Author: Denis Boyd

Denis works with couples and individuals. His areas of interest include marriage, grief and stress. He also counsels people who suffer from depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as those struggling with personal growth issues.

Denis is eclectic in his use of psychological approaches, which include Adlerian, cognitive/behavioural, systems, psychodynamic, brief solution focused, existential and emotionally focused therapies.

Denis is a popular speaker who presents talks and workshops on a variety of topics including marriage, grief, retirement, emotional maturity and family relationships. He has published a book titled, “Marriage Can Be Great!…no really.”

Denis was a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He helped to start the first hospice program in B.C. in 1975.

Denis received his Master of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia in 1977 and works as a Registered Psychologist. He is a member of the B.C. College of Psychologists and the B.C. Psychological Association.

Most importantly Denis has been married to Maureen for over thirty years and they have four children.

Communicating With Teens

Is it possible to communicate with a teenager? Yes… we are always communicating with our teens. However, the issue has more to do with quality than quantity and often the quality is not that great. Effective communication with teens can be enhanced by focusing on a few ground rules: Keep it short: Most teens dislike “lectures.” Keep to the point with brevity and you will be more likely to have an impact. Your teen may not acknowledge this impact though,

Posted in Family & Parenting

Live the Moment Well

Several years ago we were canoeing the Nicomekl River with good friends. Lunch time rolled around and we stopped and had a picnic in a farmer’s field, watched by three horses grazing in the distance. It was a beautiful, sunny day, affording us a fabulous view of the North Shore mountains. It was good to be there. I distinctly recall sitting on the blanket soaking up my surroundings and thinking how rare it was to actually “be in the moment.”

Posted in Personal Growth

In Marriage, the Connection Counts!

In marriage, the bond is everything. Recently we attended the wedding of Dean and Macy. It was a beautiful wedding and the two of them were extremely happy. Their connection (or bond) was noticeably strong on their marriage day, and their love for one another was obvious to all present. The challenge for Dean and Macy, however, will be how to keep this connection strong as they settle into the routines of daily life. Many couples take their marriage bond

Posted in Marriage & Relationships

Self Love is Mis-directed

In a recent radio interview, the creator of a dating service stated that he requires that his clients “love themselves” before he will work with them. He then added the common adage that “you can’t love another unless you first love yourself.” I disagree with this philosophy and contend that the ability to love others is derived from other means. Children develop a sound self-concept if their attachment needs are met early on in their development. The love of a

Posted in Personal Growth

Good Listening is Hard Work

Poor or reactionary listening is a major issue for many couples who seek counselling. One challenge is to see past the tone of voice or irritability of the partner who is sharing his or her ideas or feelings. Even marriage counsellors sometimes need to be reminded about how to do this, as shown in the following examples. “Tone Sensitive” It is useful to acknowledge a feeling rather that react to it. It was getting close to dinner, so I called

Posted in Family & Parenting, Marriage & Relationships

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: ,

Golf Therapy

Golf can be a most enjoyable experience. For many people, however, it seems to be a huge source of stress. Instead of coming off the course rejuvenated (albeit a little weary), many golfers tend to feel more tense after their game than when they started. Golf can actually be therapy! For this to happen three things are required: 1. Good Attitude 2. A little skill 3. More Good Attitude   Let’s see how our attitude can affect our enjoyment of

Posted in Personal Growth

The Basis of Self Worth??

Popular psychology has taught us that one has to love oneself before one can love another. This concept has always made me uncomfortable. How can a person love into themselves what they may not have received from others? Author, Sam Keen, in the title of his recent book, To Love and be Loved, says it well. Self worth can be strengthened in two ways: by loving others and by allowing others to love us. A healthy definition of self worth

Posted in Personal Growth

Shame on Me

Many of us have grown to adulthood with child-based shame thoughts. Our self confidence can be readily undermined when these “little boy” or “little girl” thoughts creep in. These thoughts seem to have a life of their own and frequently are negative or critical. Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning in, Self Esteem, mention that these negative thoughts originate from an internal “pathological critic”. They go on to discuss a number of categories of “cognitive distortions” or exaggerated thoughts. These “tools

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

Camping Therapy Revisited

It has been six years since I first wrote about “Camping Therapy” and I wondered if getting out to the beach and bush would hold the same allure. We packed up and headed off to a variety of destinations to see what would happen. The experience turned out to be therapeutic once again with lessons learned about meditation, living the present, family values, simplicity and communication, with a good deal of exercise thrown in as well. One cannot help but

Posted in Personal Growth