All rights reserved.  Copyright © 2009-2021

Dr. Joy Canfield Psychology, Professional Corporation

Have you considered increasing your social support?  Isolation and avoidance have been identified as influences to our psychological well-being or distress.  Belongingness and affiliation have been identified by psychological theories as key components to the wellness of people.   As well, having a sense of purpose and unconditional mutual caring benefits a person's emotional health.  


What to do?  Should we join a club?  Online?   Nooooo, you say -- no more virtual gatherings. Six feet apart?  Masked?  Showing proof of immunization..... ( how DO you accomplish this six feet apart? 


Have you considered seeking the support of a loved one with a tail?

  • Here is an excerpt from scholars who have assessed the benefits of a 4-legged family member.  Something to think about!    From the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology:   McConnell, A. R., Brown, C. M., Shoda, T. M., Stayton, L. E., & Martin, C. E. (2011). Friends with benefits: On the positive consequences of pet ownership. 


"Social support is critical for psychological and physical well-being, reflecting the centrality of belongingness in our lives. Human interactions often provide people with considerable social support, but can pets also fulfill one's social needs? Although there is correlational evidence that pets may help individuals facing significant life stressors, little is known about the well-being benefits of pets for everyday people. 

Study 1 found in a community sample that pet owners fared better on several well-being (e.g., greater self-esteem, more exercise) and individual-difference (e.g., greater conscientiousness, less fearful attachment) measures. 

Study 2 assessed a different community sample and found that owners enjoyed better well-being when their pets fulfilled social needs better, and the support that pets provided complemented rather than competed with human sources. 

Study 3 brought pet owners into the laboratory and experimentally demonstrated the ability of pets to stave off negativity caused by social rejection. 

In summary, pets can serve as important sources of social support, providing many positive psychological and physical benefits for their owners."  (McConnell,, et al, 2011.)



Readjustments to Work, School, & Any Change

Social Support? Affiliation? Belongingness?


Dealing with Change: Start Slow... Be Yourself... Listen to others... Use visual language methods: facial expressions,

posture, & watch how you carry yourself...

Successive Approximations

 Incremental Steps

Change can be scary, wrong, or feel too ambiguous and uncertain.  It's difficult to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  When change occurs, it may be helpful to pursue the one-step-at-a-time approach through successive approximations -- small to moderate to somewhat greater, etc.  These incremental steps will be able to take you where you will ultimately thrive.