Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Delivers Relief

A substantial evidence base supports the efficacy of problem-specific cognitive-behavioral interventions for a variety of childhood and adolescent anxiety and depressive disorders. Unlike other psychotherapeutic techniques that have been applied to these disorders, CBT is consistent with a perspective that values empirically supported problem-focused treatments. CBT presents a logical theoretical framework to guide practitioners through assessment of specific problem domains, the delivery of problem-specific treatment interventions, and well specified outcomes to monitor treatment progress. However, CBT is not simplistic. Helping children, adolescents, and parents make rapid and difficult behaviour change over short time intervals [three to six months] requires considerable expertise and training.

“Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy for Anxiety and Depressive Disorders in Children and Adolescents: An Evidence-Based Medicine Review”                  SCOTT N. COMPTON, PH.D., JOHN S. MARCH, M.D., M.P.H., DAVID BRENT, M.D., ANNE MARIE ALBANO, PH.D., V. ROBIN WEERSING, PH.D., AND JOHN CURRY, PH.D.                                                                                                                        J. AM. ACAD. CHILD ADOLESC. PSYCHIATRY, 43:8, AUGUST 2004

For more information about anxiety and depression visit the Anxiety and Depression Association of America ADAA website

To find out more about our professional counselling and support services in Durham Region or to schedule an initial assessment  Contact us today!

 Photo credit: snowbear from

Some of us will say “Absolutely!” Some of us will say “Not for me!” And others may be too confused to decide. The reality is that sex plays a significant role in love relationships. While it promises so much joy and satisfaction, it can also be the deciding factor that destroys very loving relationships.

When we first choose to be in a romance or “fall into” a loving relationship, most of us are so infatuated with our partners. The sex drive is amazing… even through the roof (thanks dopamine). We can barely take our hands off each other. It’s exciting, engaging, enchanting and we just seem to connect on a level that we assume will last forever. So often we dive into a romance head first (Or is it “heart first”?) and the commitment to be together opens up new expectations and responsibilities, many unforeseen and under-discussed… “love is blind”.

Well not really yet it can certainly feel that way.  Diving in head first quickly becoming more committed than our understanding of one another can handle. As the expectations and assumptions increase, the pressure can overwhelm healthy relationship development. When certain steps are missed in almost any project, task or adventure something will usually falter.

Cracks in the relationship appear and couples can be found scrambling to save or salvage what wasn’t really well established in the first place. Many separated couples state that the connection “just isn’t there anymore”. The passion and excitement that was there when they first met is said to have “faded” until they felt like they were just friends, or worse, “roommates”.

Couples often agree that life and children and work get into the way of romance, however, isn’t this denying ownership and personal choice?  After all, who’s making the decisions? It’s about finding the strategy and skill set to balance our lives in such a way that are able to meet all our needs, not perfectly but sufficiently and satisfactorily for both partners.

Separated couples also share, retrospectively, that they become frustrated, disgruntled and then turn away from their spouse.  Gradually withdrawing to other distractions, many find other potential partners and their sexuality becomes sparked elsewhere. Relationship abandonment is frequently preceded by minimal effort, money and energy being invested into reading and seeking help to “tune-up” their run down relationship; finding ways to become new and adventurous in the apparently no longer “forever” relationship.

When couples seek counselling, many find it is often too late which is statistically supported. One or both have already “checked out” of the relationship and are thinking of lives without one another. What contributes to the decisions to give up on what was once a committed relationship, find another partner and go through the same thing all over again? Many factors can be draining on romance so it is important to have a thorough assessment.

Once we find ourselves moving toward a committed relationship, it is imperative to decide to invest time, energy and significant effort toward the ongoing improvement of intimacy skills; communication, sexuality, problem-solving, conflict resolution, assertiveness, moral and spiritual foundations and healthy family values and beliefs.

Don’t be a statistic. When you and your partner want to enhance ALL aspects of your relationship, contact us for a confidential and professional assessment / consultation.


Probably the single most challenging issue we face as humans, compared to other mammals, is the length of time it takes us to raise our young. Depending on the area of the globe you live in, this can range anywhere from sixteen to twenty years. In most families, ongoing support of various kinds is still being provided for years or decades afterward.

Rapid changes in the pre-teen and teen years challenge and push parents to acquire new information and develop new skills.  Teens are merely doing what comes naturally, changing socially, emotionally, physically, intellectually, ethically, spiritually and psychologically and stressing parents as part of this magnificent metamorphosis. Enjoying this stage of life can be hard, especially if we listen to all the negativity out there about teens.

Don’t buy into the negative story. Children and parents struggle as part of normal family growth and development. Keeping upbeat and positive about child rearing is a monumental task rarely done very well without help. There are many books… so change the age old negative phrase to say, they do come with a manual, in fact, many!”.  Further, mentors, coaches or counsellors are available who are equipped to teach new strategies and provide you with the tools necessary for raising confident, healthy and highly effective teens.

If you find you are struggling too much, are stressed and worried about your young person and unsure what to do then … contact us today !

How easy is it to feel all alone, isolated and abandoned even though we’re surrounded by people?  When we are treated poorly by those closest to us, when we don’t feel heard and when our own friends “bail on us” it is really easy to feel down . We can become resentful, negative about them, the situation and even about ourselves. We may even feel like we are the only one who has been rejected like this, convinced we live in a cold and heartless world.

The image above seems to capture this reality.   (photo compliments of Jan M.)  We can feel small, unimportant and worthless when people don’t want to hang out with us. One young lady discovered a few solutions after friends “bailed” on her.  Interesting how some of our most valuable lessons come out of our deepest struggles.

She wrote the following for this post;

“Build Friendship Assertiveness”

“Sometimes being too available for friends can hurt you more than benefit you. Being too easygoing can harm you as well; don’t go with the flow. Know what you want. Don’t be a pushover and allow others to make all the decisions. Your own indecision can make you feel dismissed and under-appreciated. It’s your life so speak up, voice your thoughts, and ensure that you are being heard. If it’s what you want then real friends will respect it.”

She’s right… know what you want and expect friends to respect this. Of course, you may have to choose new friends that do respect your wishes, limits, boundaries; friends who also share the work involved in keeping a friendship strong.

Develop ways to better communicate your thoughts and feelings, skills for building relationships and conflict resolution because lasting, quality relationships are work and are well worth the effort.

Entry #3 of 3)  Step-parents are often both, “easy targets” for blame and extra stressed in their attempt to join with others in the family who already have well-established relationship bonds. This dynamic, along with past conflict resolution patterns, can make it rather challenging to adjust after separation and remarriage. Excessive silences can be just as detrimental to a relationship as can angry outbursts. In today’s third post in the series, we hear from the wife/step-mom, a self-proclaimed “rage-aholic“, as she identifies her husband’s contribution…

“I’m married to a silent rage-aholic.  When in an argument, he would rather avoid the problem or sweep it under the rug in hopes it will all blow over.  In fact, all it does is make it worse!  When you don’t talk things out or at least try, it just makes the other person angrier and left feeling alone and that they just don’t matter.  How many people out there understand or know what I’m experiencing?

Blaming one another only intensifies and extends the problem as our energies are now invested in misdirected ways.  Shifting our perspective away from the other and toward the couple as a team is critical in order to find solutions together. Working through the stresses involved with separation, divorce and remarriage is a complicated process, one that we hope we don’t go through often.  Because of limited experience it can be quite helpful to seek out professional coaching.

Our Oshawa counsellors teach effective coping strategies, increase and strengthen your interpersonal skills and help you stop hurtful conflict by increasing calm and successful problem-solving.

Relationships are constructed one sentence, action or facial expression at a time.

The more we can increase our ability to display loving expression with words, face and tone, we will build healthier and more  satisfying relationships.Painted heart