How to Bring Reason Back Into Conversations

Trish Harper

difficult conversations, conflict, touchy subject, disagree

We often allow our predetermined beliefs to guide how we relate to other people. Look no further than politicians who speak about each other or groups they disagree with, using negative and, at times, highly charged rhetoric. I don’t know about you, but I find some despair and anxiety seeping into my psyche every time I read about, witness, or … Read More

The “Elephant Sisterhood” – and The Importance of Asking for Help

Trish Harper

community, compassion, community, health, wellness, self-care, mental health

“Well, it looks like I have a touch of the breast cancer.” These words fell from my friend’s mouth with a thud after she learned the news of some long-awaited medical tests. Although her smile disguised shock and sadness, all of our eyes were moist with tears. Her devastating diagnosis took place just a few weeks before the strange new … Read More

4 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude During COVID-19

Trish Harper

practicing gratitude, self-care, mental health, mental illness, counselling, counsellor, therapy, therapist, anxiety, depression, covid-19, coronavirus

Everyone is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and “everyone” is inclusive of the global community. This isn’t to say all of the impacts are uniform or evenly distributed – while we may all be experiencing the same storm, we are not all in the same boat. My 15-year-old daughter made an interesting remark after supper the other day, which caused … Read More

Everyone Has More Than One Story

Trish Harper

story, stories, personal story, narrative therapy, multi-stories, mental health, mental illness, counselling, counsellor

I’ll admit that I sometimes like to watch true crime documentaries or listen to podcasts. When I do, my mind often generates more questions than conclusions about the people involved. Questions like, “Who are the person’s family and loved ones?” “Where were they raised?” “Where do they call home?” “What do neighbours and coworkers have to say about them?” and … Read More

How to Make a Lasting Change

Trish Harper

change, changes, lasting change, mental health, self-care

Do you have anything you would like to change? Is there something you do too much of? Or, is there something you do too little of? Would you like to change the way you interact with someone close to you, but feel like you are short on the willpower needed to take action? Maybe it feels like you’re in a … Read More

The Benefits of Writing Down Thoughts and Feelings

Trish Harper

writing, journalling, self-care, journaling, mental health, mental illness, counselling, therapy, anxiety, depression, gratitude

I know I’m not the only one who has written a letter to someone who has hurt or betrayed me. During a turbulent, difficult time early in my career, I had a conflict with my supervisor and decided to write a letter. I expressed my frustrated, blame-filled thoughts, my miserable and fearful emotions, and described how I was hurt. Although … Read More

Ideas for Inspiring Self-Care

Trish Harper

Coping with the lightning-fast pace of modern society, the steady stream of bad news in the media, constant to-do lists that are never done, and the encroachment of technology which keeps us plugged-in every moment of every day inevitably comes up on a daily basis in my work. Recently, I shared a story with my colleagues about being so busy … Read More

3 Benefits of Gratitude

Trish Harper

gratitude, self-care, mental health, mental illness, counselling, therapy, anxiety, depression

This blog is inspired by a quote from codependency expert and self-help author Melody Beattie: “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” (Confession: Usually I tend to shy away from a lot of the self-help authors who came into the public awareness as I was growing up in the 1980s, but … Read More

Focus on Presence, Not Presents

Trish Harper

As each holiday season approaches, I must admit, I get a little grumpier every year – I may even be approaching “Bah Humbug!” status. Now before you label me a modern-day grinch, let me tell you, it’s not because I don’t like Christmas carols, cold weather, frosty windchills, or days that begin and end with darkness. It’s not even because … Read More

3 Tips for Working with Teenagers

Trish Harper

parenting teenagers, parenting, adolescence, youth, children, mental health, self-care

In my household this school year, both of my kids are entering pivotal times in their young lives. My son is in grade 12 and will be expected to make some big decisions about what he will be doing with his life post-graduation. My daughter, however, is in grade 9 and is at the very beginning of her high school … Read More