By: Lara Hollway, MSW,RSW
Has your partner ever come to you with a problem and you offer advice, only to have them seem to get upset and/or frustrated with you? Do you find yourself getting frustrated because your partner keeps complaining about a problem but doesn’t seem to want to listen to your solutions? Or does your partner ever say things like “you never listen to me”, when you feel like you are listening and trying to help?
If so, you are not alone. This is a common theme in relationships, and a perfect example of how the best intentions do not always equate to the best results. Read on for a breakdown of this situation, and some suggestions for changing this dynamic.
By: Laura Groulx, MSW, RSW
I talk to a lot of people. Like really talk. Typically, in my first meeting with a new client, I’ll ask what their goals are for counselling. As in, what is it that they are looking to change about themselves, or what can I support them through.
An answer I often encounter is this: I want to be happy. This is a big goal. What does this even mean??
By: Seija Grant, Med CP, RP
Wow! Things are feeling a little chaotic and overwhelming, and certainly anxiety-provoking out there. I am not immune to that as a therapist, and was thinking about what can be done to ease some of the mental (and physical) tension in our community. One such skill that can be cultivated and applied during these tough times is ‘Mindful Self-Compassion’ (MSC). I realize this may be a new concept for many of you, so I will give a brief overview of what this is and how this may be helpful during this tense time.
Resiliency means not dwelling on failures, acknowledging situations for what they are, learning from mistakes, and moving forward.
Recent studies in the US show that one-third to one-half of teenagers have engaged in some type of self harming behavior.
Do you ever notice that you struggle with a low mood, that you are lacking energy, or are moodier in the fall and winter seasons? Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs seasonally and is related to the changes in level of sunlight that you are exposed to during seasons of low daylight. It is important to realize that SAD can occur at other times of the year, for example, for those who work nightshifts who may not have access to as much natural light as those that are awake during the day. Some of the reasons that SAD may occur involves a lack of natural light that may actually affect your biological clock or circadian rhythm and may influence the release of chemicals in your body such as serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin, affecting your mood.
So I realize that counselling and psychotherapy can be a very intimidating process for many, and can feel almost too scary to even consider as an option. Well I am here try to calm your nerves, hopefully answer some questions, and break things down a bit.
What type of counselling is right for me?
First of all, there are a few different types of counselling and many different styles. A few of the types are: individual, couples, family and group.
Individual counselling is one to one, and likely the most common type. If you want to work on getting along with others, maybe couples or family counselling is for you. The dynamics of these types are all quite different, as there are different personalities at play. The other type you might come across is group counselling, which means a group of (usually) unknown to each other individuals who all have a common thread. It is usually led by two co-counsellors.
Group counselling is sometimes more accessible than individual, and can be extremely valuable. They all have their benefits, but only you can decide what is right for you at the moment. Some people may see different counsellors for different purposes at different times in their life. This makes sense if you consider that humans are complex beings with multiple dynamic relationships and are constantly changing over the lifespan.
In terms of the different styles – well there are so many that I couldn’t even list them all here. However, some of the main groupings of approaches on the scene these days are: Psychodynamic, Cognitive-Behavioural, Humanistic and Neuroscience-Informed. Within these groups there are a myriad of different styles. Each therapist is unique in their own approach and will often have multiple influences within the work that they do with their clients. I know this seems like things are getting pretty complicated, BUT there is a silver lining here. There are several factors unifying counselling styles that are common across the board. Counselling is collaborative, meaning you work directly with your counsellor to achieve your goals. It is a safe-place to be yourself and to talk about your concerns, issues in your life, and your feelings regarding these events or occurrences. Also, you can speak openly and confidentially while having someone listen to you non-judgmentally.
Written for you, by local therapists.
NWO’s source for all things relationships, mental health, wellness, and lifestyle: Kelly Magazine is a mental health outreach initiative created by Kelly Mental Health and supported by Kelly Mental Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community in the area of mental health.
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