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Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACOA)

Adult children of alcoholics often rely on the same coping skills that helped them survive through tough situations when they were younger.  As adults those skills can cause problems in their relationships.  ACOA’s may have addictions to substances or behaviours such as alcohol, drugs, eating, work or gambling themselves or they tend to find people that they can “save” such as alcoholics and substance abusers. They often criticize themselves and continuously seek approval of others and may lose some of their identity in the process.  ACOA’s often have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and have guilt feelings for standing up for themselves instead of giving in.  The Adult Child of an Alcoholic usually has a dependent personality that is afraid of abandonment and will do “anything” to keep a relationship, they are frightened by angry people and confrontation.  It is hard for them to trust others.  It is helpful for the ACOA to work on their addictive behaviours first and then they can begin to see their other problems more clearly.  They can learn to feel hope, trust and healthy love again.
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Grief – sorrow or mental suffering resulting from loss, affliction, regret, death…

David James and Associates

David James Cockman - BSW, MSW, RSW

David James and Associates Professional Counselling Services
Six Locations in Southern Ontario & The Niagara Region
Mobile 905.685.2787
Free  1.866.775.4991
Fax    905.563.7011
Email    info@davidjamesandassociates.com
Web    www.davidjamesandassociates.com

Grief is a normal human reaction to loss and change.  Sharing our grief allows us to heal quicker.  To go through the many layers of grief takes time, the bigger the loss the longer the time.  For minor losses the grieving process could take a few hours, days or even weeks.  For moderate loss the time could be months to a year and for severe loss the grieving time could take 2 to 4 years for healthy completion.

There are as many ways to grieve as there are personalities, everyone grieves differently and at different paces.

One model based on Kubler-Ross’s stages of accepting death is as follows:

Numbness:
This reaction often follows the death of a loved one and may last for seven to ten days.  Some have referred to numbing as the body’s way for protecting itself from the shock of the loss.

Denial and Isolation:
Here the bereaved person has difficulty accepting their loss.  Although acceptance is part of the complete grief process more acute difficulties with acceptance are included in this stage.

Anger:
In this phase the bereaved feels anger with everyone.  A strong feeling of “Why me?” ensues here and bargaining with God for the return of the deceased may be a part of this phase.

Depression:
As the bereaved accepts their loss and the reality of that loss sets in they may experience extreme sadness or depression.

Acceptance:
The bereaved person comes to terms with their loss and is able to return to life on a daily basis with an absence of the extremes of emotion previously experienced.

Learning Disabilities

Counselling, Counsellor, Niagara Region, St. Catharines, Therapist, Thorold, Welland, Niagara Falls, Beamsville, Lincoln, Grimsby, Stoney Creek, Port Colborne, Psychotherapy, Psychologist, addictions, chronic pain, hypno therapy, marriage, divorce
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DAVID JAMES & ASSOCIATES
http://www.davidjamesandassociates.com
December 6, 2010

 

REMEMBER:  “People with learning disabilities are smart, they just learn differently.”

 

Why is it some students struggle while most have no difficulty?

Some believe the problems with children who do not succeed at school are:

 

Temporary:  The problem will go away with time; they will pull out of it

Home Environment:  The parents must be doing something wrong.

Intellect:  They are simply not smart enough or not fit for school.

Motivational:  They are simply not motivated and do not apply themselves.

School Environment:  The teacher must be doing something wrong.

 

While each of these is a possibility, it is likely that the particular student is suffering from Learning Disabilities.

 

The Facts

.

A learning disability is a disorder that interferes with an individual’s ability to interpret what they see and hear or to link information from different parts of the brain.

Left unaddressed, people may suffer unnecessary hardships such as low self-esteem .

Learning disabilities cannot be cured, however they can be lessened through  interventions and helpful learning strategies.

Bright and gifted children who are under-achieving  may have learning disabilities and those who do often fall between the cracks in our educational system.

It is important to identify whether or not a person has a learning disability in order to determine

the strategies to compensate for it.

 

If difficulties in several of the following items pertain to you or your child, learning disabilities may apply.

-Planning or organizing work

-Completing homework

-Basic reading and reading comprehension

Listening comprehension

-Math calculations and reasoning

-Language skills

Spelling

Note taking

-Class participation

-Following verbal direction

-Easily frustrated with school work   

Time management

Remembering facts and school-related content

 

Learning disabilities are assessed in 5 areas:  Visual, Auditory, Motor, Organizational and Conceptual.

Boundaries – “What is All This Talk About?”

 

DAVID JAMES & ASSOCIATES
http://www.davidjamesandassociates.com
Topic Chess Series
November 5, 2010

 The concept of boundaries is one the most important tools in the area of interpersonal relationships.  Most of our significant relationship problems in our lives are a result in having “poor boundaries”.

What are Boundaries?

Boundaries are the imaginary lines that that tell people your limits and how close they can get to you.  Boundaries can be considered the “shield” you create around yourself such as Limits around time, who you allow into your life and limits around what activities you let take up your attention.

Boundaries are for protection.

Boundaries are the fundamental things that keep you safe and support your well-being.
If you were parented well, you learned to say “NO” firmly and resolutely and to resist people that are “boundary invaders”.  By doing this you learned to keep yourself safe and well.
When our interpersonal boundaries are working well they help us to filter out the negative or harmful people and allow the positive or good people in. Firm boundaries allow us yo enter into sexual relationships that are fulfilling, avoiding those that would be disastrous.  Healthy boundaries  give us a firm sense of who we are, which leads us to treat loved ones well, yet resist attempted abuse or exploitation.

Some unhealthy situations:

The first common unhealthy boundary is attempting the rescue the “unrecoverable.”  Rescuing is doing something for someone that they should be doing for themselves.  An example is loaning money to someone that is always in need and never pays back.

Another common example of poor boundaries is saying yes to every request to things that we don’t have time for nor interest in.  Like the parent that agrees to anything that involves their children because they feel too guilty to say no.

A very damaging lack-of-boundaries is to stay involved with anyone that diminishes our self esteem in any way.

Caring for others and showing compassion is important, but constant care and rescuing are not healthy for either party.  Sometimes saying no is the most loving and healthy action to take.

Abuse, the most serious form of boundary-encroaching is a major source of the life difficulties that lead many people to seek assistance in managing stress and poor relationships.

Panic Attacks – “I Never Want to Feel Like That Again!”

DAVID JAMES & ASSOCIATES
http://www.davidjamesandassociates.com
Topic Chess Series
October 27, 2010

Panic Attacks – “I Never Want to Feel Like That Again!”

Anyone who has ever had a full-fledged panic attack knows that it is one of the most intensely uncomfortable states human beings are capable of experiencing.  Your very first panic attack can have a traumatic impact, leaving you feeling terrified and helpless, with strong anticipatory anxiety about the possible recurrence of your panic symptoms. Unfortunately, in some cases, panic does come back and occurs repeatedly. Why some people have a panic attack only once—or perhaps once every few years—while others develop a chronic condition with several attacks a week, is still not understood by researchers in the field.

A panic attack can be a very frightening and uncomfortable experience, but it is absolutely not dangerous. You may be surprised to learn that panic is an entirely natural bodily reaction that simply occurs out of context. Suppose, for example, that your car stalled on the railway tracks while a train approached you from about 200 meters away. You would experience a sudden surge of adrenaline, accompanied by feelings of panic, and a very strong and sensible urge to flee your predicament. In fact, you body would undergo a whole range of reactions, including:

• an increase in your heart rate
• an increase in your respiratory rate
• a tensing of your muscles
• constriction of your arteries and reduced blood flow to your hands and feet
• increased blood flow to your large muscles
• release of stored sugar from your liver into your blood stream
• increased production of sweat

In a spontaneous panic attack, your body goes through exactly the same physiological flight reaction that it does in a truly life-threatening situation. The panic attack that wakes you up at night or occurs out of the blue is physiologically indistinguishable from your response to such experiences as your car stalling on the railway tracks or waking to hear a robber going through your house.

What makes a panic attack unique and difficult to cope with is that these intense bodily reactions occur in the absence of any immediate or apparent danger. Or, in the case of agoraphobia, they occur in response to situations that have no apparent life-threatening potential (such as standing in line at the grocery store or being at home alone). In either case, you don’t know why the reaction is happening. And not knowing why—not being able to make any sense out of the fact that your body is going through such an intense response—only serves to make the entire experience even more frightening. Your tendency is to react to sensations that are intense and inexplicable with even more fear and a heightened sense of danger.

Here at David James and Associates, we believe that treatment emphasizing a three-pronged approach is most effective in helping people overcome this disorder; education, psychotherapy, and medication.

Education is usually the first factor in psychotherapy treatment of this disorder. Our clients can be instructed about the body’s “fight or flight” response and associated physiological sensations.  Learning to recognize and identify such sensations is usually an important initial step toward treatment of panic disorder.

Individual  psychotherapy is usually the preferred modality, and its length is generally short- term under 12 sessions. An emphasis on education, support, and the teaching of more effective coping strategies is usually the primary focus of therapy. We believe that Family Therapy is usually unnecessary and inappropriate.

We also teach relaxation and imagery techniques. These can be used during a panic attack to decrease immediate physiological distress and the accompanying emotional fears. We also provide Hypnosis and Emotional Freedom Technique.  Discussion of our client’s irrational fears (usually of dying), passing out, becoming embarrassed) during an attack is always helpful and often beneficial in the context of a supportive, therapeutic relationship.

We believe a cognitive or rational-emotive approach in this area is best. Our Counsellors are very knowledgeable regarding RET.

A consultation with us will no doubt be the first major step on the way to recovering from anxiety and panic

To schedule a consultation contact:  David James & Associates at: 
Call: 1866 775 4991
Email: david@davidjamesandassociates.com
Web: www.davidjamesandassociates.com

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