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.

Blog

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.


https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-compassion-chronicles/201307/how-compassion-can-heal-shame-childhood

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.

http://amysmartgirls.com/short-film-just-breathe-helps-kids-deal-with-emotions/

Holding Space

Posted on 22 March, 2015 at 13:30 Comments comments (0)

I have been asked the question as to what therapy is about and what it is like. This article about Holding Space is an accurate description of what therapy can be like. Therapy can be perceived as a shaming, controling and humiliating experience but life healing therapy is never meant to do any of this. In many ways it is these experiences of shame, control and humiliation that create the many struggles we face in our lives. Therapy is about holding and creating a different space for people, if given the opportunity, to choose a different course for their lives not controlled by the fears created by these negative experiences.


http://heatherplett.com/2015/03/hold-space/

Blame

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

A funny animated short by Brene Brown on Blame.

http://vimeo.com/117375823

Link between brain inflammation and depression

Posted on 9 February, 2015 at 17:45 Comments comments (0)

An interesting study on the link between brain inflammation and depression.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150128113824.htm

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 - http://youtu.be/1Ya67aLaaCc

Empathy versus Sympathy

Posted on 7 December, 2014 at 0:40 Comments comments (0)

This is a great animated short narrated by Brene Brown about the difference between empathy and sympathy. Empathy is feeling with other people and creating connection. Sympathy separates us from one another. The four qualities of empathy are perspective taking, non-judgement of others, recognizing emotions in the other person, and communicating that to the other person.

http://youtu.be/1Evwgu369Jw

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.

The Power of Vulnerability - Brene Brown

Posted on 30 September, 2014 at 0:40 Comments comments (0)

Fantastic TED talk on the power of vulnerability. My favorite quote "And I know that vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it's also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love."

http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability?language=en