Monthly Archives: August 2015

Facing your fears: Overcoming a phobia

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Facing your fears: overcoming a phobiaFor some people it’s flying. For others it’s dogs. There are people who are afraid of going to parties, or of public speaking. All of these are called phobias. The word describes any fear of a specific situation or object. And for some people, they can be extremely limiting, getting in the way of living a full and happy life.

If you have a phobia, you probably already know it. If you always take the stairs and never ride in elevators, you may be claustrophobic. If you wouldn’t dream of going on a trip to a rainforest for fear …

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Body image part 3: Anorexia and bulimia

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Body image part 3: anorexia and bulimiaTake this mini-quiz. Do any of these characteristics sound familiar or maybe even sound off an alarm bell?

  • An obsession with being thin and focus on weight
  • Compulsive behaviours such as weighing oneself, measuring food
  • Use of laxatives, diuretic medications and even intentional vomiting after meals
  • Refusal to eat or eating only a few morsels, despite drastic weight loss
  • Alternating binging on foods with suppression of eating
  • Are you a female between the ages of 12-25 (Note: although these eating disorders are most commonly represented in females between the ages of 12-25 years, it is also on the rise
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Body image part 2: weighing in on eating disorders

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Body image part 2: weighing in on eating disordersFAIL! Yes, fail. I even did a research paper on it in university. Oh, and did I mention I am a therapist? So, how is it I didn’t even consider my daughter might have an eating disorder?

As we concluded in the previous blog, the media has laid claim to defining what is beautiful and valuable. “Thin” is in. We’re assaulted daily with advertisements, billboards and commercials depicting unrealistic standards of popular, the “beautiful people”. So our template for happiness and beauty is based on extreme thinness and photo-shopped images. That’s another fail.

This nasty propaganda has contributed …

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Body image part 1: What is beauty?

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Body image part 1: what is beauty?

Years ago the “Ivory Girl” was celebrity.  She was the icon of beauty.  Pure, natural, idealized and with virtues to be embraced.  She was the one you wanted to bring home to Mom.  Today, Dove has ventured down the same path to define health and beauty, with its landscape of average women.

How come it doesn’t resonate with us the same as it once did?  Likely because media has strong-armed us with billboards, commercials and magazine advertisements that define beauty outside the realm of average; extreme thinness and photo-shopped images of models are the daily diet of the news …

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Mental health challenges: red flags to look for

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Mental health challenges: red flags to look forEveryone has bad days and life can feel painful sometimes. We can have stressful weeks, months, or even years. Too many demands, financial problems, family or work conflict, loss or injury are some of the issues that can cause imbalance in life. During these times we are challenged to stay healthy, to manage our negative feelings and to “cope.”

When faced with all of these challenges, it can sometimes be difficult to be objective. The actual state of our mental health is not easy to assess and is not always directly related to the amount of stress in our …

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