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Are you in Burnout? 10 Important Questions and Answers

Book Recommendations

Dr. Jennifer Freyd, a Clinical Psychologist at the University of Oregon, spoke about the incidence of rape on university campuses at a trauma conference. She stated that approximately 20% of female university students will be vaginally raped on an American campus while completing a four-year degree. This number is supported by a press release that […] Continue Reading

"On the Move" (2015), by Oliver Sacks, is an autobiographical book that I will recommend to my clients. Sacks is perhaps best known for his book "Awakenings" (1973), which was made into a popular movie by the same title in 1990, starring Robin Williams. Sacks trained as a physician in England in the 1950s. He became […] Continue Reading

I will sometimes meet a new client that is struggling to come to terms with the actions of a sociopath. The sociopath may be a member of their family -- a husband or a father, for example. While the sociopaths in the following stories happen to be male, please be aware they can also be female. The prevalence […] Continue Reading

I seldom have clients tell me that they learned valuable life lessons when things were going well. However, I have had many people tell me that they figured things out, and learned a lot about themselves and their values, when they went through a difficult period. This is often the case with clients that I counsel for […] Continue Reading

Yes, victims of abuse sometimes forget the abuse they endured. This is called “Betrayal Blindness.”  For example, Betrayal Blindness can happen to people who were sexually abused as children, even in situations where the child was old enough to remember other events from the same period of time that the abuse took place. It can also happen to […] Continue Reading

When a child is abused by their mother or father, the child will often develop “Betrayal Blindness.” Children who are being abused are frequently not able to recognize that their experiences are abusive because accurately seeing what is happening to them would further jeopardize their ability to survive.  Abused children become experts at not recognizing […] Continue Reading

The quick answer to that question is "No, you do not have to provide care to an unhealthy or aging parent as an adult, especially when that parent abused you as a child." All parents commit to "the most basic contract” when they conceive and decide to keep and raise a child, which is, as […] Continue Reading

I am often asked by my clients for help on how to lose weight, get fit, or improve their sleep. Not surprisingly, these are areas where people find it extremely hard to achieve and maintain change.A person has to commit to maintaining a change in behaviour over the longer-term in order for any improvement to have […] Continue Reading

“Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter: Growing Up With a Gay Dad,” by Allison Wearing is an excellent autobiographical book that offers an insider’s view into what it was like for the author to learn that her father was gay when she was in early adolescence, and how she wrestled with this fact through her mid-20s. […] Continue Reading

Gifted children possess several social and emotional characteristics that are sometimes mistaken for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by professionals who may not fully understand what it means to be "gifted." A misdiagnosis of ADHD can often be tied to situational factors. For example, consider a gifted child that spends a great deal of their regular […] Continue Reading

Pacing is a technique I often recommend to my clients that experience symptoms of burnout. As the term implies, pacing involves setting manageable goals to avoid over-doing it. Learning how to “pace” one’s activities requires behavioural changes. Doing more physical activity than a person is capable of will lead to a flare-up for individuals with chronic pain. […] Continue Reading

Dr. Barbara Kerr, a Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Kansas, is the author of Smart Girls: A New Psychology of Girls, Women, and Giftedness. Her book explores why gifted and talented girls so often fail to realize their full potential as adults. Gifted women often contact me because they want to better understand themselves. I recommend Dr. […] Continue Reading

I frequently recommend three books to help my clients (1) realize they are gifted, which is something they often knew as children but lost after leaving high school, (2) begin to better understand and accept themselves as gifted adults, (3) begin to frame their difficulties at work and in relationships from a giftedness perspective, and (4) conclude they might be […] Continue Reading

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, by Gabor Mate, M.D., is a book that I recommend to my clients or to those that are concerned for family members or friends that have alcohol and/or drug problems. These problems are commonly referred to as “alcoholism” and/or “drug addiction.” Mental health care professionals refer to these issues […] Continue Reading

In my practice, I meet many clients who have poor self-care skills for a multitude of reasons. A common statement is that they woke up one day with the realization that their lives are not how they imagined, and they feel confused about where to begin to make changes.  Often times these clients have spent […] Continue Reading

The book, A Beautiful Mind, by Sylvia Nasa (1998), describes the real life story of Nobel Laureate John Nash, an academic mathematician who was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia in his late 20s. The book, A Beautiful Mind was also made into a popular movie starring Russell Crowe, in 2001. I recommend this book to family […] Continue Reading

For many of the clients that I provide provide counselling to for depression, I recommend the book, “The Feeling Good Handbook: Using the New Mood Therapy in Everyday Life,” written by David D. Burns. David Burns is a psychiatrist and professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine and is credited with popularizing cognitive behavioural therapy after his […] Continue Reading

Many of the clients that I counsel who have Bipolar Disorder, as well as family members of those diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, have found it helpful to read about the experiences of others who have lived with Bipolar Disorder. Here are three suggested books that provide accounts of what it has been like for the […] Continue Reading

The term "burnout" was first coined by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in his 1974 book, “Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement.” Freudenberger defined burnout as “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.” Dr. Freudenberger was the first to identify the 12-stage Burnout […] Continue Reading

Many of the clients I counsel for burnout are high achievers that have found considerable success in their fields, largely because they are so dedicated to their work and committed to continuously doing well. In an earlier blog post, I wrote about the 12-Stage Burnout Symptom Cycle, which was first coined by Dr. Herbert Freudenberger. Freudenberger referred […] Continue Reading

Dr. Herbert Freudenberger was the first to identify the 12-Stage Burnout Symptom Cycle in his 1974 book, “Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement.” Psychologist and author, Joan Borysenko, provides a similar approach to looking at the stages of burnout in her 2011 book, “Fried: Why You Burn Out and How to Revive.” The very […] Continue Reading

Most people aren’t aware that 90% of jobs are hidden, meaning they are not advertised. Perhaps you want to change jobs, have recently been let go, or have voluntarily left a job in search of new opportunities, but are having difficulty finding suitable positions to apply for. If you are only applying for the jobs […] Continue Reading

I am asked by many of my clients for tips on how to help them relax. They come to me for counselling because they are exhausted and overworked. Many of them share the habit of coming home after a long day’s work, sitting down in front of the television, and staying there until they are ready […] Continue Reading

As a psychologist who counsels clients with anger management issues, I often reference a book written in the early 1980s by Duke University’s Redford Williams, MD. In his book “Anger Kills”, Williams discusses a series of steps for managing anger. I reference William’s research to demonstrate to my clients how learning to manage anger and other negative […] Continue Reading

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Are you in Burnout? 10 Important Questions and Answers