Counselling Couples: 4 Challenges and 4 Strategies

Luke Whitmore

couple, couple relationship, communication, pattern, counselling, mental health

Relationships are one of the most common topics people focus on in counselling. Adult couple relationships in particular are a frequent focus, and counsellors often discover there are unique challenges when we have two people as our counselling “client” rather than just one. I teach and supervise many counsellors who work with couples, and there are some common themes that … Read More

4 Tips for Supporting Marital Separation

Luke Whitmore

Several years ago, I experienced a sense of loss upon hearing that my neighbour and her husband were getting divorced. I wasn’t particularly close to them, but for a fleeting moment I thought about the ways in which this separation would impact me. Most of us have friends or family who have separated and can relate to the myriad of … Read More

8 Cancers That Can Hurt Relationships

Luke Whitmore

Author and speaker, Dr. Stephen Covey, spoke of five different kinds of cancers that destroy all relationships. As a mental health therapist, I know of eight (including Dr. Covey’s five) that many of us are unaware of and that we may practice daily without realizing. In his work, the late Dr. Covey spoke of these first five, but I believe … Read More

Turning Complaints into Connection: Couple Relationships

Luke Whitmore

Winter can make me grouchy. Living in Manitoba, Canada, means winter holds many days of harsh, biting winds, and long nights of cold temperatures. Because of this, a recurring thought often runs through my mind: “When will this end and why do I live here?” As I sit with a couple in my office in the middle of winter, I … Read More

Reflections on Grief and Continuation

Luke Whitmore

In loss we are asked to learn how to be in a relationship with an unseen being. We have to open our minds to our imagination and then want the imaginal relationship to develop. – Deborah Morris Coryell Years ago, I remember getting the call that my partner’s grandmother was dying. Being young and flexible, we got in the car … Read More

Tips For Working With Resistance To Change

Luke Whitmore

If you work in the helping field, you likely encounter the struggle and fear people often have toward change. It’s ironic isn’t it? People seek support when there is something they need to change or others want changed. Then they put great energy into avoiding, fighting off or procrastinating making any steps toward change. Why do people struggle with change? … Read More

7 Tips for Finding the Right Counsellor

Luke Whitmore

man having a conversation with his therapist

So you have decided you are ready to seek a change, tackle a tough decision or perhaps find support to improve the way you are managing in your life. How do you find a professional counsellor or therapist to help you on this journey, who is the right match for your particular concerns or goals? 1. Find the Right Type … Read More

Tips for Using Laughter in Counselling

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happy psychiatrist with pencil

Dave always begins and ends with a joke. However, the conversations between such bookends are anything but funny. In our meetings, Dave talks about his experiences of the chaos he survived growing up, and the intense effort it takes to leave this in the past. As I get to know Dave, he tells me humour is his way of dealing … Read More

How Do You Look After Yourself?

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Awhile back, a new client asked me an important question (a question I encourage all people to ask their counsellors), “How do you look after yourself”? He then proceeded to tell me that if he was to work with me regarding his experience of trauma, he needed to know I was healthy. As helpers, we often ask our clients about … Read More

5 Actions Towards Longevity as a Helper

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young girl talking with counselor

Working in a helping or counselling role is a lot harder than it may seem – especially if you want to do it for a long time while still deriving satisfaction from it. Many people are drawn to the field because they are told they are a good listener, or maybe they’ve had their own relevant struggles and become stronger … Read More