“When the Japanese mend broken objects they aggrandize the damage by filling in the cracks with gold, because they believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.”
— Barbara Bloom
There are times in all of our lives when we encounter struggles, change and challenges that require extra support. Working from a cognitive behavioural approach Barbara offers counselling services to help individuals, couples and families through stressful experiences.
- Mental Health Counselling (anxiety, depression, psychosis, personality issues)
- Relationship Issues
- Parenting Struggles
Depression is a condition that changes you; how you think, how you feel and how you behave. You may have intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness and find no pleasure in life. It can impact every area of your life; however there is hope. Depression is not your fault and by seeking help you can take control of your symptoms. By utilizing a cognitive behavioural approach, Barbara will help you examine your thoughts, feelings and behaviours in order to help you manage your symptoms.
Anxiety lives within us all however when it gets out of control and impacts our daily lives, it is time to do something about it. There are many types of anxiety; perhaps you have always felt uncomfortable around people but now you find yourself avoiding social gatherings, staying home more often and may find even going to work or school difficult. Perhaps you have persistent worries or feelings that something bad is going to happen; or you may have to perform certain habits in order to feel secure.
Often avoiding what makes us feel anxious seems like the perfect solution; until we realize that avoidance doesn’t solve the issue. Eventually you need to address the anxiety or your world or your loved one’s world becomes isolated and lonely. Anxiety is common at all ages from children to seniors and while a child may avoid school and an adult may struggle to function at work there is a very effective treatment; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Research shows us that CBT is the most effective way to treat anxiety; combined with medication (if needed) the results are even better for managing this condition.
Having worked with children, teenagers and adults experiencing anxiety, as well as running an anxiety treatment group, Barbara has the experience and skills to help you or your family member manage their anxiety.
Having had the privilege to work within the early psychosis intervention program in Niagara for several years, Barbara has direct experience in helping young people and their families navigate an episode of psychosis. Psychosis is the experience of becoming out of touch with reality; seeing, hearing and experiencing things that are not real. There are many reasons why a person may experience psychosis such as; family history, head injury, drug use or health reasons.
An episode of psychosis can be extremely scary for the individual experiencing the symptoms but also for family and friends of that person. Having facilitated a family support group as well as working directly with family members and individuals experiencing psychosis, Barbara can offer support and practical solutions to the challenges faced.
Our personalities develop as a result of our genetics and also as the result of our environment and personal experiences. When maladaptive personality traits (inability to manage emotions, fear of being alone/abandonment, self-harm, self-identity struggles ) influence our thoughts, behaviours and emotions to the degree that our functioning is impaired and we experience significant distress; intervention is needed. Intervention can lower the distress you are experiencing and will help you manage a life worth living!
Barbara is trained in Dialectal Behaviour therapy (DBT) and has experience applying this approach to help individuals mange borderline personality traits that are impacting their lives. This approach requires a strong commitment to weekly sessions as well as the ability to track one’s own behaviour through detailed charting. Through this intervention you will learn new skills to help you regulate and manage your emotions as well as addressing the traits that are impacting your life and your relationships.
Relationships can be the place where we find love, support and kindness; they can also be sources of stress, frustration and hurt. Whether you are struggling with a partner, family member or friend; insight into your relationship behaviour can make a significant difference in how you manage difficulties in a relationship, who you engage in a relationship with and whether you decide to continue on in a relationship. Working from a behavioural approach combined with an emotionally focused influence; Barbara will help you identify and understand the issues while helping you change behaviour cycles and patterns so that you can be intentional in your relationships.
Parenting is not easy! There are times when you just don’t know what to do and need some advice. Often friends and family can offer support but there are also situations and experiences when more help is required. Barbara is a mother herself and is aware of the many parenting challenges faced everyday by parents. Having a degree in child studies as well as psychology has helped her understand children at their developmental stages. Combined with her experience with working with children, teenagers and their families as well as being a parent herself, enables her to partner with you, to help you through parenting struggles.
Perhaps your young child is overly defiant and challenging, you may be having a hard time enforcing boundaries and consequences or you are struggling with your teenager and have worries they are engaging in risk behaviours such as drug use or promiscuity. Barbara will help you identify the issues, generate parenting solutions and will be there to support you while you apply the parenting solutions in order to regain peace in your home.
Barb provided a safe and comfortable environment where my daughter felt able to express her fears and anxiety. Barb took the time to listen and understand, making her feel heard and important. She taught both of us about anxiety and how our thoughts work. She then provided us with tools and confidence to address the issues.