Is There Really Any Point in Talking About the Past?

Therapy discussions


Over and over I hear people suggest its meaningless to discuss the past.“What’s done is done”“Let’s just focus on how to move forward”“How is talking about that going to help me in my life today?”And so forth using a Calgary Counsellor 

When I hear clients say this, I get where they’re coming from. It’s counter-intuitive to revisit pain, and seems almost masochistic really. That being said, one of the best ways I’ve learned how to help people includes revisiting the past. So it’s important to me to help people understand the why and how of healing past hurts in order to have a happier future.

The first rule is that a therapist shouldn’t jump into the past right when you get started.


I’ve heard of this happening, and I think it’s a big mistake. Unless there’s something deeply troubling to you from your past that you want to talk about in therapy right now, then there’s other work to be done first. A therapist that heads straight for the ‘tell me about your mother’ line is really doing you a disservice. Those are usually therapists that have a narrow understanding of the human psyche and are adopting a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. One thing my supervisor taught me early on, that I’ve never forgotten, is don’t assume you know what’s going on. This has helped me to maintain an open mind and humble spirit as I approach complicated human beings. I listen first, and then try to conceptualize later. Then I adopt specific treatment plan based upon my understanding of the client and I watch to see what the outcomes are looking like as I use appropriate interventions. If I’m missing the mark, I will adjust. A therapist that begins with a lot of assumptions and just jumps in, even if its to relevant data from your past, may not really understand the whole picture of what’s going on for you, and could actually be doing harm.


Second, it’s important to stop the bleeding before the surgery.

Usually people will start christian counselling  because they’re in pain. Therapy isn’t easy to do, and pain is a great motivator. But when we’re in pain, all we can focus on is the pain, and how to get it to stop. So this type of work in therapy, aka stopping the bleeding, is critical before someone opens you up to more pain, including anything from your past. When I train therapists, I teach them an analogy to help illustrate this point. If you imagine hedges growing up in a yard that are untended, they eventually become wild and unruly.  There are a few methods you have to deal with these hedges. First, the quickest and most effective way is to trim them. A chainsaw, clippers or a big pair of scissors, this trimming method is the best bet. And this, to me, is when a therapist is helping you deal with the immediate presenting symptoms. It might mean using cognitive strategies or behavioral interventions to help you to feel better as quickly as possible. These strategies I use tend to help client’s mood improve, they begin sleeping better, they feel more motivated and are enjoying life much more than they were previously.

At this point, most of my clients are tempted to stop therapy. They are feeling better, and that was the goal, right?

Yes and no. The first goal was to feel better, but the second goal is to stay better. If this is only a temporary band-aid and the pain returns, was therapy really successful? In my opinion, not really.

So, this is the time, when it’s best to do surgery. Essentially going after the hedges at the roots. It takes more time, and the digging is work, but if you can pull it out, there wont be any hedges to trim anymore in that area.

For example, if you come in struggling with anxiety, interventions like meditation, eliminating caffeine and mild exercise will help you to feel better quite quickly, as in brief therapy, which is about 6-8 sessions. But if you have deeper issues related to why you have the anxiety – such as low self esteem, boundaries issues, people pleasing or workaholism, the anxiety is likely to return. So, it’s important to look at these other areas, and especially where they came from. Children aren’t born with poor boundaries, they are learned. For some reason boundaries were not okay to have in that family of origin, and were met with hostility, guilt, manipulation or shame. So revisiting these issues from the past, and relearning some of these important life skills will help the presenting problem be healed, or at least in remission for a much greater duration.

Third, grief heals.

In addition to the first two points, which are making sure therapists taking time to get to know your situation before they revisit the past, and making sure they help with immediate symptoms before relearning important skills that were missed in your past, the third concept to remember is that grief heals. Again, as mentioned, it’s counterintuitive to re-experience pain. But if you have a therapist that knows how to revisit it, and what tools to use during your sessions (such as EMDR, Gestalt or imagery exercises) and what homework to assign (healing letters, making amends or bibliotherapy as examples), then it will help you to begin the grieving process. You will feel feelings that were necessary to feel back then, but too overwhelming so they got stuck and are unprocessed.  Our minds and bodies are made to heal naturally. But when something gets in the way of that healing, it can take a therapeutic intervention to rekindle the natural process. For example, in EMDR, a therapist will use and eye movement or tapping technique that engages both parts of the brain and allows for processing trauma in a unique and effective way. This therapy has been proven by research to work for all types of past trauma including car accidents, war trauma, animal attacks, and physical or sexual abuse. Even for addictions and phobias, clients who do EMDR have to revisit some aspect of their past that is keeping the present symptoms going. The present is tied to the past, and EMDR helps bring this to the light where it can be felt and healed. Clients are amazed at how much better they feel when they can process, and therefore let go of, pain they didn’t even realize they were carrying.

As a local therapist in calgary, I definitely understand why clients may be hesitant to revisit their past. And I would say to them that some of that hesitation is warranted. If the therapist they meet with doesn’t seem to want to get to know their case better, or doesn’t seem interested in helping alleviate some of the immediate and pressing symptoms, it probably wont help to try to get into the past. Therapists should be interested, and take a humble approach to trying to understand your problem. You should feel that some of your pain has lessened by early interventions before you’re asked to go there. Finally, you should be encouraged to remember that grieving heals. The feelings wont have to be felt for very long (true feelings are quick), but the results will likely be a lot longer lasting than short term interventions. If you have the courage to do the work, and can find the right therapist to help you, you will have lifelong results.

Living Well Counselling Services Inc.
4803 Centre Street Northwest #4,
Calgary, AB T2E 2Z6
(403) 695-7911

Living Well counselling 

Living Well was created with certain values in mind. We want to help you connect with a Psychologist or Counsellor that is effective in their areas of strength and also one that is welcoming, non-judgemental & easy to work with. Whether you need to meet with a counsellor for anxiety, addictions or depression, are in need of couples therapy, anger management tools or an LGBTQ friendly therapist, one of us may be a good fit. For tips on finding the right counsellor, click here. We also strive to keep our rates lower than the set rate for most Calgary counselling agencies, and have therapists covered by benefits should you have access to extended health coverage.

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Flowers Can Help healing!


Flowers can speed up Healing process


Have a loved one who is sick? make sure and fill their room with flowers, flowers can cause a sense of well being and have been proven to speed up the healing process naturally like a naturopath . Here are some tips for purchasing flowers . Panda flowers has  flower delivery calgary to all hospitals

When you’re buying flowers, it’s sometimes difficult to know exactly what to do. Whether you’re getting them for a friend, a special occasion, to be spontaneous or to decorate your home, you want to make sure that you’re getting a quality bouquet at a great price. There are a lot of things to consider in this situation, and it’s important to take your time. Even if you are just getting a bouquet of red roses as a nice gesture for your partner, you want things to go off without a hitch. Things get a lot more interesting and complicated if you are arranging a lot of flowers for an event such as a wedding or a private function.

Design & Variety

One of the most obvious signs of a great flower retailer is the creativity and aesthetic value of their floral arrangements. A flower shop will typically display their best work on the homepage of their site, but there may be other work to be discovered deeper within the site’s pages. Sometimes you won’t necessarily be looking for a specific design, but will instead merely be looking for a type of flower that is not ordinarily found in stores. It’s nice to change up the routine when you’re buying flowers, and to do that you have to make sure that you have plenty of options at your disposal.

Great Prices & Affordability

A flower is a wonderful way to surprise a friend, or to bring a little beauty into the life of somebody who is perhaps going through a difficult time. While you want the flowers that you buy to be of a high quality and caliber, it’s also important that you can afford to perform this type of gesture on a regular basis. To do that, you sometimes have to shop at a site where the prices are affordable, and the cost for the flowers is comparatively quite low. The last thing you need is to be paying too much for shipping and delivery costs, so it’s important to factor in the cost and the affordability of the flowers that you’re looking at.

Availability & Flexible Delivery Options

Such a flower shop will only be useful to you to the extent to which their flowers are easily shippable. A great flower shop knows how to distribute their products, and maintains a lot of flexibility and robustness when it comes to shipping and delivering their products all over the city. Once you’ve begun to understand what an online flower store has to offer, it’s easier to trust their services, but this trust will only be truly helpful when it corresponds to a great system for ordering and delivering flowers that enables you to send out bouquets wherever you need them, and to have things arranged and delivered in a quick and efficient manner, with none of the quality lost in the process.

If you’re looking for the best florists Calgary NW has to offer, you’ve come to the right place. We are a great florists Calgary NW online store and we’d be happy to help you in any way that we can. Check out some of the arrangements and flowers that we have available throughout our site.

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Overcome Anxiety Using Naturopathy

Overcome Anxiety Using Naturopathy

One of the cornerstones of naturopathic medicine is to not employ synthetic drugs or surgery to treat a patient.  Instead naturopathy uses other methods such as herbs, vitamins, massage and special diets to help your body heal itself.  A naturopathic physician is more than capable of helping you cope with your anxiety.  Before we discuss how naturopathy can treat anxiety, here’s  video explaining just what anxiety is and how it affects the patient.

Here are three tips that can help you overcome anxiety using naturopathy.

Tip #1 is Commitment:

You first must make a commitment to use a naturopathic approach to coping with your anxiety and ultimately eliminating it permanently from your life.  This means stopping the symptoms of panic attacks without the use of drugs or excuses and following the direction of a naturopathic doctor.  You can be comfortable in knowing that naturopathy isn’t new and it has been practiced all over the world for centuries.

Tip #2 is to find a naturopathic physician who can treat your anxiety

Finding a naturopath physician is just like looking for any other health care provider, they need to be accredited and licensed.  Naturopaths must attend a four year graduate level in naturopathic medicine after doing at least a 3 year undergraduate degree in pre medical studies.  A naturopathic doctor studies all the same basic science classes as a regular doctor but they also study holistic and nontoxic approaches to medicine with a very strong focus on prevention and optimizing wellness.

Naturopathic doctors diagnose and treat your condition the same as an allopathic doctor, but the treatment for coping with anxiety will not include the use of potentially addictive medications.  You can get some insight into some of the treatment methods by looking at

Tip #3 is to be patient with your prescribed treatment

Naturopathy isn’t new, in fact it has been around for thousands of years.  You can be confident that your naturopathic doctor will give you an accurate diagnosis and the correct treatment plan to deal with your anxiety.  Have faith that this will be the right treatment for you and enough confidence in your doctor to complete the treatment as it has been prescribed.  It will be different than simply taking medication once a day there will be more work and commitment on your part.  The results will amaze you as you go through the prescribed treatment.

Suffering from anxiety and frequent panic attacks can be debilitating and the frustration in not being able to deal with it on your own is completely understandable.  There are natural methods to treat your anxiety that don’t involve addictive medications.  Visit a naturopathic doctor you will be pleased with the results.

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Why Choose Naturopathy?

Why Choose Naturopathy

Today life is far faster paced than it has ever been, we want things right now and no one has the time or patience to stop and wait for things to come to them.  We have become a results based society and we want to solutions to life’s ailments right now.  Take a look at the success of the pharmaceutical industry where their medicines all claim to provide ‘instant relief’.  There are still some people who know that excessive consumption of these medicines does far more harm than good.  This is what naturopathy is all about.

What is Naturopathy?

Calgary Naturopathy is about using simple age old methods of using natural and herbal medicines to alleviate a patient’s pain and treat their diseases.  Today this is considered ‘alternative medicine’ and it is becoming increasingly popular as people are become more disillusioned with the modern pharmaceutical industry.

How Naturopathy Works

Naturopathic remedies look to finding a natural balance in the body and trying to achieve harmony.  It focuses far more on prevention and using diet and the elimination of toxins from your body so that it will return to optimum health.  You can try and do this using several different branches of naturopathy including, acupuncture, massage, reflexology, mudpacks, fasting, yoga and stress management techniques.  There are a plethora of different options that fall under what is considered Naturopathic Remedies.

Treatment will depend on the patient and how serious the condition is.  Treatment plans are put together and they are meant to be followed for a set period of time.  During that time a routine is established that will typically include some sort of diet plan and a list of activities.  This plan should be adhered pretty strictly to achieve the results you want.  Today more and more people are turning to naturopathy not just to cure an ailment but as a way to live their lives.

Why Choose Naturopathy?

The treatment plans are tailored to the individual patient and for patients who have chronic conditions, naturopathy can make a huge difference in their quality of life.  It may not completely eliminate the need for surgical intervention or medications but it is still being sought after by thousands of patients.  It takes a holistic approach to health whereby the whole body is treated, the ultimate goal of naturopathy is rid yourself of toxins and maintain a healthy body.  That’s the reason more people turn to naturopathy everyday.

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