Dr. Pat

About Dr. Patrick Keelan

Feeling Challenged? Work with a psychologist who knows how to overcome challenges… Depression, anxiety, stress & other psychological issues may seem as daunting as completing a marathon. My approach to “Plan, Take Action & Track Progress”, has helped 100s of clients and is the same approach I used to succeed in the Boston Marathon & Ironman Canada.

How to improve your social life: Do what the best baseball hitters do

In this article, I discuss why making frequent contact with a good swing leads to hits in baseball and in one’s social life. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often have clients whose goal is to improve their social lives by having more friends or people to date. My advice to help these clients is to do what the best baseball players do in order to get on base: Make frequent contact with a ‘good swing’ and the hits will come on the baseball field as well as in your social life...[more]

2018-12-02T22:08:30+00:00By |Categories: Psychology, Relationships|

The more the merrier? When it is good and not good to have others participate in your therapy

In this article, I discuss circumstances under which having other people attend therapy with you is recommended and when it is better to attend by yourself. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, most of my sessions with clients are individual ones in which I meet with one client dealing with particular issues. However, a significant minority of my sessions with clients are those in which more than one person attends and participates...[more]

2018-11-18T21:27:07+00:00By |Categories: Psychology, Relationships|

The importance of engaging in mastery activities at work and in your leisure time

In this article, I discuss why it is important to schedule activities which are good for your self-esteem. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often have clients with issues involving low self-esteem or low self-confidence. One of my go-to strategies to help these clients is to have them incorporate mastery activities into their lives. Mastery activities are those in which a person accomplishes something and uses their talents and skills...lmore]

2018-11-04T21:47:04+00:00By |Categories: Depression, Self-Esteem|

Sports Psychology: How the Calgary Stampeders can Stay Sharp

Recently I was interviewed by sports journalist Ryan Ballantine of 3DownNation to look at how the Calgary Stampeders can stay focused on their road to winning the Grey Cup. We go over strategies on how to stay motivated when you’ve already made it to the playoffs. Even if you’re not a football fan, or compete in different sports, the core of the message will apply. Check out the full article at: https://www.3downnation.com/2018/09/27/now-what-stamps-remaining-have-meaning-psychologist-says/

2018-10-22T16:29:26+00:00By |Categories: Sport & Performance|

The irresistible force meets the immovable object: How to proceed when you become stuck during discussions of relationship issues

In this article, I discuss how you and your partner can proceed when you have reached an impasse while discussing an issue. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often work with couples in relationship counselling who become stuck when discussing issues. This can lead to frustration, anger and other difficult emotions. Experiencing these emotions is often followed by the two partners making negative comments toward each other. This is followed by more of the aforementioned emotions as well as some additional difficult ones like hurt and sadness. The partners may then withdraw from each other, leading their relationship friendship to suffer. This can then result in the relationship as a whole moving in a negative direction. In the following sections, I will discuss several strategies you and your partner can use when you are stuck on an issue you are discussing...[more]

2018-10-21T21:31:48+00:00By |Categories: Relationships|

Relationship rules for managing conflict

In this article, I discuss how you and your partner can make and follow ‘relationship rules’ to manage conflict effectively. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often work with couples in relationship counselling who have challenges in managing conflict. One of the reasons couples have difficulties is that they often lack agreed upon ‘relationship rules’ for how to proceed in particular conflict management situations.  Trying to address these situations without agreed upon rules is challenging for several reasons...[more]

2018-10-04T22:37:17+00:00By |Categories: Relationships|

Guilty as charged: How to manage a complicated emotion

In this article, I discuss skills and strategies you can use to help you deal effectively with feelings of guilt. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often work with people seeking help to manage their emotions. Most people are on board with my giving them strategies to help them reduce the intensity of these emotions so that they feel less distress. This occurs with emotions such as sadness, anxiety, anger, frustration, and embarrassment. When clients learn and apply these strategies, they feel better. These strategies are also effective in helping people alleviate the distress they experience from the emotion of guilt.  However, with this emotion there is an often an additional challenge I encounter in working with clients...[more]

2018-09-23T21:30:53+00:00By |Categories: Psychology, Stress|

After the affair: When the unreasonable becomes reasonable

In this article, I discuss how relationship requests which are unreasonable become reasonable in the wake of an affair. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often work with couples in relationship counselling whose goal is to rebuild their relationship in the wake of one partner having had an affair. In these situations, one of the biggest challenges is for both partners to be patient with the healing process. For the hurt partner, this means understanding that it will necessarily take a lot of time to heal from the hurt and to regain trust in the unfaithful partner. For the unfaithful partner, patience entails understanding that the hurt partner is not likely to quickly get over the hurt and regain trust in them. Having said that, there are strategies both partners can follow to facilitate this slow process of healing and rebuilding trust...[more]

2018-09-09T22:10:02+00:00By |Categories: Relationships|

How to catch hot thoughts so that you can check and change them to feel better

In this article, I discuss several techniques to help you pinpoint the negative thoughts which are causing your emotional distress. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often have clients who can benefit from skills from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). One of the most beneficial CBT skills is a thought record. The use of thought records helps a person to feel better by catching, checking and changing ‘hot thoughts’. Hot thoughts are negatively skewed beliefs which people have when they are experiencing strong and unpleasant moods like sadness, anxiety, anger, frustration, guilt, shame and embarrassment, among others...[more]

2018-08-26T21:08:13+00:00By |Categories: Anger, Anxiety, Depression|

Video: Strategies for Improving Self-Esteem

In this episode of Dr. Pat's video tips, I discuss two categories of strategies to help you improve your self-esteem: 1. Cognitive strategies which help you to think more positively about yourself. 2. Behavioural strategies in which you engage in activities which help you to feel good about yourself.

2018-08-20T13:05:27+00:00By |Categories: Self-Esteem, Video|
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