Author: Rick Hancock - Retired

Rick uses a number of diversified counselling techniques to assist individuals with a variety of issues. Solution-focused brief therapy, cognitive behaviourial therapy and EMDR are used to help individuals deal with anxiety, depression, trauma, career changes, lifestyle changes and emotional dependencies.  Rick has a particular interest in working with clients with addictions and is also involved in training counselling students in addictions therapy.

Rick received his Master of Arts Degree from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago and his Doctor of Psychology Degree from the Southern California University for Professional Studies.

Rick is registered with the College of Psychologists of B.C. and is a member of the B.C. Psychological Association

Marijuana: Not all good or bad

Those living in B.C and, in particular, Vancouver are well aware of the debate regarding the legalization of marijuana. The province recently approved the opening of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries which have very quickly grown in number to rival that of Starbucks.  The following facts are worth considering as the debate continues to simmer: Marijuana is the most widely used illicit psychoactive drug in the world.  The two most widely used marijuana species are Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Due to

Posted in Addictions, Family & Parenting, Therapy


“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

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

A Better Drug Treatment Focus

As an addictions counsellor I have often wondered why many addicts attend one or more treatment centers yet most will continue to relapse. And we have to wonder why the success rates for full recovery only vary from 5 to 14 percent. Most treatment centers adhere to the widely accepted disease model of addiction and offer programs ranging from 28 to 90 days duration. We need to figure out what to do to be more successful at helping individuals overcome

Posted in Addictions Tagged with: ,

My Job Is Killing Me

As a psychologist in private practice I believe I have one of the best jobs in the whole world. On a daily basis I get to sit down with perfect strangers and in a matter of minutes they are sharing the most intimate details of their lives: their fears, their relationships, their frustrations, and their grief. And together we look for options and solutions or maybe they just need a sympathetic ear to listen to their story. Regardless, these interactions

Posted in Personal Growth

An Alcoholic’s Gratitude

Mary grew up with an alcoholic father and she promised herself that she would never marry anyone who was a heavy drinker. But now after 18 years of marriage she finds that her marriage is much like that of her parents. Her husband, John, drinks almost every night and quite heavily on weekends. Mary tries to avoid the arguments her mother and father had but John becomes verbally aggressive when he’s been drinking and it can be difficult to avoid

Posted in Addictions

Vancouver Riots: The Hidden Victims

On Wednesday, June 15, 2011 the Vancouver Canucks lost Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals to their rivals, the Boston Bruins. It was an emotional hockey series and the Vancouver Canucks were favoured to win the Cup. Irresponsible hooligans used this opportunity to go on a rampage; screaming and yelling, smashing windows, setting fires, looting, drinking, and fighting. News of the riots flashed around the world. It was an embarrassing incident for the City of Vancouver. After the incident

Posted in Personal Growth

The Measure of a Parent’s Integrity

Kaitlyn (14) approached her mother one afternoon to ask if it would be okay if she and her boyfriend (15) could sleep together in her own bedroom on occasion. They were having sex together at times anyway and it would be much safer and more comfortable than in a park or in a friend’s car. And “Please don’t tell dad”, she added. Kaitlyn’s mom, Carolyn, was shocked at the request but had already suspected that her daughter was sexually active.

Posted in Family & Parenting

Lessons Learned on a Bike Ride

My wife and I recently completed a fairly long bike trip. What is considered “long” is, of course, open to debate but we were bike touring for over two months and for us, that seemed like quite a long time. It was long enough, in fact, that we learned lessons about our relationship and our lifestyle; lessons we probably never would have realized on a short jaunt around Stanley Park. This bike tour involved cooking our own meals and sleeping

Posted in Personal Growth

My Midlife Crisis

I recently bought a high-powered sports car. It has an engine the size of a 747 and can go from zero to 100 in about one second. I tell people I wanted something that was sexy and racy with a hint of sophistication much like my own personality. This usually elicits those sad looks reserved for balding old men who fancy themselves as chick-magnets. This purchase was a spontaneous act, not in keeping with my down-to-earth, reserved and supposedly practical

Posted in Personal Growth

Everything I Know About Parenting I Learned in Doggie Obedience School

Many doggie owners attend obedience school in the hope that they can learn how to convert their unruly, undisciplined, and, generally, uncooperative puppy into a happy, loving, well-behaved member of the household. In other words “obedient”. Kids and puppies have a lot in common. Neither instantly obey our every command, they seem to leave a mess wherever they go, and they beg (or whine as the case may be) in order to get exactly what they want. They can be

Posted in Family & Parenting