Psychotherapy work in Ukraine

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine passed its 100th day, with little sign of an end, I interviewed Kateryna by text, a woman from eastern Ukraine who is currently volunteering to provide psychotherapy support to her countrymen and women. Her words are a reminder of the people of Ukraine, amongst whom some 14 million have been displaced and thousands killed and injured. It also reminds me of my responsibility to do what I can to try and promote peace in a war that even risks global famines and, also, nuclear escalation.

(i) You mentioned that you’re learning English to help with your next job and you had to leave your last role due to the war. Can you explain why you had to leave your job? Did the war force you to move away?

The war affected every Ukrainian without exception. The company I worked for was badly damaged, almost half of the stores destroyed by rockets and bombs. The company lost any opportunities to provide employees with jobs and pay salaries.

I became a volunteer of psychological care in 2020, when the world learned about Covid and it turned out that people are not ready mentally for social isolation. The war is a severe test for my psyche also. And I understood perfectly well how all Ukrainians suffer. At the same time, the war has united our nation like never before, we all want the same thing now. And we all are thinking in terms of categories: What can I do to be useful for our victory ?! So I decided that my knowledge, skills and experience should work for a single purpose now. And this is Save my country from the enemy!!!

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Asperger’s and COVID-19.

Aspie Kid;

The pandemic has been a turbulent time for all of us, so I wanted to talk a little bit about my experience of being on the spectrum during lockdown and how COVID has affected me as an aspie. 

Before the first lockdown, I was in quite a bit of denial about what the pandemic was going to entail. I don’t follow the news, so the first I heard about COVID was from school gossip. When my peers expressed the sentiment that the school would close due to the pandemic, I dismissed it out of hand. The school, close? That was unthinkable. School was foundational to my routines. In my mind, it was impossible that it should close…

And then we all know what happened. 

Surprisingly enough though, when my school announced the upcoming closure, I was actually unconcerned. Rather, I was caught up in the hype that surrounded me – with my friends all cheering and messaging each other clips of the school newsletter announcing the closure – so I was able to get pretty excited about what we all thought would be an extra two weeks of holiday tagged onto Easter. How naive we were.

As it turned out, the first lockdown wasn’t actually so bad for me. I initially felt quite uprooted, as I know a lot of people did, and the fact that nothing was really certain about how long it would go on for was especially stressful. It became a matter of just taking it a day at a time. 

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IHOP(e) – reflections on homelessness and kindness

By Leyland:

It has been a very long time since I have been on a Breakfast Date. A lot went on this morning: I had an appointment with a General Nurse Practitioner. It was something important I had to do. And my medications are important, but, deep down, there is that kid in me that HATES doing things like going to the dentist. Anything concerning the closest resemblance to a Medical Procedure, I despise.

Then again, what type of person LIKES such things

Maybe it has to do with the being an “adult” part I despise so much in such affairs. You SHOULD go to the dentist. A person SHOULD go & get checked-out to get their medication… but, in the primal-part of a Hunter-Gatherer Society, is it necessary?

I suffer from Social Anxiety, along with other psychological maladies that make it awkward (sometimes, down-right frightening) to perform the grown-up role of keeping up with my health.


And I’m an all-out coward!

I had to be in the Practitioner’s Office at 8:45 a.m. It started off as a good morning. And it turned into a great day & night. But there was something strange & fun about me this morning. For example: while drinking my morning coffee, while reading-over my messages, during my time in the bathroom, brushing my teeth (starting the day) I was listening to Ghetto Sex Rap, sung by some very provocative Ebony Music Artists.

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All I feel is paaaaaaiiin! Reflections on trauma and poverty


As I sit here in pain due to cutting corners financially, I can’t help but to contemplate my entire upbringing. Some people will never have to worry about what it feels like to live in a world where you cannot afford medical help especially as a child. I had no way of advocating for myself 20 years ago and because of that I endured years of pain. Now that I’m an adult and I have access to actual medical insurance, I’m able to take care of all of the things I needed to back then, well…almost.

I won’t get into the kind of surgery that I got recently, but I can tell you that although my medical insurance covered the majority of the fee, I still couldn’t afford it. The procedures totaled to over 8k in out-of-pocket expenses and I could only pay about half so, half of the procedure got done but unfortunately, I had to look elsewhere to finish it all. Elsewhere meaning a different country. I typically am really thorough with vetting any doctor before I let them do anything but I trusted my mother who told me she’s been going to this doctor for more than 20 years.

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