By Halifax Psychologist, Brad Peters This video is all about defense mechanisms in therapy. I define defense mechanisms as having two main parts: 1) they are denials or distortions of reality, and 2) they operate unconsciously (outside of our awareness). The main function of a defense mechanism is to relieve psychological tension and anxiety about some distressing event or situation through experiential avoidance. Examples include: repression, denial, and intellectualization. In the video, I provide examples of how defense mechanisms might present in therapy, and how a psychologist might work with a therapy client from a psychodyanmic perspective. Most therapy clients experience anxiety. As I argue in this video, the anxiety is often a symptom – hinting at an underlying… read more →
By Halifax Psychologist, Brad Peters For many people, the process of psychotherapy is mysterious. This post will attempt to make it less so – by highlighting key features it shares with the practice of physiotherapy. Initial Interview and Therapeutic Goals As part of their initial assessment, physiotherapists will tend to ask three basic questions: 1) How/where do you feel pain/weakness? 2) How/where do you notice restriction in movement, and 3) When did these problems start, and what were the circumstances surrounding them? The answers to the first two questions allow the physiotherapist to note the problems that their patient wants to resolve (e.g. “to be able to lift without pain”), as well as providing diagnostic clues about the underlying cause.… read more →
By Halifax Psychologist Brad Peters Each year approximately 3,500 Canadians commit suicide – a figure only slightly below the number of deaths due to colon and breast cancer. In 2012, a local survey found that about 1 in 5 students in Nova Scotia seriously considered attempting suicide, with female students being more than twice as likely to attempt suicide. In the same survey, almost 1 in 10 Nova Scotia students aged 15-24 reported having thoughts the previous year about taking their lives – a rate 69% higher than the national average and the highest in the country. All of this reminds us that suicide is a serious issue and its effects hit close to home. But for all the statistics… read more →
By Halifax Psychologist Brad Peters Well, it’s that time of year again when Halifax is bustling with university students – approximately 30,000 within the greater metro area alone! University life can be stressful, and students would be wise to take care of their psychological health. With that in mind, here are some ‘tips’ to anticipate and deal with psychological obstacles that may present themselves during the academic year: 1. Anticipate and Avoid Procrastination You intend to spend the evening studying, and then find yourself watching movies, playing videogames, chatting with a friend, or doing something other than what you should be doing. The distractions are subtle but predictable: you sit down to write a paper … “wait, I’m kind of… read more →
By Halifax Psychologist, Brad Peters Many of us are familiar with, or have at least heard of Fifty Shades of Grey – the book (and soon to be film) that became one of the most significant pieces of pop culture in the last couple of years. The story revolves around a female college student who gets involved with a 27 year-old powerful businessman. The younger woman apparently loses her virginity to this man, who later convinces her to sign a non-disclosure agreement and a contract keeping the relationship entirely sexual and one of ‘dominance and submission.’ Full disclosure to the reader – I have not read the book. However, as a psychologist it is my business to know something about… read more →
Clinic owner Brad Peters (R. Psych) and his Cornerstone Psychological Services team are excited to launch our new website. We’d like to send a big thank you to web designer, Rebecca Baxter, for creating a user friendly website, which includes a video section, news, and other resources that readers may find helpful.
What mental health related topics would you like to see discussed? Feel free to email your suggestions. We hope you enjoy our new website, and invite you to also join us on our FaceBook and Twitter pages for regular updates.
Cornerstone Psychological Services