Helpful Tips to use when seeking a therapist/counsellor for you or someone you know

I have heard thousands of times stories of people who refuse mental and emotional support because they’ve had a bad experience with a therapist. What I know to be true is that most people struggle through life thinking they can “handle it” on their own, only to find that eventually life falls apart and they are left wondering why. Finding the right therapist can mean a world of difference for you. This blog will outline helpful guidelines when seeking therapy for those of you who know deep down inside you need help but are too afraid to look for it.

By: Amanda   /     /   Counselling Read more →

Communication for Healthy Relationships

This document contains a simple outline of the barriers to effective communication, skills pertaining to listening and speaking, the premix behind assertive communication, the how-to talk through difficult topics, and ways in which we can create opportunities for effective face-to-face interaction.

By: Amanda   /     /   Relationships Read more →

Competencies for Counseling with Transgender Clients

This document contains suggested competencies for use in counseling with transgender clients. These competencies are geared toward professionally trained counselors who work with transgender individuals, families, groups, or communities. These competencies are based on a wellness (e.g., Myers & Sweeney, 2005), resilience (Singh, Hays, & Watson, in press), and strength-based approach (e.g., Bockting, Knudson & Goldberg, 2007; Carroll, 2010; Lev, 2004; Vanderburgh, 2007) for working with transgender clients. The authors of these competencies come from diverse theoretical and professional backgrounds in working with transgender clients, advocating for transgender communities, and having relationships with transgender people.

By: Amanda   /     /   LGBTQ Read more →

Black Dog named Depression

At its worst, depression can be a frightening, debilitating condition. Millions of people around the world live with depression. Many of these individuals and their families are afraid to talk about their struggles, and don't know where to turn for help. However, depression is largely preventable and treatable. Recognizing depression and seeking help is the first and most critical towards recovery. In collaboration with WHO to mark World Mental Health Day, writer and illustrator Matthew Johnstone tells the story of overcoming the "black dog of depression".

By: Amanda   /     /   Counselling Read more →

Changing the way we view Adulthood

In 2005, author David Foster Wallace was asked to give the commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College. However, the resulting speech didn’t become widely known until 3 years later, after his tragic death. It is, without a doubt, some of the best life advice we’ve ever come across, and perhaps the most simple and elegant explanation of the real value of education.

By: Amanda   /     /   Counselling Read more →

Trauma Theory Abbreviated

Psychological Trauma Defined To understand what trauma does we have to understand what it is. Lenore Terr, a child psychiatrist who did the first longitudinal study of traumatized children writes, “psychic trauma occurs when a sudden, unexpected, overwhelming intense emotional blow or a series of blows assaults the person from outside. Traumatic events are external, but they quickly become incorporated into the mind” (Terr, 1990, p.8). Van der Kolk makes a similar point about the complicated nature of trauma when he says, “Traumatization occurs when both internal and external resources are inadequate to cope with external threat” (Van der Kolk, 1989, p.393). Both clinicians make the point that it is not the trauma itself that does the damage. It is how the individual’s mind and body reacts in its own unique way to the traumatic experience in combination with the unique response of the individual’s social group. Children are traumatized whenever they fear for their lives or for the lives of someone they love. A traumatic experience impacts the entire person - the way we think, the way we learn, the way we remember things, the way we feel about ourselves, the way we feel about other people, and the way we make sense of the world are all profoundly altered by traumatic experience.

By: Amanda   /     /   Trauma Read more →