There are many different problems in life and many different types of therapy to address them. Finding a therapist that you are comfortable with is a good first step. We offer a free consultation to see if our services would be a match for you and the problems that you or your family are facing.
The style of therapy is matched to the clients' needs and their comfort level. Most of the sessions will involve just talking, but you may also be invited to do more active, experiential therapy like art work or role plays. We include whoever wants to come to therapy, and sort out an approach together.
The Creekside office is set in the beautiful Dunedin Ravine on the Bruce Trail. We can meet in the office, or go for a walk if you are more comfortable walking and talking. In summer we have the option to sit outside in the Garden. The comfortable atmosphere makes it easier to talk about serious things.
Is all that love that you give to everyone in your life leaving you feeling drained and unappreciated? Are you wondering if sometimes you are enabling your loved ones, instead of letting them deal with their own *&$#? Time to do something for YOU! Therapy offers a deeper kind of self-nurturing. One that lasts longer than a pedicure, a six pack of beer, or a holiday. And the bonus is that when you do something for you, your family will benefit too.
Angry people are often people who have given all that they have to their job, their family or other obligations outside of themselves. They have made many sacrifices and often do not recognize that in the process they forgot to look after their own needs. Holding on to frustration, expecting yourself to be able to handle whatever comes your way, working too much to be a good provider — these are some of the things that can lead to angry outbursts.
Addiction is a symptom of a bigger problem. In therapy we look at how your life has unfolded in order to understand what needs you are attempting to look after with substance use. Once we have a better understanding we work on strengthening your sense of self so that you can deal more confidently with the problems that substance use has created in your life. This method of working on addiction is compatible with 12 step approaches.
The ability to be resilient and strong in the face of terrible life events is not something that everyone was issued as part of the package when we were born. The building blocks for resilience are laid in childhood, and for some of us those building blocks are just not stable enough. In therapy we piece together your story and make sense of your particular suffering. We develop a different way of looking at the events in your life and who you think you are. Hope, meaning, self-confidence, and self-acceptance grow out of our explorations. This allows us to figure out better coping mechanisms for you — real ones that work.
Maybe you have been called a narcissist, or maybe you think you have one in your life. Understanding narcissism is the key to dealing with an issue that can, with hard work and compassion, be changed.
Narcissism is certainly annoying and difficult to contend with, but it is often not what people think it is. People with narcissistic or ”selfish” behaviour are often not feeling very confident in themselves — in fact, they are so unsure of themselves that it becomes difficult for them to see things from someone else’s perspective. Confusing? In therapy we work to understand this, which opens up a whole new approach to dealing with your favourite narcissist.
The developmental task of the teenager is to differentiate themselves from their family and stand on their own two feet. Sometimes this doesn’t go too well, with the teenager being too dependent on parents, and/or fighting for their autonomy in all the wrong ways. Poor decision-making on most or all fronts leads to problems on all fronts. Parents and kids benefit from therapy where we break down the reasons why the teen has fallen behind peers in the maturation process. Building relationship, parents learning to set limits, and helping the teen make sense of what is happening to them all contribute to improved family life.
Anxiety is a normal and necessary emotion. It keeps us safe — but sometimes we have more anxiety than we need. Obsessions, compulsions, panic attacks, avoidance of social situations, perfectionism, disordered eating, and substance use can all be seen as attempts to get control over our lives in order to alleviate our anxiety. But they are all ineffective in the long run. In therapy we work together to figure out an explanation for your anxiety. We’ll work at the root causes, and then figure out how to change the ineffective coping mechanisms. Don’t worry — we don’t take them all away at once!! (Hint: not taking yourself quite so seriously is part of the process!)
Relationships with parents, with partners, with people at work, with your children, or with no one. Relationships are what keep us alive so it is extra painful to be in a one that is not going well, or even worse — to not be in relationship at all. We use attachment theory (google it!) to explore your fifty percent of the relationship difficulties. If you bring the other person with you to therapy we work together to look at the steps in “the dance” that you are doing and how each of you can change the steps to make it into a “better dance”. That is over-simplifying it of course. Relationship work is not easy, but the end result of some difficult therapy work is a better quality of life for you and your loved ones.
Depression can sometimes be seen as suppression. Suppression of you. Sometimes we human being feel so hopeless about things that our precious life force — the thing that makes us ourselves — becomes trapped in a little box inside of us. Hopelessness, loneliness, lack of control over things in your life, living a life without meaning, the list is endless. Fortunately for most of us, “inside you lie the four walls that surround you”. Self-exploration, self acceptance, and maybe some emotional regulation are all things that we work on in therapy to find those parts of you that have been locked away. We help you find the hope, meaning, energy, and social connection that are more valuable than anything money can buy.
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Check with your EAP provider or Extended Health Benefits provider to see if the services of a Registered Psychotherapist or Registered Marriage and Family Therapist are covered.