Sex, Drugs & Alcohol Addiction, Anxiety, Depression, and Couples Counselling

Terry Mah, MA, CPC, ASAT, AMAT, CCC, AAMFT Clinical Fellow, RMFT Nationally

Mah's Counselling Services

Mah's Counselling Services provides confidential, compassionate

and caring counselling in Red Deer and Central Alberta.


How Compassion Can Heal Shame from Childhood

Posted on 31 July, 2015 at 10:55 Comments comments (1)

This is a great article by Beverly Engel about shame. She provides a great description of shame and how it can develop from our childhood experiences. As children we were vulnerable to the experiences of powerlessness and helplessness. Usually these experiences were tied to shame teaching us to learn ways to defend ourselves from ever having to experience shame again. These learned behaviours may have helped us as children to survive but in adulthood they affect our relationships to others and ourselves. Shame and the associated core beliefs of not being lovable, being bad, and not deserving of love are one of the driving forces in addiction and many other mental illnesses. Fortunately there is a way to mitigate the effects of shame in our lives and therapy can provide a space where compassion and care can be learned.

Just Breathe

Posted on 29 May, 2015 at 13:15 Comments comments (0)

This is a great short video on helping kids (or adults) deal with their emotions. In the midst of our emotions of fear, hurt, or shame we can react with feelings of anger. Breathing allows our thinking brain to catch up to our emotional brain and to self-soothe these emotional states.


Posted on 9 February, 2015 at 17:50 Comments comments (0)

A funny animated short by Brene Brown on Blame.

The Science of Pornography Addiction

Posted on 12 January, 2015 at 0:15 Comments comments (0)

This youtube video is a great summary of the science behind pornography addiction. The neural pathways for reward can become hijacked by the repetitive use of pornography leading to a state where the person loses control and cannot stop despite the consequences and losses in life. If you would like to talk about this more or are concerned that there maybe a problem, please do not hesitate to call or contact me.

The Science of Pornography Addiction -

The Serenity Prayer

Posted on 14 November, 2014 at 18:40 Comments comments (0)

The Serenity Prayer is frequently used in 12 Step addiction recovery groups for good reason.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot control.

The courage to change the things I can and

The wisdom to know the difference.

Many times when addictions are involved, the focus becomes what the addict ought to do. Loved one's are legitimately concerned for the well being of the addict as their behaviours can progressively endanger their careers, relationships, and health.

What the Serenity Prayer does is reminds us of what we can or cannot control in our lives and to seek out wisdom to differentiate the elements in our lives that can be controlled. Telling or commanding someone to do something is like pushing a rope. Its gets frustrating because human choice is like that rope which is not designed to be told what to do. Maybe the question is not what the addict ought to do but what am I doing to enable the addict to continue using their drug of choice or addictive behaviour? Do I try to protect the addict from the natural consequences of the their addictive behaviour? Do I try to manage and take responsibility for the addict's emotions? Do I provide financial support for the addict to continue their addictive behaviours? The focus on many of these questions are not about the addict, rather they are about my own personal choices and responses to the addict's behaviour. The elements that can be changed are our personal thoughts, beliefs, feelings, choices, and responses.

There can be a great deal of fear of having to accept the things that cannot be changed but courage can be found as we begin to recognize the boundaries and limits of our abilities and to act within those abilities in spite of our fears.

Various Drug and Alcohol Recovery Groups

Posted on 20 October, 2014 at 17:25 Comments comments (0)

Various Drug and Alcohol Recovery Groups

Alcoholics Anonymous - AA in Alberta and Northwest Territories

Narcotics Anonymous - NA meetings in Central Alberta

Gamblers Anonymous

Recovery Groups for Family Members Affected by Drug and Alcohol Addiction




Getting Unhooked

Posted on 7 October, 2014 at 15:45 Comments comments (0)

This is a great reminder by Dr. Charlie Whelton, psychiatrist at Edgewood Addictions Treatment Center, how we can easily overstep the boundaries of responsibility and take over another person's responsibility to change their lives.

The Vicious Cycle of Fear

Posted on 28 September, 2014 at 0:05 Comments comments (0)

Interesting article on the role of fear in the addiction cycle.

Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST)

Posted on 22 September, 2014 at 0:00 Comments comments (0)

An online Sexual Addiction Screening Test which is free.

There are additional resources found at