In this article, I discuss how to manage your stress and anger behind the wheel. As someone who drives to and from work several days a week, I have experienced many challenges in managing stress and anger. Dealing with gridlock when you need to be somewhere by a certain time, encountering drivers who behave in an inconsiderate manner and experiencing car problems are just some of the events which can tax a person’s ability to manage their stress and anger behind the wheel. Being subjected to these events each day can wear on a person to the point of burnout. Fortunately, there are strategies to manage one’s emotions which can be applied to driving challenges including those I’ve mentioned...[more]
In this article, I discuss how to cope with uncertainty about the future of your relationships. I once had a session with a couple in relationship counselling in which the focus was the negative impact of one partner’s individual issues on the relationship. The issue was one that the partner had been dealing with throughout her life. Not surprisingly, the issue had manifest itself in their relationship. In exploring ways to help the couple get their relationship back on track, we discussed steps that the partner could take to address her issue including meeting with a therapist in individual counselling. Near the end of the session, the second partner asked me what assurance I could give him that his partner would not slip back into having difficulty as result of her individual issue. He expressed concern about committing to a relationship and a partner for which the possibility existed that the struggles they were facing as a result of her issue may reemerge. The best way I found to respond to him was with the adage, “Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes.”...[more]
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.