Author Archives: Catherine Kamel

About Catherine Kamel

Catherine is an empathetic and open-minded therapist dedicated to helping others live happy and healthier lives. She is a Canadian Certified Counsellor and Psychotherapist. She holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from McGill University. Catherine has experience working with diverse clientele experiencing a number of personal, academic, and career concerns. Her areas of practice include: depression, anxiety, stress management, communication skills, family and relational concerns, self-esteem, trauma, disability and illness-related concerns, and life transitions. Catherine has a passion for helping others identify and pursue their life paths in meaningful ways. She works collaboratively with clients to improve their self-awareness and identify their strengths, while developing strong, respectful relationships based on mutual trust. Catherine is committed to an integrative and empowering approach that honours the unique story of each client. She incorporates elements of psychodynamic theory, cognitive behavioral therapy, existentialism, interpersonal processing theory, and emotion focused therapy, into her therapeutic framework.

Tips on how to Boost your Self-esteem!

 

5_things_your_should_know_about_self_esteemSelf-esteem is essential to our overall well-being and directly impacts the way we experience the world and the choices we make. Low self-esteem can be an incredibly painful inner experience and often causes isolation, withdrawal, and limited engagement. On the other hand, healthy self-esteem is directly related to stronger relationships with others, higher life satisfaction, and more goal-directed behavior. While low self-esteem may be rooted in our early experiences and circumstances, our thoughts also determine the way we interpret ourselves and the world around us. Read on to learn some valuable ways to start boosting self-esteem.

Acknowledge and Talk Back to Your Inner Critic

First, it’s important to become aware of your inner critic and the way that it speaks to you. We all have one. It’s that little (or sometimes loud) voice that is destructive, cruel, and rejecting. It drags us down when we’ve made mistakes or are confronted with things that we don’t like about ourselves. In order to improve self-esteem we need to tell this voice to “STOP!” and talk back to it with a more compassionate, understanding voice. Trying to refocus these thoughts into something more productive can help transform your critical voice into one that is far more constructive.

It’s also important to determine the purpose of that inner critic. Sometimes we rely on it for motivation or protection from potential hurt. For example, we can get tricked into thinking that our self-critical thinking is motivating us to achieve more and try harder or that when our critical voice tells us that people won’t like us, its protecting us from potential rejection. The problem here is that these are assumptions that aren’t grounded in reality and can be seriously damaging.

Watch Your Language!

Often, we use pejorative language that can destroy our self-esteem due to their negative connotations.  Telling ourselves that we are “ugly, fat, stupid, pathetic” and so forth is harmful. These words are subjective and arbitrary. They are also so immeasurable that we tend to define ourselves using the connotations that words hold. Instead, try to use words and descriptions that are accurate and factual. That way, the things we don’t like can be more readily challenged and, in some cases, worked on if it’s in our best interest. For example, saying something like “I’m stupid” can become more fact-based if changed to “I lack knowledge in a, b, and c, but I know a lot about x, y, z”.  Now, a strength is acknowledged and, if it seems important, the perceived weakness can be turned into a goal to learn more about a, b, c.

Self-imposed “shoulds” and “can’ts” are limiting and set us up for failure. Words like always, never, and perfect are also extremes. Try and be more open, realistic, and flexible with your language.

Practice Self-Acceptance and Celebrate Your Strengths

It’s important to acknowledge both our strengths and weaknesses. We don’t have to love every aspect of ourselves or our experiences, but we must learn to accept them. Make a list of your strengths and get into the habit of reminding yourself of them. This can be done with things like daily affirmations, reminder signs around the house, and actively remembering times when your strengths have been demonstrated.

Develop Compassion for Yourself

This means to understand, accept, and forgive yourself.  Somehow, compassion for others comes more readily to most of us. We must learn to treat ourselves like we treat our closest loved ones in order to improve self-esteem. A first step toward compassion is to begin to understand ourselves and the nature of our problems. We have to develop some sense of why we are the way we are. Next, we must learn to accept ourselves and remove the judgment we impose on ourselves. Finally, forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. A good way to engage with a compassionate self is to try and speak to yourself the same way you’d speak to your best friend if he or she was experiencing something similar.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

It’s easy to get into the habit of comparing ourselves to others who appear to be more successful, accomplished, intelligent, and attractive than us. When we do this we disregard all of our own individual traits, successes, and positive qualities. We also usually do this under the illusion and false assumptions that others aren’t dealing with their own personal struggles, making us feel worse. The only person we should be comparing ourselves to is the person we were yesterday as we strive to improve each day.

Practice Self-Care

Get in the habit of doing things that are good and feel good for YOU. Participate in things that bring you joy and that make you laugh. Surround yourself with people who support you. Eat well. Exercise. Take good care of yourself – mind, body, and soul.

By: Catherine Kamel

counsellor, psychologist, psychotherapy

Surviving a Quarter Life Crisis

2009-09-cover-puzzle_tcm7-84442The first years of adulthood or “real life” is often a time of excitement and thrill. We are trying to become established and individuated. We are making big life decisions. We are out on our own for the first time. These are supposedly the best years of our lives, but what often gets overlooked is just how difficult this period of time can be for a lot of people. Alongside the thrill and excitement are often feelings of inadequacy, confusion, and anxiety as we move through the transitory phase. Rest assured, if you feel this way you are not alone. Many twenty and thirty-somethings will face this quarter-life crisis where there is a seeming disconnect between what is happening in our lives and what we want to be happening in our lives. Here are some tips to help survive this transitory phase:

Create Your Own Path and Stop Comparing Your Life to Other People

We develop ideas about the type of relationships we have, the stage of our career we should be in, and the commitments we should make based on societal pressure and norms that have been developed in our family and social circles. It may seem that everyone around you is excelling in their career, falling in love, and utterly satisfied with their lives but that doesn’t mean you need to be in the same place. If these are goals that you have then by all means strive for them, but try not to let the accomplishments of others be injurious to your own self-esteem. Life is not a competition. It’s okay to feel unsettled and unclear on what you want. Clarify your own hopes, dreams, and needs. Decide what will make YOU happy, and go for it.

Set Goals and Make and Action Plan

Set goals for yourself relating to all areas of your life (career, personal, relationships, etc.) and break them down into specific ambitions for short, medium, and long term (think – 1, 5, 10 years from now). Ask yourself what specific actions need to be taken in order to reach each goal. By making small sub-goals you can make things manageable and stop you from feeling overwhelmed. Creating an action plan will make you feel proactive in control, and accomplished. BUT…

Don’t Get TOO Caught up On a Timeline

We face a lot of pressure to accomplish things in our lives within a certain time frame and when we miss that “deadline” we are left feeling like we have somehow failed. We need to make plans for the future in order to stay motivated and excited about our lives but it’s important not to get too focused on time. You may have decided that you want to be set in your career, own a home, and be married by the time you’re 30, but if you’re too rigid in that timeline you’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t work out that way. Or worse, you may make decisions that are consistent with the timeline but not necessarily consistent with what truly makes you happy in life. Draft a personal and reasonable timeline for the goals that you have but be flexible if you encounter bumps it the road. You don’t need to have your whole life figured out by the time you’re 30 (and in all honesty, you probably won’t). Things will happen as they are meant to happen.

Talk it Out

It’s common to feel alone during this transition phase of your life so make use of the connections you have to other people. Opening up to friends, family, or a mentor about your struggles and you may find they’ve experienced similar crises in their lives.  It’s okay to have doubts or be dissatisfied with this period of your life. But it’s important to figure out what isn’t working for you in order to make positive changes in your life. Sharing your problems with others may lead to a wealth of advice and support in a time where guidance can be paramount to success. If you’re feeling really lost, it may be helpful to speak to a therapist to help you establish what you want out of life.

Define Success in Your Own Terms

Many of us have come to equate success with status and money. Instead of letting that be the sole definer of success, think about all the ways you can measure your own success. Perhaps it’s the feedback you receive from peers and colleagues, the difference you make in the lives of others, or the fact that you live a well-balanced life. Your definition of success should be reflective of all of your values rather than just financial gains. Acknowledge all of your achievements, past and present, to remember you have a number of things to be proud of.

By: Catherine Kamel

counsellor, psychologist, psychotherapy

Four Meaningful Resolutions To Make For 2015

PurpleFireworks-6With the arrival of a new year, many of us find ourselves reflecting on 2014 and all that it had to offer – both good and bad.  Many times, we focus on our disappointments, rather than the highlights of the year, and resolve to be different starting January 1. The New Year offers us all the chance to start over with a fresh slate. Resolutions often focus on appearance and lifestyle with things like getting fit, eating better, and sleeping more which are of course valuable. However, this year I’d like to make the argument for resolutions that have to do more with being emotionally happy and healthy, and transforming into the best versions of ourselves.

Take Ownership of Your Own Life

Acknowledge that you and only you have the power to change your life, for better or for worse. In order to make positive changes we must first take responsibility over the choices we make and the experiences we have. With the freedom to choose what happens we also have the responsibility to make choices that will benefit us. This year, don’t be afraid to take risks and challenge yourself. Break out of complacent habits and dare to be different. If things don’t go as planned, acknowledge the setback and grow from it. Let go of the ideas of how your life “should” be and start to see the numerous possibilities that surround you. Remember – it’s your life and only you have the ability to change it, so pay close attention to the direction that you’re going.

Believe in Yourself and Your Worth

Let 2015 be the year you magnify your strengths and have faith in yourself.  Many of us struggle with low self-confidence and deep at our core we don’t always believe we are worth or deserving of the things we want, causing us to miss out on opportunities in relationships, careers, and personal endeavours. Practice humility by acknowledging your shortcomings, but rather than berating yourself do what you can to learn and grow from them. Accept that you aren’t perfect (nobody is!) but that your imperfections are what make you unique and special. You are deserving of all the things you want – so go out and get them!

Be Grateful

We live in a culture of abundance where more is often perceived as better. We focus a great deal on material goods and often feel like we are lacking and somehow insufficient. We complain about what we don’t have instead of paying attention to what we do. This year, practice more gratitude for the things that are going right in your life. I promise if you take the time to think about it there are many things to be grateful for!

Love

In 2014 the world saw a lot of tragedy and if there is one thing that’s clear it’s that the world needs more love and compassion. This year resolve to love yourself, your friends, and your family just a little bit more. Take the time to develop stronger relationships with the important people in your life and rid yourself of toxic relationships that are no longer serving you in positive ways.

Let 2015 be the year you commit to being the happiest and healthiest version of yourself!

By: Catherine Kamel

counsellor, psychologist, psychotherapy

 

 

How to Find Direction When You’re Unhappy at Work

Family, Counselling, Therapy, Couch, Talking, Step-parents

Most of us spend a significant portion of our days at work so it’s no surprise that a lot of people also find themselves dissatisfied, bored, or in the worst cases, miserable at work.  Of course, there are those who are fortunate to truly love what they do and enjoy every second of it.  While quitting and finding something new is the easiest way to deal with an unpleasant work situation, it’s also not always the most rational choice.

If you find yourself unhappy in the workplace and aren’t sure what to do – here are a few tips to help you better understand what it is that’s bothering you and how to cope with your discontent.

Determine Why you are Unhappy

First and foremost, it’s important to understand what about the job is hard to cope with.  Sometimes it is as clear as a difficult boss, long hours, or unchallenging work.  However, it becomes more complicated if it feels like perhaps you are in the wrong field.  Assess your values when it comes to work and whether or not they are being met in your current position. It’s also important to figure out whether aspects of the problem can be changed.  For example, if you are under or overworked, a simple conversation with your superior may be beneficial. Try to be proactive and take control of things that you have the power to change. If the field itself is feeling uncomfortable, it might be time to explore your other interests and strengths as they apply to work.

Assess Your Work Values

Often, we are unhappy when we are not acting in accordance to our values.  This is true of both our personal and our professional lives.  Clarifying your work values can help you to understand why you are unhappy at work and make better decisions regarding your future career path.  Work values can be both intrinsic, relating to the actual work you do and the meaning you derive from it, as well as extrinsic, which relates more to the rewards or recognition that may be associated with it. Some examples of values are: opportunity for autonomy, helping others, monetary gain, sense of achievement, collaboration, creativity, challenge, and so forth.  Take the time to assess your work values and prioritize them.  Determine which ones are being actualized and which are being neglected in order to better understand your unhappiness and make changes wherever possible.

Be Flexible and Realistic with your Expectations

Remind yourself that no job is permanent if you don’t want it to be.  The stage you’re at in your career may dictate the amount of flexibility you have in your position.  It’s important to keep an open mind if you’re able to see that the position you are in now may lead to better opportunities in the future. Take the time to assess the expectations you have when it comes to work, determine which ones are “deal-breakers”, and which ones you are willing to compromise for the sake of experience and strong connections.

Try to Find (and Maximize) the Positives

Identify the things about your job that you do enjoy and do whatever you can to increase the frequency of them.  Perhaps you like your coworkers.  If that’s the case, try your best to create opportunities to work with them more frequently or plan work-related activities. Or, maybe you’re gaining experience to build your resume and create strong networking connections. It is difficult to find the perfect job but try to focus on the aspects that you do like and it will be easier to get through the day. Remind yourself that whatever the position is, there is something to be gained even if it is only patience and tolerance!

Create a Rich Life Outside of Work

One way to buffer the negative effects of a workplace you aren’t particularly happy with is to create a rich and meaningful life outside of work.  Create balance between your work and personal lives whenever possible so that you aren’t consumed with the negativity of your position. Make time to nourish the different parts of yourself and don’t let a bad day at work taint your evening at home (and vice versa!)

Actively Job Hunt and Seek Professional Help if Necessary

Set job-searching goals for yourself.  Explore interests and possible careers paths that may be enticing and exciting to you.  It’s important to understand the job market and potential options before making any drastic changes.  A career counsellor can be extremely helpful in helping you to explore and understand your career preferences.

A Final Thought

A bad work position can be incredibly overwhelming.  It can be demoralizing and discouraging, but don’t give up! The best way to cope is to have a vision that extends beyond the work day. This means creating plans for your future and figuring out how your current position may help you get there.

 By: Catherine Kamel

counsellor, psychologist, psychotherapy

Why Technology Can Harm Your Relationships

164632_mWhy Technology May be Harmful to Relationships

Technology and social media are at the centre of the majority of our relationships and have certainly changed the way we communicate with one another.  We show interest by liking photos, keep people up to date with our daily activities through status updates and tweets, and do a large portion of our communication through texting, instant messages, and emails.  While I can’t deny the value of technology (and am probably more dependent on it than I care to admit), it can also negatively impact relationships and weaken personal connections. Here are a few of the common problems that suggest sometimes it may be better to have a good old fashioned phone call.

Technology Can Limit Our Authenticity

Many people think that communicating through texting or email is great because it allows us to be the best version of ourselves.  It’s easy to appear witty, charming, and intellectual when we have time to craft our messages and think about what it is we want to say. However, the problem is that we then lose the spontaneity of human interaction and our authentic selves. Face to face interaction can become challenging if we become used to the distance that can be created by technology.  This can be particularly harmful at the beginning of relationships.  Texting, for example, can be great for banter and flirting, but may also trick us into thinking that here is a real connection when in fact the chemistry is seriously lacking in person. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make the best impression on the people you interact with but you want to be able to maintain who you are from texting to talking in person. It’s important to present the real you rather than creating false impressions.

It can give the illusion of deeper connections

Many people have equated being in constant communication with a strong emotional connection.  In some cases this may be true, but in many others the quality of the interactions is surface level and mundane.  Texting frequently can certainly communicate interest in another person but may also be a symptom of boredom or attachment issues. As with most things in life it’s all about quality over quantity.

There is a lot of Room for Misinterpretation

Communication via text, instant message, or email can be great to get a quick message across but the lack of non-verbals and tone means that a lot can be left up to the interpretation of the receiver.  We all know that “Hi.” Can read differently than “Hi!” and seemingly small details like that often cause a lot of anxiety and insecurity to the person reading the message.  We are left to decode what is being said and often assign a tone or a meaning based on how we may be feeling which might not have been the intention of the other person. This creates room for conflict and hurt. If you find yourself constantly trying to decipher the messages from others, it may be helpful to simply pick up the phone and have a conversation.

Technology Creates the Expectation that we are Always Available

Cellphones and computers mean that the large majority of us are reachable all of the time.  This creates a lot of pressure to actually be reachable all of the time and the expectation that we should be. The problem with this is two-fold.  First of all, it is again breading grounds for insecurity and misinterpretation.  If we send a message to someone and the response is not instant or relatively speedy, we sometimes start to ask questions – Why is she ignoring me?  Did I do something wrong? Etc.  We can also become frustrated.  The second problem works in the opposite way.  If we are attached to our phones and texting friends and loved ones all day long there may come a point where there is nothing much else to say.  If my partner knows how all of my work meetings went, what I had for lunch, and the great workout I had, there won’t necessarily be a whole lot to talk about when we sit down for dinner.  Sometimes it can be better to spare some details throughout the day, in order to make for more fruitful in-person connections.

Technology Allows us to be Selective with What we Attend to

Just like we can be crafty with the way we respond to messages, we can also be selective with what we attend to.  It is a lot easier to ignore messages we don’t want to see or avoid confrontation when it’s coming at us digitally rather than in person.  While this can be helpful at personal level in the short term it can also create a lot of frustration and resentment within relationships.  Engaging in conflict or serious conversations via text or email can also feel safer given the perceived distance and illusion of anonymity but in reality it can create bigger problems while also devaluing a conversation that would be better served in person.

And the bottom line….

Technology has simplified our lives in ways we may have never thought possible.  It is neither inherently bad nor good, however, the ways in which we choose to use it can be.  It’s important to be mindful of the way we communicate with others and the impact it is having on your relationships.  So, if you find yourself spending too much time planning out messages or feel distant from others despite being in constant communication, it may be time to pick up the phone or plan some face-to-face interaction in order to build stronger, deeper connections with the people in your life.

By: Catherine Kamel

counsellor, psychologist, psychotherapy

The Key to Communication

Toronto Psychologist Healthy RelaitonshipsKeys to Effective Communication

Effective communication is the foundation of every successful relationship – whether our friendships, romantic relationships, or professional endeavours. Being able to properly communicate our thoughts and understand another person’s enables us to build strong connections, resolve differences, and work towards common goals. We often think that communication is as simple as: Person A says something to Person B, Person B understands and responds, to which Person A then understands and responds, and so forth.  However, this basic formula hinges on the assumption that what is being communicated is properly understood by the receiver of the information.  Life experience would tell us that this is not always the case and a lot of life’s little (and big!) problems can be traced back to miscommunication. Here are a few simple steps to help you improve your communication and better connect with the important people in your life.

Be Clear

It’s important that you know what you want to say and why you want to say it.  This is especially important for significant conversations.  Before you engage with someone clarify your intention and your message.  Do this by having an inner dialogue with yourself to clarify your points.  Avoid speaking in vague terms or obscuring your points with too many words.

Be Honest and Tactful

Sometimes we have the tendency to avoid discussing unpleasant topics or engaging in potentially uncomfortable conversations. We use euphemisms to deliver bad news and sugar-coat our criticisms.  It’s important to remember that there are tactful ways to present even the most unpleasant messages.  Remember that integrity is lost when honesty is lost, and ultimately we become hindered when our messages aren’t adequately delivered. So while your best friend may not need to know that her annoying habit drives you absolutely insane to the point you want to pull your hair out, she may benefit from knowing the impact this habit has on you, and possibly others, and how the relationship may be improved if it changed. You should be to be sensitive to the feelings of others without obscuring the truth of what you are trying to say.

Listen to the Words and the Music

This is one of the most important things to remember when it comes to communication.  It means to pay attention to the content of what a person sharing with you (i.e. the words) but also be aware of the context and the process (i.e. the music).  When we move beyond the content we can see that a lot of information about a message is conveyed through the timing, delivery, and emotion that is associated with it.  Tune into your own feelings throughout an interaction.  What you’re feeling is usually a good indicator of what the other person is trying to communicate. 

Pay Attention to Non-Verbal Cues

Non-verbal communication says a lot more than words often can.  Pay attention to body language, eye contact, and facial expressions.  Non-verbal cues typically happen outside of awareness which makes them the most reliable form of communication.  If someone is telling you they are doing just fine but are saying that at a distance from you, with arms crossed, and avoiding eye contact, chances are they aren’t fine.  Be aware of what your body language is communicating and be attuned to the body language of others to better gauge how they are feeling.

Avoid Defensiveness

Even if you don’t like what is being said to you try to respect differences of opinion and keep an open mind.  Hostility and defensiveness are the surest way to end effective communication and start a conflict.  Instead, try to validate other perspectives and share your own opinions respectfully.  This goes back to honesty and tact.  It is perfectly acceptable to disagree and stand by your own views, what’s important is the manner in which you do so.

Try Perspective-Taking

Every time we hear a message it is interpreted through a filter that is based on our personalities, past experiences, current emotional state, and relationship to the other person.  Consider how another person might interpret what you’re saying and the meaning they may be attaching to it.  Also be aware of how your own filter may be affecting your communications with others.

Last but certainly not least…..LISTEN!

Being an effective communicator is not only about what you say but also about how you listen.  Active listening shows that you care, are sincere, and helps build trust in any relationship.  Pay close attention to what is being said so you don’t miss the message.  Show interest through both verbal and non-verbal communication and give your full attention to the speaker.  This means avoiding interruptions and distractions whenever possible (i.e. putting your cellphone away unless it’s urgent!)

By: Catherine Kamel

counsellor, psychologist, psychotherapy

Why You Have To Forgive Yourself

keep-an-open-mind-101-happy-quotes-and-tipsSelf-Forgiveness

Mistakes.  Everyone makes them.  Some big, some small.  They lead us down various paths and there is always something to be learned from them.  Above all else there is one thing they all have in common, regardless of repercussions and regrets, and that is that they are (self) forgivable.

It is important to acknowledge our mistakes, reflect upon them, and learn from them in order to prevent them from happening again.  However, what often tends to happen is we get trapped in a vicious cycle of self-criticalness, judgment, and guilt.  While these feelings are sometimes the natural product of poor decisions and missteps, we tend to indulge them past the point of usefulness.   We punish ourselves over and over without considering the fact that we cannot change what has been done.  This self-punishment keeps us stuck in the past with our mistakes while preventing us from moving forward.  On the other hand, we have forgiveness.  The ability to forgive ourselves is quite possibly the hardest, yet most wonderful gift we can give to ourselves.  It sets us free and helps to move beyond our mistakes to a place where lessons can be learned and changes can be made.  Let me clarify by saying that self-forgiveness does not mean condoning mistakes we’ve made.  It is not justifying undesirable behaviors. And it’s not rationalizing away pain we may have caused.  Instead, it is acknowledging the basic fact that we are all human, we make mistakes, but they do not define us.  Self-forgiveness is about reflecting on our misdeeds, taking responsibility for them, and coming to peace with them.  How? Read on…

Reflect

Take the time to reflect upon whatever it is that you’re beating yourself up about. While it can be painful to be introspective, it’s important to be honest with ourselves and the choices we have made.  It’s only when we take the time to truly understand ourselves and what has happened that we can then learn and grow from our experiences.  Acknowledge your feelings and be open to them. Try to understand the context and history in which something happened and use this as information to better know who you are and how your choices came about.  When we reflect in this way we may uncover parts of ourselves that need healing and begin the growth process.

Take Responsibility

Avoid the temptation of making excuses for yourself. Do not try to justify or rationalize away what has happened.  This prevents us from truly healing and increases the likelihood that we will “re-offend”.  Instead, be honest with yourself. Take responsibility for your words or your actions and allow yourself to feel whatever comes up as a result.  It may not be easy but it will be worth it in the long run. Taking responsibility forces us to own every part of ourselves – the good, the bad, and the proverbial ugly – and when we stop disowning the parts of ourselves we don’t like, we can begin to be more self-accepting, self-loving, and self-forgiving.

Surround yourself with those that love and care about you

Having a solid support system is necessary through all of the trials and tribulations of life, but can be especially when you are struggling with feelings of self-blame and guilt.  Your friends, family, and loved ones know you best and will help you to remember that you are not defined solely by the mistakes you make.  This doesn’t mean that they will unequivocally accept everything you do – and they shouldn’t.  We need the important people in our lives to remind us of our good qualities but also to help us face the darkest parts of ourselves with honesty.

Try to make amends BUT don’t let self-forgiveness be dependent on somebody else

If you have somehow hurt or wronged another person, take action to make amends.  Extend sincere apologies where they are appropriate but understand that they may not be accepted.

When we hurt others, we often tell ourselves that we will move on and forgive ourselves once the other party has done the same.  The first issue with that is that it may take days, weeks, or years.  In fact, it may not ever happen.  The second is that if your own forgiveness is dependent on someone else, the capacity for growth is minimal.  You’ll skip the reflective process which is ultimately the most important. Respect that each person has their own process when it comes to forgiveness.  We cannot rush others or change their minds. Do what you can to make amends but don’t try force anything.  Respect their process and trust your own.

Find the silver lining

With every mistake we make there is the opportunity for something good to happen.  Sometimes it’s blatantly obvious and sometimes it’s hard to find.  When it happens to be less clear, remind yourself that at the very least there is always the opportunity to learn something new and that in and of itself is a good thing.  Take the opportunity to acknowledge what you have done to learn from this experience and how it has the potential to change you for the better.  Use these lessons to make better choices, foster stronger relationships, and be more self-loving in the future.

“Forgiveness is the experience of peace in the present moment.  Forgiveness does not change the past but it changes the present and the future” –  Frederic Luskin

By: Catherine Kamel

counsellor, psychologist, psychotherapy

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