Attached Counselling Co.

Attached Counselling Co. Helping you make meaningful connections with yourself and others.

🎵"Guess who's back? Back again?Shady's back, tell a friend"🎵Sorry, not sorry, for that 🙈We couldn't be more thrilled to ...
05/08/2024

🎵"Guess who's back? Back again?
Shady's back, tell a friend"🎵

Sorry, not sorry, for that 🙈

We couldn't be more thrilled to announce that our very own .jenkins.yycpsychologist (affectionately referred to as J BB/ Janoicé) is returning from maternity leave starting end of June.

I'm sure Janice's clients could atest to how much she was missed during her mat leave. We are so lucky to have this seriously skilled, sage and compassionate lady in our lives 😭😭

For now, Janice will only be accepting her previous clients. Stay tuned to find out if she'll expand to accepting new clients (we would all be so lucky).

Her schedule is already starting to fill up so if you saw Janice previously, and want a spot- hop on it!!

This post is to honour the recent passing of prolific couples therapist Sue Johnson. A trailblazer in the field of thera...
04/26/2024

This post is to honour the recent passing of prolific couples therapist Sue Johnson. A trailblazer in the field of therapy and particularly attachment work (the heart of what we do here at Attached Counselling Co.).

When we get caught in conflict cycles with our partner(s) there's often a sense and feeling that we're in it alone.

This quote really reminds us that we're not alone in our relationship conflict cycles, our partners are in it with us... Hurting, feeling alone and disconnected just the same (even if you don't see it and it isn't obvious to you). There are no winners.

MEET HARLEEN. Harleen is passionate about helping 20'-somethings navigate this messy world.Harleen is our sweet natured,...
04/04/2024

MEET HARLEEN. Harleen is passionate about helping 20'-somethings navigate this messy world.

Harleen is our sweet natured, hard working and relatable therapist. When you're with her, you feel completely heard and most importantly, understood. It doesn't seem like much confuses Harleen as she is incredibly wise and also worldly. Fine, I'll say it... She's a smart cookie!

But aside from that, Harleen is gentle. There are many ways to raise concerns/issues and Harleen's way can only be described as tactful and well received. As a client, I can imagine you would feel challenged but so so sooooo gently.

Harleen is one of our newest team members at Attached Counselling Co. Even though Harleen just joined us, it feels like she's always been here. She's effortlessly fit in to our team and rolled with the punches during our often hilarious but chaotic team meetings.

If you think Harleen would be a good fit for your therapy journey, schedule a consult by clicking the link in our bio!

The "Freeze and flee" pattern is like an arctic tundra in the world of relationships. Relationships in this pattern can ...
02/08/2024

The "Freeze and flee" pattern is like an arctic tundra in the world of relationships. Relationships in this pattern can feel cold and desolate. One person hits pause, feeling the pressure, while the other one hits the road, leaving the other feeling like a deserted island.

This pattern usually arises when the pursuer (in the "the protest polka" relationship pattern) burns out.

Often this pattern is a sign that there isn't much of a spark left in the relationship. Although it is reparable, it is hard to break away from this pattern because it usually takes a long period of relationship distress for a relationship to slip into this icy cold state.

Interestingly, a lot of folks in this pattern describe their relationship as "ok" and often say "we don't fight". But there's also not a lot going on in terms of emotional connection and intimacy- the lifeblood of relationships.

Knowing this waltz can be a game-changer in smoothing out rough patches. By spotting this drama in action, folks can team up to tackle emotions and desires in a more constructive way. Getting in sync again and finding ways to reignite the fire can bust the freeze-and-flee cycle, setting the stage for happier, drama-free relationships!

This harmful pattern is often how relationship distress starts out. When things go wrong in the relationship, instead of...
01/19/2024

This harmful pattern is often how relationship distress starts out. When things go wrong in the relationship, instead of working together to find a solution, one partner is designated as the “bad guy” and all of the blame is placed on them.

This can lead to a cycle of negative interactions, where both partners feel defensive and attacked. You can tell you are in this pattern because blame, criticism and contempt take over during moments of conflict, rather than taking responsibility for your own emotions and actions.

Conflict is also explosive in this pattern as both partners are engaged and righteous. This is fuel for conflict fire.

This pattern is best interrupted by softening your heart and swallowing your pride. It’s important to recognize this pattern and work together to break the cycle by focusing on communication, empathy, and understanding.

Outside of conflict, you can also disrupt this pattern by practicing healthy attachment and bonding behaviors such as greeting your partner with a hug when coming home/ are leaving, taking time to de-stress together after the day is done, expressing gratitude for what your partner does right, and planning regular date nights (to name a few).

02/15/2021

Small moments of appreciation can transform your relationship in a big way. What did you "catch" your partner doing well today?

Explore ways to bring more fondness and admiration into your relationship when you take Loving out Loud: http://bit.ly/3aJIIlc

12/22/2020

Access free wellness support at the Library.

12/18/2020

Turning towards your partner's bids says a lot more to them than you may think, and how often you do so can determine the health of your relationship as well.

In fact, happy couples turn towards their partners approximately 20 times more than couples in distress during everyday, non-conflict discussions. According to research conducting in our Love Lab, newlyweds who were still married six years after their wedding had turned towards each other 86% of the time. Those who were divorced six years later, however, had only turned towards each other 33% of the time.

Want to assess the current state of your relationship? Take our Love Quiz: http://bit.ly/2WrtHOc

10/24/2020

Kindness is not just important in the heat of an argument.

09/28/2020

It’s a myth that if you solve your problems you’ll automatically be happy. We need to teach couples that they’ll never solve most of their problems

I've been feeling so fatigued by social media lately. Any one else feel this way?________I can't seem to get excited abo...
09/11/2020

I've been feeling so fatigued by social media lately. Any one else feel this way?
________
I can't seem to get excited about posting content right now. So rather than force anything, I'm going to give myself permission to post when I'm ready.
________
Thanks for sticking around and supporting my work.
________
I'm sure inspiration is around the corner waiting for a visit. I'll be back soon 💜💜

08/12/2020

Try starting your next conflict discussion with a soft start-up.

When you can complain without blame and truly express your needs and concerns in a positive way, it opens a window to understanding each other more deeply and intimately.

Discover proven skills for softening your start-ups when bringing up an issue of disagreement and watch Dr. Julie Gottman explain what to do if your partner responds negatively: https://bit.ly/3fagUHy

Weddings take a lot of planning and time to ensure everything goes smoothly and according to plan.________How about the ...
08/08/2020

Weddings take a lot of planning and time to ensure everything goes smoothly and according to plan.
________
How about the relationships themselves?
________
What if we spent as much time planning for relationships as we do for weddings?
________
Some aspects of relationships shouldn’t be left to chance, and even though discussion alone is not enough to prevent issues- it certainly creates a standard of transparency, collaboration and equity in a relationship.
________
Here are some common questions to go over together:
-Do you want children? What if you are unable to conceive or adopt?
-How do you envision your finances together? How do you expect money to be spent, saved or negotiated?
-What are your core values and how do they relate to your partner(s)’ core values?
-How do you and your partner(s) prefer to deal with potential life stressors?
-What are your enduring vulnerabilities and triggers?
-How do you envision your next five years looking? And the five after that? How about retirement?
________
I’m on a mission to help others build and maintain strong relationships. This work starts from day one, let’s create a culture that supports this. What questions would you add?

"My joy consists in my being and my blossoming"________Just needed this today 🤷🏻💜 drop an emoji in the comments if this ...
07/14/2020

"My joy consists in my being and my blossoming"
________
Just needed this today 🤷🏻💜 drop an emoji in the comments if this resonates 👇🏻

Everyone wants to focus on ‘communication’ as a top relationship skill, but I think that term is incredibly vague. These...
06/19/2020

Everyone wants to focus on ‘communication’ as a top relationship skill, but I think that term is incredibly vague. These relationship skills are more tangible (and often underutilized).
________
“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler”. You can practice being empathetic and validating by figuring out what makes sense versus focusing on what doesn’t make sense from another person’s perspective.
________
Being emotionally responsive is the single most effective relationship skill. It is saying “I’m here for you” even if “I’m here for you” isn’t communicated with words.
________
Certainty often breeds disconnection in relationships. There’s always a chance that we’ve made unproductive assumptions. Being tentative is all about allowing for the possibility that we’ve interpreted things incorrectly (which we often do).
________
Novelty is attractive to humans. When we assume we know everything about the people we are in relationships with we lose novelty and replace it with predictability. Curiosity is a way to inspire novelty.
________
Which relationship skill are you interested in learning more about?

Being a martyr about your needs is saying "oh, it's no big deal" when your need isn't met and secretly building resentme...
05/26/2020

Being a martyr about your needs is saying "oh, it's no big deal" when your need isn't met and secretly building resentment about those unmet needs.
________
Covert expectations from your partner, or others, to guess or anticipate your needs is unfair.
________
Yes, you have to spell it out. Yes, you have to explicitly ask for them. Yes, you have to bring them up (all of them).
________
No, they won't be able to meet all of your needs exactly like you want. No, it won't feel comfortable. No, they can't just guess based on "common sense".
________
Here's a helpful way of communicating your needs:
When (situation) happens, I feel (emotion word), and I need (positive need).
________
Example:
When I come home and don't get a greeting, I feel unimportant, lonely and rejected, and I need a greeting to feel like we're a team and like I'm valued.
________
You deserve to have your needs met. Your needs are important 💜

If there's only one thing you can do for your relationship today...________Let it be bringing mindful awareness to your ...
05/25/2020

If there's only one thing you can do for your relationship today...
________
Let it be bringing mindful awareness to your relationship.
________
Awareness is at the core of mindful relationships. In a mindful relationship, the things we keep hidden from each other in the name of protection are no longer hidden.
________
Triggers are named and recognized. There's a breath and a pause before reaction. There's validation and recognition of emotions. There's seeing those small moments and savouring them.
________
Here's something you can do to improve your relationship today: slow down, be an observer, be curious and tentative, be on the lookout for the good.

Conflict without repair creates a mask of unresolved pain in relationships.________Repairing after a conflict involves p...
05/23/2020

Conflict without repair creates a mask of unresolved pain in relationships.
________
Repairing after a conflict involves processing the conflict, which is difficult and markedly different from getting back into the argument.
________
This is an adaptation of 'Aftermath of the Fight' intervention.
________
Processing an argument means being outsiders to the argument while going over what happened from each of your own viewpoints.
________
Accept that your viewpoints will differ. We are all unreliable witnesses.
________
Instead focus on why the argument went the way it did and go deeper. Explore your triggers. What unmet need or dream was going unrealized? Why did it mean so much for you to defend the way you did? What was at risk?
________
Take time to really hear each other. Provide empathy and validation. Be willing to be moved by your partner's emotions and experiences.
________
Make amends and try to decide on how you will both be better next time (hint it will have to do with how you deal with each other's, and your own, triggers next time).

Which one sounds like you?________If you find yourself more on the left side of this list then you likely had this model...
05/10/2020

Which one sounds like you?
________
If you find yourself more on the left side of this list then you likely had this modeled for you growing up.
________
At some point you were given the message that in order to love someone you must give yourself over to them in a selfless and all consuming way. You also likely expect a similar thing back from your partner.
________
You may have been taught that when someone is upset, you need to be upset too. You may have been taught that when someone is struggling you need to step in and take on that struggle. You may have been taught that you need to be selfless and ignore your needs in order to communicate love. You may have been taught that your partner’s needs, and their relationship needs, are more important than yours.
________
This is codependency. It creates an unsustainable relationship dynamic which features resentment, control and burnout.
________
In contrast, interdependency involves partners establishing themselves as independent adults outside of the relationship. Where each partner is accountable for their own emotions and behaviours. Where each partner provides loving support without fixing. Where each partner sets and communicates appropriate boundaries. Where each partner makes space for their independent needs and the needs of the relationship.
________
I’ll be sharing my codependency story soon! What would you like to know about codependency?

Stressors are not the same as stress!________Stressors are things that cause us to feel stress. Stress is our physiologi...
05/04/2020

Stressors are not the same as stress!
________
Stressors are things that cause us to feel stress. Stress is our physiological response to stressors.
________
Some stressors we can control, by either removing it from our list (easier said than done) or by planfully problem-solving. Sometimes removing a stressor is as simple as not 'signing up' for it in the first place. This may also include ‘emotionally unsubscribing’ from something that doesn’t need your subscription.
________
Emotionally unsubscribing example: You find yourself feeling stressed about your coworker’s massive to do list (stressor). You remind yourself that this is their stressor, not yours and you refocus on what you are managing.
________
Some stressors we can’t control, but we can control our appraisal of it (what we think of it). Positive appraisal involves finding a genuine way to view the stressor as serving a purpose or as being beneficial. This isn’t about being a Pollyanna about everything, it is about finding realistic ways that the struggle may benefit you.
________
Positive appraisal example: You have a demanding job with tight deadlines and a quick turnaround on the work you submit. You remind yourself that even with the stress of the work, the fast- paced environment always keeps your mind stimulated and you value feeling challenged.
________
What are your thoughts on positive reappraisal? @ Calgary, Alberta

“Just because you’ve dealt with the stressor doesn’t mean you’ve dealt with the stress itself”- Dr. Emily Nagowski______...
04/22/2020

“Just because you’ve dealt with the stressor doesn’t mean you’ve dealt with the stress itself”- Dr. Emily Nagowski
________
Okay if you haven’t read “Burnout” by Dr. Emily Nagowski RUN don’t walk to get your hands on it! This book is a game changer on stress.
________
We often think that once we get rid of whatever is causing us stress then our stress will go away.
________
With that type of logic though we aren’t accounting for what stress is. It is the body's reaction to stressors and even when the stressor is gone, the body still has the reaction stored in it.
________
So how can we get rid of that stored stress? Dr. Nagowski proposes completing the stress response cycle.
________
Most of the ways she recommends completing (or expelling) stress is through body based activities. In fact, if you take a peek at my recent IGTV series on calming your nerves, you can use many of those strategies to complete the stress response cycle.
________
The most important takeaway here is to view your physiological stress as something that needs to be attended to as equally as the stressors themselves.
________
Would you like my next series to be on ways to complete the stress response cycle?

Feeling the urge to reach out to an ex during this time? Check out this interview I did for the Huffington Post.
04/17/2020

Feeling the urge to reach out to an ex during this time? Check out this interview I did for the Huffington Post.

Social distancing is yielding some weird results.

04/10/2020

Sometimes it feels like our emotions are “out of control”. They feel too scary to sit with and experience.
________
This is why I love the self-hug developed by Dr. Peter Levine. It is a way to keep a ‘container’ for our feelings and sensations. The self hug calms our nervous system and provides a sense of groundedness.
________
Rather than getting lost in the emotions and sensations we can experience them knowing we aren’t them.
________
When you are in the pose, pay attention to the emotions that come up and the sensations in the body. Sink into the feeling while noticing where you begin and end. Add a rock or sway to this move if it feels right.

The saying "calm your nerves" holds some truth. Our nervous system is largely in charge of our calm and reactive states....
04/10/2020

The saying "calm your nerves" holds some truth. Our nervous system is largely in charge of our calm and reactive states.
________
The part of our nervous system that's designed to respond to threats is in overdrive for most of us now.
________
Here are some of my favourite ways to "calm"/regulate our nervous system.
________
These approaches are based on a type of therapy called Somatic Experiencing which was developed by trauma therapist Dr. Peter Levine.
________
Over the next few days I'm going to talk about each of these practices and do a demo in my stories- stay tuned!

Improv actors are encouraged to use "yes, and..." in response to each other's suggestions.________It keeps the scene goi...
04/10/2020

Improv actors are encouraged to use "yes, and..." in response to each other's suggestions.
________
It keeps the scene going because you are responsive to each other and creating new possibilities together.
________
I am a big fan of this technique in relationships. Being responsive is starting with acknowledgement and agreement (yes).
________
But saying simply "yes" to everything may not work because you have your own needs- that's where the "and" comes in.
________
"Yes I'd love to go for a walk and I need some time alone, could we go out in an hour?"
________
"Yes we do need to get some groceries and I find it's an overwhelming experience right now, could we go to a smaller grocery store?"
________
"Yes I want to have a video chat too and my eyes are sore from staring at the screen all day, could we do it tomorrow?"
________
This is all about negotiation, but not at the expense of each other's core needs. @ Calgary, Alberta

There’s a difference between feeling loved and being loving.________They are both important in relationships; however, I...
04/01/2020

There’s a difference between feeling loved and being loving.
________
They are both important in relationships; however, I propose that being loving is an active choice and practice that we can do on a regular basis. Feeling loved may be more fickle.
________
I encourage you to focus on embodying and being the values that are important to you in your relationship.
________
If you value kindness, respect and love- then try being kind, respectful and loving. These are choices that you can make that are in your control. No one can take these away from you.
________
We may want to abandon our values when we feel they aren’t reciprocated, but I believe when we do this we move further away from our true selves. Instead, uphold your values even in the face of others not embodying those values.
________
We may get really hung up on waiting for our partner(s) to embody our values that we actually forget to embody them ourselves. Then we come to a standstill in the relationship.
________
By the way, I am not suggesting you bypass issues that you have with your partner(s)! I'm suggesting that embodying your values will always feel true, and so that's a great place to start.

Hello fear, my old friend.________Isn’t it amazing how much stigma certain emotions carry? There’s so much stigma weight...
03/26/2020

Hello fear, my old friend.
________
Isn’t it amazing how much stigma certain emotions carry? There’s so much stigma weighted to emotions like fear that I was contemplating not even sharing how I feel right now.
________
There’s an internal dialogue that I hear where my mind generates thoughts like “people won’t trust you to help them if you feel fear too” or “how can you expect to help people if you are also experiencing fear?”.
________
I’ve felt fear often in the last few weeks. Fear, anger, sadness, longing, grief… These folks have all come to visit periodically.
________
I question the stories that my mind generates about my emotions. I work hard to allow new stories to emerge with the help of neutrality, openness and observation.
________
There’s a certain release, and permission, that comes along with changing your relationship with certain emotions. For it is our relationship with them that creates suffering, not the emotion itself.
________
I wonder what would happen if you sat with what’s happening for you right now? Spending this moment observing where it exists in your body. What shape it takes, what sensations it creates, how it ebbs and flows...
________
And then there’s your breath, what a wonderful place to come back to when we need to.

Amazing mental health support offered here for Alberta health care and emergency front line workers!
03/24/2020

Amazing mental health support offered here for Alberta health care and emergency front line workers!

Experiencing distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic? PAA has a network of Alberta psychologists offering up to three sessions of pro-bono telepsychology services through our Disaster Response Network. Contact us at [email protected] or 1-888-424-0297 to submit your request.

Together, supporting the psychological health of Albertans.

03/18/2020

My good friend and colleague is offering accessible and affordable mental health support during this time

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2451 Dieppe Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
T3E7K1

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