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. […]
January 21, 2019

The Struggle with Family

Most of us show up in therapy because of complicated and painful family relationships. Sometimes it’s about our family of origin – the one where I was a child, and sometimes it’s about the families we have created where I’m the partner and/or parent. Family relationships are tough. Those of us that have grown up with dysfunction – addiction, violence, divorce, mental illness – have had to figure out how to tease apart what is healthy and what isn’t when it comes to relationships. A common problem I often see is “wanting to help” – our alcoholic parent, our mentally ill child. We want to end their suffering. We want to stop feeling “held hostage” by their misery. We want […]
September 12, 2017

A question of intent ..

Intent… intent can be understood as the motive, not necessarily conscious, behind our behaviour and communication. Often times in challenging relationships there appears to be a tendency towards ascribing intent which may not necessarily exist. A common enough complaint in relationship is that our loved one is ignoring us. It is sometimes easier to believe that than to come to an understanding that we were never thought of in the first place. In order for the intent of ignoring me to be there, my partner needs to be thinking of me, and dismissing me to some extent.  In order for me to be ignored, someone has to be doing the ignoring… that’s a conscious act. Rather than consider you and your needs, […]