Author Archives: Kimberly Moffit

About Kimberly Moffit

Kimberly Moffit is the founder of KMA Therapy and one of Canada's most experienced media relationship experts. She achieved her doctoral degree in Psychology from Middlesex University UK, her Master's Degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, and her Undergraduate degree from the University of Guelph. She has a thriving YouTube channel, "Ask Kimbery," where she gives bite-sized relationship tips. She also has a passion for entrepreneurship and women in business. Kimberly has one primary goal for KMA: To change the traditional view of therapy to one that's modern, normalized, and enjoyable for all.

How to Change an Emotional Relationship with Food

5-Tips-for-Heart-Healthy-Snacking-700x395Bored? Stressed? Waiting? What do many of us do when this happens? EAT. Many of us tend to fill time with eating or use it to relieve stress. Often we’re not even hungry or we choose to snack on easy but unhealthy choices. These choices can make our self-esteem plummet, and can even result in us feeling guilt, remorse, or depressed. Here are a few tips and tricks to try and change an emotional relationship with food.

Drink water. Carry a bottle of water around and if you have an urge to snack, drink water first. It’s easy to misread our body’s signals and think we’re hungry when we’re actually thirsty. By avoiding eating unnecessary or last-minute foods, we also avoid feelings of guilt and remorse, which helps reinforce our confidence to make positive and healthy decisions.

Be mindful. There’s a bowl of chips in front of you and before you know it, it’s empty! We’ve all done this. We at times unconsciously snack when it is immediately available just because it’s there. Stop and be aware. Stay in tune with yourself and your senses, rather than going on autopilot.

Understand your urge to much. Part of making healthier decisions is understanding what is driving us to certain behaviours in the first place. If you find yourself relying on eating to fill time, your urge to much may be coming from boredom – in this case, one tactic is to try to find something else to do. If you’re eating to relieve stress, it may be time to explore another stress-relieving activity such as yoga or walking. Once you’ve identified your personal weak-spots, be prepared for situations that challenge you: Keep a book in your bag, so you read rather than munch. Have nothing to do? Go for a walk instead of making a sandwich.

Understand that Change Takes Effort: An emotional relationship with food doesn’t just change overnight or with a lazy approach. It’s a process that can take months and even years to understand and implement. And this change takes effort and preparation. For example, If we arrive thirty minutes earlier than expected at our destination, many of us will stop at a corner store or shop and pick up something to snack on in order to kill the time. By carrying a healthy snack with us each day that we’ve prepared in advance, like a bag of nuts or some chopped up celery, we can prevent ourselves from picking up that chocolate bar because we already have something to snack on.

A lot of the challenge we face lies in the fact that it is easier to buy that bag of chips than to cut up those peppers. Change isn’t always easy. Just keep in mind that at first it may be a nuisance, but eventually it’ll seem like you have always lived like this. New behaviours practiced often become habits, so by choosing the right behaviour just a few times, we can create a pattern that will lead to a whole new series of healthier choices.

Join Kimberly For An Interactive Twitter Party!

URbanBarnLeaside-TP-Promo-Tile_thumb

Are you tired of this freezing weather?! When the the sun is only an occasional visitor and the temperatures have us running for the indoors, we often just want to be at home. Home fills us with those comforting and cozy feelings of welcome and warmth. We can cuddle up on the sofa with a book, light candles and sip tea in front of a crackling fire place; an escape from the harsh real world. Home is where our loved ones gather and together we can feast on home cooked meals in an elegant family dining room. Our bedrooms provide us with a safe haven for rest and sweet dreams. Have you created a “nest” for your family? Need inspiration? Look no further than Urban Barn!

To help everyone create their own perfect nesting space and to celebrate the re-opening of the revamped Urban Barn Leaside which is opening on Saturday, February 21st, Kimberly is having a Twitter Party!!

We hope you can join Kimberly as she will talk all kinds of tips and tricks to making the most of your family time as well as one-on -one time right at home!  Of course, what would a Twitter Party be without prizes!!  So much fun!  Mark your calendar right now – this party is happening this Thursday night and we’d really like to see you there!

Here are all those details again so you don’t miss a thing!

Date: Thursday Feb. 19th at 8 PM EST

Follow: @urban_barn, @KimberlyMoffit & @SassyModernMom

Hashtag: #UrbanBarnLeaside

Please RSVP using the linky below.  See you soon!

*Please be sure to enter your Twitter Handle “@yourTwitterhandle” in the Link/Blog Title field, and your Twitter URL “www.twitter.com/yourtwitterhandle” in the Link Field*



10 Relationship Issues That Can Benefit From Professional Counselling

toronto-couples-relationship-counselling.jpgHave you been having relationship problems with your partner, family, friends or someone important in your life lately? In life, complications between the people we love arise and there are ways to solve those complications through many different ways. There are healthy and appropriate ways to solve those complications and two of the options are through counselling or psychotherapy.

Sometimes we ask ourselves, “Am I the only one having problems with the people around me?” Everyone has different circumstances throughout life, and its common for most people to go through rough patches as well as periods of joy throughout their life. It is important for us to recognize that no healthy relationship can avoid conflicts! Issues are created while having interaction with people but that shouldn’t stop us from having relationships with others.

There are many different reasons to why we may not be getting along with the people around us. Have you gone through any of the following lately?

1. Trust Issues
2. Difficulty Communicating
3. Personality Differences
4. Money Problems
5. Life Transitions (Minor or Major)
6. Overcoming Grief and Loss
7. Dating/Lack of Intimacy/Ending of a Relationship
8. Parenting/Controlling or Needy Partners
9. Coping with Each Other’s Extended Family/Blended Family
10. Household Responsibilities/Toxic or Judgemental Household Climate

Sometimes, all we need is to chat things over with a friend or family member, or even have some time to think on our own about the issue. Other times, therapy is a great option to explore why we’re having relationship issues and work out skills and coping strategies so we don’t end up in the situation again.

In Counselling and Therapy, we learn to:
1. Recognize the problem, treat it and become stable (emotionally and mentally)
2. Develop skills to work out obstacles in a lively and appropriate way
3. Learn to listen, process, and understand others
4. Establish skills to say what you want in a assertive way without being disoriented by emotions such as anger or resentment
5. Develop full capability to realize how the other person feels and what they want

At KMA Therapy we offer different types of services for Relationship Issues, such as:

– Counselling for Relationships
– Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
– Relationship Therapy
– Relationship Management Counselling

If you’re interested in any of these services, please contact us and we’ll be thrilled to help. Have a great day!

By: Kimberly Moffit

Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Mental Health Professional

Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Mental Health Professional

 

15 Relationship Questions You Must Ask Your Partner Before Marriage

WeddingRings-PurpleFlowersMarriage. It’s a simple term. This term, however, creates a serious legal and emotional bond between both parties. Being married means sharing your life with the other person and accepting to be fully committed to one another, “in sickness or in health, for richer or poorer.”  Do you believe that you are ready to be fully committed to one person for the rest of your life? Marriage is most definitely going to cause ups and downs in your life but for so many of us, it’s worth it!

Here are the top 15 questions you MUST ask your partner before marriage:
1. FINANCE: Are you financially stable? Will we be able to make a living together?
2. EDUCATION: How much education have you had in the past and do you want to have more education in the future?
3. CAREER: How ambitious are you in your career field? How do you see yourself professionally, 5-10 years from now?
4. CHILDREN: How many children do you want or do you want none?
5. RELIGION/VALUE: What is your religion? What do you value?
6. GENDER ROLE: What do you think about chores and home responsibilities?
7. ADDICTIONS: Do you have any addictions like gambling, alcohol, gaming, working, drugs, etc?
8. SEXUAL DRIVE: How is your sexual drive? Do you have any expectations?
9. PRIORITIES: How will you prioritize your life? (i.e. working, spouse, child(s))
10. HEALTH: How is your health? Any medical conditions?
11. TRANSPORTATION: How will you use transportation? (i.e. car, bicycle, subway, bus)
12. FAMILY: Extended Families – How will we spend holidays, birthdays, other events? (Who, what, where, when)
13. HOBBIES: Do you have any particular hobbies or activities that you take part in?
14. OTHER TOPICS: Do you want any pets? What is your point of view on the topic politics? (Any other questions that you would like to ask your partner)
15. CULTURE: How will we deal with our cultural differences? (option)

The base of every relationship must be set up well to create a long-lasting, non-destructive relationship. The questions listed below may show you how well your groundwork between the two is set up.
– Do you trust your mate to be loyal to you and in general? (Trust is the foundation of every relationship)
– Do you love him/her? If its arranged marriage (still happens today) do you believe love can grow with respect?
– Are you understanding of your partner and can you tolerate your partner’s negative traits?
– Are you two compatible? (i.e. sports, music, movies) Compatibility can go a long way.

If you and your partner need pre-marital counselling or help, don’t hesitate to contact us at KMA Therapy 🙂

Have a great one!

By: Kimberly Moffit

 

Kimberly Moffit’s Keynote Speech for the University of Guelph President’s Welcome

Good afternoon President, VPS, Deans and Associate Deans, Distinguished Professors, Alumni and Students!

My name is Kimberly Moffit and I am a proud alumna of the University of Guelph! And Welcome to YOUR first day of being a proud future graduate of the University of Guelph. I am incredibly honoured and excited to be here today. To be back in the place where I started my educational career is nostalgic and humbling, and reminds me of how I began. It brings back lots of fun memories, and also memories of dreaming, inspiration, and hard work. It also is an enormous reminder just how much my life has changed in the 8 years since I graduated from Guelph.

As many of you know, I’ve spent my career dedicated to helping people improve their relationships. University is a time that focuses heavily on relationships: It’s about the relationship you have with your knowledge and philosophies, it’s about the relationships that you’re making right now with your new friends (many of whom will be your friends for life) it’s about the changing relationship with your parents, but most importantly, University is a place to work on and improve the relationship you have with yourself – which is arguably the most important relationship of all.

I’d like to start today by telling you a little bit about my experiences at Guelph, how they shaped my career decisions and outlook on life. Then, I’ll give you my best advice on how you can use your University experience to better yourself, to grow, and to create the most successful and abundant future that you can possibly have.

I wouldn’t have believed if you told me that after graduating in 2006 that only eight years later I would be up here speaking before of all of the incoming students. The truth is, when I started at Guelph I had no idea what my future had in store for me. I changed my major three times before ultimately deciding that I wanted to major in music. Music was the perfect choice for me because I had already been a professional musician for three years so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. AND was a total perfectionist, so I loved the challenge of hearing or reading something unique and then working at absolutely perfecting it. Despite how much I loved to study music, it really bothered me that I didn’t know what the heck I would do after graduation. I was always nervous when people asked me, “What do You plan do with a MUSIC degree?”

The dilemma I had back then was a very similar dilemma to one that many of the young clients I work with now in my therapy practice face. And maybe many of you are wondering about it to. Where will I go from here? How will I use the degree I’ve chosen and how will that translate to a real life job.

So, how did I go from being a bachelor of music student to a psychotherapist, TV guest and the owner of one of Ontario’s largest therapy practices? The answer was this: By focusing on the learning, the growth, and the experience, and using those cues to guide your career. In short? Just start by doing what you love.

Doing what I loved was making beautiful music. That music led to a Masters Degree in Music Therapy, which led to a practicum at CAMH, and ended up leading to a Doctor of Psychology degree. Promise me that you’ll try not to stress about the end result all the time. Do what makes your heart feel joyful. Do lots of it, and be the absolute BEST at what you do. Over time, the answer to how that will translate to the perfect career for you will become the most obvious thing in the world.

I have a few words of advice that have carried me through my university career:

1.     Set goals: Yearly, long term. A recent study at Harvard showed that…. I personally started setting goals…

2.     Get involved and leave your mark in the Guelph community. (and no, I don’t mean just leaving your name on a stall in the Doogie’s bathroom) Guelph is a thriving place that has a multitude of cultural and geographical gems. Through my part time jobs and volunteer work, I saw another side of Guelph, one that wasn’t just in the University ‘bubble’

3.     Feel lucky and blessed to be receiving one of the greatest privileges of all – the opportunity to earn a university degree. The opportunity to immerse yourself in thought, in study, and in creativity. The time and the space to fill your mind with everything you could ever want to know and to do it with passion. Please relish this opportunity, it may be one of the only times in your life you have four full years to focus on your education.

4.     Finally, it’s in all of your best interests to contribute to the University of Guelph’s amazing reputation. After all, the University just turned 50. During your lifetime, it will reach its 100thbirthday, and I’m sure will have reached many more internationally recognized milestones. It’s all of our responsibilities to be ambassadors for our alma mater. That starts today. What can you do today, as a student, to increase the profile of YOUR future alma mater? Well, you can Post, share, and tweet about Guelph – you know that picture you took with the Gryphon? Well your friends and relatives are going to see that on your facebook and maybe they’ll comment on how awesome the University of Guelph is.

I’m also so glad that, in a number of years, you’ll all be joining me in the alumni family – and you’ll also become ambassadors for this amazing school. Being an alumni is for life – it’s not just about getting your degree and getting out. The University of Guelph has consistently been ranked one of the best educational institutions in the country, so when you wear that U of G sweater, it’s an instant connection – to other alumni, to current students, and even to people who recognize the University of Guelph and say wow, you went there! I personally love to wear my U of G sweater at home in Toronto – it’s always a conversation starter.

I would like to conclude this chat with a quote by one of my personal favourite women, Oprah Winfrey.

“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.”

I know that all of you are able to envision and create lives for yourself that are fruitful and that you can be proud of.  Enjoy every moment of your career as a university student, don’t forget to dream, and I’ll see you on the other side.

Thank you.

 

By: Kimberly Moffit

Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Mental Health Professional

The Psychology of Junk Food

_MG_7489aI’ll admit, I never understood the character of Claudia from my childhood Babysitter’s Club Novels – the girl who had junk food stashed away in all parts of her bedroom: under the pillow, in her drawers, and even under the bed! But now, as an adult, I fully get it. I always have a few things stashed away in my cupboard for junk-food emergencies — Junior Mints, Miss Vickie’s Chips, and Diet Dr. Pepper. These little indulgences are always there and never questioned; as I’m a huge advocate that life in moderation is the key to ultimate happiness!But everybody knows that junk food and unhealthy eating has negative effects on our physical health. An excess of junk food can cause unwanted problems such as blood pressure issues, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Junk food takes a psychological toll as well making us feel more tired and lazy, contrary to the belief that people are lazy because they are unhealthy or obese.

The Cycle of Eating Junk:

So what exactly is happening to our brains when we eat something unhealthy? Sweet taste receptors on our tongues are activated when we taste sugary food, then they are activated again when the food reaches the stomach. These sweet taste receptors send a signal to the cerebral cortex in your brain where different tastes such as sweetness, saltiness, and bitterness are quantified. Sugar gives our reward system positive sensations in the same way socializing, sex, and drugs do making it arguably have the same type of addictiveness with less intensity.This positive sensation is created by releasing dopamine from the brain, the chemical responsible for every time you feel good. Sugar is a common food that sends dopamine into your brain, but sadly, most “healthy” foods do not trigger a dopamine release in your brain. (Why am I not surprised that broccoli is NOT one of these foods?:-)

When we eat a particularly delicious healthy meal for the first time, the great taste will spike the dopamine levels in our brain. But after continuing to eat the same dish for a long period of time, the dopamine spikes will start to diminish. This means that it is super important to constantly be trying new healthy foods and changing meals in order to feel motivated to eat healthy foods.Break the Cycle: If you are trying to break your habits of eating unhealthy foods there are some things you should keep in mind. Food is one of the most powerful emotional stimuli, and we all know that eating patterns are causes by emotional decisions (not conscious decisions). From childhood, parents give children unhealthy and tasty food when they act “good” and this carries on into adulthood and people apply it on themselves.

Gain some Peace when it Comes to Food: Food ultimately shouldn’t be tied to our emotional ups and downs. Starting small helps because it keeps goals attainable. I’ve always been an advocate for dropping the labels of ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ as well. You’ll know something is good for you when in a mindful state, a food truly makes you feel ‘good.

Understand that Eating Well is part of Taking Care of Yourself: Just as we wouldn’t go without brushing our teeth, or going to our doctor’s appointments, refusing to eat well can have serious consequences to our overall health. Recognizing this is one of the key things I’ve seen people realize before making big changes when it comes to their junk food intake. Take care and good luck!

By: Kimberly Moffit

Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Mental Health Professional

The Psychology of Music

musicnotesback1024Music: The art of sound and silence and the combinations of rhythms, pitches, harmonies, and dynamics. Music is a major part of human culture and history and an art that’s close to my heart: I was a professional musician from the time I was 17 and have a special connection with playing and singing.

So why is music so important to us? After all, isn’t it just noise? (Well, nice sounding noise:-) It turns out music goes much deeper then that and actually has a profound effect on us psychologically and even physically. Music heals mentally and physically, enhances intelligence, improves physical performance, and helps use be more productive. Playing music is also one of the only activities that uses the entire brain.

The Effect of Music on Pain:

Music can help to reduce both chronic pain and postoperative pain and is used in a wide variety of practices. For chronic pain it is used for painful conditions such osteoarthritis, disc problems, and rheumatoid arthritis. For postoperative pain music is used to reduce pain during childbirth and other surgeries. Some theories on why music has this effect of pain relieving are that music serves as a distraction, it releases endorphin’s that counteract pain, and it relaxes you. Reducing pain isn’t the only healing effect music has. Studies have shown it can lower blood pressure, it can increase and decrease your heart pumping and breathing rates depending on the speed of the music, it is used for recovery after a stroke, it is used for migraines/headaches, and it even boosts your immunity by secreting immune-boosting hormones.

Music’s Effect on Productivity and Development:

Of course studying music makes you smarter just as studying anything makes you smarter. Music is on of the few activities that actually utilizes your entire brain. Music benefits reading and literacy skills, spatial-temporal reasoning, mathematical abilities, and emotional intelligence. Music’s effect on memory is so powerful that it not only helps people with functioning brains but it also helps people with injured brains to bring the memory back up to speed. On top of improving memory music also helps us to focus for longer periods of time leading to more productivity. Music can boost energy and minimize fatigue caused by long periods of work and it also sharpens your focus while working. Although it is still unsure what types of music maximize this benefit the studies are overwhelming.

How does Music affect Mood?

We’ve all heard people say they love to listen to music while working out or going for a run. This is because we feel like it either distracts us from the task at hand or gives us that little extra push of motivation that we need. The main theories around why music has such a positive effect on our physical abilities is that it reduces the feeling of fatigue, increases the level of psychological arousal, and improves motor coordination. Music has a really powerful effect of putting you in the right mindset to work out. It is an important mindset to be in because it gives you the motivation you need to get things done and that is a great reason for everyone to listen to music during a workout. Music also encourages us to move and dance and we all know that motion is emotion.

Tips on Using Music to your Advantage:

Listen to your Favourite Song at the Same Time each Morning: Your brain will remember the song as your ‘wake up’ song and you’ll actually have an easier time waking up.

Start Your Children in Music Education at an Early Age: Since music education is proven to boost scholarly performance in other areas, starting your children early in music will give them a head start (and keep you free from headaches!)

Unwind with Melodic and Slow Tunes: Music with a slower tempo is proven to reduce heart rate, which also can reduce stress and anxiety. Before going to bed, try listening to pleasant slow songs to begin the falling-asleep process.

Always use an iPod when Running or Working Out: Listening to a fast tempo song (especially one that you love!) will keep your workout energetic and rhythmic – exactly the type of consisten movements your personal trainer will love.

Most of all, Enjoy the Experience Live: Live music stimulates the senses and feels good. Going to a concert or live show is invigorating and is fun too!

By: Kimberly Moffit

Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Mental Health Professional

 

The Psychology behind Plastic Surgery: Can it Really Make you Happier?

HEIDI-MONTAG-PLASTIC-SURGERY-PHOTOS We’ve all heard about countless celebrities who get cosmetic plastic surgery as part of the “Hollywood” culture, but what about all of us?

In my own life, I’ve known many people who’ve had cosmetic plastic surgery for one reason or another. To fix the nose they’ve hated since grade school, to make their cup size one bigger, or to tighten their tummy after giving birth.

Let’s face it: It’s totally normal to want to ‘fix’ things about ourselves, so that when we look in the mirror we can feel happy about the whole package.

Self-esteem comes from inner confidence, positive self-worth, and is influenced by our security during our upbringing. It can’t be ‘fixed’ with a single procedure. Are you expecting other people to compliment you or like you more after the surgery?

Plastic surgery is a serious procedure and as we all know, shouldn’t be undertaken without a lot of thought and serious consideration. The psychological change of saying goodbye to a body part you were given at birth is very large. What if you get the surgery and nothing emotional changes? What if you don’t like the result of the surgery?

In my experience as a psychotherapist and relationship expert, I’ve counseled so many men and women who have had plastic surgery, only to be disappointed with the results. Many of them have indicated that they truly thought that fixing that ‘one’ body part would make them happy. But plastic surgery can be addictive: similar to tattoos. Once you’ve gone through one procedure, you spend time thinking, wishing, and itching for the next one.

heidi-montag-plastic-surgery-before-and-after If you’re thinking of having plastic surgery, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

a) What are my Expectations? Do I think I will be prettier, more popular, or have an easier time getting a date? If so, my best advice is to re-think plastic surgery. In my opinion, the most attractive quality on a first date is confidence, and that comes from within.
b) Have I Considered All Alternatives? What are some alternative methods I could take before the surgical approach? If you’re considering liposuction, have you made a reasonable effort to lose weight the natural way through diet and exercise? If you’re considering facial surgery, have you tried cosmetic acupuncture, creams, or botox?
c) See a Psychologist or Psychotherapist: A great therapist will help you to pull back the layers to understand where your issues (if any) lie. Talking these issues out with a psychotherapist will also help prevent you from making any rash decisions you might regret: ie: Getting breast implants after your ex-boyfriend cheats.

By: Kimberly Moffit

Tips for Talking about Money

Let’s face it: Money is a difficult subject to broach in any relationship, especially a new relationship. At KMA Therapy, our psychotherapy and psychology team are always meeting new couples and families who struggle with discussing these issues, and some who are experiencing familial difficulty because of money issues.

I’ve always been a huge advocate of financial planning myself – both in my business and in my personal life. My husband and I regularly sit down at least once a month to discuss our financial goals together. It’s my favourite time to reflect, set goals, and dream for our family.

Here are my top tips for couples and families to talk about money and set up a positive financial future:

1. Get help: Consulting a financial advisor can help couples revisit and combine their financial plans and ensure they are on the same page when it comes to spending and saving.

2. Be honest: The definition of conflict in any relationship is having expectations and then seeing those expectations be disappointed. Couples blending families should have honest and open conversations about finances in order to build a solid financial future for their combined families.

3. Talk, talk, talk!: Conversations about money can be difficult, but it’s through those conversations that families can address any potential pain points down the road.

4. Set Goals: Research shows that setting goals in anything in life helps us succeed. So why not set financial goals as a family as well? Scheduling a family meeting to talk about these goals is essential.

5. A recent survey by TD found that one in five Canadians say they are either starting over with a new partner, or thinking of doing so. If you are starting again, it’s even more imperative to get these money issues out on the table. The more people are involved in the equation, the more priorities you’ll need to sort through. Do you want to take a family vacation, travel the world, send the kids to private school? Achieving goals takes time, preparation, and especially planning!

Do you Fear Losing Your Relationship?

Many people fear losing their relationship, and this fear can be deeply paralyzing. It’s actually really common for clients we see here at KMA to say that they’ve stayed in their relationships longer than they should – because their fear of losing their partners starts to outweigh their self respect.

Our sex and couples counsellor Carol Anne Austin recently spoke with Krissy Brady at Sheknows.com about how fiercely independent women often fall into this trap. Why do they do this? Why does this phenomenon exist? And what can we do to change – slowly but surely?

Check out the article here:

When You Fear Losing Your Relationship

Google Circle
Join my Circle on Google+

Plugin by Social Author Bio