Tag: Couples Counselling Toronto

How To Know If A Person Truly Loves You: The Top 6 Ways

By Natasha Sharma

Oh to be in love. Is there really anything quite like it?

The slow cartwheels that turn over in your stomach every time you think of the other person, the slight hop and a skip in your step, the giddy anticipation at the thought of seeing them again, and how everything in the world around you suddenly just seems…better!

The trouble with love, as the saying goes, is that is can also render us temporarily – but powerfully – blind. At least cognitively speaking. There’s a reason somebody coined the phrase “love is a form of socially acceptable insanity.”

The intensity of biological factors and psychological emotions in the beginnings of a new relationship can weaken our judgment. In short, this happens so that we can see what we want to – and our relationship needs can be filled.

While it’s true that love may be both a feeling and an action, trust me on this: When it comes to letting others know whether or not we truly love them, it’s what we do over what we say that matters.

At the end of the day, there are some basic things that form the foundation of all healthy and loving relationships. Here are the top 6 ways for how to know if a person truly loves you:

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Pregnancy: Is it Really ‘All That?’ 4 Tips for Keeping it Real.

By Natasha Sharma

I have a confession to make: I did not enjoy being pregnant. There. I said it. And I’m pretty sure I’m far from the only person who feels this way. But you won’t hear people admit it. That’s because we live in a society where women are taught that being pregnant – and all that goes with it – is supposed to be the most beautiful and glorious time of your life. A time when you feel energetic and alive, when you are “glowing” from the inside out, and when you sit on a proverbial lily pad all day while doves coo at you and deer eat out of the palm of your hand. Ok, I’m being a little facetious, but heaven forbid if a woman should admit that she secretly felt anything less than total and utter bliss when with child. Notwithstanding the fabulous monologue delivered by one Elizabeth Banks in the film “What to Expect when you’re Expecting” in which she proclaims “pregnancy sucks” while her younger counterpart played by Brooklyn Decker appears pleased as punch with pregnancy (and didn’t we all just want to Deck-her at some point?!).

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Is There a ‘Right’ Time to Have a Baby?

By Natasha Sharma

At least twice a week in my practice, I will have a young, bright, and ambitious 20-something year old woman sitting across from me. We’ll ponder life together: Career, friends, hobbies, and relationships. And invariably at least once a week, one of them will tell me that she has a life plan, which includes having kids before the age of 30. The closer they might be to said age without the prospect of procreation in sight, the more angst they feel about ‘missing the deadline.’ When I inquire as to why the deadline is age 30, the response is usually that having kids over the age of 30 is “too old.” Other female clients of mine feel the opposite; they are in no rush and instead state that they in fact prefer to have kids much later in life. Still others, albeit a much smaller percentage, report that they know they never want to have kids and that, my friends, is totally fine (hey, it’s 2015!) But for the ones who know they want them, which is still likely to be most, it raises an interesting question: Is there such a thing as the right time to have children in life? Since 2013, the average age at which Canadian women had their first child topped 30 years. Assuming planned pregnancies by couples and/or otherwise stable familial units, I looked at the pros of having children under age 30 and of having them over age 30 (30 truly seems to be a demarcation point for so many in life, and on so many levels!). Here goes:

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Relax! It’s OK for Your Kids to be Angry with You

By Natasha Sharma

Early on in my practice as a psychotherapist, I worked with a lovely but troubled young family from Maryland. These were parents of an 8-year old child who struggled with his mood. He often had emotional ‘melt-downs’ at school and home that involved severe tantrums and oppositional behaviour. One evening when they came to see me for an appointment, the boy was wearing a t-shirt that read: “My Family is Afraid of Me.” Funny enough in a tongue in cheek sort of way. But for this family it spoke volumes about their issues. This was a trio where the power dynamics were consistently in favor of the child. Every effort was made by his parents to ensure he wouldn’t become upset or angry or dislike the outcome of something, even if that meant never saying the word “no” to him. When I gently confronted his parents about this, their response was simple enough: “We don’t want him to be mad at us.”

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5 Quick Tips to Boost Your Mood

By Natasha Sharma

As the summer starts drawing to its inevitable close, many people find themselves feeling a little glum. And who can blame them? There’s something about warm wind and long, lazy days in the sun that seem to make time slow down. And for a few short months, it seems we all gain the ability to mentally stand still for a moment. We stop fretting over the past, and worrying about the future. We get outside more, we see friends and family more, and there are endless opportunities for pure, unadulterated fun! For a change, we can be light, carefree, and almost entirely in the present. Whatever gets you down here and there, it’s worth noting that everyone feels a little ‘blue’ at times. In moderation and when proportionate, it’s as natural a part of the human condition as almost any other emotion. Slight downturns in mood usually pass within 1 or 2 days, and this reminder in and of itself is often helpful. In those moments where we could use more of a pick me up, here are some tips for a booster shot to the old amygdala:

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5 Ways to Rejuvenate your Marriage

By Natasha Sharma

Marriage is a (hopefully) long and deeply fulfilling relationship that many of us choose to embark on. But a good marriage – indeed a great one – is not all strawberries with cream. In my practice, I often work with couples in long-term relationships, and one of the key points I am always emphasizing is that marriage is a journey, consisting of times when we feel incredibly connected . . . and other times when we feel less so.

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The 4 Pillars of LIFE: What we can ALL do to promote our own Mental Health

By Natasha Sharma

In my clinical practice as a Psychotherapist, I’ve worked with many individuals and families of all ages, ranging from issues as harrowing as psychological trauma in small children to those as commonplace as conflict in the workplace. Over the years I’ve come to realize that a problem is a problem, relative to the unique context of a person’s life and individual phenomenology. Which is to say that they exist – or do not exist – based on our circumstances and subjective experience of life.

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Top 3 Causes Of Holiday Stress

By Natasha Sharma

Back when I was a psychology grad student at Johns Hopkins, I took a class with a special focus on anxiety. Somewhere in the textbook for this course, there was a rank ordered list of stressful life events that could potentially lead to psychological distress, fittingly called a “stress scale”. As I scanned the list, I saw many of the usual suspects: divorce, dismissal from work, taking on a major mortgage or foreclosure of a house. Then my eyes flashed across a word I wasn’t expecting: Christmas. Incidentally, it ranked as more stressful a life event than experiencing a minor legal infraction! At first, the foolish student in me laughed, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense.

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