OT, Skills for the Job of Living



pottery-and-aunt-helen-025.jpgSometimes parts of yourself become disconnected. Your hopes become separated from your life facts. With compassion and skill, I can tend to disconnection and help loosen what is stuck. We will look, together, at what your hopes and fears are saying.

I have a part-time practice and can be reached via: HakomiOT@gmail.com or (403) 903-7946. Please feel free to introduce yourself to me if you are looking for a therapist. Although I maintain complete confidentiality of your contact emails or phone to me, email itself has inherent limits to its security.

Scroll down to posts for grounding and breath exercises to increase in-the-moment coping. For urgent help: Calgary Distress Centre at 403-266-4357; guide them how to help.

As a Registered Occupational Therapist and Certified Hakomi Therapist, I orient my private practice of psychosocial Occupational Therapy to best fit your mental health needs. My body-focused approach addresses your day to day performance and satisfaction. I invite you to explore my website or, simply call or email.

Please contact me if you are looking for someone to help with the following issues:

  • Difficulty managing stressful situations – life crises
  • Trouble fitting in socially, or struggles with relating to others
  • Out of control emotions, or numbness
  • Anxiety &/or Sadness and depression
  • Suicidal thoughts (with and without attempts or self harm)
  • Issues related to trauma
  • Problems coping or functioning at work
  • Transitions/phase of life issues

Hakomi Calgary  highlights therapists who work in this model. Hakomi Mindfulness-Centred Somatic Psychotherapy comes from “Hakomi” (Ha-ko-mee), a Hopi Indian word meaning “where do I stand in relation to these many realms”.

Content copyright 2012-2019. Kirsten Buhr, M. Sc. (O.T.), C.H.T. All rights reserved.


Grounding 4+

Here are a few groundings from a book, Seeking Safety, by Lisa Najavits. The chapter begins with a quotation: “You are not responsible for being down, but you are responsible for getting up.” It’s highly recommended to find a way to use your abilities (with help) to gently but firmly steer away from chaos.

These are groundings which do not rely on, nor even mention (aside from once), breathing. Breathing is highly useful for many, but can work backwards for some.

I’ve broken up what is presented as one long grounding into: Orientation, Mental, Physical and Soothing. I’m happy to hear any feedback on them:

OK, thank yourself for actually taking these for a test drive. Come back at any time. Do them as often as you like. When you are finished, jot down a few observations for yourself. What parts seemed to suit you better, which parts were harder, or lost you?  …are there any small parts could you use by memory, or on your own when you are out and about? (Though it’s wise to do groundings for at least 10 minutes when you are in distress. ie: not stop too soon).


The morning wind spreads its fresh smell. We must get up and take that in, that wind that lets us live. ~Rumi

Grounding 2. A Poem.

Sometimes just following a voice is grounding.  A poem by Wendell Berry. Yet, ask yourself to stay present to the poem, allowing yourself to really hear it.

Let the poem fill your senses, listen with your senses. Listen in for as long as it goes.

A comment by “Ben” precedes his reproduction of the poem, stating: “This poem is one of my favourites. It really speaks to the universality of place and family in the lives of the human race. It also calls out the absurdity of hating another people for reasons that are not entirely clear to any of us.”

You might also want to peek into this video by Colman McCarthy on Peace. If you start at minute 18:15, you’ll hear a response to: “How does goodness happen?” … yet the whole thing is good.

I’ll do another sometime this week that calls on physical aspects of grounding or anchoring again.

Things to say to your children…

…that you may not have heard. Someone drew this site to my attention.

Try to take a few of these on the ‘road’ – Aka, try them out. Try just a couple that you can back up with actions. For instance, if you say: “You have a fair point”, let yourself be impacted by their opinions. If you say “I’m listening”, listen.  And if you don’t have time to listen at the moment, say that. Honesty behind these words will work more wonders that the words alone.  So maybe “I love being your parent” becomes, “I love being your parent even when I’m too tired to show it”! Try to use the ones that speak your children’s language, not necessarily the ones you value most.

See what happens when you try a couple  on yourself – speaking to yourself. Choose tolerable ones, not the hardest ones:

Grounding 1. My voice.

So here is my voice and a grounding script on Quicktime Player. I’ve been asked to do this over the years, and always hesitate. I sound a bit weird to myself. (But isn’t that what people always say about hearing themselves!) Feel free to let me know what you think – I’ll work on them. The goal is not necessarily relaxation. This is to get grounded and present. You may have to do it several times, or take it from here and do the parts repeatedly that work better for you. Also move! Move your body, stretch a bit as you do these – even though what’s here is mostly not moving: