Living Through Times of Tragedy and Loss

Tragedy and loss can come at any time in many ways. Death of Loved Ones, Divorce, Significant Illness, Job Loss, Natural and Un-natural Disasters, Financial and Economic Crisis, Political Strife and Instability, War and Environmental Collapse can challenge our ability to care for ourselves and others. As a result of these significant stressors increased anxiety, agitation, physical fatigue and low mood often occurs. These heightened physiological and emotional states can foster difficulties with maintaining proper self-care and with communication, problem solving and planning task especially in a time when these skill sets are most needed. These stress reactions can amplify any preexisting unaddressed personal self-care, relational, parenting, financial, home upkeep, work place or academic issues. These reactions if not managed properly can precipitate significant illness and loss What can be done Take timeouts with self-care whenever you are moderately overwhelmed or reactive Engage in non-habit forming [...]


Why do I always end up in abusive relationships?

Why do I always end up in abusive relationships? First of all know that you are not alone, many people wrestle with this same predicament. One recent national study in Canada shows that one out of every four marriages or common law arrangements are harmed by physical forms of violence. This is just the tip of the iceberg because family violence incidents are under reported and when they are reported, the necessary law enforcement supports can be inconsistent. How do you know if you are in an abusive relationship? Are you unsure about someone who is interested in having a romantic relationship with you? If you aren't sure, consider some of the following red flags. Are there determined efforts for a quick involvement? Is he/she excessively possessive or jealous? (no, that is not love). Is he/she unkind to children and animals? Are you questioned suspiciously about who you talked [...]


Tips To Avoid Holiday Stress

Some Important Tips For Avoiding Holiday Stress Holidays in general breed unrealistic expectations. The minute you start wondering, 'Is it going to be wonderful enough?,' it will never be.'   Pepper Schwartz Why don’t I find the holidays to be a happy time? Other people seem to be happy. Instead I find it to be stressful and overwhelming. I do not want to feel this way nor do I want this kind of experience every time December comes around. What can I do to change this? First, try to take some time to reflect on what makes this time of the year unpleasant for you. During the holidays, many people find themselves thinking about loved ones, friends and situations that make them sad or unhappy. Very often, the holidays seem to trigger anxiety and sadness over unresolved grief, feelings of futility, past losses, perceived loneliness and nostalgia for the past and [...]


Unhappily Ever After?

With the memory of another Valentine's Day slowing fading, this is a good time to consider the possible effects that romance novels may be having on our perceptions of reality as human beings. A romance novel is a literary genre rooted in the western culture of English-speaking countries. These novels place their primary focus on the romantic attraction and resulting relationship between two people, which must have an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending." The basic theme is about man meeting woman. Or, sometimes the romance is between same sex partners. They fall in love and inevitably discord enters the picture to drive them apart. After a series of misunderstandings, love conquers all and they are reunited, with the implication of living happily ever after. Bestselling author Nora Roberts sums up the genre, saying: "The books are about the celebration of falling in love and emotion and commitment and all of those things we really want." It might [...]


Why Family Therapy is Important

Strong and healthy family relationships are the foundation for good mental health. As a consequence, well adjusted families are the pillars of a vibrant and progressive society.  However, our world is becomingly increasingly complex with new challenges on every level and families are being impacted by an increasingly number of stressors.  Naturally these impacts are undermining the healthy family dynamics and creating or amplifying conflict and feelings of disconnectedness. In many instances parents or care givers are finding it difficult to access coping resources and sometimes lack the knowledge and skills to analyze, understand and resolve these issues at a deeper level. Modern family stressors are too numerous to describe here but some of them include: divorce/separation, substance abuse, domestic violence, poor communication, emotional avoidance, trauma of one kind or another, unreasonably high pressures to succeed, depression, medical issues, blended families, financial problems, moving to a new home or school and even the passing of a loved one. Family therapy [...]


SAD: I Wasn’t Made For Winter

"Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition." Mignon McLaughlin Some people think of winter as their favourite season in spite of the challenges. They enjoy the fireplaces, skiing, hot coffee on cold mornings, hockey, bundling up, snow fights and the stark beauty of a winter landscape. Unfortunately for many others, the cold season brings depression or an ongoing low mood. The medical name for seasonal depression is "seasonal affective disorder" (SAD). It is a subtype of major depression and can affect people at the change in any season including spring, summer, autumn and winter. Some common symptoms associated with SAD in winter include: Sadness about life Amplification of negativity Low energy and productivity Disruption in sleep patterns Oversleeping and tiredness Irritability and difficulty in getting along with others Heavy feeling in the arms or legs Feeling insignificant and unmotivated Craving for [...]

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