- Psychotherapy for Men and Women
- Couples Counselling
- Families and Youth
- Psychotherapy Group for Men
- Online Therapy
- Communication Coaching
Psychotherapy for Men and Women
“Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”
— C. G. Jung
What do you want to awaken within yourself?
Stephen has integrated an effective model of change for clients who have emotional or relationship blocks. These blocks can inhibit our truest expression of self, our ability to love and relate to others, the confidence we need to recognize our yearning and follow it through. Through individual psychotherapy, you can learn to recognize and better respond to your emotions, change unhealthy and limiting patterns of behavior, explore new interpersonal skills and improve your relationships.
Everyone can benefit from emotional maturity and balance. Psychotherapy provides an effective response to a wide range of difficulties that individuals regularly experience such as anxiety, depression, anger, and stress. Without addressing these difficulties, we may continue to re-experience them again and again.
Psychotherapy is also effective in treating addiction, gaining assistance with life and workplace transitions, addressing relationship abuse, and offering support during times of grief and loss.
“Psychotherapy works for the treatment of depression, and the benefits are substantial. In head-to-head comparisons, in which the short-term effects of psychotherapy and antidepressants are pitted against each other, psychotherapy works as well as medication. This is true regardless of how depressed the person is to begin with. Psychotherapy looks even better when its long-term effectiveness is assessed.”
— Irving Kirsch, Harvard Medical School, author of The Emperor’s New Drugs
“A lot of conflict is about the conversation the couple never had but needed to have.”
— John M. Gottman
The beginning of a relationship is usually exciting and hopeful, it’s the romantic stage of a relationship. At this point we are imagining some wonderful things about one another. Somewhere along the way, however, the illusion dissolves and we begin to see the differences that exist between us. They exist between any two people, but with someone we are sharing our life with this requires effort to resolve. That’s when couples counselling, also referred to as marriage counselling or relationship counselling, is helpful.
Love reveals what needs to be healed. Only, it’s not your partner’s job to heal you. That unconscious fantasy alone is the single greatest obstacle to discovering happiness in relationship.
Couples counselling offers those in relationship the opportunity to replace negative patterns such as blame, distance or resentment, and control with positive alternatives – open, co-empowered dialogue. It is also a safe and positive environment to address complex issues negatively affecting the relationship, including abuse, addictions, or infidelity.
Stephen provides insightful relationship therapy, helping each partner communicate openly while learning how to resolve conflict and improve intimacy. When working with couples, he draws from his training and experience working with several paradigms — Satir Family Systems, Imago Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, and Transactional Analysis — that all converge on the essential need to replace blame with honest, vulnerable contact.
Families and Youth
“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible — the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.”
— Virginia Satir
Family counselling can help improve communication. The goal is to validate every family member’s needs while helping each communicate more effectively, resolving problems and re-establishing positive bonds. This can be particularly important in addressing parent-child or parent-teen conflict.
Family counselling can include the exploration of parenting styles and concerns, helping parents and step-parents explore effective parenting strategies. These are based upon three important parenting principles; communication that fosters mutual understanding, the opportunity for growth through encouragement and validation of personal responsibility, and the fostering of healthy self-esteem. Children and youth require a balance of structure and nurture. Step-parenting presents a unique challenge in managing these needs that family counselling can help facilitate.
As well, counselling for youth provides individual counselling for adolescents and pre-adolescents to help with issues common to youth, including anger, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, identity and developmental concerns.
Trained in Virginia Satir’s Family Therapy, Stephen has experience facilitating parenting programs with both Fraserside Community Services and West Coast Family Services, and has extensive experience working with families of all types and a variety of needs.
“There is no problem so great I can’t be solved.”
— Barbara Coloroso
Psychotherapy Group for Men
Men are in many circumstances discouraged from acknowledging their vulnerability to other men. We consequently often fail to mentor one another with the support and encouragement needed.
Throughout human history, men have been taught about our interdependency by other men; lodges would be held in Native North American tribes, for instance, where male youth could ask questions of the elder men in the community. These traditions have been eroded and in some cases lost, swept away in the new global economy by the pursuit of commerce and the transformation of community into audiences to be marketed to.
“The fact that Elders are passing indicates the urgency and importance of such gatherings. Every Elder that dies, all the knowledge goes with them. All of a sudden we are the Elders… ”
— participant speaking at a gathering of Elders in Saddle Lake First Nation in 2007
Group psychotherapy can provide such support and encouragement, offering insight and positive alternatives for addressing difficulties with relationships, stress, anger, depression, and/or addictions.
Male clients who at a minimum have completed short-term therapy and would like to experience long-term facilitated peer support as they continue their process of healing, balancing and rejuvenating their lives may choose to join an on-going monthly men’s psychotherapy group in Etobicoke.
Inquiries are welcome to learn more about the group, including the next date to join and what steps are involved.
Stephen Douglas is pleased to offer the option of confidential, online psychotherapy. Clients who may be eligible for online therapy include those who live in a remote area without access to competent psychotherapeutic or counselling services, who are on an extended absence and wish to stay connected with Stephen, who have physical mobility issues and find it difficult to leave their homes, or who, for other reasons, may not be able to make it into the office for an appointment.
What is online therapy?
Online therapy is a psychotherapy relationship established through the use of secure online videoconferencing tools. Online therapy allows those who may not be able to access psychotherapy or counselling services to receive treatment from the comfort of their own location, providing the same level of care that you would receive from an in-office appointment.
What are the benefits of online therapy?
• Accessible service — Online therapy provides service for those who may not otherwise be able to receive counselling or psychotherapy services.
• Convenience — For those whose work hours or conditions prohibit them from attending in-person, online therapy allows these individuals to create their own secure environment for their session.
• Privacy — For a number of reasons, some individuals have greater privacy needs. Online therapy can provide the same effective psychotherapy while maintaining privacy in those circumstances.
• Effectiveness — Studies have shown that online therapy is as effective as traditional in-person psychotherapy or counselling.
Are there risks to online therapy?
• The loss of some non-verbal cues — Stephen will try to minimize this risk, but it is possible that some non-verbal cues (body language) may be missed in the communication. If you feel that something you said was misunderstood, please let him know right away.
• Confidentiality – Stephen will keep the information your share with him at the highest standards of confidentiality possible, but it is your responsibility to ensure confidentiality at your end when engaging in online therapy. This means choosing a room that is free of interruptions and out of sight from others. You also need to ensure that your computer is secure. This cannot be done using public wireless, or if others have access to the same router you are using, at that same time.
• Competence — It is important to ensure that you choose a psychotherapist who is registered and has experience with the use of online technology, as this can greatly affect the service quality you receive.
What do I need in order to access online counselling?
• A computer in a secure, comfortable location
• Internet high-speed connection with secure, private access.
• A webcam
You do not require any application on your own computer. Zoom.us offers consistent high quality videoconferencing, even in low-bandwidth environments. I will send you a link to access via a secure, temporary platform.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
— George Bernard Shaw
Some clients prefer weekly Coaching to help improve their communication skills and relationships with colleagues. An emphasis on goal orientation and structured self-assessment distinguish Communication Coaching from psychotherapy.
There are do’s and don’ts when it comes to effective communication . You may be familiar with many already. The challenge is to put these guidelines into practice when it counts. Structured self-assessment keeps your focus and commitment to change on course.
In order to master any new skill a progression is required from failure to success and, finally, integration. Fear of failure presents an obstacle for many to self-growth. Your coach both reminds you of your motivation for change and supports you in learning from each failure. Through this continuous cycle of reflection and refinement you attain and repeat successes that, once integrated, satisfy your own initial goal for change.
The Coaching process can be synched with workplace objectives. To this end, you may wish to enlist your employer as an ally, along with friends and family.
This Coaching package will keep you on track toward your desired change in both workplace and social settings. Establish your goals, receive weekly support to identify and resolve obstacles, and experience the benefits of balanced and effective communication.