Author Archive

Overcoming Holiday Stress

December 12th, 2013

With less than two weeks until Christmas, some of us are feeling the mounting pressure that comes with shopping, family get togethers, and attempting to create the perfect holiday experience. Guest blogger, Lea Anne Goods, has a few thoughts on the topic. Please read her thoughts below. You can also read these Ontario Psychological Association tips for further suggestions.   What is it about the holidays that makes us lose ourselves to the hype? Is it the abundance of glitter and the incessant Christmas musak that sucks us

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Canadian Soldier Suicides – What Can Be Done

December 5th, 2013

As of this afternoon (December 4), it appears that four Canadian soldiers have committed suicide in just over one week. Over the years, I have had the great honour of treating Canadian military veterans. I am amazed by their courage… their courage while actively serving as well as their courage in psychological treatment as they face what they witnessed and experienced as soldiers. Much has been said in the media recently about the stigma associated with seeking psychological help within the military community. In the

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Recovering From Trauma – 3 Important Steps

November 6th, 2013

Stress is a normal part of life. Paying bills, meeting deadlines, and handling conflict can be stressful. Being laid off or going through a divorce can be even more stressful. These stressful events, however, are not traumas. Traumas involve serious injury, physical violation, or death (or the threat of serious injury, physical violation, or death). Many people who experience traumatic events recover without the aid of professional psychological support. However, some people do not. Some people experience lingering effects of trauma, such as nightmares, irritability,

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Caregiving and Grief – How to Help the Helpers

October 3rd, 2013

An acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain due to an event that occurs after birth. A brain injury can occur while driving a car, playing sports, or riding a bike. Strokes, aneurysms, and lack of oxygen can all cause brain injuries. For the past few years, I have had the pleasure of leading a psycho-educational group for family caregivers of individuals with acquired brain injuries. Within the group, caregivers offer each other support and understanding. Caregivers also learn strategies for taking care of

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3 Reasons to Write a Blog Post

September 22nd, 2013

Nearly three weeks has passed since my last blog post. In that time, children have returned to school and the NFL has resumed its Sunday takeover. There’s a hum to life at this moment, and posting a new blog entry has not been at the forefront of my mind. Nevertheless, there’s good reason for me to post something new. In fact, there are (at least) three good reasons. Self-reflection – Blogging demands that I consider, “What is important now” and “What do I think about

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Facing fear

September 2nd, 2013

Many years ago, Eleanor Roosevelt said, You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” You must do the thing you think you cannot do. My son re-affirmed Ms. Roosevelt’s thoughts this morning as he ziplined over the Elora Gorge. My son’s excitement brought him to the zipline’s entrance, but it was

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Emotional arousal and performance

September 1st, 2013

As a first-year university student, I enrolled in an astronomy course. I attended classes, took notes, and read the textbook, but I wasn’t emotionally invested in doing well. As the first exam approached, my studying was half-hearted. I lacked focus and motivation. On the day of the exam, I was similarly disinterested. Not surprisingly, my performance on the exam was dreadful. A psychological concept, the Yerkes-Dodson Law, helps to explain my poor performance. The Yerkes-Dodson Law explains that for complex tasks (such as an astronomy

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Being Clutch

August 23rd, 2013

Clutch is a term often used in sports. New York Yankees’ pitcher, Mariano Rivera, has allowed only 11 earned runs over the course of over 140 playoff innings. In the process, he has won five World Series championships. Mariano Rivera is considered clutch. NFL quarterback Tom Brady is also considered clutch, despite recent statistics that suggest trouble coming through in high pressure situations. For example, Brady has only a .500 record during his last five seasons of postseason play. Tiger Woods was considered clutch at

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Performing at your best: Part 1

August 12th, 2013

Whether you are giving a presentation at work or standing over a five-foot putt to win a friendly round of golf on Sunday afternoon, you want to perform at your best. We all do. Performing well when it matters reinforces good thoughts and feelings you have about yourself. It also helps you to feel more confident when a similar situation presents itself in the future. Most of us know someone who always seems to show up when the stakes are high. Someone who aces the

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How Psychology Helps

July 31st, 2013

Welcome to my first blog post…Thank you for reading. This blog will explore mental health, relationships, and sport from a psychological perspective. I recently learned that forty-nine percent of people suffering from anxiety or depression do not seek treatment  (Canadian Mental Health Association). Forty-nine percent is a staggeringly high figure. Why don’t more people get help when they are suffering from a mental illness? One explanation is that the mental illness itself is a barrier. For example, some people may be too depressed to take action or

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Did you know…

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

 

A psychologist can help.

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