Coping with Toxic People

How To Cope with the Negative People In Your Life

Do you have that one friend, colleague or family member that brings a black cloud with them everywhere they go? Are they constantly focusing on the negative? Are they always in such a rant that they don’t even ask you about your life? They are pessimistic and emotionally exhausting. The character Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh comes to my mind... If you met a barking dog would you get on all fours and start barking back? Of course not. In other words, don’t join them in their pity fest. It will only leave you feeling emotionally depleted. But let's face it: you can't always just say goodbye to people with negative attitudes or world views – they may be your parents, partner, children, in-laws, or someone you work with. So here are 4 ways to handle this type of person. Protect Yourself by Not Engaging People tend to have selective attention to focus on the bad things. Notice their tendency to blame external factors for their unhappi…

Helping the Homeless Don't Cost a Thing

I had an interesting experience last week that really affected me - so much so that I had to wait almost a week to write about it. Every Tuesday, I commute to Toronto to my teaching job at George Brown College. On my first day using public transit, I counted four homeless people in a three-block walk from Union Station to King Street. What bothered me more than the fact that they were homeless was the way that the people of Toronto, who appear so desensitized to the homelessness issue in their city, literally stepped over or around these people as they lay, sat, or stood on the sidewalks. It bothered me. A lot.  It made me think of the time a young lady approached me in the middle of winter - she was freezing cold, underdressed for the weather and she was literally pleading with me to give her something to eat. I had no money or else I would have given her some - it wasn’t until I got to my destination that I realized I had a granola bar in my purse and I could have shared that with …

Five Things to NEVER do when You're Angry at Your Kids

Moms and Dads – you know better than anyone how your kids can be sweet as honey one minute, and then driving you to the edge of insanity in the next. It is vital for parents to remember that their responsibility is to raise their kids to be productive, contributing members of society. So, when we get angry at our kids, even when it is justified, we have to be careful that we don’t say or do something that we will regret, or worse – could scar our kids for life. Here are five tips on what we as parents should NEVER do when we get angry at our kids.
Never compare your kids to their siblings or worse yet, the neighbours’ kids. “Why can’t you be more like your brother?” Perhaps a phrase similar to this runs through your memory from time to time. Children want to know that they are loved and accepted for who they are. Being compared to someone who is smarter, more punctual, better behaved, thinner, more athletic, or better-looking does nothing for your child’s self-es…

Broken clocks: Why We Need Therapy

Imagine you have a lovely clock - a real showpiece, that you like to keep in a prominent place in your home, perhaps on your fireplace mantle or in your curio cabinet. One day it just stops keeping time. What will you do? You have a few options:

1. You could move the clock to a different place in the home. Perhaps it wasn't happy on the shelf, mantle, or in the cabinet. Maybe if you move it to a new place, it will start working again.

2. You could take it down from its place and shine it up. Maybe it needs a good "spit and polish". If you shine it all up, change its appearance, perhaps it will start working again because it looks brand new on the outside.

3. You could blame the clock for its inability to keep time, and try to shame it back into working again.

BUT it is not very likely that any of the above options will result in your optimal outcome, which is for the clock to accurately tell the time!

We are so like this when it comes to our mental health and our psycho…

Stepping off the Ledge (Leaving Your Comfort Zone)

One of the greatest challenges that we have as human beings is that of moving beyond the point of fear into the unknown. That is certainly true for me, and perhaps this blog post will be viewed as a "true confession", but what follows needs to be said.

When I started my business, Leverage U many years ago, it was only after several years of battling self-doubt and the limiting belief that I was too young, too inexperienced, and that no one would listen to anything I had to say. Only after I finally slayed those dragons was I able to push off into the unknown, to step off the ledge of comfort so to speak, and to start moving towards the fulfillment of my dreams.

Since that fateful day in 1997 when I finally took the plunge, I have repeatedly taken steps to expand my comfort zone: I have written and published several books, returned to school to obtain my Masters Degree, even traveled to France for the first time last year to speak at an academic conference of leaders in the …

Road Map to Success Workshop February 5 in Niagara Falls


Counselling Services: Anger, Stress, Post-Trauma, Relationships, Bullying

Life is not always easy, and it certainly is not always predictable. Challenges and crises often come when we least expect them, and many times we can get knocked off our feet by unexpected events and the emotional responses that accompany them. In times like these, it helps to know there is someone willing to lend an ear, to listen without judgement, and to offer time-proven strategies to help you cope with or solve your problems.

I provide general counselling and psychotherapy services under the supervision of registered psychologists who are licensed with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. Individual and Group counselling is available for residents of Hamilton-Niagara for people struggling with: Anger Traumatic Stress (from abuse, traumatic events, motor vehicle accidents, etc.) Anxiety Relationship problems School bullying and Workplace Harassment/BullyingSelf-Esteem Through counselling, you can identify what is most important to you and align your thoughts, words,…