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The Empowered Patient

People rely on our medical system to keep them well and restore their health when they are sick or injured.  The medical system does a good job for the most part.  Sometimes, things go wrong and there is an "adverse event."  This could be the result of medical error, malpractice, or that the patient's condition was too far advanced to be corrected.  No matter the reason, the adverse outcome will affect the patient.  How the medical system responds will have a positive or Read More...


ADHD: Its not just for kids anymore

What do these people have in common -- Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise, and Terry Bradshaw? How about these people -- Malcolm Forbes, Henry Ford, and Benjamin Franklin? While there are a number of characteristics that the men in each group have in common, it may surprise you to know that they are all suspected of having ADHD. Jim Carrey may not surprise many people but Ben Franklin? Many people are aware of the symptoms and some of the treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. Most Read More...


Compliance, Attachment, and Emotion Regulation

As part of my PhD program I wrote a paper called Compliance, Attachment, and Emotion Regulation.  The paper was written to demonstrate how parenting behaviour can have a highly postive impact on these three areas of child development.  Similar parenting behaviour is implicated in all three areas of development.  Specifically, parents who respond to their children, interact with them in a child-centered way, and help them to identify their emotional response to events help childre Read More...


Medication for ADHD?

What treatments are available for ADHD? There are a variety of options. Family therapy may help a family adjust to the stresses that are related to having a family member with ADHD. Social skills training may be useful for a child to get along better with his peers. Classroom management may help to reduce the impact of potential distractions for a child. Insight-oriented therapy (cognitive-behavioural, EMDR, etc.) may help repair damaged self-esteem. One of the more effective ways of changing on Read More...


Auditory Processing Disorder

One of the running jokes in my family is that whenever someone says something like, “Did you hear . . .?”  the other person answers, “What?”  We try and catch each other off guard and get them to repeat themselves.  While this is fun for us, it is no fun having a hearing loss or a problem that interferes with understanding what is being said to you.  Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a listening problem rather than a hearing problem.  To diagn Read More...


What is a Psychological Assessment?

Someone once said, “I took an IQ test and the results were negative.” But, what is an IQ test and how are the results used? There is much mystery surrounding psychological testing and what the results might mean. A huge variety of tests covers the entire range of human functioning. Tests measure intelligence, personality, job aptitude, mood problems like depression and anxiety, neuropsychological functioning, language skills, school achievement, and aspects of health and well-being. Read More...


Quitting Smoking

So, you want to quit smoking. Every smoker quits, eventually. In an old BC comic strip, one cave man asked the clerk at the Advice Rock, "What is the best way to quit smoking?" The answer: "Voluntarily." There is much misunderstanding about smoking tobacco and how and why it is harmful. Most people understand that the main and most addictive ingredient in tobacco is nicotine. However, most people don’t know how it works or why it is so addictive. According to medical sources, smoking is o Read More...


Victims of Suicide

When we hear about a death by suicide, our first thoughts are often about the person who died. We try to imagine why they killed themselves. Many people’s thoughts then turn to the other victims of suicide, the people left behind. The most obvious victims are the family members, friends, and acquaintances of someone who has completed a suicide. Survivors are left to deal with the loss of a loved one. They may have very conflicting and conflicted feelings. Survivors may be sad at the loss o Read More...


Psychological and Emotional Trauma

One of my favourite bumper stickers from the 1980’s stated that “One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day.” Similarly, a major trauma can ruin much more than one day. Psychological trauma affects many people. The formal definition of trauma and the type of experiences that are considered traumatic has changed over the years. The first definitions related to extreme experiences of soldiers on the battlefield. The condition has been called shellshock and battlefield psychosis amo Read More...


Is Your Anxiety Something to Worry About?

What? Me worry?” That famous tag line from Alfred E. Neumann of Mad Magazine fame underlines our curious relationship with anxiety. On the one hand, we seem to think that we shouldn’t worry because that indicates we are not sure of ourselves. On the other hand, when we feel sure of ourselves, we worry that we’re missing something. Like many areas in life, it is important to find a balance in our anxiety. What is anxiety anyway? Anxiety or worry is the feeling we get when we are Read More...


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