News and Interviews

The Lucky Seven Interview: Lise Leblanc Talks Self-Care, Burnout, and the Challenges of Caregiving


Taking care of ailing loved ones is something many of us have experienced or will experience someday, whether it be an aging parent, or a partner suffering with health issues. The challenges involved are difficult and often surprising, and it can be easy to lose track of yourself in the process of making someone else a priority.

Author and psychotherapist Lise Leblanc's new book, Wish I Knew: The Conscious Caregiving Guide (Blue Moon Publishers), is here to shed light on this often-ignored issue and offer helpful solutions to caregivers. Drawing on her considerable professional knowledge as well as her own personal experience, Leblanc's new book provides illuminating insights and helpful ways of thinking that will change the way caregivers view themselves as well as their relationship to their loved one.

We're thrilled to have Lise at Open Book today to talk about her new book, what true self-care actually means, and why putting your own mental and physical health first is essential to being the best caregiver you can be.


Open Book:

Tell us about your new book and how it came to be. What made you passionate about the subject matter you're exploring?

Lise Leblanc:

As a therapist for over twenty years, I’ve seen the devastating effects that caregiving can have on people, especially when they’re not taking care of themselves. I also experienced this first-hand when my grandfather passed away suddenly and my grandmother who had Alzheimer’s disease came to live with us. As her primary caregiver, I faced many challenges including guilt, fear, resentment, exhaustion, and lack of self-care to the point of burnout. In the decade since caring for my grandmother, I’ve counselled people in all kinds of different caregiving situations – whether it be caring for a parent, spouse, child, or friend – who were burning out from the added stress of caregiving.

In the Wish I Knew: Conscious Caregiving Guide and Conscious Caregiving Guide Workbook, I share my personal and professional experiences, and everything I wish I knew when I was a caregiver, in hopes of making someone else’s caregiving journey a little lighter and a lot more forgiving.


Is there a question that is central to your book? And if so, is it the same question you were thinking about when you started writing or did it change during the writing process? 


I believe the biggest problem facing caregivers is that they are so busy caring for others that they forget to take care of their own needs, and so, the central question to the Conscious Caregiving Guide is around how to take care of ourselves in a profound way.

As a therapist, I thought I knew all about “self-care,”, but when I realized I was heading for a burnout, my initial response was to eat more spinach, do yoga, go to the gym more often, make appointments for massage, hair, nails. My understanding of self-care was to take more time to pamper myself, but it turned out these were just more things to do – more appointments, and more obligations. Although I still encourage people to do nice things for themselves, I’ve also learned that true self- care is about putting yourself and your own needs as a priority. It’s putting your own oxygen mask on before helping someone else with theirs, so to speak. Therefore, Conscious Caregiving Guide provides a step by step, easy to absorb plan for achieving optimum health and wellness while taking care of someone else.


What was your research process like for this book? Did you encounter anything unexpected while you were researching?


Having worked in the health care field for over twenty years, along with my personal caregiving experience, I have learned a lot about what to do (and NOT do) as a caregiver.

However, through the process of creating the Caregiving Insights book, I was surprised to find that there was still so much more for me to learn. While editing these “in the trenches” caregiving stories, I gained new perspectives and powerful lessons which brought even more awareness, insight and inspiration to my research on how to become a more conscious caregiver.


What do you need in order to write – in terms of space, food, rituals, writing instruments?


Physical space is very important to me. I need a calm, quiet, and relaxed environment with few distractions because my writing process is very introspective. Usually it is by digging into my own messy life situations that I learn how to help others find strategies to take care of themselves while getting through theirs.

In terms of rituals, I go to bed at night asking my higher power for inspiration and guidance. I keep a note pad by my bedside, and if I wake up with a dream or an insight, I write it down right away. In fact, I always have a pen and notepad with me because I never know when my best ideas will pop up.


What do you do if you're feeling discouraged during the writing process? Do you have a method of coping with the difficult points in your projects?


When I get discouraged during the writing process, I take my own advice and follow one of the key strategies outlined in the Conscious Caregiving Guide, which is to call my “accountability partner”. This is the person who challenges my thinking, motivates me, and holds me accountable to doing what I need to do to make sure I’m taking care of my own needs so I can get back into a good energetic space for writing.


What defines a great work of non-fiction, in your opinion? Tell us about one or two books you consider to be truly great books.


A great non-fiction book, in my opinion, expands the mind and inspires readers to make profound shifts in their internal lives which then reflects positively in their external lives. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and the 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse by Debbie Ford are two such books. As with the Conscious Caregiving Guide, these books provide practical strategies and reflective questions to enhance self-awareness and heighten consciousness.


What are you working on now?


I am writing the Wish I Knewseries which deals with difficult life transitions such as caregiving, grief, aging, stress, divorce, and empty nesting. The main theme of this series is around self-care and building conscious awareness to get through life’s challenging experiences more mindfully and gracefully. My next book in the series is the Conscious Grief and Loss Guide, the Conscious Grief and Loss Guide Workbook, as well as Grief and Loss Insights.


Lise Leblanc is a registered psychotherapist, author and conflict resolution specialist with over 20 years experience working in therapeutic, educational, and leadership roles. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in educational leadership, as well as several other clinical certifications. But most of her knowledge does not come from books. It comes from overcoming her own challenges and working with clients to help them overcome theirs. Through her personal and professional experiences, she has learned what it takes to pull someone through the faulty conditioning and unresolved conflicts that are keeping them stuck in a perpetual loop of stress and unhappiness. She is ruthless when it comes to helping people take responsibility for the quality of their lives and freeing them from the guilt, shame, and defective mental, emotional, and behavioural patterns that are keeping them from living the life they really want.


Buy the Book

The Conscious Caregiving Guide

Lise Leblanc has the experience and insight to make your caregiving journey a little lighter. As a registered psychotherapist, conflict resolution specialist and caregiver she has seen the impact that caregiving without personal care can wreak on all lives involved. Her personal lived experience has also shaped her useful perspectives. She was the main caregiver for her grandmother who had Alzheimer’s disease when her grandfather died suddenly. Her own parents and siblings lived afar and she was working full time while raising her two young children. The experience has shaped her dedication to helping people take responsibility for the quality of their own lives at the same time as making space to support a conscious caregiving model.