Table of Contents

Table of Contents

ADHD

i forgot to take my addictive medication

Meme of the week: I forgot to take my highly addictive drugs

It’s simply unimaginable that doctors would treat patients this way with any other condition than adhd. But because adhd is generally not taken very seriously by doctors or psychiatrists, this is an easy group of patients to bully. I know that is a harsh word in 2024, but after hearing so many stories about the shitty diminishing way that doctors talk to people with adhd, I think it is appropriate to call it as such.

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Perfectionism, Part I: The Problem of the Product

Perfectionism causes personal and professional problems for perfectionists themselves and those around them. And, in a bitter twist of irony, it turns out to be an inefficient and ineffective way of producing good work with any consistency. Perfectionism is not segregated in any single population, but it is one of the most common difficulties experienced by people with adhd.

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Paper vs Scissors

Feelings vs Emotions, Part II: Dirty Fuels and Fatigue

In Part 1 of Feelings vs Emotions, I explored the definitional and substantive differences between feelings and emotions. I wrote about the relationship between interoception—the senses that offer information about the state of our body—and the binary feeling of good/bad. In today’s post, I will focus on emotions. “Emotions,” as Damasio notes in Part 1 “indicate actions,” and then later describes them as “concerts of actions.”

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Versus

Feelings vs Emotions, Part I: Loud Bodies

The language of psychology can be confusing. But the use of precise language is critically important to the process of counselling, because we cannot attend to the parts of the world that we cannot name.

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strikethrough a

What is adult adhd?

Adult adhd is not a thing. It is as I described in my previous post, a corrupt name that follows a corrupt concept.

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Kill the meaning. Keep the name.

All people with adhd deal with hyperactivity in some form. All. It is a corrupt practice to say that boys and men who exhibit a surplus of movement have adhd and girls and women who exhibit a surplus of psychic activity—worry, indecisiveness, nervousness, fearfulness, and perseveration—have an anxiety disorder. This is the very definition of prejudice.

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The “no” of adhd

There exists in every person with adhd a ‘no’ lying in wait. I simply call it oppositionalism. To be oppositional means to stand against something.

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HSIHADHD Logo

Listen to hart on HSIHADHD

Listen to my fun and wide ranging conversation with Robbie McDonald and Jordan Lane on their podcast Holy Sh*t I have ADHD (HSIHADHD). Facebook Twitter

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Meme of the week

i forgot to take my addictive medication

Meme of the week: I forgot to take my highly addictive drugs

It’s simply unimaginable that doctors would treat patients this way with any other condition than adhd. But because adhd is generally not taken very seriously by doctors or psychiatrists, this is an easy group of patients to bully. I know that is a harsh word in 2024, but after hearing so many stories about the shitty diminishing way that doctors talk to people with adhd, I think it is appropriate to call it as such.

Read More »

Meme of the week: the carnival

The mood of the carnival is ominous. Clients tell me, as the tweet above speaks to, that the content of their thoughts and the emotional tenor of the carnival is existentially heavy.

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Unmasking adhd

Meme of the week: “you meddling kids!”

The number of clients that have come into my office with long standing difficulties that they and their families and their health professionals call depression and anxiety and dysthymia and mood disorders and a variety of other mental illnesses but turn out to flow from a lifetime of dealing with undiagnosed adhd is jaw dropping.

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Shirt

Meme of the week: my clothes felt weird

I love this one, because in two short sentences, the author conveys a sense of some of the ways—there are many more—in which those of us with adhd experience sensory/perceptual overwhelm that might be surprising to neurotypical readers.

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Existentialism

Perfectionism, Part I: The Problem of the Product

Perfectionism causes personal and professional problems for perfectionists themselves and those around them. And, in a bitter twist of irony, it turns out to be an inefficient and ineffective way of producing good work with any consistency. Perfectionism is not segregated in any single population, but it is one of the most common difficulties experienced by people with adhd.

Read More »

Kill the meaning. Keep the name.

All people with adhd deal with hyperactivity in some form. All. It is a corrupt practice to say that boys and men who exhibit a surplus of movement have adhd and girls and women who exhibit a surplus of psychic activity—worry, indecisiveness, nervousness, fearfulness, and perseveration—have an anxiety disorder. This is the very definition of prejudice.

Read More »

Counselling - General

Conflict

The art of arguing, part I: what are the common misconceptions or negative perceptions surrounding arguments and conflict?

Conflicts are make or break moments a lot of the time (but not all the time!). In these essential frictions we have the opportunity to either leave them stagnating into perpetuity, polluting the relationship in all kinds of ways, or we can use the galvanizing effect of being irritated and frustrated and hurt to actually construct with each other new ways of being together, new ways of relating.

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Imposter

Imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome will plague most of us at some point in our lives or another. It often accompanies change, when we’ve moved up in the world in some fashion and start to feel a looming, background sense of anxiety or worry that we don’t belong. Let’s explore what imposter syndrome is and how we can deal with it in counselling therapy or on your own.

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EMDR Badge

Congratulations Carolina Radovan!

Please join me, Shane, and the rest of the Nightingale staff as we congratulate Senior Clinician, Carolina Radovan. After two years of hard study and practice, she has been granted membership to the EMDR International Association.

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Valentine's Day

Relationship advice on the eve of Valentine’s Day

Whether it’s just another Hallmark Holiday to you, or if it’s as good an excuse as any to open a nice bottle and slip into something a little less comfortable, Valentine’s Day has us thinking about love and romance. Here are three pieces of relationship advice that depart from the norm a little. I hope they help you and your sweetheart get a little cozier this winter.

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Soup

Are feelings facts?

Here, a feeling is, in actuality, a fact. Let me make a stronger claim: all feelings are facts. They are facts in the same way that the table I am sitting at currently is made of wood and that I am a psychotherapist. All are part of the same category of thing we call facts.

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Boundaries, Part I: Next Level Boundary Setting

Boundary setting is one of the most popular topics in counselling therapy today. Posts about boundaries on our social media get more engagement as the algorithms get to work on some hot content. But I’ve noticed that in the topics that are more viral, the quality of the nuance and sophistication drops by equal measure. Because of this, boundary setting has a pretty poor reflection in the PopPsych of our times.

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A dream is a wish your [neurons and/or unconscious] makes

While I’m no expert, I’ve learned about dream work by doing. My Jungian therapists over the past 18 years have helped me tend to this part of myself and it was likely the greatest education I could’ve received. The only hard-and-fast rule that I’ve gleaned is that the client, not the therapist, needs to take the lead in terms of offering their feelings, their interpretations, their point of view about their dream

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Perfectionism, Part I: The Problem of the Product

Perfectionism causes personal and professional problems for perfectionists themselves and those around them. And, in a bitter twist of irony, it turns out to be an inefficient and ineffective way of producing good work with any consistency. Perfectionism is not segregated in any single population, but it is one of the most common difficulties experienced by people with adhd.

Read More »

Exploring Diagnosis and Normalization

I’m thinking very broadly about the impulse, or emotion, or need which brings people into therapy. I’m not thinking about what’s the most common problem in therapy, or anything like that, but more like what are the ordinary common denominators. And I’m hoping this will lead to insights for helping.

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Paper vs Scissors

Feelings vs Emotions, Part II: Dirty Fuels and Fatigue

In Part 1 of Feelings vs Emotions, I explored the definitional and substantive differences between feelings and emotions. I wrote about the relationship between interoception—the senses that offer information about the state of our body—and the binary feeling of good/bad. In today’s post, I will focus on emotions. “Emotions,” as Damasio notes in Part 1 “indicate actions,” and then later describes them as “concerts of actions.”

Read More »
Versus

Feelings vs Emotions, Part I: Loud Bodies

The language of psychology can be confusing. But the use of precise language is critically important to the process of counselling, because we cannot attend to the parts of the world that we cannot name.

Read More »

Antipsychiatry and Depathologization in Cormac McCarthy’s Stella Maris

I’m a therapist so I like to see this stuff wherever I look. But Cormac makes it pretty explicit in this book that he is taking aim at the psy-disciplines: at one point Alicia dissects her “reservations about the souldoctors”, saying “Maybe their lack of imagination. Their confusion about the categories into which they’re given to sorting their patients. As if name and cure were one. The way they ignore the total lack of evidence for the least efficacy in their treatments. Other than that they’re fine”

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Emotions

Healthy Emotional Life

Emotional life is changing. Children are taught emotional intelligence at a young age, partners and colleagues expect a higher degree of it than before, and it is more and more a part of popular consciousness. But without being clear on what healthy emotional life looks like, this new focus has created an opportunity for insecurities to run wild.

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Typewriter

What to do about low motivation?

Low motivation comes in many forms. The truth is that it’s not always easy to get ourselves to do things! When we talk about motivation we don’t usually clarify just what that word means in particular.

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Rollercoaster

High Functioning Anxiety

The vast majority of people who experience anxiety have what might best be called “high functioning anxiety”. But what does that even mean?

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Avoidance

Avoidant attachment

Avoidant attachment shows its face in many adult relationships, including work and friendship, but is most obvious in romantic relationships. This attachment style is seen in the desire to move away from people, to use withdrawal, or to avoid experiences that are exposing, vulnerable, or intimate.

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M≠T

Misery does not equal trauma

In this post I want to lay out a few misconceptions about what trauma is and isn’t, and how to tell the difference, as well as talk about why these distinctions might be important.

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Gandhiji’s Three Monkeys

Insights, Part IV – Information and Denial

For just a moment, let us throw away everything we think we know about emotions and consider them in the following way: as sources of information that run parallel with our thinking in language, acting as guides and prompts for our movement in the world.

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Insights, Part II – A Left Brain World

Our society is fixated on the rational left, dominating the more intuitive right, and there’s no shortage of reasons why. But the truth is that for all the good we do when we incorporate our best rational thinking (left) in our decisions, we do ourselves a great disservice when we ignore the rich data from the intuitive right. What is the evolutionary advantage for if we don’t use it?

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Colourful Brain

Insights Afforded by Therapy – Part I, Introduction

Once we’ve recognized how problems of “affect regulation” impact us and how counsellors participate in the learning of providing space for new insights, one might wonder the following:

  • What exactly are these insights into the nature of healing and change?

  • Are they the same for everyone? (How can that be!?)

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How do Counsellors Help? Part III – Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias is the tendency we all have to look for evidence that conforms to what we already think is so. We see what we expect to see. And if we expect an event or a relationship to unfold in a certain way, then we are likely to perceive that it does, in fact, happen that way.

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How do Counsellors Help? Part II – Therapeutic Experience

In our last post in this series, we introduced the concept of the counsellor’s ability to “target and titrate.” But what exactly does that mean, and how does it create a healing experience? And even before that, what does it mean to have an “experience” in the first place?

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Covid-19 Stress Infographic

We produced this infographic for our colleagues at Envision Physiotherapy as a guide to help them assess the levels of stress and the resiliency of coping strategies in their patients. We present it here as a (hopefully) helpful guide in assisting readers to assess their own levels of stress and capacity to cope.

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The “Stress Container” Explained, Part II

There is a high cost to our powerful coping strategies, and this is why they often only work temporarily. At some point, the costs come to outweigh the benefits. When these coping systems exhaust their temporary efficacy, they start to progressively add more stress then they eliminate.

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The “Stress Container” Explained, Part I

The size of your container is largely formed during early childhood. Children who are supported in the experience of appropriate stress—neither too much nor too little—can more easily tolerate large volumes of stress.

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