-editing says we should write out our existing story paying special attention to behaviors that conflict with our goals. Next, revise your self-story to incorporate things you would like to change. This reflective writing task can have a profound impact on our personal narratives and instill positive change.

Here are some tips for staying motivated and keeping those changes:

  • Write down your goals
  • Prepare for set-backs
  • Stay positive
  • Don’t forget to reward yourself

“Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart” – Roy Bennet

Now that we have addressed making changes, how can we succeed holistically in the New Year?

Starting your day off right and making meaning in your life

  • Engage in gratitude each morning
  • Prepare for your morning the night before
  • Engage in activities that make you happy
  • Take care of your body and mind

Some useful resources:

For more information on staying motivated click HERE

For information on the types of motivation click HERE

For more information on starting your morning off right click HERE

For more information on making meaning in your life click HERE

For more information on why some New Year’s resolutions don’t work click HERE