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Counselling couples and individuals through marriages & relationships

848 Fennell Ave E, Hamilton  /  call or text 905.484.3388

"Therapy  When Life Sucks!"

  • 15 Seconds A Day Can Change Your Marriage!

    "Really? 15 seconds can change my marriage?" Yes, it sure can! One of the techniques I guide many of my clients through is the 15 second expression of admiration and appreciation. Sounds simple? Guess what, it is! Expressing appreciation for something recent and specific is like gold in a relationship. I mean, who doesn't like hearing words of appreciation? Dr. Gottman refers often to the 4 horsmen, one of which is Contempt. Contempt is the number 1 marriage killer. The antidote to contem…

  • Verbal Vomit. Something Meds Can't Fix

    You know how it goes. He ticks you off so much that you begin spewing vomit. Not literally. Verbal vomit (I use to call it verbal diarrhea) happens fast, forceful and usually with little to no regret during and often after the whole incident. You get all winded up over something that your partner did that totally ticks you off, that you turn around and you let 'em have it. You bring up everything in the past, everything that is going on now, and predictions for the future. Maybe something like…

  • 3 Steps To Rebuilding After An Affair

    One of the most damaging actions that can take place in a relationship is the destruction of trust. Affairs kills trust. There are a lot of resources out there on why people cheat. This blog isn't going to dive into that. Instead, let's look at how to rebuild trust after an affair. But important to know, trying to rebuild trust after an affair is hard and not always possible. Let's look now at the first 3 steps: 1. hold yourself completely accountable! Which means, no excuses, no reasoning, no…

  • We moved!

    I am excited to announce our new office location! And I think clients will appreciate the new space too! Though I have enjoyed my time on Pearl Street, it was time to move. My new space has more parking, wider streets, easy access to main roads and bus routes, waiting room, self-signin and is located within a multi-disciplinary building. The address of 848 Fennell Avenue East, up on the East Hamilton Mountain. I am inside the Pathway to Healthy and Wealthy Living building, corner of Fennell a…

  • What I Need To Know About My Childhood Experiences

    When you think back to your time as a kid, you may not have the most positive memories of it. The experiences we had as a kid has totally shaped us as an adult. But not only that, if those experiences were negative, it can actually result in an earlier death. Let me explain.. Something called Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACE for short, is a tool used to help unleash some of the childhood experiences, or trauma. The results of the ACE assessment opens up explanations of why we do things …

  • Nobody Cares What You Think!

    "Nobody cares what you think!". A statement I often use in my therapy office with clients. I feel like I should explain. Husband comes home from work after a very rough day. He walks in and slams the door behind him. Shouting, he says "I can't believe him! He pulls me into his stupid office and tells me that if I am late one more time he will fire me!!" As the wife stands there watching her very disgruntled husband blow off steam, she has a choice to make. An opportunity to add to the emoti…

  • Something I Want All Husbands To Know

    Most of my inquiries come from the wives. Not all, but a good 80%. The other 20% are from the husbands. And in my experience, by the time the husband does call inquiring about therapy, it's nearly too late. The story frequently goes the same.. the wife has been asking for them to go to counselling for years, the husband says no because he feels like he can fix things on their own, and time goes by but they are in the exact same (or worse) position than they were back when the wife first sugg…

  • 3 Pillars of Secure Functioning

    Okay, let's break down that title first: 3 Pillars: well, what I think of when I hear the word pillars is one of those old mansions or buildings I see in those small hidden-away towns. Often times they use to be a hospital or clinic or some rich builders' home. In the front there are huge pillars that looks like they are keeping the roof from collapsing. The size and strength of them is recognizable right from the curb. Secure Functioning: secure = safe, predictable, reliable. Functionin…

  • Don't Play Ping-Pong With Your Wife!

    When we have a group of friends over at the house, out comes the ping pong table or the air hockey. A few good hours of macho fun and celebratory remarks all leads to a lot of laughing and bonding. Do you play ping pong with your wife? (or husband!) I mean, ping pong without the table. Rather, in your relationship. Here, let me give you an example: Husband: "Oh man, I had such a bad day at work today!" Wife: "Oh yeah, me too! The kids were just awful all day. I am exhausted!" or... Wif…

  • What Do Struggling Marriages Have In Common?

    With 90% of my appointments are with couples, I have met with many. Different cultural backgrounds. Different ages. Different life experiences. And each couple comes to counselling with different concerns and issues. However, I have noticed some common themes among couples who are struggling to be happy. The one word that seems to apply to most unhappy relationships is the word FEAR. Think about it for a sec. It's not frustration. It's not anger or disappointment, although those emotions ma…

  • Stop Saying These 2 Words!

    Making changes in the way we communicate with our spouses or loved ones is hard. Really hard. In the heat of the moment, we tend to say anything to prove our point. There are 2 words that we absolutely need to stop using today! Not tomorrow or not next week but eliminate it from our vocabulary starting right now. Using these 2 words will make those arguments even harder to resolve. And could just end up ruining your marriage. So, what are the 2 words that I speak of? Here they are, and pl…

  • Life Dreams.  What Are Yours?

    What do you want to be when you grow up? How many times have you been asked that question as an adolescent or young adult? Likely, many times. But how about now? What do you want to be? What do you want to accomplish? Where would you like to go? What hero would you like to meet? For me, one of my life dreams has always been to walk the streets of New York city! I always wanted to, but never really imagined it ever happening. Couple years ago I had the opportunity to do just that. I ju…

  • How Do I Choose A Counsellor?

    Having to sift through pages and pages of google listings to look for a counsellor or therapist in times of chaos, confusion, frustration, hurt and anxiety, is really tough. While the process in finding just the right counsellor is daunting, here are a couple of tips that will hopefully make the process just a bit easier for you. Here is what to look for: (in no particular order) Location -- fortunately we live in an area surrounded by small towns and cities. Getting from one place to anot…

  • Can Therapy Really Help Marriages?

    I often have couples come in for the first time, exhausted, stressed, beaten down and worried. Worried that therapy will not work. Worried that this will be a waste of time. That their relationship is destined to fail. No hope. I expect couples to come for counselling feeling exhausted, stressed, beaten down and worried. Usually we wait until we have almost cracked before getting help. We use counselling as a last resort. So the big question is.. can therapy work? How successful is marri…

  • I Love You. Will You Marry Me?

    As I sit here about an hour to go before ringing in the new year, I sense there are a lot of nervous guys out there looking at the clock, palms sweating, thinking about what is about to take place. At midnight we ring in the new year. For some, they are also ringing in a proposal to their girlfriends. "I want to spend the rest of my life with you! My love, will you marry me?!" Over the next several months there will be a lot of preparation for the wedding day. The cake, the dress, the music…

  • Hide! The in-laws Are Coming!

    You love your in-laws! Just admit it! It's that time of year again when the in-laws arrive, the uncles and aunts come by and the rest of the distant family members shows up to take over your house! Ah, Christmas! If you are like many families, distant relatives and in-laws pose a challenging obstacle for you. Will mom be critical of the house? Will dad drink too much? Will Uncle Jim flirt with our son's girlfriend? The things that bonds family together! To try to make the most of this upc…