Category: General

Benefits of a Mindful Brain

Has anybody ever told you to stop and smell the roses? And have you? If you have, you may have noticed some changes in the moment. Your heart rate lowers, you breathe deeper, you are able to smell the sweetness radiating from the flower. Your vision is absorbed in the vibrant colors.  You may even reach out and touch the silky smooth petal.  In this moment, your mind stops.  Your to-do list seems to slip away and your worries leave

Posted in General, Personal Growth, Therapy Tagged with: , , , , ,

Health Anxiety

People with health anxiety focus on specific sensations such as feeling dizzy, fatigue, joint pain,  digestive problems, a headache or a quick and sudden heartbeat.  Such physiological symptoms are typically not harmful if they are short lived and do not re-occur on a repeated basis. The difficulty that people with health anxiety have is that they misattribute these symptoms as indicating there MUST be significant disease lurking. Like many people, they will make an appointment with their doctor to have these symptoms

Posted in Depression, General, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety Tagged with: , , , , ,

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 Depression, General, Marriage & Relationships, Personal Growth Tagged with: , , , , ,

A Lasting Relationship: Not for the Faint of Heart

“Life is difficult”. This is the first sentence of Scott Peck’s book “The Road less Travelled”. He then goes on to say that life is a series of problems, and our natural tendency is to want to avoid problems rather than face them head on. This tendency to avoid both the problems and the emotional suffering they bring is the primary basis of all human mental illness. Mental health on the other hand, is “an ongoing process of dedication to

Posted in General, Marriage & Relationships, Personal Growth

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 Storm Within

Mary has suffered for years in her personal relationships and in her private world. Her behaviour, thoughts, and emotions were often described as though she was in the middle of a whirlwind. When meeting men she would put them on a pedestal, idealizing them to the point where they appeared to reach near sainthood in her eyes. Shortly after, she would seek out their flaws and vulnerabilities and go on the attack. She said it was like “I’m fire or

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

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 Depression, General, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy

Summer Survival Strategies For Parents

Spring has sprung and summer is almost upon us. Near are the days when school will be let out and our children will be home for the summer. For some, this is a time of joyful anticipation. Vacation schedules are arranged, long awaited holidays are planned, and preparations are begun. For others, the anticipation may be somewhat less than joyful. Visions of chaos, noise and perpetual untidiness come to mind. Choruses of “I’m bored, what can I do” never seem

Posted in Family & Parenting, General, Marriage & Relationships, Stress & Anxiety

Mindful Meditation

There has been much written lately about the Buddhist practice of “mindfulness”. Mindfulness essentially means that while going about your day, you are also calmly observing your reactions to what is going on. You observe yourself objectively as if you were another person. For example, while being mindful you may observe, “Now I’m getting stressed”, “Now I am happy”, “Now I am worrying”, or “Now I’m feeling hungry”. The observing, watchful self is a neutral friend, whose goal is to

Posted in General, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety

Bouncing Back From Trauma

Adversity impacts the world around us. Few of us will make it through life unscathed. Personal tragedies, traumatic injuries, loss of health, chaotic relationships and financial reversals are just a few of the near normal events that can shake us to our foundation. However, we also hear of individuals who seem to take life’s difficulties in stride, and “bounce back” unexpectedly well with attitudes of determination and perseverance. Often these people become heroes of sorts in our families or culture

Posted in Depression, General, Grief, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety Tagged with: , , ,