Bipolar and Circadian Rhythms

February 24, 2014 | Posted in bipolar, Integrative | By

In my experience as a therapist who helps people with bipolar disorder stabilize themselves, one of the challenges has to do with getting them to be more in tune with their circadian rhythms. This is the body's internal chemical clock whose impulses regulate the our sleep and waking cycles, our appetites and our moods. Most of us stay tuned to our clock, especially if we have a regular schedule, and have good habits around diet, exercise and imbibe with moderation. When we get out of sync, it's usually not by much and we seem to adjust accordingly. People who have bipolar seem to be more out of touch with their circadian rhythm and when they do, it's much harder for them to adjust. In this light, mania can be seen as a complete breakdown of the regulation of our internal clock, or at least ignoring the signals. This is why it's extremely important for people with bipolar disorder to keep to a schedule and to listen more closely to signals our clocks send us. There is a very good, concise article about this at Psych Central by John Grohol.

Read More...

Stephen Fry on Bipolar

February 18, 2014 | Posted in bipolar, Blog posts | By

Stephen Fry is a fabulously gifted British comedy actor. He starred in a two part BBC documentary about his experiences with Bipolar Disorder. In it he interviews other famous and not so famous people with the disorder. It's a fabulous introduction to not only living with it but thriving with it. See it here... http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/stephen-fry-the-secret-life-of-the-manic-depressive/

Read More...

Bipolar: The ‘New Normal’

February 18, 2014 | Posted in bipolar, Integrative, psychotherapy, reframe | By

Robin Flanigan wrote a very good piece in BP Canada in which she discusses how people suffering from bipolar disorder can adapt and have the power to decide where to set your goalposts for a fulfilling future. She quotes me based on an interview we did last year. Here is an except from the article: It took a long time for Gretchen B. to come to terms with having a chronic mental illness. But lately, the 41-year-old from Illinois has been looking beyond her bipolar. With the skills and support to manage her symptoms, she’s ready to make the most of her life and her abilities. “There’s an end point to ‘I survived the day,’” she says, referring to her post-diagnosis bunker mentality. “Now I’m more focused on what I can do to thrive. “I’m not necessarily letting go of my struggle with bipolar disorder, but I am learning to thrive inside of it.… I feel more optimistic than I have in a long time.” In other words, Gretchen has embraced her “new normal.” The phrase describes a foundational shift that creates a new baseline moving forward—which is what happens when bipolar symptoms turn our expectations upside down. Basic milestones like getting a degree, keeping a job, sustaining a relationship, and buying a home can begin to feel out of reach. A bipolar diagnosis doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your hopes and dreams. Mental health experts agree that with patience, commitment, and a plan for setting realistic goals, you can still map out a deeply satisfying existence. And sometimes, the difficult process of re-evaluation can yield new and more meaningful aims. Read the full excert here: http://www.bphope.com/Item.aspx/1124/redefining-your-own-future To read more you will have to subscribe to the magazine...

Read More...

Huffington Post Blog

February 18, 2014 | Posted in Blog posts, Gestalt, Integrative, Intuitive, psychotherapy, reframe | By

I submit most of my writing and articles on Huffington Post where I've been writing for the past year. They are on a variety of topics. Have a look at a sample of the most recent posts:
IMG_2861tinyBradley Foster MA, is the founder of Giant Steps Coaching, a Toronto-based life coaching practice and BradleyFoster.ca, his psychotherapy practice. He partners with his international clients to help them re-invent themselves, to become more choice-full and authentic.
He earned his Master’s Degree at the University of Toronto and undergraduate degree at McGill University and Columbia University. He completed the three year training program in leadership and psychotherapy at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto. He runs a men’s group and lead workshops and train future coaches. He has also been writing semi-professionally for over thirty years.He worked 15 years as a consultant to major international corporations including Reuters and Thomson Corp. His coaching clients include executives of Fortune 500 companies, CEO’s and lawyers in leadership and communication skills that have helped them reach their peak performance both personally and professionally.He brings balance, perspective, creativity and judgement that help his clients reframe their situations. He is active in his community, serving on several boards and currently volunteers as an executive coach for Save the Children. He is the author of  Deep Coaching: A Guide to Self Directed Living as well as a hundreds of articles related to therapy and coaching. You can read more about his coaching services at: http://giantstepscoaching.com

Entries by Bradley Foster

Where Have All the Good Times Gone? Why Boomers Are So Miserable

(4) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 9:26 PM
Well, once we had an easy ride and always felt the same Time was on our side and I had everything to gain Let it be like yesterday Please let me have happy days Won't you tell me Where have...

The Torture of Insomnia: How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

(2) Comments | Posted September 24, 2013 | 12:31 PM
Experts are divided on why we sleep, but the consequences of not getting enough are well-known. Sleep deprivation is an effective torture technique. It's used by cults to break new recruits. It can decrease your life span and it is increasingly being linked to a contributing factor in

Border Defense for Personal Development

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2013 | 10:16 PM
Boundaries are as vital for us as they are for nations. Just as nations have political or natural borders, we are bounded by skin, but it's the psychological violations at the fringes that are the hairiest for country and person alike. A foreign warship off the coast can create an...

Cultivating Self-Awareness

(3) Comments | Posted June 25, 2013 | 1:38 AM
Awareness is what makes humans unique from all other species. No other species, as far as we are aware, has the same degree of awareness that humans are capable of, and it's what drives us to delve into our minds and into outer space. Self-awareness is a tremendous tool for...

Great Expectations = Great Disappointments

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 4:33 PM
It's human to feel disappointed now and then. As an optimist I tend to hope for the best in situations. It doesn't always work out the way I want. Having had my share of disappointments, I've become more aware of my expectations and learned how to hold them in check....

Rob Ford: The Myth Behind the Tragedy

(10) Comments | Posted May 27, 2013 | 12:48 PM
Mayor Rob Ford, caught on camera as he wheels his Escalade out of Toronto City Hall, looks a bit like a bug under a microscope. Ford, and now his brother, have riveted the world's attention for their real and alleged antics. When Rob Ford was accused of smoking crack with...

Uncomfortable Truths: Where Are The Great Leaders?

(42) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 5:08 PM
You don't have to be an expert in leadership to see that there is a critical shortage of great leaders in the world today. Problems we face are not being addressed by "leaders" we have. No one wants to rock the boat in ways that Gandhi or Martin Luther King...

Impediments to Creativity

(4) Comments | Posted May 13, 2013 | 6:10 PM
Creativity is one of the best strengths to have. It helps you solve problems, and keeps you versatile and able to roll with change, which in this world is a real plus. My creative clientstell me that they are usually good at anything they put their hand...

10 Steps to Successful Goal Setting

(4) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 1:34 PM
As a life and executive coach I work with a lot of people on their goals. Setting goals puts you in the driver's seat, giving you the power to transform your life or take a company into the future. As enticing as that sounds, it is more common...

Joy Management: How to Have a Great Week

(5) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 12:26 PM
How many times have your heard, "Have a good week!" We typically have a good week, or not, depending on the whims of fate. Unless you are a fatalist, let's imagine that you can organize your time so you will have a great week. I call this technique "joy management."...

Change Your Life With This Simple Exercise

(9) Comments | Posted April 22, 2013 | 12:53 PM
Gratitude is the thankful appreciation of things received, whether tangible or intangible. It helps us connect with something outside ourselves, often transcendent and larger than ourselves. I have been practicing a gratitude exercise, and you can do it too. It's very simple. Each night I reflect on my day. I...

Little White Lies: A Guide to Everyday Lying

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 4:53 PM
We lie to ourselves and to others every day. It's what we do to get through our day. Lying can be thought of as a spectrum from being brutally honest on one side to being psychopathically dishonest on the other. Somewhere along that line is a healthy balance of authenticity,...

Yoga: Restorative Medicine for Body, Mind and Soul

(2) Comments | Posted April 9, 2013 | 4:45 PM
Yoga has been around for several millennia, and North Americans are relative newcomers to its practice. Yoga is a holistic technology that balances mind, spirit, and body and is central to Indian health practice. Many North Americans consider yoga to be a substitute for Pilates or a good workout --...

Taking Back Control

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2013 | 6:04 PM
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference. -- Reinhold Niebuhr
And therein lies the root of much of our stress. When we accept that there are few things we...

Read More...