Category: Personal Growth

5 Tips for Successful Self-Sabotage

We don’t intend to sabotage ourselves.  But if we take the time to observe how we are living our life on a daily basis, we might catch glimpses of how we seem to thwart our own best interests by the habits we keep, the attitudes we hold or the behavior we extend towards others.  Based on over twenty-five years of “professional” observation, I’ve noticed there are common themes in “self-sabotage”.  We can easily sabotage our lives by not attending to

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

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

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Sam came in highly nervous to attend his first therapy session. He was distressed and stated his doctor wanted him to have Cognitive Behavioral Therapy  (CBT) for his depression, anger, and  anxiety.  Sam feverently  added, “I don’t have a million dollars to spend on therapy and don’t want to be in here for the rest of my life.” Sam was informed that CBT is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the important role of thinking about how we feel and

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

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

Male Midlife Crisis? Is It a Myth?

Do men go through a midlife crisis? Is there research to support such a concept or is this an “urban legend?” The books “Passages” and “Seasons of a Man’s Life” were published several years ago but were based on small samples of investigation. Yet, men in their early 50s or 60s arrive in my counselling office convinced that they are having a mid life crisis. Often they have been sent by their wives or families who are convinced that their

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Serenity

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.” (Reinhold Niebuhr) Many know that the Serenity Prayer is recited at the end of each meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. Few realize that one need not be an alcoholic to gain much from applying this simple philosophy to our daily lives. We all experience unwanted events that we profoundly wish would never occur. Difficult parents or

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Face fears: Walk toward the lion’s roar!

Freud said anxiety is the most frequent psychological symptom, and it’s true: not only are there disorders where anxiety is the main symptom, but virtually all other mental health syndromes include anxiety somehow. Only psychopaths, we’re told, don’t experience normal fears. Cognitive therapy for depression, a widely used approach, is based on the notion that depressive symptoms—sadness, loss of enjoyment, fatigue—are actually products of fear. That is, the person has allowed anxieties and doubts to take over, and to become

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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

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Cultivating Our Best Relationships

How we communicate on a daily basis with the significant people in our lives is more predictive of a strong relationship than anything other single factor. We likely underestimate the potential our daily interactions hold for helping us create great relationships with the people we care most about. When others tell us about positive happenings in their lives, our response can either be a step in building our relationship with them, or a step in undermining it. Although we may

Posted in Marriage & Relationships, Personal Growth

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

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