Posts Tagged ‘wellness’

In simple terms it is a way to look at how thoughts affect mood and behaviour.

CBT has been used to help people successfully with depression, anxiety, panic, sleep disorders and pain management.

We have hundreds of random thoughts every minute, some of our thoughts are “automatic” (core beliefs, assumptions)”I feel fat” or “People don’t like me” “I always fail”  which often trigger negative feelings and can cause mood to decline and behaviour to change.

An example would be;

I won’t go to the party because I don’t think anyone likes me (thought) I feel sad (emotion) I am going to stay inside all weekend (behaviour) – the isolating behaviour then reinforces the negative thinking and emotional distress.

CBT interventions promote awareness of thought distortions, improve emotional regulation and behavioural strategies for coping.

A therapist with training in CBT is a must.  A good workbook is “Mind Over Mood; Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think” Greenberger/Padesky

Contact Barb Larkin, 604-785-4359, for more information.

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Anger is “just” an emotion that is telling us that we are perceiving something in our outside world as a “wrong”

Anger can be positive if we use it to understand ourselves better and be constructive with it

Anger is not just a male emotion – females get angry too and that is normal

Anger can harmful if there is “too much”; it is affecting our relationships with others, too frequent, too intense, too long, leads to aggressive behaviour, disrupts work/ and relationships

Is your anger caused by external and/or internal causes? – everyone has stressors – do you have too much stress? it is often how we interpret and cope that will result in anger

There are lots of great things you can do to minimize anger and increase your wellbeing (which by association improves relationships).

Don’t bottle things up or continually blame others – own your emotions, a first step to positive change

If you are struggling with anger ask for help!  There is a lot of good information on the internet and a therapist can help to explore causes and provide strategies for change

Barb Larkin, MSW, RSW


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Do you believe the symptoms of anxiety are “real”. “I am nauseated – I must be sick!” “I have a thought I am going to get in an accident if I drive – this must mean I better not drive today” “I feel frightened – this must mean something bad is going to happen to me or someone else”

Are you avoiding activities, places, situations, people where you experience anxiety symptoms- avoidance will not cure your anxiety, symptoms will usually continue to surface elsewhere and mental health will worsen

Not taking stock of your level of stress and encorportating healthier lifestyle changes- What is going on in your life that you have control over vs what you need to let go of? How are your relationships and level of conflict? Are you able to be assertive and set comfortable boundaries in your life?

Get help if you think you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety. For more information contact;
Barb Larkin, Counselling Services

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(The following is from the publication Gentle Care: Changing the Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease in a Positive Way, Moyra Jones, 1999)

Guilt is…

The Clash sing “Should I stay or should I go?”  and for many of us we can relate to the back and forth that can occur in our thinking when we are faced with a decision to be made.

Why is it so hard to make decisions sometimes?

When we are overwhelmed we may be looking at decision-making from a fear based perspective “what will I lose” rather than from the possibilities that can occur through change.

Often decisions we reach will be of a black and white nature – stay or go – and has elements of fear which may keep thinking we are “safe” from the unknown while keeping us stuck in a current situation.

Within the song by the Clash the lyrics suggest that the “other” should decide if the relationship should continue, another way we often avoid making our own decisions – let others do it for us.

Separating interests from actual issues involved in the decisions is important and can be challenging; what are we holding on to?  what are our fears about the decision to be made?  Are we unable to make a decision because we think “others” will condemn us?  How will our decisions affect the self and others?  Is our thinking realistic?

It is helpful to talk to a friend, supportive person or therapist to help unravel our decision-making and look at situations we are facing from a broader perspective.

Self care in the way of breathing, relaxation technique, mindfulness,  talking to supportive others and walking in nature can be helpful to quiet our thinking and help us open our mind to possibilities.

Get help if you are unable to make the simplest of decisions – a clear symptom of stress and possible depression and one that should not be ignored.

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How to quiet our thinking…

Loved the ideas expressed in the Vancouver Sun, Oct. 6/12, Arts & Life D3

“Once we stop distracting the brain with everyday worries…ideas that are constantly fired at us…come into our awareness”

Yet how do we do this?

The key is to quiet the left side of the brain – the more logical, analytical and objective, to allow the right side -more intuitive, thoughtful and subjective to do its magic and help us be more open and creative with solutions!

Quiet time is a must and you need 10-20 minutes per day to help your brain function well,  the points mentioned in the article based on a study at Temple University included the need on a daily basis to;

Be alone

Get silent – turn off external stimulis – phones etc -*Unless you are using a guided imagery, mindfulness or other cd/recording

Sit up – very important as it can be very tempting to lay down and sleep often takes over

Ground your body – think of your feet attached to the ground, your buttocks firm on the chair, arms resting at sides

Breathe– in though the nose, down to the belly, out through the mouth,  focus on breath when your mind wanders bring it back to the breath

After 10-20 minutes open your eyes and stretch, check in with your body and brain

There are good youtube downloads that are helpful to clear the mind using Guided Imagery/Mindfulness Technique; A walk in the country, Connect to higher self, Mindfulness meditation body scan and many others.  CD’s can be purchased that promote meditative mindfulness – check the voice and quality first before you buy.

A wonderful yoga to download from youtube that my sister located is Esther Eckhart – I love her Bedtime Yoga.  The great part about youtube is the downloads are free although the quality can be patchy.

For more information or a counselling appointment I can be contacted at 604-785-4359 or email

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