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.

The Pros and Cons of Starting a Private Therapy Practice at Home


It may seem very convenient to start serving clients from the comfort of one’s home. This is a very interesting choice and may not be suitable for all of those looking to build a successful private therapy practice. Before going down this route, it may be important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of seeing clients from one’s home.

Advantages of Working from Home

A number of business professionals like the convenience of working from the same location in which they live. This can reduce commuting time and make it easier to serve more clients, potentially increase a business owner’s profits. Working from one location can reduce costs associated with maintaining both an owned office location and a private residence. It may be useful for those who are starting out in their practice to reduce their potential overhead by offering sessions from their home.

When it comes time to pay the IRS, there may be benefits to itemizing expenses and using deductions to reduce tax burden on a home business. Rent, mortgage deductions and utility costs may be reduced as a specific percentage may be applied toward business purposes. Those that require a single treatment room and work alone may find they do not need to incur the additional expenses associated with separate premises for a practice.  

In addition, it may make it easier to spend quality time at home with family. The time spent in commuting to an office can be used toward connecting with family and friends, as well as self-care. This is an important consideration for those who need to balance their home and work commitments, as well as to take care of one’s own needs.

Disadvantages of Having a Private Practice at Home

Many practitioners prefer working from a location that is not their home. They like the level of privacy with this option and the ability to keep work and family life separate. Many may find it difficult to separate their personal life from their work life and may get interrupted by friends and family during regular business hours. This may be viewed as unprofessional by clients and by fellow colleagues.

Working from home may make it easy to overwork. Individuals may spend more time tending to work commitments when they can take a few steps and be in their office. Working from a separate location creates a mental break between the practice and the home. Therapists have more pressure to work within the business hours listed with separate work and home locations.

Working from home can be socially and professionally isolating. Working within a larger practice makes it easier to connect with those in one’s field and may lead to additional referrals. Those that choose to operate their private practice from home may want to make a conscious effort to attend conferences and network with those in or connected with one’s area of expertise.

How to Successfully Work from Home

Toys scattered in a waiting area, smells of home cooking and interruptions from teens will not be helpful in attracting and maintaining a full caseload. In order to be viewed as a professional in the field, take steps to maintain a separate work space, waiting area and office area. Sometimes renovations might be needed in order to make clear separation of living and working spaces. Family and friends should know the behavior expected from them during business hours and what types of interruptions, if any, are permitted at such times. From answering machine messages to the general setup in an area, those working from home have to take additional steps to maintain the appearance of professionalism and connect with colleagues, staying abreast of the latest changes in their field.

Before looking to work from home, check into the zoning regulations on a property and whether or not in-person visits are permitted. Those who rent may have additional restrictions when it comes to using a residential property for business purposes.

Anthony Gilbert is the owner of The RealFX Group. Anthony specializes in real estate, real estate marketing, and home business startup strategy.

Mental Health and Your Skin: Tips for Emotionally Coping with Skin Conditions

One day when I was in my early 20’s,  I was getting ready for my summer job as a waitress when I noticed a small clump of red spots on my cheeks that looked like small blood vessels. I’d never noticed these spots before, and I was confused about what they were. After examining them, I covered them up with makeup which I hoped would prevent my coworkers from seeing them. The makeup worked for the first few days — but, to my mortification, these red spots began to spread over the next few months and eventually covered both sides of my face.

This was my very first experience of the chronic skin condition called rosacea, which is surprisingly common. Since then, I’ve worked with my dermatologist to find solutions right for me. It took a couple years to get it just right, but now my skin is clear! For me, the right solution was a combination of laser treatments and special products for sensitive skin.

The winter weather may be beautiful, but it can also bring on common skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and dry winter skin. In my years as a therapist I’ve seen firsthand the impact of healthy skin on a person’s confidence, relationships, and quality of life.

If your skin is acting up this winter, it can be uncomfortable to do simple things like leave the house and go to work! But skin conditions don’t just embarrass us and make us uncomfortable, they can also impact our mental health. In fact, a recent study by the Canadian Skin Patient Alliance showed that mood disorders are present in up to 30% of people with dermatological conditions.

Psoriasis in particular can have a crippling effect on a person’s mental health – since it’s a visual condition, it can affect people’s feelings, behaviour and experiences. It’s typically associated with a lack of self esteem, sexual dysfunction, anxiety and depression — up to 60% of people with psoriasis may develop depression.

I’ve worked with many clients who are dealing with psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea, and I understand the crippling effects that these skin disorders can have — even something as simple as dating can be awkward when you’re not sure how to talk about your skin condition.

So how can you feel comfortable inside and out? I have a few tips to develop confidence and feel in control of your skin this winter:

1. Empower Yourself: Skin conditions have the power to make us feel like victims. Especially because flare ups can be unpredictable, they leave us feeling like we’re not in control of the condition – but rather, that the skin condition is in control of us! Start the process of empowering yourself by making a commitment to getting help for your skin condition.

2. Talk to Your Doctor: A recent study showed that most people with psoriasis hadn’t visited their doctor in the last year, which means that they aren’t giving themselves the option to try new treatments as they become available. The treatment landscape for skin conditions is constantly changing, and so speaking to a health professional like a dermatologist can help you get educated.

3. Connect with Others: Psoriasis affects 2-3% of the world’s population, which is roughly one million Canadians. Why not tap into the collective wisdom of others? Visiting http://www.CanadianPsoriasis.ca can help you find support and know you’re not alone.

4. Learn: There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are numerous treatments and healthy lifestyle practices that can help, and these things are unique to each person. For my own skin condition of rosacea, I learned that my skin responded differently to different environmental and social factors, but the summer heat and sun would cause the biggest flare-ups. Part of my own journey was accepting that certain activities like hot yoga or outdoor sports would need to be replaced with other fun activities if I wanted to stop my skin from being constantly irritated. Learning what causes your own flare-ups can help you plan your own lifestyle in an empowering way!

By: Dr. Kimberly Moffit

The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Divorce Mediation

Divorce Mediation

Mediation is a low cost, private alternative to airing your dirty laundry all over the courthouse in a protracted divorce trial. Yet many people are resistant to mediation during a divorce.

Divorce Mediation Myths

We believe this is because of divorce mediation myths. Some myths are based on anecdote – when one person has a bad experience, they tend to tell everyone about it – repeatedly. And some of the bad wrap is borne by television shows with “interesting plot twists” that show the very worst of mediation practices. Some jurisdictions require mediation, which may also frame it in a bad light.

The absolute worst mediation advice we’ve ever heard is not to do it, or, in cases where the judge orders it, not to cooperate or participate with sincerity.

The Benefits of Mediation

Not all people understand divorce mediation is an opportunity for a neutral person to speak with both parties to determine what each party wants, what they need, and what they can live with. A mediator works to find common ground and settle the matter without litigation. Mediation, unlike litigation, is done in private, without a record of everything that is said by both parties.

Results with and without Mediation

Couples who engage in mediation often find common ground and resolve most, if not all of their issues, without litigation. They are in control and have a vested interest in the outcome. When mediation doesn’t resolve the issues, or the parties don’t participate in mediation, the couple must go to court. In court, the lawyers argue sides, take testimony, and write proposed findings. A judge makes a final decision about how property is divided, how retirement accounts are distributed, whether the family home is sold, and who has what parenting time with the children. It is unlikely the judge shares the couple’s level of interest in the process. Additionally, litigation is more costly to the parties, as both lawyers charge by the hour and litigation takes longer.

Consider the Benefits of Mediation

One of the benefits previously mentioned is that mediation is not on the record. Consider, whether you want your children reading the transcripts of their parents’ divorce, or whether you’d just like them to know you managed to work out the divorce together. Sometimes, one or both parties are angry, and seek to punish one another. There are other, more productive ways to relieve anger than litigation.

If You are Considering Divorce

Are you considering divorce? Do you want the process to go as smoothly as possible? Contact your divorce lawyer today at https://www.torontodivorcelaw.com/divorce-mediation.html

The First Time I Realized Something was Wrong (PTSD)

downloadI didn’t fully understand everything that went on during my childhood, until I moved out and started college. As a child, I thought that my parent’s yelling, fighting and the physical abuse was how every family was. I remember trying to talk to a counselor in high school about it, but I don’t think they took me seriously. The counselor probably thought that my stories were a bit exaggerated and didn’t want to believe that it could have happened.

It was only when I started college and was away from home for 4 years, that I realized something was wrong. My surroundings seemed too quiet, as there was no longer any fighting in the background. I found I had to sleep with a radio or a fan on to drown out the silence. Most people like silence, but for me the silence would make me have nightmares and they would be the same ones over and over again. I ended up sleeping with some kind of background noise for years afterwards.

After college, I moved back home and got a job in my field of study, which was good. But eventually, I found myself applying for more jobs. I ended up with 5 part time jobs just so I could fill up my time and avoid being at home. I found that things between my parents were very different, as they grew distant from each other. My dad would stay in his room for days at a time and when my parents did speak, it was brief and at times not very pleasant.

My father passed away in 2004 and shortly after I noticed things about myself changing. I was having nightmares again and I was blaming myself for his death. I was feeling like I didn’t help him enough with his Bipolar. It became hard to sleep and I would have flashbacks of certain incidents, which were easily triggered by things in my surrounding, such as seeing certain things on the television. I dealt with all this on my own for years after his death, since I found it difficult to talk to my family.

It wasn’t until about 3 years ago that I stopped having nightmares and stopped sleeping with the radio on. There are still certain scenes in a movie or a television show that I cannot watch because it brings me back to a bad place, but I no longer carry the guilt of my father’s death. I have also since repaired my relationship with my family and we now have a great relationship.

Although I haven’t been officially diagnosed, I’ve been told I live with the symptoms of PTSD and I’m not ashamed. The PTSD is a result of what I’ve seen and heard within my house. Over the years I have developed strategies for how to deal with certain things. I want to bring awareness to mental health issues and I want you to know that it’s okay to talk about your experiences. I found that writing and sharing my stories helps me and it reminds me that I am never alone.

By: Anita Levesque

Anita is a mental health advocate with lived experience through loved ones; father – bipolar; brother – PTSD, depression, anxiety; mother – PTSD; boyfriend – clinical depression, severe OCD, GAD, personality disorders. Her goal is to focus on personal experiences with mental illness.

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How to Deal with Bullying

Unfortunately, many of us have been or will be bullied at some point in your lives. This can take a serious toll on your mental health and self-esteem.

Bullying happens when a person abuses their position of power or authority, physical strength or position in life to hurt someone else, whether that is emotionally or physically. This is done due to a need to boost their ego for personal satisfaction or even to impress someone else. The truth is that a bully has personal issues that they refuse to deal with head on, so they use relieve their frustration by taking it out on others.

So what can you do to stop or avoid being bullied?

It all depends on your situation.

In most cases, the best thing to do is nothing. This shows the bully that you are not affected by their actions. Bullies thrive off of making you uncomfortable and putting you down. So showing that you are not affected by their antics actually makes them lose their interest because they also lose a sense of accomplishment. Most bullies are acting out to get attention, so if they are not getting a rise out of you, they are likely to move on and leave you alone. It is also important to have someone that you love and trust to talk to for support while all of this is going on.

In other cases, it may be necessary to have a parent, counselor, or teacher get involved. You will know that this is the right thing to do if the bullying has gone beyond the limits of your ability to cope with it on your own.

People often think that if you remove what makes you different and if you conform to the norms of society, that you will reduce the chances of being bullied. But we must realize that those things that make us different and unique are also what makes us special and can take us far in life. So go forward boldly and unapologetically because the world needs you just as you are, regardless of anyone else’s opinion.

Tips for Relieving Anger

kmaAnger. It’s an emotion we all feel, but often don’t know how to cope with effectively. We live within a culture where expression of anger can be taboo, and may times we aren’t taught how to constructively and healthily deal with it. Here are a few tips on how we can harness our anger.

Relax. Anger is a physical and mental state of arousal, so the best way to relieve it is to dissipate the feeling.  Find your happy place. I know it sounds cliché, but it works. You can do this by counting to ten or focusing on your breath. There is a wide range of self-help books that teach relaxation techniques.

You can also choose to find a hobby that relaxes you. Many people think exercise is a good way to release anger, but it all depends on how much. Since anger is partly an aroused physical state, exercise can increase this arousal, thus not alleviating it, but rather increasing it. However, if you exercise to the point of being tired, it can help because you have removed the state of arousal.

Change your perspective. Rather than getting mad at someone being late, give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe there was a delay on the transit, or an unexpected road closure. Instead of jumping into anger, try to look at things logically and rationally. Getting angry won’t make you feel any better about things, so try and re-evaluate the situation so that you’re not upset about it.

You can also alter the situation in order to avoid triggers. For example, if you find yourself constantly getting upset when grocery shopping, be it because of long lines or crowded isles, try going at a different time or on a different day. To some extent, we must be proactive about avoiding what makes us angry.

More to consider. A lot of us think that venting will help relieve our anger. But venting can often lead to the opposite effect. By spending excess amounts of time talking about the incident, you are reliving it and just reliving the anger. Think of it as adding fuel to the fire. It’s best to avoid ruminating about the event, and to accept and move on. This isn’t to say that you should bottle it up. Holding in your anger can be very unhealthy and has led to documented cases of heart disease. This is why it is so important to accept your anger and face it head on, rather than brushing it under the rug.

Let’s not forget that anger can be positive. It can motivate us to stand up for what we believe in; puts that fire in our bellies. But when it comes to the point that where we find ourselves being frequently perturbed, it may be time to try some of these tips or even see a therapist if you find that it is affecting your everyday life.

How to Get Back into the Dating World over 40

 I recently visited my friends at CTV Canada AM to talk about the (sometimes) daunting world of online dating if you’re going at it the second time around. Things have changed in the dating world over time, and let’s face it, dating is no longer as simple as waiting for the local church dance to find your date. We live in a global village, and now 67% of people over 45 have dated online. This means that two out of every three people over 45 are out there doing the same thing.

I have some thoughts about this: In my practice as a psychotherapist in Toronto, I’ve noticed that some people are more successful at dating than others (whether it’s over 45 or not!) Here are a few tips on how to find success.

1) Buddy up: Research shows that having a buddy in anything (going to the gym, eating healthy, etc) can increase your chances of being successful. Whether you’re setting up an online profile together, or going to singles events, having a friend who can keep you motivated (and provide a sympathetic ear if you don’t have a good date!) is a much more pleasant experience than going it alone.

2) Give it time. Many people think that they’re going to meet the love of their lives on their first online experience, or the first blind date. Yes, I’ve really seen clients who think this way. But the truth is, in order to increase your chances of finding a good match, you simply need to meet a lot of people. I mean a LOT. (At the local church dance, there would have been maybe one person who you felt physical chemistry with out the entire group. The same goes for dating today. If you’re meeting for the first time, don’t expect physical chemistry just because theoretically you should. Sometimes chemistry doesn’t always make sense, but it’s really important to listen to your inner self.

3) Set goals. If finding love is a priority for you, then set goals just like you would for anything else in your life. Don’t set outcome-related goals (ie: I want to be married by November), because you are only part of the equation here. Set goals for something that’s within your control, like going on at least 2 dates every month. That way, you are putting yourself in the right environment to eventually find love, and you can succeed at your goal whether the right person walks into your life or not.

Remember, above all else, enjoy the dating process. The whole purpose of finding love is for happiness, fulfillment, and joy – and the process should include some of that too! Enjoy!

 

The Positive Things People Don’t Tell You About Pregnancy – a Therapist’s Perspective

5 Positive Parts of Pregnancy

5 Positive Realities of Pregnancy

Before I was a mom-to-be, I heard many tales about pregnancy from mothers – some clients, some friends and family, that scared me from the idea of pregnancy altogether! Horror stories about the heartburn, nausea, stretch marks and gas, stories of agony re-telling how uncomfortable it was, and how I was just going to DIE at the pain of labour. I’ll admit, I was quite nervous entering into this journey knowing that I would have to face all these very difficult things.

My experience of being 7 months pregnant, has in fact, been very positive. I chalk that up to not just having a particularly pain-free experience, but also to my experiences as a psychotherapist in Toronto. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy helps us to see how negative cognitions can only bring us down, increase our fear, and reduce our effectiveness.

The most amazing part of my experience so far is that it has been beyond blissful. The relationship that is developed between a pregnant woman and her baby is just fascinating. Although she cannot see or hear the baby, a bond has already formed and protective instincts are in full force. She is learning to communicate with her baby by listening to the kicks, understanding the rhythm and duration of movements to distinguish kicks from hiccups, to shifting around, and getting a loud-and-clear message when the baby is uncomfortable with her body’s position. (Imagine someone kicking you in the ribs every time you laid on your stomach?!)

Yes, of course there has been nausea, heartburn, and all the wonderful other little joys of pregnancy, but it certainly hasn’t been enough to taint my positive experience. Just the thought of creating a miracle is enough to make you feel like a million dollars.

My hubby and I started Hypnobirthing classes this week, which have been very helpful so far. They provide you with books, materials and CDs to help the relaxation process during birth. I particularly enjoy the relaxation exercises and education that provide us with a form of support in the hospital experience.

My true belief in life is that most things are mind-over-matter. Conquering fear and pain is usually about how you perceive fear and pain in the first place. I’ve learned from my clients that if you don’t let it in, you’re in for a much more positive experience. Good luck to all my fellow mums-to-be – I’ll be seeing you soon!

Kimberly

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Why Online Dating is More Effective Than Ever Before

I was thrilled to chat with Kevin Frankish this morning at Breakfast Television to discuss a recent study by Match.com showing that 40% of Canadians have now dated online.

 

 1. It’s Faster. Meeting the perfect match takes time: you need to meet enough potential partners in order to know who ‘the one’ is when they come around. Thirty years ago you’d have to wait for the county dance to meet a potential date – and you’d be so hard-pressed to find another date that you may end up settling for the best match in your small town. But today (even more than 5 years ago), there are simply more people than ever online, including successful, professional, and hardworking people. One in five couples now meet online, and that stat continues to grow as more and more people sign up to try their luck out online.

2. People are Getting the Hang of It: With the evolution of Facebook and other social media sites we are getting a lot more experienced at using social media to communicate with the people in our lives. Online dating is the norm now, and people who have experienced it before know the rules: a) Meet in a neutral place like a coffee shop for a short time (couple hours max) b) Check out their profile but don’t engage in too much back-and-forth before the date, and c) Always have a great profile pictures (profiles with any picture receive 7x as many views).

3. Expectations are More in Touch with Reality: Now, online daters are understanding and accepting that for every good date there will be a few dates with whom there will be absolutely zero connection, and that’s okay. Accepting that we’re not going to meet ‘the one’ on the first date (or even within the first week of online dating) sets those online up for a better rate of success. Online dating is process, my best advice is to give yourself a good 6 months and make a commitment to go on at least one date per week during that time.

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