October 14, 2021

This is for all the lonely people…

I think it’s fair to say that social media is making a wreck of how we understand ourselves socially. Many now use Instagram, Snap Chat, Tik Tok and what have you, to gauge whether they are living “right” or “like everyone else”.  I remember pre-internet (yes, I’m that old) – when we would compare ourselves to just those people around us. While that is not great either, at least it was in doses that didn’t overwhelm and numb. The “media” of the day was not as insidious, not as damaging to our self-esteem. One of the many messages we get from social media today is that you are supposed to be surrounded by friends. You are supposed to be part […]
April 13, 2021

The Other Light..

Hi there, I hope this finds you well and with your resilience intact.  This is another pandemic blog post, maybe a personal one. The act of sharing has always made me feel a part of something bigger and I kind of need that right now. I also hope it might resonate and be of some help. So I got vaccinated. Personally – this was a huge relief and an emotional roller coaster. I am one of these people that has been extra careful, quite vigilant, and not travelled to see family. So getting a vaccine that will let me do that was and is a big deal to me. And it felt like a real light at the end of the […]
April 1, 2021

Feel the feels

The session starts:  Hi there how have you been?  Well, I’m really frustrated. I have done all this work in therapy and the other day, I woke up blue. It stuck with me all day and I couldn't shake it.  Oh that’s too bad. Are you still blue? No, it only lasted a day - but still. It makes me feel like I’m failing at what I learned in therapy. Oh. So there’s no room to have an off day? Is feeling sad or lonely no longer part of the human condition? Hmm .. I never thought of it that way.  Sometimes it seems, we lose sight of how things are “supposed to feel”. It is important to understand that […]
March 18, 2021

What comedy can teach us – Part Two

So how does/do narcissism or narcissistic systems create this inability to feel good about ourselves? One theory posits that the healthy emotional development of children hinges on parent-child eye contact known as the “gaze” (often the mothers’ but not necessarily only). When our parents encourage, praise, love, and look at us the experience gives us substance. It lets us know we are “something” in the world. It’s an important building block for positive feelings about self, our inner emotional structure, the “shelves” that Neal Brennan (3 Mics, 2017) talked about. Growing up in toxic, dysfunctional systems children are often denied this gaze. Narcissistic parents by definition are not able to access that part of themselves from which they give – […]
March 14, 2021

What we can learn from comedy

Neal Brennan 3 Mics 2017 (Netflix. https://www.netflix.com/watch/80117452?) is a Netflix comedy special (which I get it, I’m late in coming to!) divided into three parts – one liners, stand up comedy, and “emotional stuff”. In the “emotional stuff” segments, Brennan tells his story with brutal honesty. He shares with us his life long struggle with depression and the challenges of having had a violent, alcoholic, narcissistic father.  There was so much wisdom in what he shared about depression – and depression as a consequence of a narcissistic parent, that I had to explore and share. I have been privy to so many similar stories, my own included – and I just felt how he talked about it gave a new […]
October 27, 2020

Winter is coming ….

Hello out there. How are you doing? How are you holding up? I think it’s time for a communal check in. What’s working for you? What isn’t? Who are you staying in touch with? Who can you see? What are you looking forward to? (Oh yes, there is stuff to look forward to!) How have you been taking care of yourself? Your loved ones? How have you been nurturing the relationships that are important to you that you haven’t been able to be in physical contact with?  What a lot of questions eh?  It’s no secret that times being what they are, we are going to have to dig a little to rise to the challenge of staying ok in […]
September 1, 2020

Holding Two Truths

I can’t tell you how many times in the course of my work I have said to a client “and what would the middle ground be?” Many of us seem to live at one or the other end of a continuum. Equally, I think the human brain has a tendency to hold only one truth at a time. The current pandemic is a good example. The pandemic asks us to hold two truths: there is hope and there is despair. When we find ourselves in a moment of despair (I think that’s what the “pandemic depression” is all about – I made that up, but still) we go down a rabbit hole of despair and feel trapped. Our thoughts and […]
August 24, 2020

In The Moment

Hi there. So yeah, I’ve been MIA here on the blog. It’s probably a good time to let you know I’m a human being that suffers too. I have found this pandemic a tough curve ball to deal with. And still do. Like many, my work life has had to change. Everything is now done remotely. I have in fact given up my office – as I can not see myself doing this comfortably in the small, cozy, little office I had. That we (my clients and I) were snug and comfortable together, was part of the work. However, there’s no real ventilation, there’s certainly not six feet between myself and anyone unless I sit in the closet, and I […]
April 21, 2020

Functioning in a Pandemic

Hi there. How you holding up? So here we are … according to my math we are in week six of our “lockdown”, surreal new life, social distancing, pandemic…. What is this anyway?  Like all of us, me too, I go a bit stir crazy from time to time. I have woken up with anxiety. I have found myself weeping at the new reality, grieving the collective loss, collective change, the loss of a way of being in the world…  because what keeps coming back to me in some message or another is that nothing will ever go back to how it was.  I count myself among the fortunate, privileged, really lucky, that I am not really suffering that much. […]
April 1, 2020

Coping with COVID : Some great resources

Hi everyone. What a time we are in!!! If you’re like me, or anyone around these days, there are moments you might be finding yourself struggling with the anxiety of what is happening globally. Fear of illness, the loneliness of isolation and physical distancing, being in the world with something we have never experienced before… it can and does take a toll. So I decided to arm myself with good information – and a way to find moments of peace throughout the day. The first resource I’m going to share is a course on COURSERA. It’s free. It’s informative. The Guided Relaxation exercise is a balm. We have to be mindful and LEARN how to relax. So we can summon […]
March 16, 2020

COVID-19 and All of Us

Boy the world is sure in a pickle at the moment. Hi there. I want to share a bit of info about how to help ourselves in this time of anxiety, panic for some, isolation for many … I’m no exception to the worry. I find myself waking up at least once a night with gnawing anxiety in my stomach. Can I just be clear .. I haaaaaaatttteeee that feeling. Yet here I am. So what to do? Well here are two things that absolutely help, have helped, continue to help, me tremendously. First off, get outside. I walk a lot. I’m very fortunate to live close to Mont Royal. Walking in the woods calms me down almost immediately. The […]
February 6, 2020

Inner peace? Equanimity? Yes please.

One of my challenges in my personal life is dealing with reactivity. Over the last many months I have been using an app called Calm, because I believe learning to meditate and making it a daily practice will help me with this challenge. In fact, one of the series is by a guy named Jeff Warren who is all about something called Equanimity – in other words, being non-reactive.  I have to tell you .. I’m frustrated (the irony!). I’m frustrated because equanimity does not come easy for me. I can be impatient, intolerant even, in my personal relationships. I react too quickly, I take offence… and I don’t like who I am when I am like that. I want […]
January 22, 2020

Losing Your Self

A universal theme that comes up in the practice is the idea of “losing yourself” in a relationship. What exactly does that mean – losing yourself? At the core, you begin to give up parts of your self, little by little, until you become, usually, the version of what you think your partner wants. It’s about you not letting the world see you. It’s about how we mitigate our anticipated rejection by turning ourselves into what we think is the other person’s version of us.  Some simple examples include (but are definitely not limited to): If you prefer tea but your partner likes coffee, and all of a sudden you start switching from tea to coffee (because you think you are […]
December 3, 2019

Imposter Syndrome …

I’ve been giving “Imposter Syndrome” more thought lately (on the heels of this post ). The TedX channel has a nice talk by Lou Solomon that really goes into the essence of it. Have a look, you may find it informative. In a nutshell, Solomon describes the impact of the lies and the limiting beliefs, that are created in childhood and throughout, that isolate us. These lies and beliefs support a negative self talk that diminishes us, in our own eyes. We stay small, we don’t shine, we stay afraid. The paradox is that we live in a competitive world, and some of us compete and win. Yet because of those limiting beliefs we attribute the win to a fluke, luck, […]
November 26, 2019


How do you help someone who presents with loneliness as their “therapy” issue? Loneliness is crippling. The human soul being what it is, needs connection – like a plant needs air, light and water. Plants don’t thrive when any of these are not present and in a similar fashion, a human soul does not thrive without contact.  As a good therapist, you sit and listen, you validate that yes indeed, this is a difficult passage – but what should someone do?  My goal is to help you find the tools to overcome what you’re struggling with, develop the skills you need to make the connections you need to help you thrive.  Sounds easy doesn’t it? I know it’s not. Loneliness, […]
November 13, 2019

Couple Life at 30 :)

It comes as a surprise, mostly to me, that I will soon be celebrating my 30 year anniversary with my husband. While we’ve only been married for five, the story of “us” started long before. 30 years! I hardly feel old enough to say that I’ve spent that much time doing any one thing – let alone be in a committed relationship for that long. But here I am.  So what are the things one needs to know to have a “successful” relationship? And I qualify my relationship as “successful” because, well, I still want to be here. I still think it’s worth working for. I still enjoy being with my husband.  I think the most important thing to know […]
October 21, 2019

When work imitates life

Hello dear reader. I have been struggling with writing for the last little while, it’s been a bit of a tough year. As many of you know, I underwent a major renovation in my home this spring and summer. It’s not nothing; and while I very much acknowledge the privilege of being able to undertake such a thing, the whole process beat the hell out of me.  Now that it’s all said and done I find myself struggling to own it, to inhabit it (and to recover from it, but that’s for another blog!). I recently had a session with a client who has been with me since I started my practice. I know her. She’s grown up and out […]
June 26, 2019

Shame and Forgiveness

I recently had the occasion to contemplate forgiveness. I bumped into the complexity of it while struggling with an old issue between me and my adult son. Curiously at the same time, a deep, old shame of my own kept floating to the surface. I found it odd that this 30-year-old memory would come to haunt me at this time in my life. Thinking about it, and wondering about the significance of the shame memory, it occurred to me like all the highway lights blinking into view one at a time, the dots connected and there it was – my inability to forgive myself. If I can’t forgive myself how can I extend that type of compassion to another? If […]
May 28, 2019

Our Parents’ Stories

There comes a time in everyone’s development (hopefully, and sadly) when the idealistic and childlike perspective of who our parents are changes, somewhat dramatically. As children, we think our parents are heroes. We think they are invincible. Well we need to don’t we? In order to survive in the jungle we need to believe that our parents are strong and capable of protecting us from the lions and snakes and tigers. Some of us though, don’t have strong and invincible parents and I think on some level we as children figure that out. Enter anxiety … because of course you will feel anxious if you are no match for a lion or tiger, and you have no one protecting you. […]
April 30, 2019

Two feet at a time…

A few years ago my husband and I went on a trip to Cape Breton where we cycled the Cabot Trail. If you don’t know, the Cabot Trail is just a wee bit challenging. On the going down side of things, with traffic driving beside you, you smell the strong scent of car brakes overheating for those who don’t down shift. On a bike you feel like an ant, flying down this huge mountain, while the scenery distracts and boggles the mind. But first there’s getting up that hill! You’re in first gear all the way, positive that you are actually going backwards rather than forwards. What a mountain that was to climb!! Our guide warned us ahead of time […]