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Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services Blog - Page 3 of 6 -

16
May

4 Strategies to Build a Healthier Relationship

 

Conflict is inevitable in any relationship. This means that it is how you deal with the conflict that determines the health of the relationship. The four predictors of divorce that psychologist Dr. John Gottman has identified were previously discussed here. In contrast, the following list includes what Dr. Gottman considers to be four behaviours which prevent divorce. Here are the four strategies to build a happier, healthier relationship.

  1. Softened Start-Up

A softened start-up involves bringing up an issue gently. You do not use criticism, blame, or insults. Instead, you talk about your own feelings and perspective. Your partner will be more receptive to the information which makes working through the problem together possible.

  1. Turning toward Your Partner

When your partner reaches out for emotional connection, there are three responses that you may make. You might turn away by ignoring your partner, turn against by acting angry or hurtful, or turn toward by listening and engaging. Choosing to be open and turn toward your partner will strength the bond of your relationship.

  1. Repairing the Conversation

This is a strategy used to diffuse some of the tension during a conflict. An apology, a smile, or appropriate use of humour can help combat negative feelings while you are engaged in a difficult conversation. When you are both feeling more relaxed, you will be more able to find a resolution.

  1. Accepting Influence

Share the power and decision making with your partner. Relationships in which the partners are open to persuasion from one another are statistically happier according to one of Gottman’s studies. In the study, this showed to be especially true for a husband accepting influence from his wife; however, it needs to go both ways to be balanced.

Okamagan Clinical Counselling Services offers individual, couples, family and group counselling services specializing in a variety of concerns including romantic relationships. Please contact us today to learn more about our services, weekend/evening appointments, and our sliding fee scale.  OCCS has three locations throughout the Okanagan in Penticton, Kelowna, and West Kelowna for your convenience. OCCS also provides some specialty subsidized counselling services and a variety of workshops.

This blog post was written by OCCS’s Clinical Counsellor:

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e: info@okclinical.com

t: 250.718.9291

15
Apr

Importance of Sleep on Mental Health

While it’s often not a valued way to spend time, sleep is an important aspect of overall health and wellness. It is a time for our bodies to rest and repair while our brains process information from the day and encode memories. REM sleep is particularly restorative and helps maintain emotional health. For adults, seven to eight hours of sleep a night seems to be optimal, however, there is a wide variance. Some people may need just five hours, whereas others do best on 10 hours of sleep.

There is a connection between quality of sleep and mental health. People with trouble sleeping often also have mental health issues. Some sleep problems increase the risk for mental illness, while other times it’s the mental illness that causes sleep problems. Depression is connected so closely that it can sometimes be hard to tell which came first. Sleep issues can also increase the severity of an existing mental illness.

Mood
Lack of sleep will negatively affect mood. It can cause irritability and confusion. It reduces the ability to deal with stress, rationalize anxieties, and combat negative thoughts.

Social Connectedness
People who are tired and fatigued are less likely to visit with friends and family or engage in other leisure activities. This can create a sense of isolation, loneliness, and meaninglessness.

Healthful Habits
Those who experience chronic sleepiness are less likely to eat healthy or exercise. Eating healthy and exercising not only affect physical health, they also contribute to improved mental health.

To know if you’re getting enough sleep, think about how you feel. You should feel rested when you wake up in the morning and have sufficient energy to get through your day. Make a regular sleep routine a priority to gain the benefits of a healthy sleep cycle on your mental health.

report has shown that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be more effective than medication in dealing with insomnia. OCCS provides comprehensive counselling services as well as a wide variety of specialty programs, subsidies, and workshops to best help our patients. Our counsellors specialize in concerns such as depression, anxiety, and more. Please contact us today to learn more about our services, weekend/evening appointments, and sliding fee scale.  Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services had three locations throughout the Okanagan in Penticton, Kelowna, and West Kelowna for your convenience.

This blog post was written by OCCS Clinical Counsellor:

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p: 250.718.9291

e: info@okclinical.com

1
Apr

Foods that Combat Depression

The role nutrition plays in mental health is being more widely studied and recognized within both the mental health and dietitian fields. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked by individuals dealing with mental illness. Diet and nutrition is another method of taking care of your mental well-being. Here are five types of food to eat that will combat depression along with specific recommendations for each.

Whole Grains

Eating carbohydrates triggers the production of serotonin which is a feel good brain chemical. Sugary foods can provide this immediately, but it is only temporary, while low glycemic index foods provide a more level brain chemistry and a longer lasting effect on mood.
Try: whole grain bread and pasta, brown rice, oats, quinoa, beans

Lean Protein

Many of the brain’s neurotransmitters are made up of amino acids including dopamine and serotonin. Proteins provide these amino acids to our systems when consumed. A deficiency in the required amino acids for those will result in low mood.
Try: turkey, chicken, eggs, beans, peas, soy

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The human brain is made of nearly 60% fat which is why the consumption of fatty acids is crucial to your brain’s ability to function. Omega-6 fatty acids are pretty abundant in our foods, but the omega-3s take a little more intention. The omega-3 fatty acids support the production of dopamine and serotonin.
Try: salmon, tuna, trout, seaweed, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts

Vitamin Rich

Deficiencies specifically of the B vitamins have been linked to depression. The B vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, biotin, and pantothenic acid. A deficiency in folate (B9) often coincides with decreased efficacy of antidepressant therapy. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to depression.
Try: spinach, romaine lettuce, turnip greens, bananas, potatoes, broccoli, codl liver fish oil, herring, salmon

Mineral Rich

Specifically the minerals calcium, chromium, iodine, iron, lithium, selenium, and zinc are related to mental health. In particular, iron deficiency can be accompanied by depression and fatigue. Selenium improves mood while reducing anxiety. Zinc is another that effects the efficacy of antidepressant therapy.
Try: sesame seeds, clams, sunflower seeds, lean beef, beans, oatmeal, Brazil nuts

OCCS provides comprehensive counselling services as well as a wide variety of specialty programs, subsidies, and workshops to best help our patients. Our counsellors specialize in concerns such as depression, anxiety, and more. Please contact us today to learn more about our services, weekend/evening appointments, and sliding fee scale.  Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services had three locations throughout the Okanagan in Penticton, Kelowna, and West Kelowna for your convenience.

This blog post was written by OCCS Clinical Counsellor

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p: 250.718.9291

e: info@okclinical.com

22
Mar

Radical Acceptance

MIV2

 

When crises strike and problems arise, be it a medical issue, low mood, a relationship break up, or a financial set back, it makes sense to try to deal with the situation….to change it or fix it in some way. You look for doable solutions, make a plan, and set it in action.

But what happens if you are up against a problem that is just not going away? You have tried everything: you have set goals, implemented changes, consulted with medical professionals and therapists, and yet you still experience that chronic pain, long-term depression, or pervasive anxiety? The trouble is that if our efforts to change the problem over time are not successful, we can end up feeling discouraged, exhausted and even hopeless. Radical Acceptance is a concept that can offer a way out of this endless struggle. But before we turn to Radical Acceptance, let me tell you a story about a guy named Joe the Nuisance.

Imagine you have planned a party. You have organized every detail, spared no expense, and invited all your favourite people. The evening arrives, the candles are lit, your place is filled with delicious scents of food and drink, and music and light pore from the windows. Your friends start to arrive and you feel happy and bright. But just as the night is getting really fun, you hear a loud banging at the door and before you can open it, Joe barges in. Joe is an old neighbor of yours and has always been a nuisance. He talks too loud, he swears and drinks too much, and always breaks something every time he is around. You purposely did NOT invite Joe to your party. But he showed up anyways.

At first you try to ignore him, turning your back on him and trying to enjoy the conversation you are participating in. But you can hear Joe crashing through the kitchen and making a mess. You can’t concentrate on your conversation and you start to get upset. So then you walk over to Joe and you tell him to leave right this minute. He just smiles at you, picks up another glass of wine and shoves some more of that expensive cheese into his mouth. You don’t want to make a scene so you diplomatically try to nudge him towards the door. Joe then gets mad. He starts to yell and break things and berates you for not inviting him. The music stops, your guests feel uncomfortable, and you start to cry. Everyone goes home and you are left alone with a big mess and…with Joe. Yep, he is still there. He is not going anywhere. He’s your neighbor and you are stuck with him. So what do you do?

  • Never plan another party
  • Yell and scream every time he shows up
  • Or try your best to accept him and enjoy yourself anyways

What would you do? We can imagine that chronic conditions like pain, depression, or anxiety are Joe the Nuisance. Do we let these conditions take us away from enjoying life? Or getting angry every time they show up? Or do we take a stance of Radical Acceptance, and decide to live our life anyways?

 

So what is Radical Acceptance exactly?

  • It is clearly recognizing what you are experiencing in the present moment and regarding that experience with compassion. Allowing the painful sensations and emotions to be present. Observe them, be curious about them, and watch them come and go.
  • It is knowing what you can and can’t change, and then accepting what you can’t change while putting effort into what you can change.
  • Radical Acceptance does NOT mean just giving up and accepting you can’t do anything about your pain or depression/anxiety. This is called “passive resignation” which is more about giving into the struggle. Radical acceptance is giving up the struggle while putting energy into what you want your life to look like.
  • Radical acceptance it totally different than giving up. It is an active, positive, engaged embracing of your experience undertaken so that you can more fully live your life.
  • It means living with what you cannot control, even if it is unpleasant, and still actively pursuing the life you want.

How do you start practicing Radical Acceptance? One way is to reach out to a counsellor who works from a mindfulness-based CBT approach and talk to them about this idea and how to implement it in your life. Another way is to start practicing mindfulness, meditation, or deep breathing every time your pain or emotional distress surfaces. Acknowledge the pain, allow it to be there, accept it. Then ask yourself:

 

If it wasn’t for my pain/depression/anxiety I would___________________.

 

Whatever you filled in that blank with, start today by taking the first step. Do it anyhow, even if your pain is still present and see what happens to the intensity of your pain, depression or anxiety. You might just be surprised. You might just learn how to enjoy your party anyways, even if Joe the Nuisance does show up uninvited.

Okanagan Clinical Counselling services has several counsellors who work from a mindfulness-based CBT approach. At OCCS we specialize in counselling for long-term conditions like chronic pain, depression, or anxiety and incorporate meditation and mindfulness techniques in therapy sessions.  Call today to book an appointment at any of our three Okanagan locations (Kelowna, Penticton, or Westbank) or to book a session with our online counsellor who can work with you from the comfort of your home.

This blog post was written by OCCS Registered Clinical Counsellor:

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t: 250.718.9291

e: info@okclinical.com

15
Mar

4 Mental Health Benefits of Being Outside

 

For most of history humans have spent their days outdoors hunting, gathering, and farming. Now in our modern world, most people spend the vast majority of their time inside instead. After spending around eight hours at work or school, plus commuting, it can seem as though there is not a lot of time leftover to spend outside. However, spending time outdoors and in nature is important for not just our physical health, but also our mental health. Here are four mental health benefits of being outside.

  1. Stress Reduction

This study found that exposure to green spaces reduced stress and improved well-being. The relation was so strong that it could even act as a predictor for circadian cortisol levels. Another study also found similar results in stress reduction in addition to decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety.

  1. Improved Mood

In a study involving nature walks, the participants saw improvements in their mental health. Most interestingly, though, was that those who recently experienced stressful life events particularly saw a mood boost. In another study, those who moved to greener areas continued to have long-term improvement in mental well-being.

  1. Increased Energy Levels

Five studies were done together to learn more about the relation between being outdoors and energy levels aside from exercise or social interactions. They found that exposure to nature and the outdoors on their own did in fact boost energy levels. Even more incredibly, just being shown photos of nature scenes (as opposed to photos of buildings) increased vitality.

  1. Better Brain Functioning

A study was conducted which showed cognitive gains and improved memory specifically for people with depression after being exposed to the outdoors. Another study’s results showed that spending time outside enhanced attention and focus not with only with the general population, but also in children with ADHD making it a strategy to manage ADHD symptoms.

The benefits of being outside and enjoying nature are numerous.  Even 15 minutes outside a day, or making an effort to get moving and get outside once a week on the weekends can make a drastic improvements to your mood and mental health.

Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services provides comprehensive counselling services as well as a wide variety of specialty programs, subsidies, and workshops to best help and support our patients. Our counsellors specialize in concerns such as depression, anxiety, and more. Please contact us today to learn more about our services, weekend/evening appointments, and sliding fee scale.  Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services had three locations throughout the Okanagan in Penticton, Kelowna, and West Kelowna for your convenience.

This blog post was written by OCCS Clinical Counsellor:

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p: 250.718.9291

e: info@okclinical.com

28
Feb

What is Self-Compassion?

 

Many people struggle with anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Self-compassion can help you manage these difficult feelings and support yourself through difficult times. However, many people may be wondering… what exactly is self-compassion? According to researcher and self-compassion expert Kristin Neff (link to this: http://self-compassion.org/about/), there are three parts to self-compassion:

  1. Self-Kindness: Being kind to yourself is a key component of self-compassion. Self-compassion recognizes that as a human being, you will inevitably make mistakes and sometimes fail. Instead of responding to yourself with anger, hostility, or self-depreciation, self-compassion allows you to respond to yourself as you would a friend – with kindness, compassion, and understanding.
  2. Common Humanity: Often when we suffer, we feel that we’re alone in our experience. Self-compassion tells us that suffering is part of the human condition. This may look different for each person, but every human being has experienced pain. You are not alone in your suffering.
  3. Mindfulness: Mindfulness means observing your thoughts and feelings in the present moment in a neutral and non-judgmental way. This is key for self-compassion. Mindfulness allows you to observe and be aware of your thoughts and feelings, but to not over-identify with them.

Self-compassion is a very useful tool for us when we’re feeling at our worst. When we feel low, we can ask ourselves “what would I say to a friend in this situation?” and respond to ourselves with loving kindness instead of criticism. If you’re wondering where your self-compassion level is right now, check out this self-compassion test: http://self-compassion.org/test-how-self-compassionate-you-are/

To learn more about how to become self-compassionate consider booking an appointment with one of our many qualified counsellors.  Our counsellors range in a variety of specializations such as depression, anxiety, mindfulness, substance abuse, relationship concerns, and many other life concerns you may have.  Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services has 3 locations throughout the Okanagan (Kelowna, West Kelowna, and Penticton) to best support you.

 

This blog post was written by OCCS Clinical Counsellor:

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p: 250.718.9291

e: info@okclinical.com

20
Feb

Benefits of Meditation for Depression

 

One of the main goals of meditation is mindfulness. Mindfulness occurs when we are focusing on our surroundings and feeling present in that moment. We are able to acknowledge and accept our feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. Meditation focuses on moving a person into a present, mindful state of being by focusing on our emotions and thoughts.

  1. Helps you sleep better

Practicing meditation for approximately 20 minutes before sleeping allows you to release some stress and anxiety emotionally, and aids in realigning body chemistry when combined with nutrition and exercise. Addressing your stress during the day and before bed through meditation relaxes the mind to allow for a more peaceful sleep.

Lacking adequate sleep increases a persons risk of developing or relapsing back into depression. Sleep allows the body to restore itself chemically and physically, so getting enough sleep regularly both helps prevents and treats depression.

 

   2. Allows you to feel more connected

Just as meditation can help you feel more connected in that moment, continued practice allows you the skill to feel more connected in your day-to-day life. Meditation strengthens your capacity to get connected and remain connection through the day. It increases attention, increases brain activity in areas associated with happiness and optimism, and increases quality of relationships.

 

   3. Emotional harmony

Research shows that meditation is linked to increasing positive emotions, life satisfaction, and immune function, while decreasing physical pain and inflammation. Many people report feeling more compassionate towards others, experience higher levels of forgiveness and enjoy moments more often than people who do not meditate.

 

Meditation comes in many forms, but every method has the same focus, be present with your moment. If you find that clearing your mind and sitting still isn’t for you, go for a walk sans technology and enjoy your surroundings. Lie in the grass, walk by the water, do some yoga; do anything that calms your mind and allows you to live right in the moment you are in. Meditation can decrease relapse, severity and length of depressive episodes and allow you to be more present in your daily life. Okanagan Clinical Counselling services has several certified clinicians that are eager to help you manage your life concerns. At OCCS we specialize in depression counselling and incorporate meditation and mindfulness techniques in therapy sessions.  Call today to book an appointment at any of our three Okanagan locations (Kelowna, Penticton, or Westbank) to find out how our counselling services may benefit you.

This blog post was written by:

Nicole

Nicole Ripley, BA Psyc, M.Couns

Registered Clinical Counsellor (#10535)

Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services

p: 250.718.9291

e: info@okclinical.com

 

10
Feb

How to Get Back Up

 

In her new book Rising Strong, Dr. Brené Brown, who researches shame, vulnerability, and worthiness, is jumping off from her previous books on being authentic and taking chances, and is now exploring how to get back up after falling. She has termed this process of getting back up “rising strong,” and provides practical instruction along with enlightening and inspiring real life stories. These are the three stages of the rising strong process and a guide for how to get back up when we fall.

  1. The Reckoning

This is the first stage where we recognize that we’re feeling something uncomfortable. Dr. Brown calls this the “facedown” moment, the moment when you feel like you’ve been knocked down. Oftentimes our default setting for difficult emotions is to run away from them, push them off onto someone else, or pretend they don’t exist. During the reckoning, we need to do exactly the opposite. We need to be aware of and sit with what’s going on, to be mindful. We must question what’s happening – the situation along with our emotions, thoughts, and actions.

  1. The Rumble

This is appropriately named as it is the most difficult stage. It is the time where we acknowledge and explore the stories we’re making up. Dr. Brown calls these the “shitty first draft” or “stormy first draft,” and she says it’s paramount to actually write these out. The SFD includes a description of our feelings, physical responses, thoughts, beliefs, and behaviour. We must be completely honest and unfiltered while we get these out for the first time. It’s normal and okay to sound mean or crazy. No one will see it unless you choose to show them. Afterward, we go back to challenge and reality-check the story we’ve created. We do this by asking ourselves what information we’re missing about the situation, about the other people involved, and about ourselves. As we dig deeper and learn more, we can move from our first response to an improved, more accurate understanding.

  1. The Revolution

Once our new comprehension has been gained from our time in the rumble, the final stage will reconstruct our beliefs and thoughts to change our behaviour. During the revolution we incorporate the discoveries we’ve now made – about the situation, other people involved, and ourselves – into our choice of actions. This gives us the opportunity to create a different, more meaningful and compassionate ending. When implemented, it can change our relationships for the better – with friends, family, coworkers, and even ourselves.

With time and attention this rising strong process can become a daily practice. It may not get more comfortable, but it will become more familiar. It is so worth the benefits as you see improvements in your life and relationships. As they say, “It’s not about how many times you fall down; it’s about how many times you get back up.”

Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services offers a wide range of counselling services to help individuals get back on their feet after a difficult life period.  OCCS also offers several workshops to address issues such as anxiety, depression, and worthiness.  Contact our office today to book an appointment at our Kelowna, Penticton, or Westbank location to find out how our counselling services or workshops may benefit you.

This blog post was written by:

Nicole

Nicole Ripley, BA Psyc, M.Couns

Registered Clinical Counsellor (#10535)

Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services

p: 250.718.9291

e: info@okclinical.com

28
Jan

Attachment Styles

 

Attachment is defined as the condition of being attached to something or someone. With regard to psychology, an emotional bond is the attaching force between people. Attachment theory is a psychological theory that pertains to the long-term relationships between people, especially parent-child and romantic relationships. It is believed that the early life attachment between a caregiver and child will go on to affect that child’s relationships all throughout life. These are the attachment styles from childhood and how they often develop into adulthood.

Attachment Styles

  1. Secure Attachment

A secure attachment can develop when the caregiver meets the child’s needs in a timely manner. This caregiver is sensitive and consistent in their responses to the child. The caregiver is connected to the child, and the child learns she can depend on the caregiver.

Children who formed secure attachments in childhood will usually have secure attachment in adulthood as well. As adults, these people are well adjusted. They have a strong sense of self which includes a positive view of themselves. Their lives are balanced. In relationships, they have an easier time being open, honest, supportive, and loving.

     2. Avoidant Attachment

This caregiver is unavailable to the child. When the child is in need, the caregiver provides little or no response. The child realizes that no one is coming to help and often learns to parent herself. This caregiver may also shame the act of crying or encourage extreme independence.

Children with avoidant attachment will often have dismissive attachment in adulthood. These adults are often loners who do not value relationships. They may supress their feelings and be perceived as brainy. Dismissive attachment adults will avoid conflict and detach from situations or people they find difficult.

    3. Ambivalent/Anxious Attachment

An ambivalent or anxious attachment forms when the caregiver is inconsistent in meeting the needs of the child. Sometimes the caregiver will meet the needs appropriately, but other times they will not. This is confusing for the child as she cannot anticipate what to expect from her caregiver.

Children who developed ambivalent/anxious attachment generally have preoccupied attachment as adults. These adults have low self-esteem and thus seek approval from others. Their fear of rejection can cause them to act clingy and desperate in relationships. Often these behaviours result in pushing their partner away.

   4. Disorganized Attachment

This is a frightening caregiver who may be physical and/or emotionally abusive. It is conflicting for the child because her instinctual source of safety is also the source of anxiety. The child may disassociate from her experiences and exhibit a disoriented mix of behaviours.

Children with disorganized attachment will often develop fearful-avoidant attachment as adults. These adults are disconnected from themselves and feel mixed up in their desires, fears, and behaviour. Relationships are often dramatic. These adults may also find themselves in abusive romantic relationships.

Now What?

Being aware of your attachment style and personality will give important insight into your relationships and interpersonal behaviour. If you’re unsure from reading these descriptions, you can take this quiz from Psychology Today to find out.

We can’t change how we grew up, but everyone can work to change their present situation. For the foundation of a satisfying relationship, choose a partner who you believe to have secure attachment, and then focus on developing your own sense of security. We at Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services look forward to helping you adjust any unhelpful patterns of behaviour you may have developed to cope with your early life experiences.  Contact us today too ok an appointment for individual, couples, family and group counselling services at either our Kelowna, Westbank or Penticton location.

This blog post was written by:

Nicole

Nicole Ripley, BA Psyc, M.Couns

Registered Clinical Counsellor (#10535)

Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services

p: 250.718.9291

e: info@okclinical.com

12
Jan

4 Ways to be a Transgender Ally

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4 Ways to Be a Transgender Ally

Transgender is an umbrella term for individuals whose gender identity or expression does not match what is expected of their gender assigned at birth. This also includes those who do not fit into a binary, 2-gender world.

The experience of oppression, unfortunately, is extremely high for transgender people when compared to the general population. In the recent American National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which included over 6,000 participants, the challenges of this community were made clear. The respondents were nearly four times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000/year. Ninety percent (90%) experienced harassment, mistreatment, or discrimination in the workplace. Sixty-three (63%) had experienced a serious act of discrimination such as job loss, eviction, bullying, assault, homelessness, and so on, and 41% had reported attempting suicide (compared to 1.6% of the general population). Not to mention the microaggressions transgender people all experience in day to day life. In the face of this pattern of abuse, we must work to confront injustice and change society through our own actions. Here are 5 ways to be a transgender ally in your life.

  1. Explore and understand your own beliefs.

We all have subconscious biases and beliefs regarding gender that have come from the culture around us. It is believed that by 5 years of age, children already have ingrained stereotypes about races, genders, and social groups which they’ve acquired from parents, peers, media, and societal structures. We can’t change the fact that we all have these biased responses, but we can be aware of them and be constantly challenging them.

  1. Use the appropriate language.

Different people relate most authentically to different terms for their experience (e.g., transgender, agender, bigender, genderfluid, genderqueer), and they all deserve equal respect. Someone who identifies as female may prefer feminine pronouns, while a person who identifies as male may prefer masculine pronouns, while a person who identifies as genderqueer may prefer neutral pronouns such as they and them. If you are unsure, listen first to what others close to the person use or you can politely ask. If a transgender person has chosen to change their name, respect the one they are currently using.

  1. Don’t ask invasive questions.

People would never ask a cisgender (non-transgender) person how they have sex or what their genitals look like. It is equally inappropriate to ask a transgender person these questions. This preoccupation with a transgender person’s body, genitalia, and transition process takes away from the reality of their life and exacerbates an objectification of transgender people. If they want to talk to you about it, they will bring it up on their own.

  1. Become an advocate.

Laws and policies are often not set up to support transgender people. Oppression has been found present in schools, health care settings, government agencies, police departments, and jail and prison systems. You can educate yourself on campaigns or current events related to transgender issues. Write letters or petition law- and policymakers in your area or donate to organizations working toward change. An example could be to support gender neutral public restrooms. Even just challenging anti-transgender jokes or remarks you hear from others can support acceptance and change.

Transgender people experience a startling amount of discrimination and violence, which is why we need to work together to change the culture and make society a safe place for all people regardless of their conformity to gender norms. Like everyone, transgender people are more than just their gender identity, and thus it’s ultimately important to be a kind, compassionate, respectful person in your interactions with others.

Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services specializes in providing counselling services for Transgender individuals as our clinical counsellor Allison, has extensive experience in providing counselling support for individuals of the Transgender population. OCCS also offers a workshop that aims to educate and inform about the unique concerns, needs and appropriate terminology to be use regarding the Transgender population.

OCCS provides individual, couples, family and group therapy as well as a wide variety of specialty programs, subsidized counselling services, and workshops to best help our patients.  Please contact us today to learn more about our services, weekend/evening appointments, and sliding fee scale.  Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services had three locations throughout the Okanagan in Penticton, Kelowna, and West Kelowna for your convenience.

This blog was written by:

Nicole

 

Nicole Ripley, BA Psyc, M.Couns

Registered Clinical Counsellor (#10535)

Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services

p: 250.718.9291

e: info@okclinical.com

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