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Dawn Zivanovich, MSW, RSW | Blog
Finding Balance: Not All Women Want to "Have It All"
4/30/13
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Increase Your Sexual Intimacy
10/12/12
She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman

Ian Kerner

A book for men and for women hoping to help their intimacy and increase their sexual enjoyment, but not for the faint of heart. Mr. Kerner offers explicit advice and diagrams to help men and women find the core spots and behaviours that will result in a “shared experience of pleasure, intimacy, respect and contentment.” He discusses important and misunderstood topics.

“Breaking down six stages of foreplay, from the “first kiss” to orgasm, Kerner speaks to both beginners and more seasoned lovers. His candor concerning his own bout with sexual dysfunction adds a compassionate tone and credibility to this decidedly pro-female methodology.”

If your intimacy and your relationship is important then this is a “must read”.
Anxiety, Depression and Other Side Effects of Being Bullied
10/12/12
Bullying. This is a huge topic and cannot be covered in one blog. Teasing, picking on, harassing, pushing, shoving, name-calling — all these behaviours fall under the umbrella of bullying. And even though, society has worked on educating us, there seems to be an epidemic of bullying. (See: http://bit.ly/GN3LfY)

Bullies: no one likes them, but they can be extremely intimidating. In fact, sometimes, they can be downright terrifying and they can make other people miserable, so much so, that with repeated bullying, victims can begin to suffer lower confidence and self-esteem, and their academic performance can be affected.

I have clients who too readily recall the names they were called in grade school. They recall the degradation and humiliation they felt. At times, the shame and embarrassment, and the feeling that there is something wrong with them appears to follow them into their adult lives. Witnessing bullying can be just as traumatic. Some siblings try to protect their younger brothers or sisters by standing up for them or taking them away from harmful situations.

If left unchecked, children, teens and adults can become afflicted with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. The most severe consequence is suicide which, unfortunately, has been an all too real consequence in some cases of extreme bullying.

Many children don’t know how to deal with bullies, and so behave submissively which often reinforces the bully’s behavior. Often children are afraid to tell their parents or teachers that they are being bullied either by another child or, at times, by a group of kids. Sometimes the bully can be an adult: a teacher or neighbour. Parents may believe that the child should learn to stand up for himself and choose not to intervene. Children may be scared of the repercussions of “telling”, and therefore, keep the bullying a secret.

Whatever the case, if bullying continues unchecked, it can lead to a number of problems. Not only can children be left with physical scars of bullying but mental scars and issues can develop. Sometimes symptoms emerge as physical ailments such as stomach aches or other illnesses that come on abruptly. Or a child may begin to become depressed and show signs of sadness, including crying, trouble sleeping or nightmares.

In recent years, bullying has emerged in a new form, via instant messaging and text messaging. Cyber bullying has changed the culture of bullying to a certain extent and the number of people that report being bullied has increased as a result. It has another dimension in that the bullying can be anonymous which means you do not know who to be on the look-out for.

In general, being bullied usually leaves us feeling helpless, powerless, fearful, anxious and sometimes angry. Although upsetting, it is important to deal with bullying as quickly as possible, whether it be to “block” an e-mail address or walk away from a situation and find help. It is important for the adults to address the bullying in a firm and definitive manner.

Counselling and therapy can be helpful in order to offer support and allow the child (or adult) to find inner resources and coping strategies for dealing with the effects of bullying.
Procrastination: Deal with Your “Stuff” Now or It May Haunt You Later…
10/12/12
It’s not so much about getting tasks done as it is about getting your s*** together, as someone said in a session. She was bemoaning the fact that she thought she had done much of that; ‘working through” her emotional and psychological “baggage”. But as we were working through the issue with EMDR desensitization, she began realizing that she was in fact like an ostrich hiding her head in the sand, and had dealt with little of it.

What does this mean? It means that she is human because even simple daily tasks are things that we often delay. It’s not that important and “I’ll do that tomorrow” is what we tell ourselves. (See blog/dont-delay/201203/ill-feel-more-it-tomorrow-0) And, often, it isn’t a big deal if we don’t do the laundry for a few days or don’t sweep the floor every day. In fact, for some people, delaying a task actually is a good thing because they work better under pressure. See: blog/in-the-age-anxiety/201104/can-procrastination-ever-be-good-thing. But what happens when we avoid doing too many things or for far too long? We usually end up getting bogged down and overwhelmed with an over-abundance of “to-dos” on our list.

And what about our emotional and psychological “stuff”? What happens if we don’t deal with these issues? Often nothing, at first. In fact, we are relieved to bury them away. Those recurring patterns of self-destruction and those bad habits that affect our health and our relationships aren’t really that bad, are they?

It is true that sometimes issues will heal with time and that some things will resolve themselves if left alone. However, the more we delay, deny and bury our feelings around those most significant and important events in our lives, and the more we reject that we have psychological pain, the worse it can become. It is kind of like a pressure cooker. Even if you’ve never seen one in action, most people understand the concept. A pressure cooker needs to be handled with care as you have to let off a bit of steam constantly, otherwise, you risk the whole thing exploding! or it starts to overcook…

In psychological terms, this can mean that when we deny our feelings for lengthy periods of time, various physical, emotional and psychological issues can begin to emerge. People can subjugate their life traumas into physical illness, and other distressing events from the past can actually sabotage your present day relationships. Depression can occur as a result of cumulative stress and loss. Anxiety can become a factor due to unresolved events from the past.

Sounds dramatic but everyone is human and we need to acknowledge that not everything is “just fine”. If the same theme keeps coming up in your life, there may be a reason for it: maybe it is time to deal with it!
Change Your Life in 30 Days...
7/24/12
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The Evidence for the Effectiveness of EMDR Treatment
3/6/12
Reading Francine Shapiro in the New York Times on the effectiveness of E.M.D.R. therapy. She cites a number of studies and answers questions.

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