mental health

  • Things I Was Wrong About, Vol. 1 Things I Was Wrong About, Vol. 1

    Things I Was Wrong About, Vol. 1

Things I Was Wrong About, Vol. 1

Things won’t get better I’ve experienced darkness in my life. Deep darkness. When I was a kid, I was in boy scouts. One time, on a day trip, our scout leaders took us to an abandoned mine shaft. I know, this story has a very promising beginning, just like the last one. Because we didn’t know anything, and apparently neither did our leaders, we wandered into the mine shaft, deeper and deeper into the mountain. Our way was lighted by an actual torch, not a flashlight or lantern. One of our leaders, who just happened to be the one holding the torch and also happened to have the most severe case of ADHD of the bunch of us, thought it would be a funny trick, once we were several hundred feet into the mine shaft, to knock the torch on the ground, extinguishing the flame. The tunnel that we were exploring had curved to the left, meaning that when the torch was gone, the entrance to the shaft was out of sight around a corner, leaving us with absolutely no light. In review, we were 12 year old kids in an abandoned mine shaft and it was so dark, we […]

By |April 23rd, 2015|Blog, Insight, snippets, things I was wrong about|Comments Off on Things I Was Wrong About, Vol. 1
  • Understanding Self-Harm Understanding Self-Harm

    Understanding Self-Harm

Understanding Self-Harm

“Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed by my stupid life, I get the urge to hurt myself. I take anything sharp that I can find and go to the bathroom. I cut myself on my abdomen, where no one can see it. I don’t even really feel the pain, it just feels kind of numb. If my parents ever found out, they would lose it.” Self-harm is not a new phenomenon but it is becoming a more prevalent topic of conversation with the help of social media. As with anything, the more exposure it gets, the more armchair psychologists are willing to authoritatively speculate on its causes and what can be done about it. We hear everything from, “they’re just trying to get attention” to “they’re seriously crazy” to “it’s all just an act”. But what is the truth about self-harm? Why, when a person is already hurting, would they want to hurt themselves even further? The answer is actually much simpler than it seems. If a person is cutting, burning or hitting themselves, it may be a cry for attention, but not if they are doing so in an area that they keep hidden from view. That would defeat the […]

By |November 27th, 2014|Blog, Education, Insight, snippets|Comments Off on Understanding Self-Harm
  • Why Watching the News is Bad for Your Brain Why Watching the News is Bad for Your Brain

    Why Watching the News is Bad for Your Brain

Why Watching the News is Bad for Your Brain

It is a well-established fact that sex sells. When it comes to the news, however, sex is joined by violence, sickness, political unrest, and lawsuits. Anyone who watches or reads the news is aware that the information that is fed to us is overwhelmingly negative. It is so much so that that some news shows have specifically set aside time in their programming to focus on a positive story. However, even those positive stories are framed by negativity, as it usually involves someone rising above unfortunate circumstances such as violence, sickness, or unjust social circumstances. There are many reasons for this attraction to negativity. We can’t just blame the media organizations, since they only feed us what we want to eat. We may be more drawn to negativity because our primitive threat detecting system in the limbic portion of the brain is wired to be on the lookout for threats at all times. As I often say to my clients, if we are living in the jungle and forget to stop and smell the roses, the consequences are much less severe than if we forget which snakes are poisonous. We are wired to be wary. However, in our day and […]

By |November 25th, 2014|Blog, Insight, snippets|Comments Off on Why Watching the News is Bad for Your Brain
  • The Top Six Barriers to Seeking Help The Top Six Barriers to Seeking Help

    The Top Six Barriers to Seeking Help

The Top Six Barriers to Seeking Help

oday I’m going to be addressing the top six reasons why people who need help from a counsellor are reluctant to reach out and begin the process. These reasons are gleaned from my years of experience working with people who, after meeting, have asked themselves the question, “Why did I wait so long?” Time Most people would probably describe themselves as busy. Many of us actually are. We may have multiple jobs, multiple hobbies, and multiple children, and all of these entail multiple demands. However, if we take a good look at our schedules, we may find that a good percentage of our “busy” time could be spent much more productively. While I was working my way through university, I was employed by my school’s athletic department as an Academic Coach. Basically, my job was to help the student athletes avoid losing their academic eligibility to play for the sports teams. At the beginning of each semester, I would sit down with each athlete from each team and go over their course schedule, help them set goals, and if necessary teach them study skills and time-management skills. The most common reason I heard from the students to explain academic problems […]

By |October 17th, 2012|Blog|Comments Off on The Top Six Barriers to Seeking Help