KovenCounselling - Solution Focused Grief Counselling
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My Blog

Changing Roles: Children and Parents

As our parents age, adjusting to their changes in mobility and cognition often pose a special challenge to adult children. Accustomed to being cared for themselves, now the children must assume more responsibility for their care. There is a saying that "It takes one parent to raise a child but 4 children to care for a parent". Our life-long relationship with that parent comes into focus with this change. Long buried memories and emotions may surface, conflicts and misunderstandings are elicited.

Regulating the practice of Psychotherapy in Ontario

 On April 1, 2015, the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario was finally given official status by the government. As of this blog, more than 6,000 potential therapists have submitted applications to join the new college. The application process is rigorous and demanding and requires a great deal of supporting documentation.

What this new college essentially will do is provide professional practice standards for all clients seeking service, including general professionalism (confidentiality of client information, consent and record-keeping) and conduct.

Meeting the New Year with a smile

Each New Year we are exhorted to create a list of resolutions that are meant to motivate us to make positive changes in our life. Invariably, we go back to our old behaviours and feel even worse because we feel that "we failed" to achieve our goals.

Instead, why don't we incorporate behaviours that won't cost us anything (special diet foods, exercise equipment, gym memberships) but will contribute to a feeling of well being and optimism.

A simple act such as smiling can boost neurochemicals in your brain that release  dopamine, a feel good hormone.

The Holiday Blues


Whether this time of year always gave you the blues or this year is particularly distressing, remember that there are many triggers out there that are difficult to avoid. Every television show and commercial portrays the idealized image of a perfect holiday and will elicit memories of times past. Many of our memories become "sanitized" with time and we forget the tensions and family squabbles.

Sometimes in looking back we get mired in regret and recriminations. This is also hurtful. There is no healthy point in "shoulding" ourselves.

Anticipating the December holidays

Regardless of how large or small, distant or close your family may be or have been, December seems to shine a bright light on what we feel are the empty spaces in our lives.

Some of us may be reflecting on happy times we  can no longer share,
either through death, divorce or fracture within the family circle.

Holidays trigger the tensions that existed previously. We try so hard to create the image of what we wish the holidays to be, our stress levels and expectations can
rarely match the reality of our situations.

FAQs (frequently asked questions)


I  have found that many people are puzzled by  the profound emotional, spiritual, physical and psychological affects that are caused by death, loss and trauma.

Here are a few of the questions I am asked that cause clients to worry.

Question: My loved one  died about 6 months ago and now friends and family are  telling me that it is time to get on with my life.  Why am I finding this so difficult?

Answer:Friends and family are well meaning, but the fact is that everyone grieves at their own pace and in their own way.

Meditation on a new year

I was recently asked to speak to the members of a Retirement Residence about the Jewish New Year. I began by asking them to think back over their long lives and imagine the most eventful New Year they had ever spent. I asked them to try to recall what they were wearing, who they were with, if they were at a party or a dance and  of the fun they were having. Had they had a bit too much to drink? How had they felt the next morning?

After  a few minutes of considering my words, I told them that the Jewish New Year is the opposite of those memories.

Beginning a new year

I can't believe the new school year has already begun. I still get butterflies in my stomach the night before the first day back.

The self esteem group I led forSistering( a downtown community agency caring for women between 18 and 60 plus who are living with the challenges of poverty as well as mental and physical health issues). It's an incredible agency. I felt privileged to meet with such interesting and "real" women each week and I think we all felt a bit sad when the 10 weeks were concluded.
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