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  • Three Kinds of Procrastination and What to Do About Them: Part 2 Three Kinds of Procrastination and What to Do About Them: Part 2

    Three Kinds of Procrastination and What to Do About Them: Part 2

Three Kinds of Procrastination and What to Do About Them: Part 2

Ok, it’s been 10 days since I finished writing the first installment of this article. I kind of knew that would happen. I knew it would happen because it’s happened so many times before. Despite this knowledge, I often feel powerless to do anything about it. Today, I’m going to address another reason why I might feel that way as well as making some suggestions that might help to overcome it. Lack of Motivation This may seem overly obvious as an explanation but motivation is much more biological (biochemical, to be specific) in nature than people realize. Wanting to do something isn’t as simple as being interested in doing it and then doing it. In order for any activity to be motivating, even those that we experience as intrinsically rewarding or intensely pleasurable, we rely on the presence of a critical neurochemical known as dopamine. Dopamine has many functions, depending on where in the brain and body it is being used. It is a pleasure chemical (stimulants increase dopamine levels, as does sexual activity). It also provides physical energy. It is implicated in control of fine and gross motor control (Parkinson’s patients don’t have enough dopamine in the part of […]

By |October 28th, 2014|Blog, Education, Insight|Comments Off on Three Kinds of Procrastination and What to Do About Them: Part 2
  • Three Kinds of Procrastination and What to Do About Them: Part 1 Three Kinds of Procrastination and What to Do About Them: Part 1

    Three Kinds of Procrastination and What to Do About Them: Part 1

Three Kinds of Procrastination and What to Do About Them: Part 1

The idea for this article came to me some time ago. I cannot say how long specifically because I’ve avoided writing or thinking about it as much as possible, so the timeline has become a bit fuzzy. This isn’t because I think this subject is boring, or useless, or unoriginal, or any of those reasons. I have been procrastinating, something that I am especially adept at. If they ever make procrastination an Olympic sport, I will win the gold medal for sure, as long as I got around to registering for the competition. I know that I procrastinate. Everyone who knows me reasonably well also knows this about me. Many of my clients know this about me. It’s one of the reasons that I don’t let it bother me when other people procrastinate. Given my familiarity with procrastination, the question that must be asked is not regarding how I procrastinate, it is regarding the reasons why I do so. The word procrastinate, according to its Latin roots, means quite literally to “put off until tomorrow”. Wow, that means that even by procrastination standards, I’m an over-achiever. I’ve been putting some things off for years! I procrastinated throughout school, from early […]

By |October 27th, 2014|Blog, Education, Insight|Comments Off on Three Kinds of Procrastination and What to Do About Them: Part 1
  • So, What CAN I Say to Someone Suffering from Depression? So, What CAN I Say to Someone Suffering from Depression?

    So, What CAN I Say to Someone Suffering from Depression?

So, What CAN I Say to Someone Suffering from Depression?

I got a lot of feedback about my previous post on what not to say to a depressed person. I, myself, realized, after I finished writing, that my list seemed to eliminate most of the seemingly helpful things people actually say to depressed people, along with some of the more useless pieces of advice. So, have I thrown the baby out with the bathwater? I don’t think so, but let me explain. The purpose of the list was to describe, for people who don’t suffer from depression, what the mind can do to even objectively harmless and pro-social encouragement when it is weighed down under a cloud of darkness. The most positive and encouraging sentiments are quickly corroded in the acid bath of negativity, rendering them unhelpful at best and harmful at worst. This naturally leads to the question, “So, if I can’t even tell them that I love them, what can I say to them?” Check out this list of suggestions: 1. That must feel terrible… I’ve written before about the importance of validation, especially when it comes to getting someone to listen to your perspective. Much of the usual feedback given to depressed people is intended to be […]

By |October 10th, 2014|Blog, Insight|Comments Off on So, What CAN I Say to Someone Suffering from Depression?
  • 10 Things Not to Say to Someone Suffering From Depression 10 Things Not to Say to Someone Suffering From Depression

    10 Things Not to Say to Someone Suffering From Depression

10 Things Not to Say to Someone Suffering From Depression

Depression is no joke. Which is ironic, given how many people mask it with humor, as the recent case of Robin Williams sadly demonstrates. I find it sadly amusing how many experts there are out there when it comes to dealing with the complex interplay between, society, psychology, and our internal biochemistry. Most of these experts are more than willing to share their homespun advice for the rest of us but the reality is that when it comes to helping someone who suffers from major depressive disorder, it’s rarely that simple. For example, try to avoid these common well-intentioned, yet potentially harmful pieces of wisdom: 1. Cheer up This is not useful advice. It’s like telling a sick person to be healthy. If that were possible, they wouldn’t be sick in the first place. Also, you don’t know the reasons behind the depression. Someone once tried to encourage a client of mine to smile more, seeing only their downcast face and negative body language. What they didn’t realize is that this person’s child had just committed suicide. “Cheer up” is an imperative that no one has the right to issue. 2. You Just Need to Find a Hobby To quote […]

By |October 8th, 2014|Blog, Insight, Uncategorized|Comments Off on 10 Things Not to Say to Someone Suffering From Depression
  • Online Counselling: For some, it’s the perfect fit. Online Counselling: For some, it’s the perfect fit.

    Online Counselling: For some, it’s the perfect fit.

Online Counselling: For some, it’s the perfect fit.

Is Online Counselling a Good Fit for You? For many people, the idea of engaging in counselling online gives them cause to wonder what the world is coming to. “Even the highly personal helping professions have gone the way of technology,” they may lament. “Whatever happened to the personal touch?” While it is true that for some, online counseling maybe a step backwards in terms of progress, for others it might be the perfect solution to a number of problems. Below, I will review some of the advantages and potential disadvantages of online counseling and then you can decide for yourself. Advantages 1. Easy access When counselling takes place online, it removes a number of possible barriers. The first of these are lack of time and inconvenience. A recent client survey revealed that the biggest barrier to continuing the change process was not lack of progress but lack of time. The time commitment is not just to the hour spent in the session but also in getting ready for the appointment, fitting it in around a busy schedule, etc. With online counselling, many of these logistical factors are eliminated from consideration. Heck, you don’t even have to wear pants, though […]

By |May 23rd, 2014|Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Online Counselling: For some, it’s the perfect fit.
  • 5 Simple Ways to Get More Out of Counselling 5 Simple Ways to Get More Out of Counselling

    5 Simple Ways to Get More Out of Counselling

5 Simple Ways to Get More Out of Counselling

  Many times over the years, I have heard clients tell me, “While I was driving here, I thought, ‘what am I going to talk about?’” Often, we are able to find something to focus on but I wonder how useful these appointments are. Sometimes we end up discussing issues that we have covered previously and there is a feeling of dragging out the appointment just to fill the time. This is difficult for both of us. With that in mind, I thought I would offer some suggestions as to how to get the most out of your appointment and counselling in general.  1. Schedule It at the Right Time Counselling appointments are not your average conversation. As such, it might not be a good idea to try to fit a session in over lunchtime. It is generally a good idea to try to avoid, if possible, scheduling other activities immediately following the appointment. Even if someone is slightly late for their appointment, my preference is for them to sit in the waiting room for a few minutes to gather themselves and their thoughts together before beginning. When we are feeling rushed, stress hormones interfere with our learning, on a […]

By |February 5th, 2014|Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on 5 Simple Ways to Get More Out of Counselling
  • Playing Dead Emotionally: How Numbing Your Pain Can Be a Curse (and a Blessing) Playing Dead Emotionally: How Numbing Your Pain Can Be a Curse (and a Blessing)

    Playing Dead Emotionally: How Numbing Your Pain Can Be a Curse (and a Blessing)

Playing Dead Emotionally: How Numbing Your Pain Can Be a Curse (and a Blessing)

Fight, Flight and … Freeze? Most people have heard of the “fight or flight” response. It is the body’s naturally hard-wired way of dealing with threats to one’s safety. I have written about it before, a few times, so I won’t go into it again but today I’m going to mention the third part of this response: freeze. In nature, animals typically go to flight first, since they are free of ego and have nothing to prove, only to enhance their own chances of survival. If they can’t go to flight and escape danger, they will go to fight, posturing and growling in hopes of scaring off the threat. If this fails, they will actually engage in aggressive behavior, albeit defensive aggression. Once these two options are unsuccessful, or if they are unavailable, most species have a form of reflexive behavior that could be termed “playing dead”. Playing Dead Emotionally Since most of the threats people face in our neck of the woods are social or emotional (although many do face actual physical threats in many forms), the freeze response may look a bit different than it does for a possum or cat. In our case, we tend to play […]

  • Gabor Mate: Power of Addiction and Addiction of Power Gabor Mate: Power of Addiction and Addiction of Power

    Gabor Mate: Power of Addiction and Addiction of Power

Gabor Mate: Power of Addiction and Addiction of Power

By |January 20th, 2014|Blog|Comments Off on Gabor Mate: Power of Addiction and Addiction of Power
  • Middle Adulthood: The Lost Child Middle Adulthood: The Lost Child

    Middle Adulthood: The Lost Child

Middle Adulthood: The Lost Child

What About Middle Age? It seems that most research and attention is spent on issues facing children, youth, and the elderly, with middle adulthood bringing up the rear. I believe this has given rise to a generation that feels displaced. If we use the analogy of a dysfunctional family and its varied roles, it would seem that middle aged adults fit well the mold of the lost child, the one who receives the least amount of attention, creates the least amount of trouble, but is also the least connected to the rest of the family. I believe that it is helpful to visualize those who face identity struggles, loneliness, existential angst, and learned helplessness during their middle adulthood years as lost children, robbed of their once-special status of being the new addition to the family but not quite mature enough to take on the role of the respected and revered older sibling. The dramatic language used to describe this phase of life, as demonstrated above, gives rise to the perception that crisis is a necessary part of mid-life. The word crisis, however, denotes a scenario that is infused with panic, pressure, and danger. Is this really the state of the […]

  • The Sun and the Shadow: Making Sense of Inconsistent Behavior The Sun and the Shadow: Making Sense of Inconsistent Behavior

    The Sun and the Shadow: Making Sense of Inconsistent Behavior

The Sun and the Shadow: Making Sense of Inconsistent Behavior

My Grade 7 year at Salmo Elementary School was a year of great highs and profound lows.  I discovered music for the first time, real popularity, great embarrassment, and of course, girls. Well actually I discovered girls in Kindergarten. That was also the first year that I was involved in any kind of athletic endeavour. I was tall for my age, as were a few of my friends and so when the school formed a basketball team and we played against other elementary schools we dominated. When you have three kids who are almost 6 feet tall in grade 7 and the hoops are only 8 feet tall, it is a recipe for disaster for the other teams. I tried all sports that year as they came up on the calendar, too naïve to realize that most people aren’t good at everything. The sport that was probably the worst match for me physically and mentally was cross-country running. This didn’t stop me from joining the team, of course; any excuse to get out of school or do anything extracurricular was something I would gladly sign up for, even if it meant limping along, drenched in sweat, wanting to puke, while […]