“Waiting for the shrink” by Dr. Isabelle Soucy: strategies to face the challenges

“Waiting for Dr. Isabelle Soucy's psy: coping strategies to the challenges


Over time, everyone is faced, at one time or another, with trials that can cause feelings of distress. However, it is not always easy to consult a psychologist or a mental health worker. The waiting lists are long and you have to be patient. Dr. Isabelle Soucy, psychologist and author of the book Calm in the heart of chaos, offers this year a new very relevant book, Waiting for the shrink. She offers strategies that can guide people and help them feel truly better.

This new book, whose preface is signed by the Buddhist monk and best-selling author Matthieu Ricard, aims to accompany people in the tumult of everyday life and guide them towards a life rich in meaning. 

Dr. Isabelle Soucy offers strategies to refocus and bounce back better, as well as several unusual resources that are within everyone's reach and that we do not necessarily think of, such as mastering breathing and the benefits of nature.

“I really have the personal mission of making simple and effective strategies accessible to restore the balance of our nervous system and our psychological well-being,” she explains in a telephone interview. I want to make them accessible, available, and simple to implement in our way of life, which is already overwhelmed with responsibilities and tasks.”


There are very accessible resources that you don't necessarily think of, such as counting your inspirations and expirations. 

“All breathing strategies will modulate the activation of our nervous system directly. You have to put them into practice,” she says.

How? “There is, for example, rectangular breathing: we inhale in 4, we hold for 2, we exhale in 4, we hold for 2. Or quite simply, exhaling longer compared to inspiration, that has a very soothing effect on the nervous system. It also stimulates the vagus nerve, very involved in the regulation of the nervous system.”

Breathing is very simple, she reminds. 

“We bring it with us everywhere. It can be used at any time. We can do it in action too, if we don't have time to close our eyes for 10 minutes and focus on the breath.”


The clinical psychologist also reminds us that there are simple resources that we sometimes underestimate, such as spending time outdoors. 

“Studies show it more and more: there are effects on the nervous system, psychological health, as well as a physiological impact, for example on the cardiovascular rhythm, the immune system.”


Changing the way we think about things is another winning strategy, as is training in gratitude. 

“It helps to condition habits that lead us to contentment and a more positive outlook on life. Neurologically, there are really neural paths that are shaped and it is lasting over time: the more you train it, the stronger it becomes!”

It is therefore in our interest to “muscle” your empathy , his benevolence and his gratitude when things are going well! 

“We can take advantage of the ripple effect: afterwards, it becomes easier, more accessible in times when we are more destabilized or upset.”

As soon as you start a process of change, positive things happen, little by little. It's the snowball effect. 

“There is a momentumwhich sets in and it becomes easier and easier to make conscious choices that will fuel our well-being rather than getting stuck in the automatisms that, ultimately, undermine us in terms of well-being.”

  • Dre Isabelle Soucy is a doctor of psychology and author of the book Calm in the Heart of Chaos: Strategy and Exercises for Cultivating Balance in Daily Life.
  • She is a clinical psychologist and practices in the Quebec region.
  • She offers professional training, workshops and clinical supervision services.
  • She is trained in cognitive and behavioral therapies, clinical hypnosis and teaching yoga.< /li>
  • Her website: isabellesoucy.com
  • On YouTube: Calm in the heart chaos. 


To tackle the real causes of his problem, he realized that he had to reorganize the structure of his life and assert certain limits within the framework of his employment. Over the year, he reduced his workload to get closer to a more suitable schedule. He learned to save some energy for going for a walk in the evening. He also signed up for rock climbing lessons with a friend. Naturally, he found that he was less and less under the influence of alcohol. He no longer felt the need to use it as often to feel good.”