All posts by Coslyn

What is Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and why it’s Effective in Counselling?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a practical, short-term form of psychotherapy that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem solving.
CBT aims to help people to develop skills and strategies for becoming and staying healthy. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind people’s difficulties, and so change the way they feel. CBT focuses on the here-and-now and on the problems that come up in day-to-day life. CBT helps people to examine how they make sense of what is happening around them and how these perceptions affect the way they feel.
Research shows that CBT is one of the most effective treatments for anxiety. It is also an effective treatment for problems such as depression, chronic pain, disordered eating, anger issues, addiction, and low self-esteem (Whyllie, 2010).
CBT is effective in counselling because CBT gives people a new way of understanding and thinking about their problems. It also provides people with the skills to deal with the issues that they are struggling with right now.
In CBT, clients learn to identify, question, and change the thoughts, attitudes and beliefs related to the emotional and behavioural reactions that cause them difficulty.
By monitoring and recording thoughts during upsetting situations, people learn that how they think can contribute to emotional problems such as depression and anxiety. CBT helps to reduce these emotional problems by teaching clients to identify distortions in their thinking, see thoughts as ideas about what is going on, rather than as facts, and stand back from their thinking to consider situations from different viewpoints.

Opioids Epidemic in Canada

Opioids are classes of powerful drugs that are primarily prescribe to treat severe pain. Opioids are depressant drugs, like alcohol, meaning they slow down the part of the brain that controls breathing. Opioids include illicit drugs, such as heroin, fentanyl, as well as prescription medications, such as Percocet, morphine and codeine. Opioids are an effective medication when used as prescribed, but they carry a risk of addiction because of their powerful effects.
Canada is now the second largest consumer of prescription opioids, second only to the United States, and with a 203% increase in usage between 2000 and 2010 (Andresen, Martin, Boyd, Neil pg.112, 2009). That increase is greater than that of the United States, in spite of the US’s first place ranking for opioid use. An opioid overdose happens when a person takes an amount of a drug that is more than the body can process. The risk of overdose is higher when a person takes opioids in combination with other drugs (Kerr, et al., 2003). So far this year, 193 Albertans have died due to apparent drug overdoses related to fentanyl compared with 205 deaths during the same period last year.
Among users of opioid pain relievers, 5.2% (or 243,000 Canadians representing 0.9% of the total population) reported abusing them. Among adult users of opioid pain relievers, 3.1% (corresponding to 0.5% of the total adult population) abused such drugs, an increase over the 2011 rates” (Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey, 2012).
In Canada, the Government acknowledges that opioid overdose is a real threat to Canadians and with each passing day, more and more people are dying. The immediate goal is to make safe injection sites easier to open and fentanyl harder to smuggle into Canada (Broadhead et al., 2002). Safe injection sites (SIS) is a legally sanctioned health facility that offers a hygienic environment where people can use illicit drugs under the supervision of trained staff (Kerr, Wood, Small, Palepu, and Tyndall, 2003). In Canada, from 2004 to 2013, there has been a 41% increase in drug-induced deaths. It’s no secret that substance abuse is a major problem in Canada and people are dying of overdose of opioids (Kerr, et al., 2003).

Mental Health

According to World Health Organization (WHO, 2014), mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. While mental health disorders are commonly known for their impact on health and well being, they also have an economic impact in terms of absenteeism, loss of productivity, unemployment and medical expenses.
In 2012, a total of 2.8 million Canadians aged 15 and older, or 10.1%, reported symptoms consistent with at least one of the following mental or substance use disorders: major depressive episode, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and abuse of or dependence on alcohol, cannabis or other drugs. Over the course of the lifetime, rates of substance use disorders were higher than the rates for mood disorders. About 6 million Canadians met the criteria for substance use disorder, while 3.5 million met the criteria for mood disorder. Females had higher rates of mood disorders and generalized anxiety disorder than males, while males had higher rates of substance use disorders.
Persons with mental disorders often suffer a wide range of human rights violations and social stigma.
Some people are more vulnerable and at higher risk of developing a mental illness than others. The factors that may contribute to a person’s risk include trauma and abuse, social isolation, homelessness, socio-economic disadvantage, physical or intellectual disability and genetic predisposition. Harmful use of alcohol and other drugs can significantly increase the occurrence of mental illness.
The first signs of mental illness may emerge in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Young people at risk of developing a mental illness may be those who have been bullied at school, children of parents with a mental illness, children linked with the criminal justice system, refugees and children brought up in a traumatic environment.
These children or young people at risk may already be linked to services offering counselling, or may be part of a youth group.
Stigma and discrimination are factors that can affect a person’s ability to seek help for mental illness. Stigma is a negative stereotype. Stigma is a reality for many people with a mental illness, and they report that how others judge them is one of their greatest barriers to a complete and satisfying life

What is Counselling and When To Seek Support?

The Oxford Dictionary defines counselling as the process of assisting and guiding clients, especially by a trained person on a professional basis, to resolve especially personal, social, or psychological problems and difficulties (Oxford, 2010). Counselling is a helping approach that highlights the emotional and intellectual experience of a client, how a client is feeling and what they think about the problem they have sought help for.
The role of the counsellor is to enable the client to explore many aspects of their life and feelings, by talking openly and freely. Talking in such a way it is rarely possible with family or friends, who are likely to be emotionally involved and have opinions and biases that may be detrimental to the success of the counselling.
During a counselling session, a counsellor is required to keep 100% confidentiality. Confidentiality is defined as the state whereby the counsellor keeps every information the clients shares and not disclosures it or shares it with anyone else. Confidentiality can only be broken with five exceptions. These include the client committing or planning to commit suicide, homicide, if the client is abusing a child or an elderly in an institution and lastly, if the client is court mandated.
Some of the problems that get in the way of a client during a counselling session include, unrealistic expectations, lacking motivation, self-sabotage, and when clients are reluctant, especially if the court mandates them.
It is hard for people to determine when they need counselling or even seek support because of the negative stigma associated with going to counselling. Contrary to popular misconception, you don’t have to be “crazy,” desperate or on the brink of a meltdown to go to therapy. You may need counselling if you always feel sad, angry, and not yourself all the time. Abuse drugs, alcohol, and food to cope in life. Someone who have lost a loved one or something important. Lastly, people who have gone through a traumatic experience might need counselling to help them deal with this event.
At C. S Counselling and Consulting Services, we guide our clients through non-judgmental, empathetic strategies to cope with a variety of issues and resume a happy, healthy day-to-day life. Counsellors are registered with their appropriate regulatory boards. Our counsellors specialize in family counselling, couple counselling, marriage counselling, individual counselling, child counselling, and counselling for grief, depression, anxiety, anger and trauma related issues.

Identifying Alcohol Addiction

Seeing a love one struggling with alcohol addiction is tough, especially on the family. It is easy to identify when a person is drinking but identifying whether the person has become addicted to alcohol is not easy. People that drink have slurred speech, reduced inhibitions, alcohol breath and awkward movements.
Here are some of the warning signs to look for if you suspect a love one/family member is getting addicted to alcohol.
• Having no control over how much the person drinks
• Losing control when the person drinks
• Having cravings to drinks that are uncontrollable
• Becoming tolerant to alcohol and the need to consume large amounts of it to get the same experience and effects
• Urge to drink to feel good or normal
• Drinking in secret or when alone
• Experiencing blackouts
If you or your love one is experiencing problems with alcohol, call 416-409-8045 to book an appointment at C.S.Counselling Services to receive support.

Maternal Depression

 Maternal Depression (Mother’s Day)

Mental Health according to World Health Organization (WHO) is the a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. In Canada, May 1-7 is Mental Health Week where Canadians reflect on the advances in mental health, spread awareness about mental illness and share stories of recovery. Also, since May is Mother’s day, this blog will explore some of the struggles mothers deal with when it comes to mental health issues. It is important in recognizing the needs and struggles mothers have.

According to WHO, worldwide about 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who have just given birth experience a mental disorder, predominantly depression. Depression causes enormous suffering, disability, and reduced response to child’s need. Evidence indicates that treating the depression of mothers leads to improved growth and development of the newborn and reduces the likelihood of diarrhoea and malnutrition among them.

It is only right that May is also declared as National Maternal Depression Awareness Month. Marital depression is becoming more well-known, and it affects 10 to 20 percent of new mothers, according to the fact sheet. Some of the symptom of marital depression includes feeling inadequate or guilty, feeling sad constantly, feeling suicidal, not attaching or bonding to the baby, overly worrying about the baby or not being interested at all in the baby.

Maternal depression is the most common complication of childbirth, putting Canadian families at risk each and every year.  Maternal depression is a highly treatable condition, especially when identified early during the pregnancy or postpartum period.

Most research suggests psycho-therapeutic interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), social support, interpersonal therapy, non-directive counselling, and psychoanalytic therapy to be the most effective way of treating maternal depression.

Autism

Autism Awareness Month in Canada: What You Need to Know

Even though October is mostly known as the month of Thanksgiving and Halloween, there are other important things going on this time of year. In Canada, October is also the Autism Awareness Month, in which the government has been promotingautism-imagethe importance of learning more about autism spectrum disorder for over 20 years.

It is important to stay informed and aware of autism’s characteristics and social effects. The main goal of Autism Awareness Month is to educate society about the condition in order to end misconceptions so that people with autism can have an increasingly normal life. It is a lifelong developmental disability that affects the person’s communication and behaviour but, with the right approach, they can be reinserted in the community.

The reason why autism is considered to be a spectrum disorder is because it can affect the person on different levels of severity. Although it is a condition that can occur in all groups of people, it happens mostly in boys – there are approximately 5 times more boys diagnosed with autism than girls.

Autism is a condition that not only has a big impact on the lives of those who are diagnosed with it, but also their families and even their communities. So, when you come across a multi-coloured ribbon, a puzzle-piece or some display of the colour blue in October, try to think about the impact of autism in a person’s life and how you can show support.

If you (or someone you know) are having a hard time trying to understand how to deal with someone that has autism, you can count on the help of a counsellor. Counselling can improve your capacity to help an autistic person to develop within their own abilities.

Counselling can also be a treatment alternative for autistic people. With cognitive behavioural therapy, the counsellor will work along with the patient’s disability to create a structure that is focused on improving their personal needs. This way, it can help the patient to cope with everyday situations in a better way, making a remarkable difference in their life.

To know more about the benefits of counselling, contact C.S. Counselling & Consulting Services for a free  consultation in Brampton.

Anger Management

Is It OK To Feel Angry?

Anger is one of many natural emotions that we are all born with. It is
angerexpected that we all experience anger at some points in our lives because it is the way our body naturally responds to going through depressed or unfortunate circumstances. The problem begins when being angry gets uncontrollable and potentially destructive. Although anger is a normal and healthy emotion, feeling short tempered and intensely angry can cause a lot of harm to an individual’s personal and professional life.

Often times it can be easy to identify when someone has an anger problem. Usually, they are more eager to become involved in arguments and fights or to use drugs and alcohol to silence their feelings. These individuals are also more likely to express themselves in a violent manner; unconsciously, their non-communication style pushes people away.

Many individuals do not seek help because they cannot differentiate between anger management issues and healthy anger. The healthy way of expressing anger is when it does not cause harm for the individual and for anyone around them. Dealing with anger in an aggressive way is a symptom of failing to communicate emotionally, which is a direct consequence of unresolved family issues, socio-cultural factors or past traumas. Sometimes, even without any apparent reason, some people are naturally more inclined to being angry than the average person. The professionals at C.S. Counselling and Consulting Services can help you or a loved one who may be experiencing these symptoms and communication patterns

Therapy for anger management consists of learning how to control anger impulses by addressing the causes and thoughts you have in regards to them. This way, you will start to practice on reducing the anger to a point where it is easier to resolve the issue without causing harm to yourself or to someone else. In summary, you will be able to control your anger before it controls you. If left untreated, uncontrolled anger can result in devastating consequences to the future, both psychological (mental disorders) and physical (heart problems, high blood pressure, etc.).

Professionals encourage individuals to seek help and not get accustomed to the consequences of Anger Management. Contact C.S. Counselling and Consulting Services immediately to schedule an appointment or acquire more information about anger management therapy.

Depression

Is It Possible To Overcome Depression?

Commonly mistaken for occasional sadness, depression is a medical condition that has the power of causing deep psychological problems. It involves a sense of emptiness and of
worthlessness that affects considerably the person’s life and well-being, sometimes even leading to suicidal thoughts. This condition can affect anyone at any time, even if there is no apparent reason for it.

image-depress

There is a lot of evidence showing chemical changes in the brain of depressed individuals, especially regarding to neurotransmitters, the substances that transmit nerve impulses between cells. Contrary to what is commonly believed, the psychological and social factors are often a consequence (and not a cause) of depression. Without proper psychological therapy, the cases tend to get worse.

Sometimes, people that struggle with depression feel so worthless that they won’t even seek help, and that is why their loved ones have a major part on paying attention to any symptoms and change of behaviour. They can be responsible for showing that, with the right treatment, there is hope.

Those who suffer from depression often show signs of constant sadness, anxiety and stress, trouble at work or at school, loneliness and sudden mood changes, just to mention a few. If left untreated, the consequences can be fatal. To avoid that, early assessment and treatment are the best ways of assuring that patients with depression have more chances of being cured. Most cases require proper medication, but in all circumstances, psychological therapy is fundamental.

Counselling is an effective depression treatment. With the right approach, the counsellor will help the patient to connect with the mind in order to overcome fears and anxieties. It is important to point out that the focus is not to change the past, but to find new solutions and answers for the present and future.

If you want to find ways to overcome depression, contact C.S. Counselling and Consulting Services for an appointment as soon as possible.

Counselling

How Do I Know if I Need Counselling?

Everyday life can be stressful and, sometimes, it takes more than just counting to 10 while inhaling and exhaling. It is common to be constantly apprehensive and find yourself counsellingexperiencing problems or addictive behaviour, but there are still many people that do not realize the importance of seeking help. Little do they know that taking care of their mental health is just as important as treating their physical health. The importance of being aware of your mental health is the main reason why counselling is so crucial, no matter what you are struggling with.

Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma around the topic of treating the mind. Admitting you need help is difficult for anyone to accept especially for you and your loved ones, and that fear contributes to the hesitancy in seeking a counsellor. It is important to understand that accepting you have a problem is the first step towards solving it and, with the help of a counsellor, you start to envision from different perspectives.

A counsellor is a professional responsible for providing an impartial and unique outlook to any situation. This helps to process thoughts and feelings more easily in order to find a suitable solution. Counselling not only benefits those who struggle with anxiety, depression, alcoholism, stress, trauma, anger, marriage and family problems, but also those who simply want to find ways of improving their ability to communicate. Since every case is exceptional, there is no “secret formula” for counselling.

Sometimes loved ones can notice patterns that are hard to see from the inside, so if you know someone that could benefit from counselling, at C.S Counselling and Consulting Services our team can help empower individuals to make better choices. The counsellor will work along with the client to find the best way of managing the issues. If you believe you or someone you know needs guidance, do not hesitate to contact a counsellor.

 

The Dangers of Alcohol Abuse

When a habit becomes an addiction:

The key to having a well-structured and loving family is honesty. That means that, besides providing all the love and support for their beloved ones, people must be 100% honest about their feelings and any tougher situation they are going through. Believe it or not, being surrounded by a network of affection and acceptance for their true self can avoid problems like drug and alcohol abuse.

Although there is no specific reason that can make a person become addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is important to keep in mind that having any form of addiction requires attention and proper treatment. The worst part is that since it can be hard for drug users or alcoholics to perceive when their habit has become an addiction, the first ones to notice changes in their behavior are their friends and family – and that means they are the first ones to get hurt.

Because it is more socially acceptable and easier to consume, alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances available on the market. There is nothing wrong with drinking a little, especially in social situations. The problem is when it starts getting more and more repetitive until it begins to cause harmful consequences.

Alcohol has the power of lowering inhibitions and producing a pleasant effect, and for that, it is very attractive to individuals who want to escape from their reality (stress from work, family issues, relationship problems, just to mention a few). Alcoholism happens when people stop having control over how much they consume believing that they are not able to function correctly without alcohol. On the long run, it can turn a loving person into a violent individual with not only a damaged mind but also with a harmed body.

If you believe that your loved one or anyone you know has an addiction, keep in mind that you have to address the issue in a sensible way. At first, there is a chance that they are reluctant because they do not understand that their situation is problematic. Addiction is a disease that affects the brain and has harmful consequences, and you can help your friend or relative to develop the urge to get away from the situation.

The first step is the hardest to take but is also the most important. In cases of alcohol or drug addiction, it is to admit the problem and seek help. Aside from rehabilitation and self-help groups, a standout amongst the best types of alcoholism treatments is psychological therapy. By comprehending the fundamental emotions and points of view that make the habit become an addiction, alcoholics and drug addicts can figure out how to control the motivation to drink or to use drugs. In time, they will discover better approaches to address their issues and insecurities without turning to alcohol or any other illicit substances. In this case, counselling is one of the most important tools for recovery, because it can offer expert support that battling alcoholics and drug abusers need in order to transform their lives.

 

Anxiety Disorder

How Anxiety Disorders Affect Your Life

Before something big or important is about to happen, people tend to feel anxious, and that actually helps them prepare for those circumstances. Overall, dealing with anxiety is normal and can happen to anybody, but when it becomes irrational, uncontrollable and/or persistent, it may be a sign of some kind of anxiety disorder.

Although they can be treated, anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric diseases to affect both children and adults. Panic disorder, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and agoraphobia are some of the most common anxiety disorders people experience.

People who struggle with this kind of problem have their days tormented by a steady condition of stress and fear, which can affect their life in the long run. Eventually, it can interfere with normal tasks, such as going to work or to school or even socializing with friends, leading to relationship problems and even depression.

There are many possible causes. Specialists have confirmed that anxiety disorders can happen due to family history, life events, medical and substance abuse, or even because of brain and personality issues.

After being properly diagnosed with a particular kind of anxiety disorder, specialized treatment is necessary. Anxiety disorders can be treated with medicines and psychological therapy, but people should be advised that it must be seen as a long-term matter. Counselling is an effective way of treating anxiety disorders because it can help the person understand the situation from a new perspective, rebuild their self-esteem, and face their fears and doubts in order to improve their mental health.

If you believe you have any kind of anxiety disorders, the first step to take is to seek help. However, the most important thing is to never let fear overcome who you are.

LIFE TRANSITION UNEMPLOYMENT- Toronto – GTA

According to Stats Canada “The unemployment rate rose unexpectedly to 7.2% in January 2016 from 7.1%” where it sat for the longest while up to the end of November 2015 and had been on a steady rise since that time. On average there are a great number of people job searching, therefore, this rise in unemployment which simply means there are more people facing unemployment. To the average person who is job searching these stats holds no weight, as the economic market has been less than favorable to the average income earner in more ways than one. Families have been barely surviving on one paycheck to make ends meet and with this uncertainty, these families experience emotions such as anger, depression, anxiety, or to the point of having relationship problems to name a few.
On the other hand various businesses have been shutting down due to a weak economy and the falling of the Canadian loonie to 74.0 cents against the American dollar which is experiencing a surge in their economy. How does these effect families? While it is true that unemployment insurance which the run of the mill Canadian must pay into on a monthly basis while they do have the security of a job, this money is paid back through unemployment on an incremental basis and this may only hold them for a little while to get over the initial crisis of being jobless, however, what happens when unemployment runs out and the family is again faced to job search along with the other 10,000 or more, many of who simply take jobs that are not in their field just to survive.
Situations such as these forces the average families into crises, there is a lot of negativity and anger which is expressed on both sides to the point that families go through their own crises just to make ends meet. Some families go through marital separation because of the stress these places on them, or even to the point of filing for divorce.
There is no doubt unemployment is difficult for anyone to experience whether it be individuals, couples or families, however, if you or your family is experiencing this life changing transition, you do not have to go through it alone, it helps to talk to someone and this is where you can reach out and contact C.S. Counselling Services at 416-409-8045 and speak with one of our counsellors. All calls are strictly confidential. We are easily situated within walking distance of the Brampton Hospital. Our counsellors are available to meet you at a location that is convenient to you both. The first 30 minutes are on us. C.S Counselling Services is located at #2250 Bovaird Dr. E., #607, Brampton, ON L6R 0W3.

Translate »