Counselling Services in Calgary

Sometimes, on the pathway of life, you may encounter challenges or obstacles that interfere with your enjoyment of the journey. At times like this, it can be very helpful to work with a psychologist – a travel companion – who can help you discover new ways of looking at things, new skills to manage situations and new resources that can add to the richness of your experience.

Individual or couple therapy can be a gift you give yourself. I would welcome your call if you would like to speak with me about how I might be able to help.

Suggested Reading Material

Reading can help people to normalize their experience and discover ideas for how to improve their situation. The following suggestions are just a sampling of books that some people have found helpful.

Books About Depression

  • Burns, D.  (1990). The Feeling Good Handbook. NY: Penguin Books.
    "Burns reveals powerful techniques and provides step-by-step exercises that help you cope with the full range of everyday problems."
  • Greenberger, D. & Padesky, C.  (1995). Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think. NY:  Guilford Press.
    "This manual shows you how to improve your life using cognitive therapy — one of the most effective and widely practiced forms of psychotherapy."
  • McKay, M, Davis, M. & Fanning, P. (1997). Thoughts & Feelings: Taking Control of Your Moods and Your Life. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
    "Cognitive behavioural techniques are presented in a workbook format so you can practice them as self-help steps toward change."
  • Williams, J. M. G., Teasdale, J. D. & Segal, Z. V. (2007). The mindful way through depression:  Freeing yourself from chronic unhappiness. New York: Guilford Publications.
    The authors use mindfulness "to demonstrate how to sidestep the mental habits that lead to despair, including rumination and self-blame, so you can face life's challenges with greater resilience."  This book includes a CD of guided meditations, narrated by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
  • Yapko, M. (2000). Hand-me-down Blues. NY: St. Martin's Press.
    This book "leads readers away from blaming their parents, themselves or their spouses for their depression… Learning effective problem-solving and relationship skills can reduce and even prevent depression."
  • Yapko, M. (2001). Breaking the Patterns of Depression. NY: Broadway Books.
    "Readers are encouraged to take an active and experiential approach to helping themselves by using the nearly 100 'Learn by Doing' and 'Shifting Perspectives' structured exercises Dr. Yapko provides to develop the antidepressant life skills discussed in the text."
  • Yapko. M. (2009). Depression is Contagious. NY: Simon & Schuster.
    This book "challenges the commonly held belief that depression is just about biochemistry gone awry… The latest research provides overwhelming evidence that depression is far more a social problem than a medical disease." Dr. Yapko teaches skills to help protect your relationship from depression.
  • Yapko. M. Focusing on Feeling Good. Set of 4 CDs.
    This experiential audio program "teaches how to create feelings of comfort while building a positive and clear frame of mind. It features seven different hypnosis sessions, each targeting a different symptom of depression, providing methods for overcoming depression and creating a new and healthy lifestyle.

Books About Anxiety

The books in the Depression list can also be useful resources for managing Anxiety. In addition, the following books and CDs address Anxiety.

  • Bourne, E. J. (2010). The anxiety and phobia workbook (5th ed.).  Oakland, CA:  New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
    This workbook "offers readers a step-by-step plan for overcoming anxiety and presents the latest treatment strategies for a variety of anxiety disorders."
  • Flower, S. H. (2009). The mindful path through shyness: How mindfulness and compassion can help free you from social anxiety, fear, and avoidance.
    Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
    This book "helps readers who struggle with shyness social anxiety begin to notice the patterns that cause them to feel isolated and take steps toward change."
  • Hanh, Thich Nhat. (1992). Peace is every step: The path of mindfulness in everyday life. New York: Random House.
    "In the rush of modern life, we tend to lose touch with the peace that is available in each moment… Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how to make positive use of the very situations that usually pressure and antagonize us."
  • Orsillo, S. M. (2011). The mindful way through anxiety:  Break free from chronic worry and reclaim your life. New York: Guilford Press.
    The authors present "step-by-step strategies for gaining awareness of anxious feelings without letting them escalate; loosening the grip of worry and fear; and achieving a new level of emotional and physical well-being."
  • Yapko. M. Calm Down! Set of 4 CDs.
    Everyone gets anxious from time to time. This experiential audio program is intended to help you manage — and even prevent — episodes of anxiety in your life. In this program, Dr. Yapko teaches many of the "key skills that are known to reduce and even prevent anxious thoughts, feelings and behaviors."

Books About Assertiveness

  • Bower, S. & Bower, G. H. (2004). Asserting Yourself: A Practical Guide for Positive Change. (Updated ed.). New York: Da Capo Press.
    "Utilizing a number of techniques from behavior-change psychology, speech, communications, and acting, the authors… outline an effective assertiveness program to help people improve their self-esteem, articulate their opinions, and develop meaningful relationships."
  • Katherine, A. (2000). Boundaries: Where you end and I begin. New York: Simon & Schuster. This book "explains what healthy boundaries are, how to recognize if your personal boundaries are being violated, and what you can do to protect yourself."
  • Katherine, A. (2000). Where to draw the line: How to set healthy boundaries every day. New York: Simon & Schuster.
    "Boundaries are the unseen structures that support healthy, productive lives. Where to Draw the Line shows readers how to strengthen them and hold them in place every day."

Books About Coping With Stress

  • Davis, M.  (2008). The relaxation and stress reduction workbook (6th ed.).  Oakland, CA:  New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
    "The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook has become the most indispensable resource for effective and up-to-date techniques for relaxing the body and calming the mind."
  • George, M.  (1998). Learn to relax.  San Francisco: Chronicle Books.
    The author "suggests simple techniques for breathing, massage, anxiety control, time management, sleep enrichment, detachment and meditation, all designed to calm the mind."
  • Hanh, Thich Nhat. (2004). Creating true peace: Ending violence in yourself, your family, your community and the world. New York: Simon & Schuster.
    "The simple, but powerful daily actions and everyday interactions that Thich Nhat Hanh recommends can root out violence where it lives in our hearts and minds and help us discover the power to create peace at every level of life — personal, family, neighbourhood, community, state, nation and world."
  • Kabat-Zinn. (1990). Full catastrophe living: Using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness. New York: Random House.
    This book "shows you how to use natural, medically proven methods to soothe and heal your body, mind and spirit."
  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (2005). Guided mindfulness meditation. Set of 4 CDs. Sounds True. "By opening to an awareness of how things actually are in the present moment, we often taste very deep states of relaxation and well-being of both body and mind."

Books About Dealing with Anger — Anger Management

  • Goldhor Lerner, H. (1985, 2005). The dance of anger. New York:  Harper Collins.
    In this book, the author "teaches women to identify the true sources of their anger and to use anger as a powerful vehicle for creating lasting change."
  • Hanh, Thich Nhat. (2002). Anger: Wisdom for cooling the flames.  New York:  Riverhead Books.
    The author "provides real help for transforming the negative force of anger into a positive and useful energy, bringing harmony and healing to all aspects of our lives."
  • Hanh, Thich Nhat.  (2006).  Transformation and healing:  Sutra on the four establishments of mindfulness.  Berkeley, CA:  Parallax Press.
    "This sutra teaches us how to deal with anger and jealousy, to nurture the best qualities in our children, spouses, and friends, and to greet death with compassion and equanimity."
  • Lindenfield, G.  (2001).  Managing anger (Rev. ed.)  London:  Thorsons.
    In this revised edition, Lindenfield explains "the effects of anger on our bodies and minds, strategies for preventing the build-up of frustration, how to deal assertively with problems… and how to keep calm when faced with outbursts."
  • McKay, M., Rogers, P. & McKay, J.  (2003). When anger hurts:  Quieting the storm within (New ed.) Oakland, CA:  New Harbinger Publications.
    This book "is a guide to changing habitual anger-generating thoughts while developing healthier, more effective ways of meeting one's needs. Techniques for creating an anger-coping plan are discussed."
  • Potter-Efron, R. & Potter-Efron, P. (2006). Letting go of anger: The eleven most common anger styles & what to do about them (Rev. ed.) Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Books About Improving Marital Relationships or Couple Relationships

  • Boggs, M. & Miller, J. (2008). Project everlasting: Two bachelors discover the secrets of America's greatest marriages. New York: Simon & Schuster.
    The authors interviewed over 200 couples who have been happily married for over 40 years to learn the secrets to a fulfilling marriage and "to discover what it takes to make love last."
  • Ferguson, D. (2006). Reptiles in love: Ending destructive fights and evolving toward more loving relationships. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
    Ferguson offers suggestions "for helping couples to stop attacking each other and transform their dysfunctional, prehistoric relationship into a more evolved and loving partnership."
  • Gottman, J. (2000). The seven principles for making marriage work. New York: Crown Publishing Group.
    Arising out of his observation of the habits of married couples, Gottman presents "seven principles that guide couples on the path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship."
  • Heitler, S. (2003). The power of two workbook: Skills for a strong and loving marriage. Oakland, CA:  New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
    This workbook "asks couples to work together to enhance their communication skills and provide mutual support… Readers will learn how to speak their minds without antagonizing their partners and how to offer a healing apology… Techniques are discussed on how to share decision-making… and convert moments of anger into powerful opportunities for growth."
  • Hendrix, H. (2007). Getting the love you want:  A guide for couples (20th Anniversary Ed.)  New York:  St. Martin's Press.
    "The 20th anniversary edition contains extensive revisions… with a new chapter, new exercises, and a foreword detailing Dr. Hendrix's updated philosophy for eliminating all negativity from couples' daily interactions."
  • Johnson, S. (2008). Hold me tight: Seven conversations for a lifetime of love. New York:  Little, Brown and Company. The author teaches "that the way to enhance or save a relationship is to be open, attuned, and responsive to each other and to reestablish emotional connection."
  • Louden, J.  (1994, 2005). The couple's comfort book:  A creative guide for renewing passion, pleasure and commitment. New York:  Harper Collins.
    This book is a "creative guide filled with ways for couples to stay connected in a busy world… with playful rituals and reliable recipes for making the most of your time together."
  • Love, P. & Stosny, S. (2007). How to improve your marriage without talking about it. New York:  Broadway Books. The authors suggest that "talking makes women move closer, but makes men move away." They suggest a focus on connection rather than talking.
  • Schnarch, D.  (2009). Passionate marriage (Rev. ed.)  New York:  W. W. Norton & Company.
    "This updated edition explores the ways we can keep passion alive and even reach the height of sexual and emotional fulfillment later in life. Chapters provide the scaffolding for overcoming sexual and emotional roadblocks."
  • Stone, D. & Patton, B. (2010). Difficult conversations (Rev. ed.). New York: Penguin Books. This book "provides a step-by-step approach to having those tough conversations with less stress and more success."

Books About Parenting

  • Bluestein, J.  (1993). Parents, teens and boundaries:  How to draw the line.  Deerfield Beach:  Health Communications, Inc.
    "Jane Bluestein looks at 20 relationship-building techniques all parents can use to set limits with their teens… These practical strategies for boundary setting will enable you to avoid conflict, resolve problems and establish a foundation of mutual love and respect."
  • Clark, L. (2005). SOS help for parents: A practical guide for handling common everyday behaviour problems (3rd ed.) Bowling Green, KY:  Parents Press.
    This is a program that "helps children, ages two to twelve, to improve their behaviour and emotional adjustment… The book teaches over 20 methods for managing 46 different problem behaviors."
  • Coloroso, B.  (2010). Kids are worth it! (Rev. ed.)  Toronto:  Penguin Group Canada. The author "uses everyday family situations… to demonstrate sound strategies for giving children the inner discipline and self-confidence that will help them become responsible, resourceful, resilient, and compassionate adults."
  • Edgette, J. (2002). Stop negotiating with your teen: Strategies for parenting your angry, manipulative, moody or depressed adolescent. New York: Berkley Trade.
  • Neufeld, G. & Maté, G. (2005). Hold on to your kids: Why parents need to matter more than peers. New York: Ballantine Books.
    The authors express concern about "the tendency of children and youth to look to their peers for direction: for a sense of right and wrong, for values, identity and codes of behaviour." The authors encourage parents "to restore parenting to its natural intuitive basis and the parent-child relationship to its rightful pre-eminence."

Just for Fun

  • Baylor, B. (1986). I'm in charge of celebrations. Simon & Schuster. This is a delightful story of treasured experiences, complete with beautiful illustrations. It is one of my favourite books.

Disclaimer: By suggesting the books listed above, I am not guaranteeing that they will be helpful to specific individuals.  Readers are encouraged to assess for themselves which books, or parts of books, are helpful and which parts are either not helpful or not relevant.