October 26, 2017

Nighty-Night… Are You Asleep Yet?

Sleep is an important yet often over-looked aspect of not only our physical well-being, but also our emotional and mental well-being. Both insufficient sleep and poor sleep quality can lead to depression, anxiety, irritability, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or injuries.
August 11, 2017

FREE COUNSELLING for BC Wildfire Victims!

Burnaby Counselling Group recognizes the significant challenges that many British Columbians are currently facing as a result of the BC wildfires that continue to wreak havoc on so many families and communities. This type of emergency situation can contribute to declining mental health and even to a mental health crisis, as sometimes feelings of hopelessness and helplessness become too big and overwhelming.
May 24, 2017

Should I be concerned that an adolescent I care about is watching “13 Reasons Why”?

A few of you may be wondering why experts have raised concerns about the Netflix TV series “13 Reasons Why”. This show depicts an adolescent’s suicide, with the show centering around uncovering of clues about why she killed herself.
May 3, 2017

Faith and Mental Health

As a Christian Psychologist, I have witnessed a number of misconceptions about the nature and treatment of mental health issues among fellow Christians. I am aware that many of my clients, friends and acquaintances do not feel comfortable disclosing their mental health issues to other Christians, often due to a fear of being judged for their struggles.
January 25, 2017

Bell Let’s Talk Day

As a local mental health organization providing clinical counselling, consultation, training and support in mental health initiatives, we are so appreciative of the BELL LET’S TALK DAY, which is today, January 25, 2017. In my role as Executive Director at the Burnaby Counselling Group, I am particularly passionate about this, as today also happens to be my son’s 12th birthday, and this son of mine lives with a serious mental illness. The Burnaby Counselling Group acknowledges the incredible leadership of Bell in this initiative, aimed at ending stigma.
December 2, 2016

How to Help Your Child with Anxiety

From time to time, all children experience anxiety. For example, many children are anxious on their first day of school. Many are anxious about sleeping in the dark, seeing “monsters”, meeting a stranger or learning to swim or ride a bike. For most of these children, anxiety is typically a part of a developmental phase and is something they eventually grow out of.
November 3, 2016

High School Stabbing – Talking About Tragedy

Yesterday there was a horrible tragedy in Abbotsford, BC as two high school students were stabbed at random by a 21-year-old male. One of the victims has now died in hospital. We now have authorities scrambling for details and two families in crisis as they try to make sense of something that they could have never prepared themselves for and that simply should not happen. Social media is in frenzy about this and many so many perspectives are being floated and offered.
October 18, 2016

Healing from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Imagine a young girl (we’ll call her Sally) who one day was told by her mother, that she was going to visit her uncle and aunt in the city. Her mother took her to visit her uncle, but then left her behind and returned home without her, with the only explanation that she will come and visit her soon. She was only three years old.
October 7, 2016

Traumatic Impacts & Addictions

Addiction is one of those experiences that seems to have a cloud of shame and fear hovering over the one experiencing it. The tendency, then, is for the one struggling to go underground with their addictions. This can be doubly painful because part of what likely gave birth to their addictions is that they went underground with their pain and difficult emotions and experiences in the first place.
October 6, 2016

Connection between Mental and Physical Health

Mental health and physical health are fundamentally linked. People living with a serious mental illness are at higher risk of experiencing a wide range of chronic physical conditions. Conversely, people living with chronic physical health conditions experience depression and anxiety at twice the rate of the general population.
October 5, 2016

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a treatment for psychological trauma. It is currently one of the fastest and most effective therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with 85% of those treated no longer meeting the diagnostic criteria post-treatment.
October 4, 2016

Depression & Aging

Depression is among the more common and troublesome emotional problems facing our seniors today, preventing them from fully enjoying their lives and affecting many aspects of their physical health. As many as 20% of seniors living in our communities suffer some form of mental health. That number increases dramatically to 80-90% for those living in extended care.
October 4, 2016

Workplace Mental Health

Do you know that issues related to mental illness cost the Canadian economy over $50 billion per year, and of that, over $20 billion are costs directly born by Canadian employers? The average cost for a disability claim associated with a mental health issue is approximately $18,000 due to the significant time off work, when someone is off for this reason.
July 20, 2016

Finding the Right Counsellor When Faith is Important to You

Finding a counsellor who is a good fit for working with you is very important. Research shows that the relationship between the counsellor and the client is one of the most important factors in having positive outcomes in counselling. An aspect of the relationship needing consideration is whether the counsellor respects your beliefs and is comfortable and capable in working with you in light of your faith.
October 1, 2015

Brain Optimization with Neurofeedback

The old adage, “practice makes perfect” comes to mind, particularly since the discovery that the brain changes according to experience and the way it’s used. While activities like meditation and studying certainly improve focus, concentration, and information processing, what if these skills could be hacked by specifically training the brain activity underlying these abilities?
May 21, 2015

Take Hands to Fight Suicide

Every person can help to save a friend’s life, when they talk about ending their life. People respond differently to the statement “Life is not worth living anymore or I want to kill myself!!” Some friends might try to cheer you up and try to show you how to be positive about life. Others might avoid you and start talking about something else. Real help for the depressed and suicidal person...
May 8, 2015

How to like hiking, even when you don’t

Most people either love hiking, or they hate it. There's not much grey area when it comes to charging up a mountain trail. It's either a glorious way to commune with nature, or it's utter punishment inflicted on you by some hiking zealot friend bent on ruining your day off!I didn't grow up in a hiking family. Our ideas of "hikes" were flat walks around the conservation area...
March 18, 2015

Complicated Grief

Life is full of loss. The loss of a spouse, family member, or close friend is possibly most painful and challenging in our lives. Are you experiencing the loss of someone you loved and feeling stuck? Grief is a normal process to adapt loss. Most people experience mixture feelings of numbness, guilt, depression, anger, and guilt. Gradually, these feelings would subside, and people can accept the loss and move forward in their lives.
March 18, 2015

If I wish the Monsters Away

“Remember, well over half of your worries will never happen. We can write down a list of your worries, and we’ll compare it to your experience when you come home.”That was the last thing I heard from my parents before I went to kindergarten. As we waved goodbye at the university parking lot, my parents left me the same reminder. Although I hate to acknowledge...
March 18, 2015

Receiving & Giving the Gift That We Are

When I was asked to write about family and relationships for this edition of our newsletter, I thought, “Okay, that’s pretty straightforward. I grew up in and am part of a family, and I am in relationship with them, so that shouldn’t be too difficult!” Well, I was kind of wrong because it soon dawned on me that this is a subject that has been extensively written and conversed around....