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

It’s So Unfair!

When we see two people who are angry with each other, we often find that their argument is about feelings of injustice on a personal level. One or possibly both will become angry because they feel they have been treated unfairly by the other. Each wants justice; it’s part of their human nature. In their minds they believe that if they could just set the record straight or get the other to change their behavior then all will be well

Posted in Marriage & Relationships, Therapy Tagged with: , ,

Disease of Alcoholism

The disease model of alcohol abuse is widely accepted but is controversial in many circles. Opponents claim it relieves the problem drinker of any responsibility for their alcohol abuse and related consequences. Proponents claim it has its advantages which are described in more detail below. A person with the “disease” of alcoholism has been labelled an alcoholic. Nevertheless, the term alcoholic has been widely applied to many who abuse alcohol but may not necessarily have the disease. For this reason

Posted in Addictions

Compulsive Addictions

Compulsive gambling, overeating, shopping, sexual behaviour, internet use, and even TV watching all offer opportunities for addictive behaviours. Most compulsive addictions are officially called impulse control disorders. These are defined as “a failure to resist an impulse that is harmful to the individual or others but often starts out as pleasurable.” This generally involves an increase in tension or arousal before actually undertaking the act. This is then followed by gratification, pleasure, relief, and then remorse and guilt over the

Posted in Addictions

When Anxiety and Panic Take Over

Jessica is a young married woman undergoing considerable distress because of recent unexpected feelings of intense anxiety. This was accommpanied by a pounding heart, a tightness in her chest, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, and intense fear. She does not know why this is happening and she is understandably concerned. When this occurred several times within a month she feared a heart attack and went to see her doctor. Fortunately, her tests were all negative and her doctor prescribed a

Posted in Stress & Anxiety

The Legacy of Divorce

As psychologists and counsellors we see numerous examples of wretched, demeaning, abusive, and unfaithful marriages. We are keenly aware of the loneliness and suffering of many adults and of their serious efforts to improve their lives before and after divorce. The decision to separate or divorce is often one of the most difficult decisions a couple will ever have to make in their lifetime. Most worry about what will happen to their children and how to best help them. Alternatively,

Posted in Family & Parenting, Marriage & Relationships Tagged with: ,

Crystal Meth: The Unpredictable Drug

It’s cheap, its powerful, and its scary. Crystal meth is a highly addictive drug that has made alarmingly rapid inroads into the local drug scene. Regional RCMP report that in 2003, crystal meth comprised 65 percent of all drugs seized from raves and nightclubs. After pot, it is considered the drug of choice for many teens. Crystal meth is just one of many street names for the powerful nervous system stimulant methamphetamine. Other popular names include Speed, Glass, Ice, Crank,

Posted in Addictions, Family & Parenting Tagged with: , , ,

Debriefing Traumatic Events

An article in the London Daily Telegraph quoted a study by Dutch scientists which suggests that victims of traumatic events who are undergoing recovery are hindered rather than helped by the introduction of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD). These scientists go on to theorize that CISD interventions may discourage victims from seeking help from family and friends where healing does occur. Claims such as this generally create confusion among trauma victims and it is helpful to understand how traumas impact

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

Memory Loss With Aging

Have you ever gone to another room to fetch an item only to forget what you were after? Do you sometimes forget the names of close friends? Do you ever look up a telephone number, then forget it before you can finish dialing? Have you ever known an elderly person who could tell you that June 3, 1906 was a hot, sunny Tuesday, but can’t remember what they had for today’s breakfast? Sometimes these events make us laugh but sometimes

Posted in Retirement & Aging


“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

Defining Love

Sometimes when couples are contemplating separation, one partner may say, “I love you but I’m not in love with you.” The one who issued the statement might mean, “I care about you but not enough to stay together”, or maybe “My feelings for you aren’t as strong as they used to be,” or maybe even, “You’re a nice person but I’m no longer attracted to you”. Of course, none of these explanations adequately clarify the situation and the receiving partner

Posted in Marriage & Relationships