Tag: stress

Empathy and Mirror Neurons

Empathy differs from sympathy. Sympathy reflects an understanding of another person’ situation- but viewed through your own eyes. In contrast, empathy is what you feel when you can step outside of yourself and enter the internal world of another person. You experience the other’s emotions and conflict without abandoning or losing your own perspective. It involves being able “to see with the eyes of another, to hear with the ears of another, to feel with the heart of another” (Alfred

Posted in Depression, Family & Parenting, General, Marriage & Relationships, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Getting to Optimum Health

There are many books written about overcoming depression and anxiety, most of which are excellent companions to helping us move forward out of these difficult experiences in our lives. However, if we learn to practice proactive habits of self care and life engagement, we can inoculate ourselves against these debilitating conditions and build resilience for life’s adversities. Here are a few of the daily life habits I recommend to anyone wanting to move out of depression and create a physically and

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Using Pop Culture to Impact Positive Change – Part 2

Welcome back! In Pop Culture Part 1, I discussed how, when connecting with children/youth, I utilize pop culture to: 1) develop and enhance rapport, and 2) gather information in regard to values, traits and indicators of resiliency. Please go to www.psychealth.com if you haven’t had a chance to read Part 1; it would be like watching the Empire Strikes Back without watching Star Wars! In Part 2 I will discuss the third way I have utilized pop culture: to help

Posted in Depression, Family & Parenting, General, Grief, Internet, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How Are Strong Marriages Like Healthy Gardens?

This is a question that I often put to couples who attend the premarital workshops I present. I like the question because it requires what are called “higher order thinking skills” – a more effective way of engaging new information that simply receiving it in a rote learning format. The answers I receive to this question are often quite insightful. Following are a few of those insights. Successful marriages, like gardens, must be cultivated. What sunlight, soil and water are to

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The Problem with Pursuing Your Passion

Christine was a 24 year old university student graduating with a liberal arts degree from a nearby university. She was in a state of anxiety over the need to urgently make decisions regarding her future career. At times her anxiety was so pronounced she felt quite panicky, with frequent insomnia, digestive upsets and continuous worry. Although she had been successful academically, she was uncertain about how her education would translate into the “real world”. Christine had been given the advice

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Using Pop Culture to Impact Positive Change

Seven years ago, a colleague and I attended an annual conference in Washington DC called the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium. We were excited about meeting one of the key note speakers, John Gottman, a marriage and relationship researcher and expert whom we learned about while in grad school. We kept seeing a man of similar stature walking through the hallways of the hotel but were disappointed each time to realize that he wasn’t John. Upon arriving home and looking at the

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The Gift of Failure

I recently watched a wonderful documentary, The Barkley Marathons, about an ultra endurance trail race that takes place in the Tennessee mountains.  Only 40 runners are accepted into the race each year.  Covering the entire distance of 160 kilometres (100 mile) or more also requires climbing and descending the equivalent of Mount Everest – twice.  To be successful, runners must complete the course in 60 hours.  In most years, none of the racers finish the race.  In some years, only one or

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Christmas Blues

Most people love Christmas: the music and coloured lights, traditions, great food, gifts and special gatherings with family and friends. There are some, however, who dread the season or find it stressful; they experience a significant contrast between their unhappiness and the celebrations taking place around them. Where do the Christmas Blues come from and what can be done to ease them? Let’s first look at the causes. Seasonal fatigue is a factor for many people. Christmas comes at the

Posted in Depression Tagged with: , , , ,

Wake up Guys!!

Many guys are losing their marriages and they don’t know it. Gone is the day when a guy can work and “bring home the bacon” and think that he is fulfilling his role as a husband and father. That may have been what Dad did but it’s not enough anymore (and probably wasn’t then either). I’ve seen the pattern many times. A couple is busy with work and children and do not have much time for each other. The relationship

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To Love is to Prune

Psychologist: “You seem to keep a lot of your concerns to yourself. How about opening up more with your spouse?” Client: “I don’t like to make waves.” P: “You mean you don’t want a hassle?” C: “I don’t like to hurt anyone’s feelings.” P: “Is there also a chance your wife might get angry?” C: “Yes.” P: “And you are uncomfortable with her anger?” C: “Yes, I guess it scares me.” P: “So you don’t want to risk a confrontation

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