Author: Simon Hearn

Simon Hearn has been counselling since 1981 in a variety of settings including private practice, hospitals, forensic units and vocational rehabilitation. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Psychology from Simon Fraser University in 1994 and is a member of the BC College of Psychologists and the BC Psychological Association.

Simon works with adults, couples, families and teens, using a collaborative approach to counselling; this approach encourages clients to develop their own resources to grow in understanding themselves and making wise choices. He has also done research in aging and has a special interest in personality disorders.

Simon draws on a variety of theoretical and practical perspectives in his psychotherapy work and has completed the second level of training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a powerful method for helping people get over trauma and build self confidence and self-esteem.




New Possibility: Executive Coaching

Having trained in and practiced psychotherapy for 35 years, I have decided to apply my skills in a new arena. I have been undergoing training through the College of Executive Coaching, based in California, toward becoming a certified Business/Executive Coach. Business or Executive Coaching differs from psychotherapy, in that it addresses career issues in the present and future, and doesn’t treat emotional symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or trauma. Business Coaching also is different from Life Coaching, in that it

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

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

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

Self-Care Can Be Surprisingly Challenging

Self-care seems like a common sense thing, something to balance out the stresses of life. However, certain kinds of anxious people have special difficulty with practicing self-care: Workaholics: These folks are always focused on the next problem, and don’t stop to appreciate how much energy they have spent on previous challenges. Driven by feelings of inadequacy and anxiety, living with an underlying sense of impending doom, they believe they have no right to rest. If the next project doesn’t get

Posted in Personal Growth

Highly Sensitive Persons

The word “sensitive” means many different things to many different people. For psychologist, Elaine Aron, Ph.D., “highly sensitive” has a quite specific meaning. Her research, which draws on biological, cognitive and personality findings, suggests that about 15-20% of the population qualifies as “highly sensitive.” This term refers to people whose nervous systems are easily overwhelmed, whether by harsh sounds, unpleasant lighting, having too much to do, or violent films. Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) are usually introverted and reflective; they need

Posted in Personal Growth

Mindful Meditation

There has been much written lately about the Buddhist practice of “mindfulness”. Mindfulness essentially means that while going about your day, you are also calmly observing your reactions to what is going on. You observe yourself objectively as if you were another person. For example, while being mindful you may observe, “Now I’m getting stressed”, “Now I am happy”, “Now I am worrying”, or “Now I’m feeling hungry”. The observing, watchful self is a neutral friend, whose goal is to

Posted in General, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety

Sexual Compulsions

Compulsive gambling, overeating, shopping, exercise, internet use, and even TV watching all offer opportunities for individuals to develop addictive behaviours. This also applies to those who compulsively engage in repetitive sexual activities. The hallmark of impulse control disorders, including sexual compulsions, is a failure to resist an impulse that is harmful to the individual or others but often starts out as pleasurable. This also involves an increasing sense of tension or arousal before actually undertaking the behaviour, often followed by

Posted in Addictions, Personal Growth

The Narcissist: Looking for Love

I once invited my friend, Mary-Beth to attend a show with me. She was an aspiring singer and I thought she would enjoy this particular production. Unfortunately, I was delayed a few minutes picking her up and was dismayed when she left an extremely angry and volatile message on my cell phone. I apologized for being late but thought it prudent to ignore her attack. As the evening progressed she shocked me with the loud, grandiose, and critical comments she

Posted in Personal Growth

Fear of Abandonment

The fear of being left all alone to cope in a hard and scary world is universal; everyone feels it sometimes. But there are people whose lives are far too controlled by this fear. These insecure ones don’t trust their abilities to cope by themselves. While it is fine to be interdependent with others in life, it is important to be one’s own person and know where one is going, whether or not there are always people to support you.

Posted in Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety

Self Care

Care of the self is important. Your self needs to be cultivated with care. Not to do this is to neglect, and to leave the self unprotected in this old world. Self care may not come naturally; it can be learned. For some people, the notion of being one’s own emotional self-protector and cultivator can be new and different. If you’re lonely, confused, sad, or disturbed – those are times for self care. Yet those aren’t the only times it’s

Posted in Personal Growth

Criticism: Making it Help – Not Hurt

There will always be times when unpleasant things have to be said. And if they’re not said, problems will fester. The skill of communicating your concerns without alienating the other is valuable. Being able to hear another’s concerns about your behavior, and to learn from him/her, is a useful skill too. Giving Criticism This must be done sensitively. The receiver must feel respected and listened to. First emphasize good things about them. Try the “sandwich” technique: two or three compliments

Posted in Personal Growth