Tag Archives: CBT

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

 

Are You A Self-Critic?

ed446e42bdd3a9a2c904c7b8c0239b09Self-criticism is a nasty habit many of us have. When something in our work, school, or personal life goes wrong, many of us jump to self-criticism as a coping strategy. You might not even be aware that you’re doing it! To keep our self-critical voice going strong, we tend to have “positive beliefs” about self-criticism and why we need it. For example, you might believe that being hard on yourself is motivating. The truth is that self-criticism is not motivating or beneficial. It is however, good at lowering our self-esteem, and bringing up other negative emotions. If you identify as a self-critic and want to start changing your self-critical voice, here are some steps you can take:

 1. Learn What Your Critic Sounds Like

Pay attention to what your internal voice says next time you make a mistake, or something upsetting happens. Some people’s internal self-critic says “I’m so stupid, I can never get things right”. Other people have a case of the “shoulds”: “I should have known better, I should have picked up on that.” Identifying and becoming aware of your self-critical narrative is the first step to changing it.

 2. Notice What Triggers Your Critic

Some people will have a self-critical response for many situations, while other people are triggered particularly by one aspect of life. Which situations awaken your self-critical voice?

 3. Identify Your Positive Beliefs

Do you believe self-criticism is motivating? Maybe you believe a self-critical voice keeps you modest. Perhaps your belief is that your self-critic keeps you in control. Whatever your positive belief is, identifying your belief is crucial before challenging and changing it. A therapist is a good tool for this step!

 4. Develop a Compassionate Voice

The antidote to a self-critical voice is a self-compassionate voice. Try to think of something you could say to yourself other than “I should have …” or “that was so stupid.” To help you brainstorm, imagine what you would say to a child, or to someone you really love. Your voice would probably change to one of comfort and warmth; it might become lower and more soothing. You might say things like “it’s okay, everyone makes a mistake sometimes” or “you couldn’t have predicted that, you did the best you could”.

 5. Practice & Patience

Have patience with yourself while you tackle self-criticism. There is an irony to changing self-criticism: you can become self-critical of your progress against your self-critic! Remember that you won’t be able to silence your self-critical voice overnight, and that’s okay! It takes a long time to notice and change patterns like self-criticism, but the journey and work is worth it for your self-worth and happiness. If you struggle with self-criticism, a therapist is a great resource for working through these steps and helping you to develop a compassionate voice.

 

By: Beth Moore, M.Ed, CCC.

Beth Moore Counselling & Psychotherapy

Tips From A Counsellor: How To Cope With Stress The Right Way

How to Cope with Stress Effectively - KMA Therapy Toronto

How to Cope with Stress Effectively – KMA Therapy Toronto

Stress inevitably affects us all, from workplace related issues to the challenges we face in our lives at home. But of course, we all cope with with stress levels differently.

Some of us may be faced with small amounts of stress each day which can sometimes even be motivating! In good quantities, stress can help us do our best. But when there’s too much, stress can cause damage in our every day lives. If you are having loads of stress that you can’t handle on your own, it might be time to talk to someone to avoid symptoms of stress such as anxiety, depression, confusion, and low-motivation. It’s important for all of us to learn how to cope with stress in a productive way so that we can still enjoy our lives and be happy.

Small factors that actually have a large impact on stress are:

1. Daily food intake: Are you eating healthy?
2. Exercise: Are you getting enough regular exercise to relieve stress?
3. Calm Surroundings: Is your environment peaceful or toxic?
4. Sleep: Are you getting enough?
5. Clean Environment: Is your environment organized and safe?
6. Healthy Relationships: Are your relationships healthy or toxic?

Asking yourself these questions is a good first step in overcoming stress. In addition to their affect on your mental health, good relationships also provide an outlet for you to offload stress – by spending quality time with friends and family and sometimes even letting them in on the problems you’re facing at home or at work.

If you’ve tried all six of these tips and you’re still not finding stress-relief, it’s time to make some serious life changes. Certain life situations can drive us to feel stressed out no matter how much self-care we give ourselves. Think about if you’re ready to make these changes. A great counsellor can help provide you with options (and sometimes challenge you to think outside the box!) in order to help change your current life situation.

At KMA Therapy, we provide:
– Stress Management Counselling
– Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
– Stress Management Therapy

If you would like to come into KMA Therapy to cope with stress and learn ways to have lasting change, call 416-487-6288 or register online.

How Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Works at KMA Therapy Toronto

CBT in Toronto - How does it actually work?

CBT in Toronto – How does it actually work?

Have you Ever Wondered What is CBT (Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy) and How it Works?

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most evidence-based form of therapy to date. Research has shown a breadth and depth of benefits for both long and short term CBT for clients facing a number of issues – depression, anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and even motivational and career issues.

To help clarify what CBT is, we at KMA Therapy are going to use a cognitive-behavioral technique called “Schema Therapy” to help us identify these for you.

Remember your answer for Question #2 of the last blog post? Your answer underlined what challenging situations/patterns might hold you back in achieving your 5-year vision. This now becomes your target ‘goal’ for growth.
Examples of your most difficult or challenging situations you want to master as ‘goals’ include:

-Being faced with confrontation
-Interacting with the opposite sex
-Asking for something that you want
-Dealing with difficult family members

What is your goal? Identify one and write it down. Now, write it at the top of your page, with the following:

Situation: Saying ‘no’
Feelings:
Cognitions:
Behaviour:
Now, fill in the categories of cognitions, feelings and behaviour as follows: Feelings: Identify the actual feelings (such as fear, doubt, worry, guilt, etc) that come over you when you’re in this situation. Cognitions: What comes to mind when you feel these feelings? Finish this sentence: If I _____, then ________.

Behaviour: How do the feelings and cognitions impact your behaviour in this situation? Does it become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

A good final schema will look like this:

Situation: Saying ‘no’
Feelings: Guilt, Remorse, Sadness
Cognitions: If I say no to something, others will think I’m selfish
If I say no to somebody, they might think I’m mean -If I continue saying no, I will end up alone. -If I have no friends, I will be lonely, isolated, and miserable
Behaviour: -Saying yes to everything (even things you don’t want) -Encourages more asking from family and friends (they know you’ll say yes)

Take a good look at your chart. If you have a lot of cognitions (especially ones that seem anxiety-provoking) no wonder this part of your life feels ‘stuck’! Internalizing this is the first step towards making positive change.

Stay tuned for the next steps at turning your dysfunctional cognitions into functional, healthy behaviours and thoughts!