Category: Family & Parenting

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:

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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Game Over?

David ‘Hesh’ Walker. Illidan Stormrage. Sonic the Hedgehog.  Now that I have your attention, please put down the controller or take your hand off the keyboard, and read on!  This article will review the pros and cons of video gaming, how to recognize when it’s becoming problematic and offer some suggestions and ideas to assist with making healthy changes. First the bad news. Some experts believe that playing video games excessively can hinder the development of the frontal lobe of

Posted in Addictions, Family & Parenting 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

Girls Can Be So Mean

Lately Susie has been complaining of not feeling well and wanting to stay home from school. Susie’s mom, Cheryl, takes her to the doctor who is unable to find any medical reason for feeling ill. Time goes on, Susie starts asking to come home early from school. When she’s at home, Susie stays in her room or looks through social media while bumming out on the couch. She stays home on the weekends and when asked if she wants to

Posted in Family & Parenting

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

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

Destructive Narcissistic Parents – Part II

In the Summer of 2010 a published PsycHealth article on “Destructive Narcissistic Parents” triggered a number of calls from the adult offspring of these parents. They felt relieved in recognizing that they were not alone, nor were their parents who struggled with these traits. In therapy they were able to address the emotions they encountered during parental interactions. They learned to develop assertiveness, independence and healthy boundaries. Yet, something was missing. They described sadness, bitterness, and resentment at the wasted

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

The Law of Unintended Consequences

If we could look into the future, we might be surprised at the consequences our present actions would have on others. We may not intend the results that occur. Robert Merton, a well-known sociologist in the early 1900’s, stated that the phenomenon of all human actions having at least one unexpected result was so common it could be labelled the “law of unintended consequences”. This “law” operates politics, societies and relationships. A recent example of this occurred in a country

Posted in Family & Parenting