Recent Entries from Bea's Blog:

One Reason Why Grandparents Spoil Grandchildren.

I was leaning on the car looking at my phone while I waited.  My grandson was strapped in his car seat, refusing to get out of the car.  He was tired and so was I.  I felt very tired. It has already been a busy day.  I had agreed to hang out with my 5 […]

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Does my Ex Still Love Me?

Mike opened up another card.  His mother had died recently and he was still receiving sympathy cards from friends, family and acquaintances. This card was from a woman he had not seen in over 25 years – an old flame from his university years. He had not thought of her in years.  He started reminiscing […]

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Does your Relationship Suffer from these 3 Common Errors in Communication?

Error 1. Interrupting. Couples who interrupt each other a lot have difficulty understanding each other and solving problems.  Often they end up arguing about who is right and who is wrong.  The intent of the message to each other gets lost. Being right about the facts or circumstances may not do any good.  [If you’re […]

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Dreams Part 5: Dying in your dreams can be a good thing.

To dream of yourself or someone else dying in your dreams can be disturbing.  But dying in a dream is often, meant metaphorically, not literally. Nightmare:  My daughter died! Sandy, a mom with two children, was thinking about going back to work.  Growing up, her mother when back to work when she was 10.  She […]

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Dreams Part 4: Dreams can be literal and metaphorical.

Dreams can be literal.  Example 1:   The dryer burst in to flames. Once I bought a new clothes dryer.  About a week after I bought it, I dreamed that it burst into flames.  I woke up with a start.  I instantly knew what the dream was about.  The filter on the new dryer was in […]

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Dreams Part 3: Learning to Interpret Your Dreams.

Dreams have meaning even if we cannot figure out what the meaning is.  Interpreting our own dreams is difficult because we are so close to ourselves it’s hard to get perspective.  Yet it can be done. Dreams deal with our current life and what is going on in it. If you dream of someone from […]

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Dreams Part 2: What is the Most Common Dream Theme Amongst all Cultures?

  The most common theme amongst all people is the Chase or Attack Theme.  This is a bad dream or nightmare in which someone or something is chasing the dreamer.  The dreamer may escape sometimes and other times may get caught with disastrous results. The following example shows how a client’s Chase dreams can change […]

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Dreams Part 1: Understanding Dreams and Dreaming.

Every night people dream.  They may or may not remember the dreams.  In a normal night sleep, people have four to five 90 minute cycles.  With each cycle there is a period of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.  During this stage of sleep people are having vivid dreams.  Their eyes can be seen going rapidly […]

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Triangulation Part 4: An Affair to Forget

Elizabeth was in her late 20s.  She came to therapy because she was married and having an affair for 5 years.  She wanted to have children, but knew she couldn’t until she resolved her current dilemma.  It went against her own standards and values to be having an affair.  She had tried to stop it, […]

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Triangulation Part 3: Why Kids Fight.

Children fight for many reasons.  One of the major reasons they fight is to engage parent(s). Years ago I can remember being busy in the kitchen.  My two boys, around ages 3 and 5, were playing in the living room.  Then they started fighting. Without saying a word, I stopped what I was doing and […]

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Triangulation Part 2: That’s between the Two of You

Shawna, a 30 year old woman and her father are enjoying dinner in a restaurant. Father’s cell phone rings and he answers it. It’s his wife. She angrily demands to know when he will be home. He gets flustered. He hands the cell phone to his daughter, saying he can’t hear his wife. Shawna gets […]

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Triangulation Part 1: Understanding Family Dynamics

Gladys hear the familiar voices.  They were getting louder and Louder.  This was nothing new. It happened all the time.  “I wonder what it is about this time”, she asked herself.  She wandered towards the sounds making sure she wasn’t making any noise. Then she heard another familiar voice – her brother’s. As usual he […]

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Communication Skill 8: Reflective listening

One of the most powerful communication skills is Mirroring, also called Reflective Listening. As a mirror reflects back one’s image, the receiver verbally reflects back to the sender words that let the sender know for sure that the message sent was the message received. Mirroring is difficult to learn but well worth the time and […]

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Communication Skill 7: Instant Replay

When people have a negative interaction with each other, one or the other can ask for a replay of the interaction, during which they each alter their exchange in a positive way. Example: Let’s start over. Let’s re-do this. Let’s try this again. Yesterday I saw a couple for the first time.  They are a […]

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Communication Skill 6: Turn your questions into statements.

People often ask questions when they are really making statements. Sometimes this is intentional, but mostly people don’t even realize they are communicating in this way. At face value a question is a request for information or clarification. A statement disguised as a question is about the dynamics between the sender and the receiver. Examples: […]

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Communication Skill 5: Talk with Me not at Me

Dialogues, in which the conversation flows back and forth, create connection between people. As I was packing up my gear from my tennis lesson today the fellow who had next session came into the court. We’d met before. To be friendly and make a bid for connection, I said to him, “It’s sure great weather […]

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Communication Skill 4: Make the Fuzzy Clear.

Too often in conversations and interactions people assume they know what the other person is talking about or doing. Without checking out their assumptions they act as if what they assume is true or fact. Sometimes their assumptions are indeed true and communication is clear. However, when their assumptions are incorrect communication tends to go […]

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Communication Skill 3: How to Handle Mixed Messages

Mixed messages cause lots of communication problems in intimate relationships and in relationships in general. A mixed message (or double message) is communication that sends conflicting information, verbally and/or non-verbally. First of all, you need to know when you are receiving a mixed message. The way you know is by your feelings (confused) and your […]

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Communication Skill 2: After the Fact

It is not always possible to think of what to say or do in the moment. Sometimes people are distracted with something or someone else. When people are anxious they often cannot think, so they say or do nothing. Or, they may blurt out something they don’t mean or something that is not even relevant. […]

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Communication Skill 1: Put the Inside Outside

Put the Inside Outside is a communication skill that I teach clients in both individual and couples sessions. When people talk to each other they often think thoughts or have feelings that they do not reveal to others. Most of the time this is perfectly OK. It certainly would not be appropriate to say everything one […]

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6 Steps to Enhancing Your Self-Esteem

There are many things in life that we have to accept because we can do nothing about them.  The one thing we can change is how we relate to ourselves. As said in previous posts (Understanding Self-Estseem and How it Develops, How early experience shape one’s relationship with one’s self and Self-Esteem – a by-product […]

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Self-Esteem is a by-product of how you treat yourself.

Everyone has a relationship with him or her self.  It is the quality of that relationship that determines the level of one’s self-esteem. If you listen to people when they talk, you can detect whether they value themselves or not: I’m mad at myself for forgetting to …….. I’m pleased with myself.  I figured out […]

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How early experience shape one’s relationship with one’s self.

  Children need their parents’ love, attention, acceptance, and guidance as a plant needs water.  If they do not get it growing up, as adult they may spend their whole lives trying to get it from their parents.  They may also try to get it from bosses, friends, teachers, coaches,and neighbours as well. Children tend to treat themselves how […]

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Can I Please have Another Helping of Self-Esteem? Understanding Self-Estseem and How it Develops

  People tend to think of self-esteem almost as if it is a product you can buy. Perhaps it is because of all the advertising which shows people smiling and feeling good when they use the products. Or, they think of it as a condition, like needing more iron in their diet or getting more […]

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Safety First: How to Reduce Kids Fighting when Driving in the Car.

  Safety is first and foremost when driving a vehicle. Fighting and goofing around are distracting to the driver.  It is also dangerous for the drivers to be upset and yelling at their passengers.  The best thing to do is develop a strategy for safe driving. When my kids were young, we spent a lot […]

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Strategies on positively influencing others’ tardiness by changing your own behaviour .

  When getting along with others, there are times when things do not go well.  You address the person(s) involved with the hope and expectation of coming to a mutually satisfying resolution.  Lots of time this works.   An example is choosing a designated driver when drinking and driving is involved. However, sometimes it does […]

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Do you have a need to be right?

  It is OK to want to be right.  It is OK to like to be right.  It is a problem to need to be right. Scenario: Cynthia was upset.  She was disappointed in her friend, Rhonda, because last night for the umpteenth time, Rhonda had kept her waiting for over an hour before finally […]

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Letting go of Thinking in Terms of Right or Wrong

  Many people want to do the right thing. Perhaps even more people focus on trying not to do the wrong thing. The problem is, it is not always easy to know what the right thing is.  People disagree on what is right and what is wrong.  What is right in one culture is wrong […]

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Getting started in Yoga

  For years I knew of yoga but I did not learn about it.  I thought it was just about stretching and nothing more.  I like action so it had no appeal for me.  About five years ago I decided to try it.  There was a yoga studio below my office and it couldn’t be […]

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Let the signals your body sends you be your guide to action.

People tend to think what they experience, positive or negative, comes “out of the blue”.  But usually there are signals along the way that they do not recognize. The first time I ever experienced exhaustion was after having my first baby.  I had no idea what exhaustion felt like.  I had had a difficult birth, […]

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