Anxiety can take many forms such as chronic worrying, fear of public speaking and general extreme shyness in public, performance anxiety, excessive concern about one’s physical appearance or health. Although we are all susceptible to stress and thus some anxiety, when physical and psychological symptoms such as heart palpitations, digestive disturbances, panic attacks, shortness of breath, feelings of dread, irritability, trouble concentrating, restlessness etc, become excessive then it is time to seek help. I use a combination of interventions designed to best suit your situation including cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation techniques, Eye Movement Integration, and Emotional Freedom Technique.
Depression is extremely prevalent in our society with almost 20% of the population developing a depressive disorder during the course of their lives. Fortunately, it is treatable and the most common and successful form of treatment is with cognitive behavioural therapy either with or without simultaneous medication depending on the severity of the condition. A person with a depressive disorder differs from the common ‘blues’ that one experiences from time to time. Rather it feels like your entire body, mood and thoughts are involved since it affects your eating, sleeping and general feelings about yourself and what you think about.
This is a broad description of a wide variety of issues experienced by couples or family members. Often individuals or couples will describe how their relationships have become disconnected due to attitudes of blame, loneliness, resentment and fear. A process of cognitive behavioural techniques and communication strategies are tailored to meet the needs of the individual or couple rediscover meaning and purpose in their relationships.
Everyone experiences stress but not everyone experiences it in the same way. Dealing with general life stressors such as work, finance and relationship problems can become overwhelming at times. The results of excessive stress can be ‘burnout,’ poor sleeping habits, irritability, decline in quality of close relationships, and ultimately dangerous health risks including heart-failure. Typically a person may try and self-medicate by drinking, smoking or taking recreation drugs excessively. Counselling will take the form of psycho-education – helping the individual understand stress and how it affects one’s health – as well as teaching the person various coping mechanisms including relaxation techniques. The intervention is based on cognitive behavioural therapy.
If you have recently experienced or witnessed a BURGLARY, RAPE, PHYSICAL ASSAULT, HIJACKING, ACCIDENT or any traumatic event, it is important to seek psychological assistance.Traumatic experiences shake the foundations of our beliefs about safety, and shatter our assumptions of trust. Each person handles a traumatic experience differently: some may respond immediately, others much later with symptoms such as severe anxiety, depression or numbness. Symptoms of flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, and hyperarousal that still exist several weeks after a traumatic event may indicate a person is suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and it is important that treatment is sought.
Research shows that help should be obtained within 24-72 hours after the traumatic event in order to successfully process the negative feelings. When traumatic experiences are not dealt with effectively they can sometimes manifest in unhealthy ways later for example in the form of irrational feelings of anger or depression. Counselling is very effective and depending on the severity of the trauma fairly quickly resolved.
Individuals living with life threatening or chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease may experience symptoms of pain, depression and/or anxiety. Counselling will take the form of gentle and supportive interventions designed to manage and cope with physical and psychological side-effects of these diseases. Included in these interventions are cognitive behavioural therapy, guided imagery, hypnotherapy as well as relaxation techniques.
Many of my clients do not require ‘traditional therapy’ in the sense of careful healing of past traumatic or difficult experiences in order to move forward in life; rather, they are looking for useful insights and skills to achieve particular life or work goals. This is where coaching is indicated. Broadly speaking, coaching is a process of examining and clearly understanding where an individual currently feels stuck, where they would like to be in the future, and to develop actionable strategies to achieve their future goals. For example: if you feel your career or relationships could benefit from being more confident; or your general wellbeing needs attention after a recent health scare; or having more personal/work balance would benefit you then coaching is probably the right intervention for you.