In this article, I discuss why one of the keys to success in therapy is more difficult to achieve in couples counselling. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I work with many clients in individual counselling as well as helping many people with their relationships in couples counselling. One of the keys to helping all these clients is for the clients and me to agree on what goals we should pursue in counselling. Reaching agreement on goals is typically easier to achieve in individual counselling compared with couples counselling...[more]
In this article, I discuss what features of the program couples should and should not model when discussing their issues. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I sometimes help clients by referring to material in the media such as television, radio, books, and the internet. A television show I often discuss when helping couples with constructive communication is the CNN program Crossfire. Crossfire was a political program which originally ran from 1988 until 2005 and then had a brief second run between 2013 and 2014. It featured discussions of issues...[more]
Look for the June 2019 edition of Reader’s Digest Canada. Dr. Pat was interviewed for the cover story, “Getting Angry, The Right Way; How to harness your rage and reap the rewards” by Lisa Bendall. In the article Lisa, does an excellent job outlining common issues and misconceptions around anger with practical advice on ways to deal with anger constructively.
In this article, I discuss the importance of finding a therapist whose approach is a good fit for you.In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often help clients using the theoretical approach known as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This form of therapy focuses on the client making changes in thinking and behaviour to facilitate improvement in mood and daily functioning.When I trained to become a psychologist, I chose CBT as the primary perspective to guide me in helping clients. Although CBT has substantial research supporting its effectiveness in helping people address many issues, the fact that several other perspectives also had research substantiating their value meant that this was not the primary factor leading me to choose it over the alternatives.The factor which made the difference in my selecting CBT over other perspectives was that its focus on practicing skills to change thoughts and behaviours fit my personality like a glove...[more]
In this article, I discuss why you should try not to rely exclusively on self-focused coping strategies to manage stress.In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, clients often ask for my help in managing stress. My plan to help them typically involves using two categories of strategies—(1) Problem-focused coping in which they take action to reduce or eliminate sources of stress like problems at work or school, relationship issues, and financial difficulties; and (2) Self-focused coping in which they use skills and activities to improve their emotional reaction to sources of stress...[more]