Author Archive

Exercise and Mental Health: Get Moving

October 27th, 2016

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking at the University of Guelph as part of a symposium organized by Exercise is Medicine Canada at Guelph.  The other guest speakers (Dr. Geoffrey Power and Dr. Dan Vitale) were informative and engaging. The audience was attentive and seemed ready to learn and be inspired. Recent clinical research supports what many of us already know… exercise is good for your mental health.  Studies show that exercise helps with mood and improves quality of life.  Exercise (even low level

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Group Therapy for Teenage Anxiety

June 15th, 2016

Think back to your teens. You likely have many fond memories – times with friends, first job, learning to drive, or graduating.   You also likely have memories of more difficult times – break ups, failed tests, or times of self-doubt. Our teenage years are a time of change, challenge, and opportunity. Sometimes the changes, challenges, and opportunities are well-handled and our confidence is strengthened. Other times, the weight of adolescence feels like too much and we start to feel anxious. Anxiety comes in many

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Preventing Summertime Anxiety

June 13th, 2016

With summer just around the corner, many of us will have a long awaited break from work and school. However, having too much unscheduled time leads some of us to feel anxious. To help reduce this anxiety, maintain some school-like structure to your life during the summer. For younger children, set regular play dates or sign up for day camp programs. For teens, find a part-time job or volunteer. For adults, catch up on self-care by scheduling days off work to catch a baseball game

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The Breath: The Body’s Natural Calming Device

May 24th, 2016

Have you noticed your breathing today? Your breathing can tell you a lot about your state of mind. Are you calm? Nervous? Stressed? Checking into your breathing helps bring you back to the present and makes you more aware of what is currently going on in your life.  Proper breathing has even been linked to better mental and physical health (e.g., reduced anxiety and lower blood pressure). Here are some quick exercises you can use to get in touch with your breathing: 1)      Place your

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Anxiety and Avoidance

May 18th, 2016

Everyone experiences being anxious at some point in their life time, whether it is about the first day on the job or speaking in public. Feeling temporary anxiety before a stressful event is normal. In fact, this anxiety can play a positive role (e.g., motivating us to study for a big test). Not all anxiety is temporary or motivating. Some people (at certain times in their lives) experience intense and constant worry about everyday life events. This worry is difficult to control and interferes with

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Thank You to Our Soldiers

November 8th, 2015

With Remembrance Day approaching, we want express our gratitude to Canadian soldiers. We also want to share a few lessons learned from a recent workshop on the culture of the Canadian military. Being a Canadian soldier is more than a job. It’s a life…with very different rules (mission before self), relationships (brotherhood), and activities (basic training) than civilian life. Most Canadian men and women enlist in the military with the expectation of retiring as soldiers. To fall short of this goal, for whatever reason, can

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Inside Out – Hollywood Takes On Psychology

June 26th, 2015

In Pixar’s new animated movie, ‘Inside Out,’ 11-year-old Riley is just your average, hockey-loving kid, but in her mind, all of her emotions—Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger—come to life. In Riley’s mind, her emotions control her every action, thought, and memory, so when she moves to San Francisco, the emotions have to figure out how to navigate Riley’s new house, city, and school. Based on neuroscience and psychological research, ‘Inside Out’ shows the audience a family-friendly and fun perspective on the inside of a

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The Value of Professional Help

March 10th, 2015

In nearly every area of our lives, when we are facing a major problem, we seek professional help.  If a pipe bursts, you call a plumber. If you have a toothache, you go to the dentist. If you are struggling to learn a subject at school, you talk with your teacher or hire a tutor. The professional identifies the problem and deals with it effectively. I think psychological concerns, such as depression, anxiety, or marital problems, should be approached in the same way. Call upon

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February is Psychology Month – Get the Facts

February 24th, 2015

At the Ontario Psychological Association conference last week, Seamus O’Regan (former broadcast journalist and current politician) discussed mental health and the media. His experiences covering mental health led him to the following conclusions: (a) stigmas avoid facts and (b) facts destroy stigmas. Get the facts.  

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Emotional Hygiene

February 18th, 2015

In the video below, Dr. Guy Winch (Psychologist) offers important thoughts on caring for our emotional health. He invites us to look after our minds like we look after our bodies, and he gives us tips on how to do it.

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Did you know…

One in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.

 

A psychologist can help.