Category: Grief

How to Talk About Suicide

Suicide is an emotional word. Feelings of confusion, fear, anger, and even disgust are common responses when the topic comes up in conversation, rare as that might be. As a clinical counsellor, I have felt all of these emotions when discussing suicide with clients and will continue to do so. But over years of working with people at some of the lowest points of their lives, I’ve learned not to let those emotions get in the way of compassion. I

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

Up In Flames – part 2

About three and a half years ago I wrote the article: ‘Up In Flames’ that can be found at Psychealth.com. It was written shortly after my apartment burned down and shares my experience navigating through that challenging life event. This article is the follow-up. It took over three years to rebuild my home. I recall the first few weeks as the most difficult, as I was coming to terms with the scope of the loss. As time went on, I

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

Using Pop Culture to Impact Positive Change – Part 2

Welcome back! In Pop Culture Part 1, I discussed how, when connecting with children/youth, I utilize pop culture to: 1) develop and enhance rapport, and 2) gather information in regard to values, traits and indicators of resiliency. Please go to www.psychealth.com if you haven’t had a chance to read Part 1; it would be like watching the Empire Strikes Back without watching Star Wars! In Part 2 I will discuss the third way I have utilized pop culture: to help

Posted in Depression, Family & Parenting, General, Grief, Internet, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Up in Flames

On February 16th 2015, at around 4:15pm, I received a call while at work from a friend who lives in my apartment building. She said “Chris, there’s a fire in our building and we’ve been evacuated. But don’t worry; the fire is on the opposite side of the building from where we both live.” At first I was somewhat relieved, then it hit me… we live on opposite sides of the building, so it’s impossible for the fire to be

Posted in Depression, Grief, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety

Chasing Happiness

“I just want to be happy.”  “The thing I wish for my kids is that they would be happy.” These are common statements that people give to explain why they decided to engage in therapy. We all love to be happy. There have been popular songs such as “Happy” by Pharell Williams. It’s a catchy tune. In past decades, other songs such as “Don’t worry, be happy” by Bobby McPherin was an instant hit. The lyrics capture our desire to

Posted in Grief, Internet, Personal Growth

EMDR: A Client and Therapist Perspective

EMDR has been used and researched for 25 years, and is considered a highly effective therapy for resolving trauma. Nevertheless, it remains somewhat mysterious and misunderstood. Written explanations can become jargon filled very quickly. Visual demonstrations of the process can raise concerns as it looks strange. In an effort to shed some light on the EMDR process, we offer a personal account of EMDR therapy and a discussion of some common questions about EMDR. Mia: My husband and I suffered

Posted in General, Grief, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy Tagged with: , , , ,

Questions that Arise When a Loved One Dies

Why is it taking so long for me to feel better? You may be asking this question of yourself after only a short time following the death of a loved one. Grief feels crazy at times and you want it to be over with so that you can feel normal again. However, it can take many months or sometimes years (after a violent and tragic death) to return to “normal” and even then, normal will be different than it was.

Posted in Grief

Teens Who Cut

Maria is 14 years old. Two years ago she began to injure herself, dropped out of school, began using drugs and alcohol and eventually isolated all of her friends. Self injury involves the deliberate damaging of ones body. Cutting the skin with razor blades or broken glass is the most commonly seen method, while burning, interference with wound healing, self punching and scratching are among other examples. Maria notes that when her peers discovered she was cutting she was ridiculed

Posted in Depression, Family & Parenting, Grief, 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: , , ,

Preparing for Post Holiday Blues

As we all know, Christmas is an extremely hectic time of the year. It sometimes happens that when the last forkful of turkey casserole has been eaten and when the last of the holiday visitors has driven off, we are stuck by a wave of emotional exhaustion. What can we do to ease ourselves out of this period of letdown? Before Christmas Pace yourself Take time to ponder the significance of Christmas; resolve not to let consumerism take over. If

Posted in Depression, Grief, Stress & Anxiety Tagged with: ,