December 11, 2013

Child Resilience – Why it’s Important!

It is every parent’s dream that our children will go through life happy and healthy, free of pain, worry, and hurt. We would love for our children to not ever have to contend with bullies, peer pressure, divorce, failures, strangers, injuries, disease or death, poverty, crime, or war. However, we live in a less-than-perfect world and life is going to throw us curve balls, involve ups and downs, challenges and stresses. It’s understandable as parents we want to protect our children from these challenges – wrap them in cotton wool, and immunise children from disappointment and stress. But if we did that, how would they ever experience the satisfaction of facing a challenge? Revel in success of facing a struggle, failure or rejection? Appreciate good fortune […]
December 11, 2013

Improving Couple Communication – Setting “Ground Rules”

Suggested communication “ground rules” for handling issues within your relationship: 1. When we are having trouble communicating, we will use the Speaker-Listener Technique (see my blog post “Speaker-Listener Technique” from last week). 2. When conflict is escalating, we will call a “time-out” or “pause” and either (1) try talking again using the Speaker-Listener Technique, or (2) agree to talk about the issue later, at a specified time, using the Speaker-Listener Technique. (For more information on using “time-out”, see my blog post next week). 3. We will completely separate Problem Discussion from Problem Solution. 4. We can bring up issues at any time, but the Listener can say, “this is not a good time”. If the Listener does not want to talk at that time, he or she can suggest […]
December 3, 2013

Improving Couple Communication – The Speaker-Listener Technique

One of the best things you can do for your relationship is to develop the confidence that you (as a team) can deal with whatever issues come your way. Good communication can help you deal with the day-to-day obstacles that most couples encounter, and it is a skill you can learn.   The Speaker- Listener Technique  Use this technique to discuss emotionally sensitive issues. Practice with easier topics or neutral issues first before discussing more difficult issues.   Rules for Both of You The Speaker has the floor. Use a piece of cardboard/rug to stand on, so you would literally have the floor! Use a real object to designate the floor such as the TV remote or pen. (The floor has also been referred to as […]
November 6, 2013

Identifying Early Signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Children

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD is one of the more debilitating of the anxiety disorders. It is a specific type of ‘worry problem’, where a child has persistent worries (obsessions) that often must be alleviated by repetitive actions (compulsions). For the majority of children with OCD, they experience both obsessions and compulsions. However for some children, they may only experience obsessions or compulsions, without the other. For children and their families it can feel like they are the only ones in the whole world suffering from this condition. However, OCD really isn’t that strange or uncommon. About three in every one hundred kids is affected by OCD. This prevalence is greater than diabetes, yet gets much less attention. Most kids first get OCD between 10 and […]
October 28, 2013

Improve Wellbeing with Helpful Thinking – All about the “C” in CBT

An Introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one of the most thoroughly researched approaches to psychological treatment. A search for CBT in Google Scholar returns almost 1 million results. What we know from all of this research is that for most people, CBT will be helpful in improving psychological and emotional wellbeing, and further, that CBT is as effective as medication in the treatment of many psychological disorders, often with the added benefit of a reduced risk of relapse. The behavioural component of CBT addresses how we behave and the consequences of this behaviour. Psychologists can work with clients to address any unhelpful behaviours that are causing or maintaining distress. The cognitive component of CBT addresses our thoughts, how we think as […]
October 15, 2013

What is Mindfulness – An Introduction to Mindfulness Practice

How often do you find yourself reading a whole page only to find you have taken nothing in? Or sending an email then wondering what you had written or if you had sent it to the right people? Ever realised you have already eaten your lunch as you take your last bite? If so, chances are that you could be:



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