More Joy and Less Stress this Holiday Season

Posted by Alyson Jones.

Well, it is that time of the year again – time to hang the stockings, trim the tree, and plan the holidays. The holiday season is much anticipated, but the joy of the season can get lost in amongst the stress storm that is created when we have large expectations and limited time. Things move quickly in this life and holiday memories often become our most treasured ones. We do not want to lose ourselves in stress and then miss the meaningful moments.

We know the holidays are filled with social gatherings, dinners, and opportunities to connect and share the joy of the season with others. We also know that this festive season can come with disappointments and disconnection if we do not take care of ourselves. Too little self-care added to a whole lot of togetherness with others can backfire. Just when you thought you might be basking in the bliss of connection and caring, you may actually find yourself in the middle of a meltdown.

Counselling Services for Supported Individuals

Posted by Salley-Ann Ross.
Counselling Services for Supported Individuals

As a Therapist I often provide services to families and Supported Individuals. This is a population that we often overlook, and do not adequately service. It is my experience that counselling is one of the resources that can be of great benefit for both the individual and the family in these situations. There needs to be a better understanding of the purpose, core values, barriers and some recommendations which may provide better insight and perhaps help networks to appreciate and recognize the value in counselling for Supported Individuals. It is important to put resources in place for individuals with developmental or emotional disabilities that support whatever choices they want to make, independently or in a supported environment.

How Our Children Grow us Up

Posted by Laura Montgomery.

Often, as parents, we are interested in how to raise our children to be the best they can be. Not as commonly do we ask “How is my child raising me?” After all, as adults we are still growing up too!

Let’s face it: our children have a way of bringing out emotions in us that we may not have known we had difficulty with before becoming parents.  We may find ourselves, like our children, having a temper tantrum (even an internal one!) or digging in our heels with a big “No!” or avoiding handing the situation altogether. It is in these moments that we are being offered a mirror. And if we have the courage and self-compassion to look, we are being given the unique opportunity to grow-up ourselves an benefit our children in the process.

Back to School

Posted by Alyson Jones.

August is winding down and summer holidays are almost over. This is the time of year when many parents see their children’s anxiety increase. It is difficult to let go of summer and deal with the reality of school again. Here are some tips for parents on how to support your children in dealing with the back to school anxiety.

1. Remember the basics. Regular sleep, exercise and nutritious food go a long way in decreasing anxiety. The return to structure and predictability can be done in a way that eases everyone back into the routine. Little by little over the next week get the structure back in place. Get the younger children to bed earlier, and up earlier in the morning. For your teenage children discuss the importance of structure. Be clear on your expectations, but do not arbitrarily make all of the decisions. Listen to them and get them involved in establishing a progressive return to routine.

Honouring Grief

Posted by Salley-Ann Ross.
Honouring Grief

Grieving and comprehending this with supported individuals whether they live independently or within their family is an area that is complicated and has no clear definition.  In essence there is no clear “way” to grieve. Grieving a loss coupled with cognitive challenges can take  this life process to another dimension, requiring a different understanding and support. 

For caregivers, we may feel helpless and may revert to the following in order to protect our loved one.  The following are areas to avoid when a supported individual is grieving: