Category Archives: Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

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

Letting Go of Negative Emotions


Are you feeling upset with your best friend? Maybe you didn’t get the job promotion you had anticipated and are feeling angry? Emotions that cause us to feel badly about ourselves and others often create problems in many areas of our lives.

Although these emotions often cause us pain, within the right circumstances, they are completely normal. Negative emotions signify that you care about your wellbeing. You care enough about yourself to feel badly when you are wronged.

There is so much we can learn from in the moments when we feel sad. When negative emotions do arise, you may want to practice a few exercises. First, ask yourself if you are trying to suppress the negative emotion. When we try to dull negative emotions, we consequently stop ourselves from being able to fully feel positive emotions as well. Allow yourself to feel that emotion fully and completely. Try not to judge your negative emotion. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Perhaps you can ask yourself why you are feeling this emotion. This is a time to check in with yourself and see how you are really feeling. Often, our negative emotions are not as bad as we anticipate. Our negative emotions may lose their grip on us the second that we let go of trying to control them.

Emotions are like waves – you have the crest of the wave representing the rising emotion you may feel, the peak of the wave which signifies the most intense feelings experienced, and the fall of the wave as it returns to its beginning state. Similarly, our emotions rise up, and eventually fall away. This cycle in emotions is so natural and rhythmic, but we often feel that our emotional states are going to remain the same.

By allowing yourself to feel your emotions fully, both the good ones and the bad, you open yourself up to new positive emotions. You have the complete capacity to experience joy in minor daily tasks that can often go unrecognized or overlooked. Remember, to be kind to yourself and even treat your negative emotions with kindness. This may decrease the hold that they have over you.

How to Choose a Mental Health Professional in Toronto

How to choose from a Psychologist, Psychotherapist, and Psychiatrist

How to choose from a Psychologist, Psychotherapist, and Psychiatrist

Choosing a Mental Health Professional

Psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist…there is a lot of help out there, but how do you know the difference between these, and how do you choose the right mental health professional for you? 

When we’re experiencing distress or anxiety, it can be tough to understand what kind of help we need, how soon we can be treated, and how much it will cost. We’re here to help you understand exactly what each professional does and what the experience might be like for you.

A psychologist is someone that has a doctoral degree in psychology, and unlike a psychiatrist, a referral is not needed to see a psychologist (just like here at KMA Therapy). Psychological services by a registered psychologist is not covered by OHIP in Ontario, but can be covered by extended health insurance, benefits in the workplace, motor vehicle accident insurance, W.S.I.B. or other government sources. Both psychologists and psychiatrists assess and treat mental health issues and both have the capability to diagnose psychiatric conditions.

A psychologist is a great choice if you have one of the following issues:

-Depressive Feelings
-Marriage or relationship difficulties
-Stress or problems at work
-Family issues
-Abuse or trauma
-Obsessive or compulsive thoughts/behaviours
-Learning Disabilities
-Eating Disorders

A psychiatrist is someone that has a degree in medicine and has completed a residency in psychiatry and is able to prescribe medication. These services can be covered by OHIP in Ontario because an appointment and referral is typically arranged through a medical professional, such as your family doctor. A psychiatrist is a great choice if you need prescription medication or would like an emergency psychiatric assessment.

A psychotherapist generally has a minimum of Master’s level training and has training in many mental health issues and therapies. A psychotherapist is able to treat a wide range of issues, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, phobias, low self-esteem, family issues, and many other issues that you can find on our website at You don’t need a specific clinical issue to see a psychotherapist – it is therapeutic to talk about a wide range of things in your life, including how to make it better! Along with our couples counseling, our psychotherapy services here at KMA Therapy are usually covered under insurance plans under registered practitioners.

Here at KMA Therapy, we like to start off by having you in for a 30-minute intake session to determine and recommend the best mental health professional for you so that you can connect well with the therapist and achieve wonderful results. To book an intake session, you can visit our website and register online through our booking form, or you can reach our administrative team at 416-487-6288. We look forward to meeting you!

Getting Help for Learning Disabilities


KMA Psychologist Sarah Talebizadeh discusses Learning Disabilities

By Dr. Sarah Talebizadeh, CPsych, Psychologist.

Adopted by the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada (LDAO) January 30, 2002

A Learning Disability is defined as a disorder, which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information. Impairments in processes related to learning (language processing; phonological processing; visual spatial processing; processing speed; memory and attention; and executive functions) can interfere with learning in individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average intellectual abilities and learning potential.


Learning disabilities range in severity and may interfere with academic achievement in areas such as; oral language (e.g. listening, speaking, understanding); reading (e.g. decoding, phonetic knowledge, word recognition, comprehension); written language (e.g. spelling and written expression); and mathematics (e.g. computation, problem solving).  Learning Disabilities maybe suggested by chronic academic underachievement or academic achievement maintained only by unusually high levels of effort and support.  It is important to mention that individuals with Learning Disability can and do learn but just do it differently.  Learning Disabilities can be compensated through academic support and accommodations.  


The cause of Learning Disabilities remains unknown.  However, often learning disabilities run in the family or maybe acquired through illness or injury during or before birth of a child. They may also be caused by drug and alcohol use during pregnancy, low birth weight, lack of oxygen and premature or prolonged labor. Head injuries, nutritional deprivation and exposure to toxic substances (i.e. lead) can contribute to learning disabilities after birth.

According to LDAOC, 1 in 10 Canadians has a learning disability while approximately one third of people with LD also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is defined as a neurobiological disorder characterized by inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination.  Symptoms begin in a young age and for some people could continue into adulthood.

According to a recent research study called The mental health of Canadians with Self-Reported Learning Disabilities (Journal of Learning Disabilities, Vol. 42, No. 1, 24-40 (2009)), people with Learning Disabilities weremore than twice as likely to report high levels of distress,depression, anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts, visits tomental health professionals, and poorer overall mental healththan were persons without disabilities.   These psychological / emotional issues could arise because individuals with Learning Disabilities could face challenges in several areas of life, including education, employment, social interactions, daily routine and activities.  Despite these challenges, some individuals with Learning Disabilities can lead very successful lives.  

It is never too late to get help for Learning Disabilities.  Understanding your unique cognitive profile, learning challenges and strength can help you in school as well as work and lead to a higher quality of life.  For individuals who have not been formally tested or diagnosed, the first step is to pursue a proper assessment by a qualified professional.   

Dr. Sarah Talebizadeh, Psy.D. C.Psych.


7 Signs And Symptoms Of Depression You Should Be Aware Of


What are the signs and symptoms of depression? Depression Counselling Toronto

What are the signs and symptoms of depression? Depression Counselling Toronto

What is Depression? (first of all)

Depression is the leading cause of disability around the world.

Depression is a very serious mental illness that can actually be very dangerous if left untreated. In Canada, 1/10 people will experience a major depressive disorder  during their lifetime.

At KMA Therapy Toronto, a large percentage of our clients are receiving therapy treatment for depression.Therapy treatment for depression is usually long-term, and often is in the form of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for depression is intensive, structured, and solution focused work that allows us to isolate our negative and destructive thought patterns and set ourselves up for success.

If you have depression, it is strongly recommended for you to receive a psychological assessment and treatment. Our best advice is: don’t feel embarrassed or scared about how others may think of you because depression can cause a lot more harm than those emotions.

The 7 Signs and Symptoms of Depression you should be aware of are:
1. Feeling sad or down throughout the day
2. Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you loved
3. Feeling worthless or guilty
4. Trouble with making decisions and concentrating
5. Feeling irritable and having a lack of energy
6. Sleeping too much or too little
7. Change of weight or appetite

There are four types of depression:

1. Major Depressive Disorder: This is the most well-known type of depression (but not necessarily the most common). Major Depressive Disorder is minimum of two weeks where you feel depressed and have no ambition to achieve in your life. This type of depression is combined by emotional, social, professional and other important areas of your life. Managing Major Depressive Disorder is very important so recovery can happen for you.

2. Seasonal Depression: This is known as the Seasonal Affective Disorder and it usually occurs when there is a loss of daylight. In Canada, Seasonal Depression happens in the winter. S.A.D affects 3-5 people in every 100 adults. Seasonal Depression usually starts to arrive in the fall and wear off when spring arrives. Spring is known to be the season of growth, renewal and happiness.

3. Postpartum Depression: This is known to occur after women have given birth. Postpartum Depression happens because of the hormone levels changing and shifting rapidly causing the mother of the new child to be depressed.

4. Bereavement: People grieve when they lost someone. Although it is hard to grieve, it is normal to cry and be upset. Every person is different therefore the amount a person grieves may differ. Some may grieve for weeks while others grieve for years. When there is a loss in the family, friend or loved one, depression can be triggered, however grief is not known to lead to depression.

At KMA Therapy we provide:
Depression Counselling
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Depression Therapy
Depression Management Counselling

Call 416-487-6288 if you feel like you have depression and you would like to come into KMA Therapy and receive treatment. You may also go to and register online!

What Types of Issues Are Treated By Cognitive-Behavourial Therapy Techniques?

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy in Toronto

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy in Toronto

In today’s world of psychotherapy and psychology techniques, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is a popular and sometimes “overused” term. Since CBT is one of our specialties here at KMA Therapy, and we sure love evidence-based treatment modalities, we wanted to share some information on conditions that can be treated with Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy.

First of all, you might be wondering what is Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy?

CBT is a form of therapy that is proven to increase happiness, contentment overall, motivation, and decrease a person’s amount of stress and anxiety. It’s based on the assertion that we have control over your feelings, actions that are driven by the thoughts that occur on a daily basis. Most of us function on ‘dysfunctional’ understandings (you’ll find out what yours are in your sessions!) which holds us back from what we really want and want to achieve. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy is really quite different from psychotherapy or counselling because the sessions are action-based, ie: we work together, sometimes side-by-side, to complete activities, challenges, and work. It is challenging, but it’s also a lot of fun and very collaborative. During many of the sessions for CBT with your therapist, you will be doing engaging in eye-opening exercises and you will complete assigned homework until your next session. In order to have a successful CBT session, you have to be able to do your homework, show your commitment and you will be able to make significant changes in your life.

What are the benefits of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy and what are the types of issues that are treated by Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy Techniques?

CBT offers a wide range of treatments for a wide variety of symptoms/issues (which is backed up by a LOT of research!) By the end of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, we aim to have you to understand the negative mechanical thoughts that form our belief systems. You will be able to identity peoples, situations and events in your life that has enabled the negative beliefs that you possess. Lastly, you will be able to challenge these negative beliefs that hold you back and to develop new, functional understandings and provide awareness and tools to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is proven to be effective for the following:

– More healthy relationships
– More fulfilling relationships
– confidence in your career
– anxiety
– depression
– Hself-esteem in dating
– Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Exposure and Response Prevention and Cognitive Therapy)
– Marriage Issues
– Addiction Problems
– Bereavement Issues
– Stress Issues
– Anger Issues
– Eating-Disorders
– Divorce
– Weight Issues

Other important things you should know before starting Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy are:
1. Time and effort will make CBT successful, it is not a fast fix. Your therapist(s) will guide and encourage you but they can’t do it for you!
2. Anxiety is an issue that needs to be confronted head on. It might make you feel more anxious for a short period that you may feel overwhelmed however, that is part of the process of getting better.
3. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is most successful and effective when you are willing to be hard-working, committed and wholehearted during the whole duration of your sessions. Regularly sessions are key to Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy.

At KMA Therapy, we provide Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy with almost all of our clients. You will begin with a 30 minute intake session with Kimberly, the owner of KMA Therapy, or one of the other consultation counsellors.

If you feel C.B.T. is for you or you’re dealing with any of the issues listed above, go to a professional for help. We provide Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy at KMA Therapy so if you would like to come in for an appointment call 416-487-6288 or register online at

A Psychological Assessment Can Determine The Right Treatment For Your Needs

Psychological Assessments in Toronto

Psychological Assessments in Toronto

The term “Psychological Assessment” often gets thrown around. Today, we at KMA are going to demystify what a psychological assessment actually is, and help you determine if it’s the right next step for you.

First off, what exactly is a psychologist assessment?

A psychological assessment is a full and sometimes lengthy evaluation which is designed to understand the full extent and root to your problem(s).  Often times, a psychological evaluation or assessment will result in a DSM-IV diagnosis. It’s important to ask the psychologist if this is something you think is important. Your psychologist may also conduct psychometric tests which are designed to help you understand the severity of your symptoms and issues. This will provide insight into deciding the best course of action, treatment plan, objectives and goals that will fit you the best.

Psychological assessment is similar to psychological testing, however, an assessmentis more of a comprehensive evaluation. Psychological testing and evaluation is a series of actions that involves the integration of information from multiple sources, for example:

– Normal and abnormal personality
– Tests of ability or intelligence
– Tests of interests or attitudes
– Personal interviews

Collateral information is also accumulated about personal, occupational or media history through records or from interviews with people that you are close to such as:

– Parents
– Spouses
– Teachers
– Prior Therapists
– Prior Physicians

One of the major benefits of having a psychological assessment, is that can determine the right course of action, ie: treatment for your needs because the psychologist will understand the extent to your issue/problem which will help determine the root problem. Another reason why psychological assessment can determine the right treatment for your needs are because the psychologist will get a better understanding of you, through information from people who know you and through evaluations that will be collected after you have done the evaluations.

At KMA Therapy we have several psychologists who conduct Psychological Assessments.

If you think that you would like to get an psychological assessment through testing and evaluations at KMA Therapy please call 416-487-6288 or register at

How To Use Fun Psychological Tools To Your Advantage!


Psychological Services Toronto

Psychological Services Toronto

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to get what they want in any situation? They seem to be given more opportunities by others, stay more memorable in others’ eyes, and are even given more chances to succeed. I’ve spent my life studying psychology, and have learned that this is no coincidence! There’s something these people are doing that fives them the advantage – and I’m going to give you a head start!

1.The Loyal Friend Effect – Put a picture of a cute dog by your desk at work. Studies prove that people who are associated with canines are perceived to be more loyal and trustworthy. But remember: limit it to one picture – too many pictures of furry friends will lead to the perception that you are a less professional worker.

2.The “Clean Up” Effect – The scent of cleaning products is proven to make people clean more. If your kids, spouse, or roommate aren’t helping out around the house, spray some Lysol and watch them spring into action.

3. The Ziegarnik Effect – People are more likely to remember stories and situations that are unresolved. For example, waiters and waitresses tend to remember orders better if they are unpaid. At your next social gathering, don’t tell your whole life story: leave some key details out that leave people wanting more! You’ll know that you’ve stayed on their mind when at the next event, they immediately seek you out to resume your conversation.

4.Door in the Face Effect – If there’s something you want, it’s best to ask for something even bigger and more elaborate before asking for what you really want. What you want will seem small in comparison, and you’ll more likely get a yes. For example, if you want your parents-in-law to take the kids for one night, start by asking for the full weekend – you’re much more likely to get a ‘yes’ for the night you’re looking for.

5. The Mirror Effect – If you want someone to like you, always mirror their actions and mannerisms. For example, if they speak in a soft voice, do the same. If they giggle, do the same. Even if you don’t think the conversation is going well, the other person will think it’s going very well. In addition, asking lots of questions and practicing the art of listening is proven to improve the other’s perception of you!

Good luck!