Category: Family & Parenting

Get More Out of Life

Do you want more out of life, something different, a new way of doing things and yet you do not have a clear idea of how to bring this about? Perhaps you have tried everything you can think of but things are not improving. You may be feeling overwhelmed by the events in your life. You may have experienced a catastrophe, loss or trauma (recent or buried in the past) and your coping skills have been stretched to the limit.

Posted in Depression, Family & Parenting, General, Marriage & Relationships, Personal Growth, Retirement & Aging, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy

Using Pop Culture to Impact Positive Change

Seven years ago, a colleague and I attended an annual conference in Washington DC called the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium. We were excited about meeting one of the key note speakers, John Gottman, a marriage and relationship researcher and expert whom we learned about while in grad school. We kept seeing a man of similar stature walking through the hallways of the hotel but were disappointed each time to realize that he wasn’t John. Upon arriving home and looking at the

Posted in Family & Parenting, General, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety

Marriage Can Be Miserable

When a couple marries, they can be truly miserable if they follow a few simple rules! When life is busy and stress levels are high, it is important to “do one’s own thing.”  Take time to unwind and relax; this is far more important than conversing with your spouse. If a conversation should happen to break out, be sure to react and avoid understanding what is being said to you. Feel free to be upset or annoyed; it is their

Posted in Depression, Family & Parenting, General, Marriage & Relationships, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety

Caught in the Middle: Supporting the Child Through Parental Divorce

Last week I learned that a young couple I know had recently separated.  I remembered their wedding and the promising future they imagined together.  I don’t know the circumstances of their separation but I do hope that they have tried hard to make their marriage work; that knowledge will be important to their children.  I also hope that they are committed to working on an effective partnership as co-parents to their two young girls.  I hope that they are supported

Posted in Family & Parenting, General, Marriage & Relationships

Marijuana: Not all good or bad

Those living in B.C and, in particular, Vancouver are well aware of the debate regarding the legalization of marijuana. The province recently approved the opening of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries which have very quickly grown in number to rival that of Starbucks.  The following facts are worth considering as the debate continues to simmer: Marijuana is the most widely used illicit psychoactive drug in the world.  The two most widely used marijuana species are Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Due to

Posted in Addictions, Family & Parenting, Therapy

Summertime Internet Safety

“Something is not right” Barb was sharing with her friend Jill over coffee, “Jessica is on the computer every night for hours, and when she is not on the computer, she’s on her cell phone.” Jill gave an empathetic groan, “I know what you mean, my daughter is the same.” “Yeah, but something is different lately, “said Barb with a troubled look on her face, “it’s like she’s a different person. She used to like to hang out with her

Posted in Family & Parenting, Internet

My Teen is Cutting: What can I do?

Liz and Dan recently received a call from the school counsellor informing them their 14 year old daughter, Becky, has been cutting herself. Liz and Dan were in disbelief and confusion. Becky has always been an outstanding child who is friendly, outgoing, does well in school, is in cheer competitively and helps out around the house. When meeting with Becky, the therapist discovers she has been feeling extremely overwhelmed by pressures to be perfect and successful. Becky started self-harming last

Posted in Addictions, Depression, Family & Parenting, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy Tagged with: , , , ,

Technology Divides

We gathered our children and grandchildren and headed to the west coast of Vancouver Island for a short family vacation. As in the past, we were anticipating the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and remove ourselves from the demands of everyday life. We knew that there would be laughter, great food and long walks on the beach. On this particular trip, we brought along two versions of a board game called “Trains,” which all of us knew and enjoyed

Posted in Family & Parenting, Internet, Marriage & Relationships Tagged with:

Play Therapy

What is Play Therapy? Young children do not typically come into the therapy room, sit down, and begin to discuss their problems. This kind of “talk therapy” requires abstract thinking and a level of ability to verbalize thoughts and feelings that most children have not yet acquired. Instead, therapy with children must take into account their developmental needs and abilities. Terry Kottman describes play therapy as “an approach to counseling young children in which the counselor uses toys, art supplies,

Posted in Family & Parenting, Therapy Tagged with:

ADHD in 2014

Most people have some understanding of what is meant by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, some may not realize that this diagnosis relies on specific criteria and needs to be made by a medical expert- a doctor or psychologist. While it is true that all children can at times be distractible, impulsive and hyperactive, these behaviors are much more prevalent in a child with ADHD. For a child with ADHD, symptoms of attentional limitation, distractibility and/ or hyperactivity and

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