Author: Don Lasell

Don Lasell is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and is a member of the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors. Don specializes in working with families having children with special needs and anxiety. His areas of special interest include anxiety, depression, stress, self-esteem, couple and family issues. In addition to counselling, Don also offers presentations and workshops on a variety of issues related to children, marriage and family.

Don obtained his Masters in Marital and Family Counselling in 1994 through the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. Don is also a former teacher who has taught in an integrated classroom setting.

In addition to his work in private practice, Don is also a former peer reviewer for the Council on Accreditation.

Don is married to Tanya with whom he is the parent of seven children, two of which are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

How Are Strong Marriages Like Healthy Gardens?

This is a question that I often put to couples who attend the premarital workshops I present. I like the question because it requires what are called “higher order thinking skills” – a more effective way of engaging new information that simply receiving it in a rote learning format. The answers I receive to this question are often quite insightful. Following are a few of those insights. Successful marriages, like gardens, must be cultivated. What sunlight, soil and water are to

Posted in Marriage & Relationships, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

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

Therapeutic Writing

As the counselling session was winding up, Jack’s counsellor discussed recommendations for Jack to follow up with before their next scheduled session together. “Jack, please read this handout, it relates to a number of the points we talked about in our session.” “Also, I would like you to do some writing.” “Writing?” said Jack. “I want you to do something called ‘stream of consciousness journaling’” replied his counsellor.  “It’s a form of writing we often use in therapy to give

Posted in Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy Tagged with: , ,

Children Anxiety Strategies (Part II)

In the last issue of Psychealth we were introduced to ten year old David who was experiencing anxiety in anticipation of returning to school. Three basic strategies to help David better cope with his anxiety were introduced: the expression of feelings, controlling self-talk and practicing courage by facing one’s fears. In this issue I will introduce three additional strategies which are useful in helping children manage their feelings of anxiety: RECOGNIZE AND PREPARE FOR TRIGGERS – Triggers are the starting

Posted in Family & Parenting, Stress & Anxiety

Anxiety Management Strategies for Children

As the last days of August were drawing to a close, Ashley could already see the change taking place in her 10 year old son David. All summer long he was a typical carefree child enjoying the freedom of summer vacation. Now, with September just around the corner and the beginning of school immanent, David’s adventurous and carefree attitude was replaced with complaints of feeling sick and wanting to stay home. It was always like this when school started. Ashley,

Posted in Family & Parenting

When Sorry Isn’t Enough

Sue felt frustrated and alone. She and Jack had just had another spat, again over something which to her seemed trivial. As of late conflicts were happening more and more frequently between them, with Jack taking longer and longer to get over them. As usual, Sue apologized hoping to end the conflict quickly. She would say she was sorry for her part in the situation, then want to move on. Jack on the other hand would always want to continue

Posted in Marriage & Relationships

Stop the Blame Game

The day had only just begun and already Tom and Jan were blaming each other. “Did you remember to call Mom yesterday about sitting for us on Saturday?” asked Tom with a slight edge to his voice. “No, I was too busy dealing with the kids to get to it” replied Jan abruptly. “But you said you would take care of it and it’s already Thursday. You know how Mom is about getting late notice” said Tom now showing his

Posted in Marriage & Relationships

Flip Side of Boundaries

Sam felt frustrated. He and Claudia have been married for 12 years and had made the decision a year ago that Claudia would take a leave from her job as a registered nurse to stay at home with the children. At the time this decision seemed to make sense for them. The amount of money Claudia made taking the few available shifts at the hospital barely offset the day care expenses of their two children Justin (3) and Emily (5).

Posted in Marriage & Relationships

Understanding Misbehaviour

It was mid-September, the beginning of only the third week of school. The early autumn sun shone warm and lazy outside a small suburban rancher, as if reluctant to let go of the relaxed days of summer. The maple trees lining the street displayed broad orange and gold leaves painting an almost surreal picture of peace and serenity. Inside the rancher however, the atmosphere was anything but serene. “Chelsea, will you please hurry, we are going to be late for

Posted in Family & Parenting

A Day in the Life of Ann Xiety

As the alarm went off signalling the start of another day, Ann could already feel an all too familiar sensation in her stomach. A knot was forming in her lower abdomen as she anticipated her day – a day at school. As she lay in bed she became increasingly aware of her body’s response to the thought of going to school. She recalled that as a younger child, she would often cry and complain to her parents of numerous aches

Posted in Stress & Anxiety