Sorting Socks Too Difficult? It May Be Work Related?

Whether it is meeting a deadline, getting along with colleagues, dealing with a work crisis, managing a big deal, catching up on reports or supervising staff—work-related stress can become overwhelming.

Sometimes all we want to do is leave work at work, get out and forget about it. We want to reach our homes and provide our families with all of our energy to help around the house, whether with helping kids with their homework, preparing meals or any of the numerous other tasks around home. When we are overly stressed, time we want to spend with our families may feel like a burden, added things to do on a seemingly never-ending list of daunting duties.

Excessive stress can lead to the failure of our usually effective coping strategies and significantly impair daily functioning. Things like humour, relaxation, music and other coping methods no longer seem to work. We may then appear to be ‘trying’ to do all these tasks and functions with our families, yet not really meeting the mark and finding we feel adaquate in our role.

If we could step outside of our bodies for a moment and watch ourselves try to do it all, what would we look like?

Are we snappy when our kids ask for help? Do the simple requests from our spouses annoy us? Is sleep being disrupted by racing thoughts or tension? Would you see yourself struggling to get to sleep, waking at night or simply feeling unrested in the morning? Do you find it hard to sit down and enjoy a meal? Is it becoming more difficult to show family that we genuinely enjoy time with them?

When we are unable to effectively cope with work-related stress (or other stressors), it resides within us and enters our homes as we do. We may like to think we have a handle on things but our relationships with our families can tell us differently. Others may also become quick to anger, less open to hearing our concerns and feelings and may become more tired and drained. Unmanaged stress can be very draining on energy levels and, of course, get in the way of sleep, intimacy, eating and overall quality of life.

Often, when under too much stress, we can easily turn to less healthy coping strategies such as drinking, smoking, over or under eating and arguing and fighting in an attempt to resolve matters.

Seeking counseling for work-related concerns can help us sort through work challenges and create strategies to potentially resolve some issues and find new ways to cope with stress in a healthy and effective manner.

When we identify our difficulties at work, and home, and talk through them we can find solutions that lead to increased peace and contentment. We can also be more engaging with our loved ones. If you would like assistance  Contact us today!


Photo credit 1: clarita from
Photo credit 2: orchid from

Perhaps This Is Normal

In life we are faced with many challenges and obstacles to overcome. At these difficult times and during trying situations, it is imperative to have people to assist us, to provide support and guidance and to encourage our efforts to improve. In our families, at least ideally, we hope that we can come together and support each other through the tough times. This is not always the case, however, as our family members may also be struggling and, thus, are less able or unable to help. Of course, the stress we carry can be brought into the family and our loved ones can certainly add stress to our lives.

Family members may become more negative;

  • “We can’t cope as a family.”
  • “No one respects anyone else.”
  • “If I don’t raise my voice no one will listen.”
  • “We are a failure.”
  • “My parents could not possibly understand what I’m going through.”
  • “I have no power as a parent.”

Stress is a normal part of living and of any family experience. Life is hard on this planet and families constantly face a multitude of difficulties or stressors. How we handle stressful moments is the key to healthier and happier outcomes and relationships. When a family is in crisis, it is very difficult to get to a positive resolution without getting professional help.

Reading materials, joining community or on-line training courses and using counselling can provide the guidance and support families require. Registered, professional family therapists (“coaches”) can help identify areas for change together with the family and incorporate a wide variety of strategies to help families achieve their goals.

“Family counselling can be done in a lighthearted way, with an accepting and encouraging style that helps all family members feel accepted and valued.”

Additionally, drawing upon family members’ current strengths and resources, the counsellor can fairly quickly help the family improve teamwork, re-negotiate roles, expectations and boundaries, making it easier to resolve issues and function well.  Knowledge bases used include cognitive-behavioural, developmental, attachment, family structure, narrative, and family systems theory. Bringing these tools into the family arena allows for better clarity, communication and compassion through a more understanding and accepting view.

New strategies are introduced, in these “coaching” sessions, to overcome some of the negativity or “Stinkin Thinkin” that has developed and recover from past hurt. Through the therapeutic process, families can grow closer and develop more satisfying relations with each other. They redefine goals, assess and clarify shared values and beliefs and develop new ways to love, support and care for each other.

For more information on family “coaching”, call us today!


Obsessive Thoughts Can Float Away

For more than ten years, all I’ve known or been accustomed to is my routine of counting everything in sight. It has impacted my life greatly. I’m usually late for appointments or dates with friends because my routine had become so extensive. My relationships with my parents became difficult to cope with as I tested their patience daily with my obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. Needless to say, counting became a priority in my life and it was so hurtful.

When my parents suggested I attend counselling, I was very hesitant. All of my reservations about a therapist made me more paranoid and wanting to count even more often. “He’ll think I’m crazy!” “I can’t share my thoughts with a stranger!” “He’ll turn my parents against me!” These thoughts created a lot of anxiety; however, to please my parents, I thought I’d attend at least one session.

To my pleasant surprise, none of my fears about therapy and my counsellor came to be.  I now had someone who would listen to me, help me uncover and recognize the thoughts contributing to the repeated counting behaviour and then help me change my life for the better. My burden became lighter, with my effort, gradually floating away like a balloon.

I am finally on track to having the life I want and I am rebuilding relationships in my life. By learning to creatively shift my thoughts, I am able to replace my counting with activities that allow me to grow and develop into the person I want to be. I’m also now better able to embrace experiences with my families and friends.

If there’s anything that I can share with others who suffer with obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviours, it is this: YOU can control your life with help. Cognitive-behaviour therapy helps shift thoughts, feelings and then also the behavior!

Get Help!  For further information and resources to overcome OCD, call us today!



“I complained of a decline in vital energy; a weakened ability to enjoy the fulfillment of needs or of aesthetic desire. Even the most reasonable goals had become difficult or impossible to set, and when established, impossible to fulfill…I complained of sleep troubles, eating troubles. I found myself avoiding all but the most urgently necessary contact with other people. The ill feeling that, for some depressives, does not get much worse than a generalized unhappiness would in my case often degenerate into overwhelming self-loathing, climaxing in sudden, surprising relief, or thoughts or suicide,” (Mays, 1996, p. 64).

In Mays’ case, he did find some relief when prescribed Prozac; however this relief was only temporary.

This holiday season is upon us and some of us are listening to the 24-hour holiday playlists on the radio. Some of us have already decorated our homes to be in a constant reminder of the joy that this time brings. We anticipate the family visits and holiday traditions. With young children, we share stories of what this time was like when we were young. To some of us, the holiday season allows us to forget the difficulties we face day to day, and become grateful for the people in our lives; as well as the memories we get to share and create.

Unfortunately the joys, memories, and happiness is not experienced by all of us. Like Mays, people suffering from depression have an extremely difficult time participating in a festive spirit.

What is important to consider over the holidays is that individuals suffering from depression usually do not want to think and feel this way. The happiness and enjoyment seems unattainable.

Sharing time in such a joyous occasion comes easy when we are in the presence of those with the same joyful intentions. It can be difficult for families who have a member suffering from depression. Some families may feel guilty of feeling so happy around this time of year when they know that another member is suffering. Individuals with depression may withdraw from family traditions so that they do not “ruin” the holiday spirit.

There are ways for all family members to cope during the holiday season. Seeking support as a family increases cohesiveness, enhances your relationships and also provides insight into the impact that depression can have on the family. Call us today so you and your family can enjoy the New Year.

Managing Type 1 Diabetes is Complex!

People who have type 1 diabetes spend significant energy and time considering food, eating and energy expenditure (note: type 1  is totally different than type 2 diabetes). Paying close attention to carbohydrate intake helps more effectively determine how much insulin to take.

In addition, people with insulin-dependent diabetes check blood sugar levels regularly (between 4 and 8 times per day minimum = 1400 to 1600 X per year), and account for many other variables in order to accurately calculate the amount of insulin to be injected.

Insulin works to pick up glucose (sugar) from the blood and carry this throughout the body, providing energy to the cells. Higher blood sugar levels can lead to urinating frequently, flushing important nutrients, contributing to weight loss.  This means a person with Type 1, who does not get enough insulin will drop weight, be able to eat extra food without gaining weight or a combination of the two; eat more and even lose weight. 

Diabulimia – a rare eating disorder

The term refers to people with type 1 diabetes managing weight and body image issues through missed or reduced dosing of insulin. Research indicates prevalence rates close to 30% of people with type 1 diabetes. This disorder impacts both genders and all ages, however, there are increased prevalence rates among adolescents and females as is true with most eating disorders.

Informally named diabulimia, this disordered eating behaviour (DEB) can be quite harmful and disruptive to the daily functioning for people managing type 1 diabetes.  While this behaviour may involve intentional insulin omission, this may not always be the case. Science has more recently helped us think of the stomach is like a second brain. We also know the body and mind can develop habits that are not necessarily driven by conscious thought.

Given this knowledge, it is very important to refrain from blame in efforts to help those with this highly addictive behavioural pattern. Imagine if you could eat all kinds of food, much more than your friends, and through missing insulin not gain any weight? No purging, excessive exercise, laxative use or other behaviours required.

It is very important to watch for the following symptoms of diabulimia

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased appetite, even binging behaviours
  • High blood glucose levels (HBA1c often higher than 10)
  • Lower energy levels
  • Lower sodium levels
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating (increased work or school challenges)
  • Severely imbalanced ketones
  • Increased mood swings (agitation, grumpy)


  • images-1If these sound familiar for you, or someone you know, it is important to seek professional help from specialized, multi-disciplinary diabetes teams which include, nurses, dietitians, doctors, social workers and others. A team approach works best for any eating disordered recovery.

Working together, the person with type 1 diabetes can develop healthier management techniques, eating patterns and mental health strategies to improve health. Including other family members can also increase the healthcare team and speed up recovery from this difficult and rare disordered eating behaviour.

For more information contact us today !


Family: composed of many unique individuals, with varying thoughts, beliefs, opinions and pursuits for life. We don’t choose our family; they are pretty much assigned to us. We may assume that we were destined to be in the family we are in; that the individuals we are surrounded by from birth were selectively chosen for us.

So in times of turmoil, when family conflict arises, we question how we ended up in the families we are in. We may insist that we deserve better parents, or siblings.  To some  degree, we are absolutely correct! It’s not necessarily that we deserve a new and better family. It is more that, through our lives, we should always be working to enhance the relationships within our family (so technically everyone can strive to be better within their family unit).

A rebellious child, argumentative spouses, parent-child disagreements, controlling in-laws, demanding step-parents or sibling rivalry may all be extremely stressful and difficult to cope with at times.

Do you feel like you’ve tried everything to mend the relationships in your family? Have you felt that you are arguing about the same topics over and over again? Are you experiencing only temporary harmony and awaiting for the next eruption to take place? It is time to seek external resources when the intensity of conflict increases and impairs daily functioning and happiness.

Family therapy offers support to all individuals within the family unit. We encourage meetings with as many family members as possible to learn new, effective, and healthier ways to resolve conflict.

Contact us today for a family assessment and be on your way to improving relationships within your family today!

Entry #1)   Expressing anger and frustration well is an art developed over time and with good coaching or learning opportunities. In this series of three posts, one family reveals their challenges with going “from zero to 100” on the anger scale. While they are recognizing outbursts as part of a long-standing pattern, that can be thought of as an addiction, change requires a skill that has been minimized over time…patience.

Read today’s entry from the teen daughter…

“Having parents that are rage-aholics can feel like the worst thing in the world.  When they fight I feel like I have to walk on eggshells so I don’t become the next victim of their anger.  It also ticks me off when they fight over really stupid things. They just get into stupid arguments that can be avoided and that drives me insane.  I know that sometimes I’m the one they get into fights about when I do something dumb and I feel really guilty afterwards.  Really, everything about having even one rage-aholic in the family sucks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Daughter/ Stepdaughter

Recognizing and owning our part in the problem is essential to finding solutions together.

Check out tomorrow’s post to hear dad’s view!