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Rhea's Picks

Rhea's Picks

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

In her book “Maybe you should talk to someone”, Dr. Lori Gottlieb reflects on the process of therapy from her point of view and experiences as both the therapist and patient.

It is a candid memoir in which Gottlieb guides readers through her work exploring the inner lives of her patients as she simultaneously embarks on her own journey of self-discovery with her own therapist.

Beyond offering insight into the opposing experiences of the therapist and client, this book highlights the awesome commonality of the human condition. Whether you are a therapist, a client, someone who is curious, fearful or even skeptical of therapy or whether you are simply someone who loves to understand humans, it speaks to all!

Geneviève's Picks

Geneviève's Picks


The Difference Between Healthy and Unhealthy Love

In her poignant TED Talk, Katie Hood, CEO of the One Love Foundation, an organization that aims to educate young people on the topic of love, explains that unhealthy love is something all of us will experience in our lifetime. Unhealthy love can manifest itself in different types of relationships, such as romantic relationships, friendships and family relationships, and is not limited to outright psychological or physical violence. Recognizing the signs of unhealthy love is key when trying to prevent relationship abuse.

Fortunately, healthy love is a skill that we can all learn and practice. Not only will practicing healthy love improve your life, it will also contribute to the betterment of the lives of those who matter most to you!

Mastering Adulthood

In her book called “Mastering Adulthood: Go Beyond Adulting to Become an Emotional Grown-up”, Dr. Lara E. Fielding teaches her readers how to navigate the emotional ups and downs of adulthood. By using easy to understand metaphors, Dr. Fielding introduces her young readers to the principles of cognitive behaviour therapy and mindfulness. If you know a young adult who is struggling to find their way, this book is a must!

Zhen's Picks

Zhen's Picks


Combating post-holiday blues by practicing emotional hygiene

It’s that time of the year: new year resolutions in full swing, preparation for back-to-work, and for many…. the inevitable post-holiday blues. January can be a vulnerable time of the year for many, as we continue into winter with less sunlight, harsher weather conditions, and not to mention potentially increasing workload and pace returning from the holidays. To combat post-holiday blues and to maintain emotional health, practicing emotional hygiene is critical. Check out psychologist Dr. Guy Winch’s compelling TED talk on the importance of taking care of our emotions, our minds, with the same diligence we take care of our bodies. For further resources, also check out this blog for more tips in managing those blues. Enjoy the read and listen!


又是一年纠结时: 乍许完新年愿望,就要准备重返工作岗位,诸如此类......恼人的节后综合症!对于广大芸芸众生,一月份是一年中最不爽的时间,我们得继续忍受着鲜有阳光的寒冬,我们要继续忍受着数九寒天,更何况节后要加重工作负荷,加快工作节奏!为了克服节后综合症,保持情绪乐观健康,实践自我情绪调节至关重要!查看心理学家Dr. Guy Winch博士的TED谈论强调关注情绪、心理是何等重要,就象我们在乎我们的身体一样。想知道有关更多调理节后综合症的信息,请查看此博客。 希望您享受阅读,聆听愉快!

Margarita's Picks

Margarita's Picks

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A Gratitude Attitude

Earlier this year, I was gifted “The Five-Minute Journal”, a structured daily journal with a set of morning and night-time questions allowing the owner to practice gratitude by reflecting on positive experiences and outcomes one is grateful for, and by setting mindful intentions for the day ahead. Cultivating gratitude has been associated with greater feelings of well-being, both psychological and physical (e.g. stress reduction, improved self-esteem, greater life satisfaction, improved sleep, and more). This journal was a great avenue for me to begin taking the time to “count my blessings” each day. However, we do not need any specific journal to begin cultivating our Gratitude Attitude! I encourage you to take out a paper and pen right now, and list 3 things you are grateful for today – no matter how big or small. Notice how you feel after this experience. How does your body feel? Was this helpful? What surprised you?

Meditation and Mindfulness: Two peas in a pod? Maybe not.

We hear more and more people discussing relaxation practices and using the terms meditation and mindfulness interchangeably. Perhaps you’ve heard some swear by these practices, and perhaps you’ve heard others say they are just not able to find that “off switch” in their minds. In “Meditation is Not What You Think: Mindfulness and Why it is So Important”, Jon Kabat-Zinn provides a holistic introduction to mindfulness practice and discusses how mindfulness and meditation are fundamentally different (Hint: You can stop trying to silence your mind!). This book brings with it the opportunity to reflect upon the relationships we hold with ourselves and the world around us and guides us on how to both deepen and build our own mindfulness practice.

Jacinthe's Picks

Jacinthe's Picks



Qu'est-ce que l'agilité émotionnelle (emotionnal agility)? Dans cette courte présentation TED, Dre Susan David, psychologue de l'école de médecine de Havard utilise son expérience personnelle pour illustrer de quelle façon nous pouvons avoir tendance à lutter contre nos émotions ou à juger de ces dernières. Ne nous surprenons pas tous parfois à avoir certaines pensées telles que «J'ai hâte de ne plus ressentir cette émotion»? Par le biais d'exemples de recherches et de concepts en psychologie, Dre David illustre de quelle façon la reconnaissance et l'acception de notre expérience émotionnelle peut constituer une pierre angulaire de la résilience. Comme elle l'exprime si bien «l'inconfort est le prix à payer pour une vie remplie de sens».  

Maryann's Picks

Maryann's Picks


Painful Emotions: Soothe Soften Allow

Did you ever try to run from or fight with a difficult feeling? Did you ever notice that this can end up making it feel even more painful? This brief guided meditation by compassion researcher Kristen Neff walks you through a powerful alternative approach where you make a little room to notice your difficult feelings mindfully and then send those feelings some soothing care: Soften, Soothe, Allow.

NOTE: If that idea makes you freeze or freak out, you probably need to build your way up to it (e.g., get acquainted with how emotions work; learn about self-compassion).


In this post, psychologist Tasha Eurich describes her research on self-awareness and points out that introspection (thinking about ourselves) doesn't always lead to increased insight (knowing ourselves). Greater insight may depend upon the type of questions we are asking ourselves. Beware of "why?" questions that might lead to unproductive rumination, over-analyzing past events, or getting fixated on the past as a way to explain present struggles: "Why do I get so overwhelmed by my feelings? Why is it so hard to talk to him?! Why don't I enjoy this?" Instead, orient yourself towards more useful self-reflection with "what?" questions that explore your current state and potential: "What am I feeling right now? What do I want to communicate to this person? What do I like/not like and what can I do about it?"


In this inspiring and funny talk, Jia Jiang becomes my new hero and a fabulous poster-boy for exposure therapy. In large scale reviews of multiple research studies, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques, especially exposure-based approaches, were found to be highly efficacious in the treatment of anxiety disorders (Olatunji, Cisler, & Deacon, 2010). Exposure therapy is essentially about seeking out the thing that you're afraid of, instead of running away from it. Sounds freaky as hell because it is! But that's part of what's so therapeutic about it: you need to feel the fear without running from it to finally understand that the fear itself can't hurt you. And it certainly doesn't have to control you. In Jiang's case, when he confronted his fear of rejection directly, he learned some surprising things about himself and about other people too.


Spoiler alert: it's not about chocolate or lingerie. Esther Perel is a veteran New York State licensed marriage and family therapist who travels the world to learn about "erotic intelligence" in modern love. In this talk, she shares some fascinating insights, arguing that in order to have good sex in long-term relationships, we have to find ways to reconcile conflicting needs: the comfort of security and familiarity VS. the thrill of adventure and novelty. Interestingly, recent neuro-imaging research (Diamond & Dickenson, 2012) suggests that romantic love and sexual desire even look different if we map them out in the brain, with each state activating different parts. Yet there might be a little common ground as some regions of the brain may light up in both states, suggesting that certain types of love and desire might be somewhat interconnected at times. Check out Perel's talk and start cultivating your own erotic intelligence!


Hurrah For Gin's Katie Kirby gives us an irreverent take on our own internal bully. Her foul-mouthed cartoon “Guilt Fairy” is the self-critical voice personified. Kirby focuses on her experience as a mom, but similar internal criticisms could be applied to anything. If you've ever beaten yourself up, you might find this post validating, normalizing, and even a little cathartic. Kirby's sketches are a great reminder to stand up for ourselves with humour and logic (talk back, fight back!). I can also spot several aspects of self-compassion woven in there (see the Fairy as a shared human experience; give yourself a break sometimes; stay mindful of your thoughts and feelings). Practicing self-compassion is a great way to soothe harsh self-criticism, build confidence, create meaningful relationships, and promote physical and mental health (Gilbert, 2010).


Seeing a bully take control of a high-ranking public position can feel intensely threatening, discouraging, and disempowering. Mirah Curzer's timely post “How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind” offers up some practical self-care lessons for a time of widespread socio-political resistance. I view self-care during difficult times as a radical act of applied self-compassion: “a kind, connected and clear-sighted way of relating to ourselves even in instances of failure, perceived inadequacy, and imperfection” (Neff, 2011, p. 1). Neff's research indicates that self-compassion promotes emotional resilience and stability. It's something within you that you can choose to practice. Empowering thoughts for a destabilizing time.

Miriam's Picks

Miriam's Picks



Bullying can have significant and long-lasting consequences for children’s well-being and development. That’s why it’s so important to find ways to help children cope with ongoing teasing or victimization.  When a child is bullied at school, it’s not uncommon to hear someone, be it a parent or a peer, suggest that they should “fight back”. But does that really work? What can we do as parents, educators, therapists, and bystanders to help children who are being targeted by their peers? Prevnet is a Canadian resource for youth, teens, parents, and educators who are dealing with bullying in some way. It contains information about the warning signs to look out for (e.g., anxiety, school refusal, physical complaints), tips on building healthy relationships, and advice on what we can do to intervene. The team at Prevnet has done a fantastic job of compiling research and making it accessible and it’s a great resource to have on hand if you or someone you know is being bullied.

In this TED Talk, Kang Lee, a researcher from the University of Toronto demystifies children’s lie-telling behaviour. Dr. Lee argues that lie-telling is not only normal, it is actually something to celebrate (to a point!), given that it signifies the appropriate development of self-control and theory of mind (our ability to perspective-take). Dr. Lee also discusses his research demonstrating that we aren’t nearly as good at detecting lies as we think they are. This talk (and the related research) is near and dear to my heart having studied lie-telling with one of Dr. Lee’s colleagues, Dr. Victoria Talwar (McGill University) during my undergraduate studies.


Lately, I’ve been sharing my appreciation for “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert (“Eat, Pray Love”) with anyone who will listen. This wonderful book touches on how the need for creativity, be it through writing, painting, music, or innovation of any kind, is universal. It is not frivolous or self-indulgent, but rather deeply meaningful and even necessary. Gilbert’s message about how fear and self-criticism can interfere with our creative process and well-being will resonate with anyone who is interested in Brené Brown’s work on vulnerability (Brown, 2010, 2012). Overall, “Big Magic” is a great choice for anyone who struggles with perfectionism or self-critical thoughts and is looking to pursue a passion, be it a creative hobby or career path.


Here at Connecte we often talk about the importance of gratitude. This isn’t surprising since the practice of reflecting on the people, things, and experiences we have to be grateful for can greatly improve our mental and physical well-being (Wood, Froh, & Geraghty, 2010; Rash Matsuba, & Prkachin, 2011). However, it can be difficult to find time to practice gratitude on a regular basis. The 5-Minute Journal provides the ideal solution and structure. In the morning, you are encouraged to list three things you are grateful for as well as three things that would make your day great. In the evening, you are prompted to reflect on three positive things that happened that day. It also includes motivational quotes and challenges to help you make the most of each day. Check it out here: The 5-Minute Journal. For more on the importance of gratitude check out Andrea’s recent blog post.


At one point or another, most parents have likely been frustrated with their teen’s frequent social media use. Although a moderate amount of social media use is expected and perfectly normal, recent research suggests that youth who are heavy users of social media (e.g., more than 2 hours a day) have poorer mental health outcomes (Sidani et al., 2016). Heavy usage of social media can also interfere with sleep and physical activity and create unrealistic expectations related to relationships and body image. That being said, it can be difficult as a parent to know how to regulate teen’s use of technology and social media. In the following article, Amy Morin, a licensed clinical social worker, provides 10 helpful tips for setting limits. Read more about teens' mental health and social media use here: Here's Why Social Media Harms Your Teen's Mental Health.