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  • I Don’t Know Why: The Story of My Childhood I Don’t Know Why: The Story of My Childhood

    I Don’t Know Why: The Story of My Childhood

I Don’t Know Why: The Story of My Childhood

This is another excerpt from my book, “Teddy Hit Me”. Enjoy my pain… “When I was four years old, living in Castlegar, BC, my mom’s friend was over for a visit. With her she brought her son, another active four-year-old boy that I sometimes played with at church. We lived in a fairly rustic setting. OK, that’s an understatement; our backyard was a steep, tree-covered hill covered with dense bush. In other words, the perfect place for four-year-old boys to play completely unsupervised. The memory is a brief one but I remember standing above my playmate, slightly up the hill from where he was squatting and poking through the leaves and other foliage on the ground. Somehow, I ended up with a large rock in my hands. Yes, hands. It was big enough that it took two hands for me to lift it. I don’t remember if he looked at me at all, but there is a whisper of memory of him gazing up at me, where I stood holding the rock aloft, with a puzzled look on his face, as if questioning whether I was actually going to do what I appeared to be set to do. The answer […]

By |May 15th, 2017|Blog, snippets, Uncategorized|Comments Off on I Don’t Know Why: The Story of My Childhood
  • That Time I Pantsed Myself… That Time I Pantsed Myself…

    That Time I Pantsed Myself…

That Time I Pantsed Myself…

The following story is a brief excerpt from my book “Teddy Hit Me: Scattered Stories of an ADHD Life” (Currently in progress). I hope you enjoy my pain… You know how sometimes you might be watching TV while eating chips with dip and absent-mindedly dip the remote into the dip and try to change the channel with your chip? No? I’m sure some of you know what I’m talking about. My son just about brushed his teeth with Polysporin the other night because his mind was wandering somewhere else and reverted to its simple rule: squishy stuff in tubes go on the toothbrush. Anyway, when I was in grade 2, which seems to have been a fairly disastrous year, this tendency came back to bite me in a major way. There was this little girl, Gina, who sat in front of me, who, in retrospect, was seriously troubled. I remember being horrified one time as she turned around and said, “Hey Teddy, look at this.” and proudly displayed the thumbtack she had stabbed into her wrist. Anyway, one day after school, Gina was being scolded by the teacher, Mrs. Anderson, that picture of warmth who had spanked me loudly in […]

By |May 1st, 2017|Blog, snippets, Uncategorized|Comments Off on That Time I Pantsed Myself…
  • I Want a Ladder for my Birthday (A Short Story) I Want a Ladder for my Birthday (A Short Story)

    I Want a Ladder for my Birthday (A Short Story)

I Want a Ladder for my Birthday (A Short Story)

Tim was four years old. His mom was a lot older than that. So was his dad. His brother Jeff was older too. Tim’s birthday was coming up soon. He knew exactly what he wanted. “I want a ladder for my birthday,” Tim told his mom. She didn’t hear because she was busy with “an important phone call”. Tim wondered why the phone call was so important. “I want a ladder for my birthday,” Tim told his dad. He didn’t hear because he was heading out the door to meet with “clients”. Tim wondered who “clients” was. “’Clients’ must be important too,” thought Tim. “I want a ladder for my birthday,” Tim told his brother Jeff. Jeff didn’t hear him because he was too busy ignoring everyone who wasn’t on TV. “I wish I was on TV,” thought Tim. At dinner, Tim told his parents, “I want a ladder for my birthday.” “That’s nice,” said his mom, who was reading a magazine about important people. “Hmmm,” said his dad, who was looking at something important on his computer. Jeff said nothing because Tim wasn’t on TV. Tim drew a picture of a ladder and colored it. He got some tape […]

  • 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

Here’s How to Tackle a Problem:

By |July 12th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Here’s How to Tackle a Problem:
  • 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
  • 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 […]

  • Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 1) Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 1)

    Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 1)

Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 1)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is diagnosed when an individual displays a cluster of symptoms that include various manifestations of the following: dissociation (feeling removed from reality), re-experiencing (flashbacks), and increased arousal (heightened stress response). In order for a diagnosis of PTSD to occur, however, these symptoms need to be as a result of the individual having been directly exposed to an event that threatened their life and/or safety or that of another individual. This criterion is known as the A1 criterion, since it is the primary criterion that must be present in order for diagnosis to occur. Amongst the general population, 7-8% of people will end up with PTSD at some point in their life. Within certain groups of people, however, such as individuals with substance-use disorders, the rate of diagnosis is much higher. For example, in one sample of substance-abusing psychiatric patients, researchers found that 90% had experienced physical/sexual assault and at least 50% met the diagnostic criteria for crime-related PTSD. However, there is a new direction of understanding with regard to trauma-related stress reactions; it is referred to as complex PTSD (CPTSD). Individuals in this category meet all of the same diagnostic criteria as […]

By |September 24th, 2013|Blog, Uncategorized|1 Comment