How to hold space for someone, step by step in three minutes

June 24, 2017 | Posted in balance, depression, Integrative, psychedelic psychotherapy, psychotherapy | By

This video is a nice step by step guide to holding space for someone.

Read More...

Mutiny of the Soul

May 22, 2017 | Posted in anxiety, balance, depression, Integrative, psychotherapy, reframe, suicide | By

43529

Mutiny of the Soul

By Charles Eisenstein on Saturday May 21st, 2016
Mutiny of the Soul

Another Way of Looking at Fatigue and Depression

Depression, anxiety, and fatigue are an essential part of a process of metamorphosis that is unfolding on the planet today, and highly significant for the light they shed on the transition from an old world to a new. When a growing fatigue or depression becomes serious, and we get a diagnosis of Epstein-Barr or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or hypothyroid or low serotonin, we typically feel relief and alarm. Alarm: something is wrong with me. Relief: at least I know I’m not imagining things; now that I have a diagnosis, I can be cured, and life can go back to normal. But of course, a cure for these conditions is elusive. Read More...

Read More...

Announcing 2 Holotropic Breathwork Workshops May 13th and 14th in Toronto

April 9, 2017 | Posted in Integrative, mental health, psychotherapy | By

Bruce Tobin is coming to Toronto to facilitate two Holotropic Breathwork Workshops using image making as integration. Tickets are now on sale through Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/holotropic-breathwork-workshop-saturday-may-13th-tickets-31405007222?utm_campaign=new_event_email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eb_email&utm_term=viewmyevent_button

Read More...

Why normal, healthy people see a psychotherapist

March 7, 2017 | Posted in anxiety, balance, depression, Integrative, mental health, psychotherapy, Uncategorized | By

Psychotherapy from Isaac Holland on Vimeo.

Read More...

Crazy Wise

March 4, 2017 | Posted in anxiety, balance, depression, Integrative, mental health, psychotherapy | By

This is a terrific trailer for a film about a groundbreaking approach to mental health. If you register for the town hall on the main page you get to watch the film for free. Look for the link in the email. CRAZYWISE Trailer from Phil Borges on Vimeo.

Read More...

Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

January 5, 2017 | Posted in Integrative, psychotherapy | By

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a fabulous reference, and it makes great reading too. Dip into a word and discover what it means. Having traded in tiny sorrows all my life, I had no idea many of them had names, like sonder, joupla, or adronitis. Every psychotherapist needs with own dictionary of tiny sorrows to help people make sense (or not) of their own.

Read More...

MDM-A Tedx talk by British Psychiatrist

October 19, 2016 | Posted in anxiety, Integrative, psychedelic psychotherapy, psychotherapy, suicide | By

This is a powerful video on how MDM-A can help so many people with trauma. MDM-A is like the key that opens up PTSD sufferers who are treatment resistant.  Then the psychotherapy can take hold. One day and I hope it's within a few years, people who suffer trauma will have the option of a short course of MDM-A and therapy rather than have to endure a lifetime of addiction and suffering.

Read More...

Missing in Action: Mental Health Community Fails Fraud Victims

toronto psychotherapy

November 12, 2015 | Posted in balance, Fraud, Integrative, psychotherapy | By

Major fraud cases grab the headlines for a few days or weeks then forgotten until the next one comes along. We never have to wait long. Media typically focuses on following the money, the colourful perpetrator and occasionally on the victims. Because no violence is used, there is some sort of collusion, and sometimes insurance, fraud appears to be a victimless crime. On the contrary, fraud victims are often devastated by their loses, blamed for their perceived collusion, secrecy, greed, lack of foresight, gullibility, stupidity and so on. Is that why is there so little support for fraud victims from the mental health community? Major fraud cases grab the headlines for a few days or weeks then forgotten until the next one comes along. We never have to wait long. Media typically focuses on following the money, the colourful perpetrator and occasionally on the victims. Because no violence is used, there is some sort of collusion, and sometimes insurance, fraud appears to be a victimless crime. On the contrary, fraud victims are often devastated by their loses, blamed for their perceived collusion, secrecy, greed, lack of foresight, gullibility, stupidity and so on. Is that why is there so little support for fraud victims from the mental health community? Google help for victims of fraud and you will find various resources from police forces, governments, lawyers, accountants, and third parties who will help you navigate the legal system. Google psychological help for fraud victims and you get pretty much the same results but more along the lines of how to prevent people from falling for scams. Missing from these results are any psychologist, psychotherapists, agencies, or help lines that will help victims deal with their trauma. Where are those mental health professionals who can help victims deal with their pain and loss? You don’t even want to know what you get when you Google psychotherapist fraud. Sadly, there are many more psychotherapists accused of fraud than those who specialize in helping the injured party. Fraud is a global problem that is growing about 4% a year. You will become a victim of swindlers at some point unless you live in a monastery in Tibet. Often it is small: being over-charged for work done on your car; or giving money to a charity that funnels it to offshore accounts. Scams exist in every type of transaction from foreign trade to adoption to human smuggling. It may well be the second oldest profession. Some of the first writing ever found was on Samarian clay tablets. They were itemized lists of goods in jars used in trade to prevent loss. It’s estimated that fraud costs the US economy $400 billion each year. You find it in every country of the world.  Many of the instances of it is small potatoes, like in the two example above, but what really adds up are the major frauds like Madoff and Worldcom where billions are lost and many lives are ruined. This cohort variously suffers from PTSD, inability to trust others or themselves, depression, suicide, divorce, strained relationships, low self esteem, and anger. It’s curious to me that professionals aren’t stepping over themselves to help these people. A report by the School of Psychology at the University of Exeter on why people fall for scams reports that: “Scams cause psychological as well as financial harm to victims. Victims not only suffer a financial loss, but also a loss of self-esteem because they blame themselves for having been so 'stupid' to fall for the scam. Some of the victims we interviewed appeared to have been seriously damaged by their experience.” A British charity wants us to recognize that it is the most vulnerable people, often isolated elderly and those with mental health issues are most at risk of being scammed. The Think Jessica organization is lobbying to have (Jessica Scam Syndrome (JSS) recognized as a disorder to help prevent this vulnerable population from being victimized. But it’s not just the vulnerable who fall victim. Intelligent, skeptical people who think they would never fall for anything suspicious can also become victims. Perpetrators are a high risk to reoffend even when they get caught and serve time. The chances of getting caught is slim and the payoff so large that most fraud artists make a career of it. Perhaps if and when vulnerability to fraud appears in the DSM will the mental health community swing into action? Of course the best thing we could do as a society would be to educate citizens to stay away from anything suspicious and drastically increase monitoring and penalties for those who ruin lives. Bradley Foster

Read More...

Taking Back Control

toronto psychotherapy

June 5, 2015 | Posted in balance, Integrative | By

Anxious?

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 have control over, we might be able relax and just be with what is. A major source of anxiety and depression is the feeling of a loss of control. Those who are depressed surrender to the malaise. Anxious people, worry a lot. It’s our attempt to control more than we are able to that elevates our stress hormones and affects our ability to sleep well. So, just what do we control? According to most experts, very little. The only things we have full control over are ourselves. Anything external to us, our environment, other people, the weather, and pretty much anything in the world is beyond our control. Just to be clear, we control: our actions; what we think; what we say; our immediate environment; what our inputs are (what we see, hear, read etc.); who are friends are; our level of self care; how we spend our time; and our legacy. That’s not much to look after, considering the hundreds of things that are out of our hands in a day. As the poem by the preacher Reinhold Niebuhr states, it takes grace and forgiveness to accept what we can’t change and wisdom to know what we can. Everything else leads to malaise or stress. You might ask, if leading a less stressful life is that simple, why don’t more people do it? There are a lot of answers to this question; most can be reduced to human nature. As a coach I work with clients who suffer from stress, anxiety, impulse control issues, depression, and lack of discipline or motivation. The trouble is, it’s much easier to worry, blame others, be irresponsible, compare one’s self to others, be passive, or a control freak than it is to take control of ourselves and our mind. If you find that you fit neatly into the category of worrying about things outside your control you have plenty of company. The best thing you can do is to bring some awareness to your worries. Write down everything you are worried about using two columns: “Things I can change” and “Things I can’t change”. Notice how long the “Can’t Change” list is and how short the “Can Change” list is. But it’s not like we are simply going to stop worrying about things just because we conceptually know they’re out of our control. This is where the hard but rewarding work comes in. The good news is that breathing, meditation, relaxation, and yoga, all help. Training your mind to control your thoughts is essential to being able to banish worries, blame, unflattering comparisons, negative thinking, and fears. Fears are often the root of anxiety and anger so it will take introspection and perhaps some professional to root them out. * The quote by Reinhold Niebuhr is most commonly known as the Serenity Prayer, adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 Step Programs. This is a shortened version of the original prayer penned by Neibuhr in a sermon to troops in 1943.  

Read More...

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...