Tag: Parenting Expert Toronto

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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The Human Condition and Mourning the Loss of Empathy

By Natasha Sharma

It’s been several weeks since the public funeral of Elijah Marsh, a Toronto toddler who wandered out into the snow in the middle of the night and died of hypothermia. In the aftermath of this heartbreaking tragedy, many an opinion has been expressed in the media about it, ranging from criticism of the amount of money raised for the Marsh family in an online fundraising campaign to cover funeral expenses, to criticism of the perceived cultural phenomenon of mourning the loss of people we don’t know. As a Psychotherapist and mental health expert, and after reading various articles in the media, most notably, a recent piece from a well-known Globe & Mail reporter, I felt compelled to respond with a different perspective on this matter.

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The Importance of Being Selfish

By Natasha Sharma

Can being selfish ever be a good thing? Well, it depends on your definition of ‘selfish.’ The common understanding of what it means to be selfish seems to be the idea of someone looking out for his or her own interests and needs at the expense of others. It’s the last part of this definition – at the expense of others – that makes selfishness the pariah of personality traits that we try to aspire to. But aside from that, the rest of the definition seems pretty reasonable. What is so wrong with looking out for our own interests and needs? In fact being selfish – in the truest sense of the word – means self-awareness and self-care. We are all naturally motivated to be selfish by this definition, and yet so many of us adopt a different understanding of it or are taught to consistently put the needs of others before, and sometimes at the expense of, ourselves.

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Be Good. Feel Great.

By Natasha Sharma

Some years ago – actually it was quite awhile back – I spent a day working as a volunteer at a local Toronto mission. My mission: To assist under-privileged people and families with their collection of free groceries and toys for the holiday season. I am sure on some level I had wondered if doing this would make me feel as though I had helped someone or some people in a small way. However I walked away that day feeling a bit confused.

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Attention Ladies and Gentlemen…How to Stay Focused in an Overstimulating World.

By Natasha Sharma

Attention, or more specifically the lack thereof, has been the subject of much research, heated debate, and discussion for some time now. In addition to the substantial amount of time and money allocated to the scientific study and medical etiology of inattention, it has become a prevalent topic in a wide range of more accessible communication mediums. On what seems like a near daily basis, one or more of the local newspapers will carry an article or spotlight on the subject. Add to this the copious amounts of information available online, information received from healthcare and education providers, television programs, parenting groups, on the playground, or even at your weekend dinner party, and one is left with a myriad of opinions.
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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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Why We Need To Be Able To Feel Afraid

By Natasha Sharma

The Toronto Eaton Centre – one of the city’s busiest shopping destinations – has reopened their doors this morning following the shooting incident that took place in the shopping centre food court Saturday evening of this past weekend, which killed one individual and wounded several others. In the after-math of such a terrible event, it would seem natural to feel apprehensive with respect to heading back into the very place that it occurred. Some might feel downright afraid and decide not to go back at all. But here’s why you should.

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