2017 AGM

Island Integrated Counselling’s Annual General Meeting

Don’t miss a free evening of refreshments, live entertainment, and an engaging speaker!

Wednesday June 28, 6 p.m. at the Kin Hut at Departure Bay (2730 Departure Bay Rd); enter from the water-side

Live music

Spirit of the North

Spirit of the North (Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback) perform both popular cover songs and their own Aboriginal-inspired material. Willie is Inuit and Linda is Metis.

Also performing will be Anita Rinfret. She is a rising star in the amateur music scene in Nanaimo, possessing nearly a perfect pitch and a spirited delivery.  She sings in the folk genre; songs like “Black Velvet Band”, “Streets of London”, etc.

 

Ian Gartshore

Speaker: Agency founder and public speaker Ian Gartshore

“Putting the Pizzazz Back into Your Relationship!”

Doors open at 6 p.m. for finger food/refreshments/social, music, a brief AGM (principally on our progress in one year and the election of the Board), Ian’s talk and more live music/refreshments.

Free childminding!

Feel free to bring a friend!

Ian Gartshore has been a relationship specialist for more than 20 years. He is a warm and insightful man and a valued speaker.

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The post-Christmas Blues

Christmas’ is supposed to be a great time of the year. For many, especially afterwards, it is anything but.

In this Shaw TV interview our co-Executive Director, Ian Gartshore, is asked about this and what people can do about it.

Plus other interesting things.

Click here to watch it on You Tube.

Posted in Eating Disorders, Family, News, Therapy & Counselling, Women's Anger | Leave a comment

When Men are Abused

Other very insightful articles on this website outline how women can become abused by men. This is (by far) not the only time partners are abused! Men are also abused by women, and gay couples can abuse each other.

Conflict

When the abuse is between a man and a woman it is more often true that the man is abused verbally and/or emotionally than physically due to the usual difference in physical size and strength. But because women are far more likely to report physical assault than are men, and police (sadly) often believe women more often than men when they have been called to a situation of assault, men are usually afraid to physically respond when they have been assaulted by a woman. She may “only” slap him across the face or kick him (or worse) but these actions are also considered to be assaults.

Consequently men can find themselves in a situation in which they are a) being physically assaulted and b) dare not respond even to protect themselves and c) may not be believed or taken seriously when they report the incident to the police. What is he to do?

Regardless of whether the man is being physically or emotionally abused he needs to first firmly inform his partner that this conduct is unacceptable, to not accept any responsibility for her abuse of power, and to act on his belief that he deserves to be treated better than that. This usually means leaving the situation and letting his partner know that the conversation will not continue until such time as she can be respectful toward him. If he has been physically injured, regardless of whether he is believed, he needs to report this to the police. This may be a key step to helping her to finally get help, even if she is never charged.

In order to be strong enough to act with self-respect he will need to believe that he does, indeed, deserve better. Anyone who is abused has usually endured a history of such, so often lacks this self-respect or self-esteem. Professional help is often needed if friends or family are unable to reach him.

The best way to address a man who is being abused in any form is to let him know of your concern, that you love him and that you believe he deserves better. If he responds well to this then you may be in a place to listen to him say what he is experiencing, being careful not to try to counter his sense of shame but to appreciate that he is willing to risk this with you. Then he may be open to doing something about his situation.

Regardless of the gender, abuse is degrading and undeserving. Anger is usually fear-based (e.g. a fear of the mate leaving the relationship).

Help is available. Our agency runs a group specifically for women who struggle with anger. Our caring, informed staff are available to help anyone do better. Just contact us.

Life can be much better.

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Violence Between Intimates

Conflict

Conflict

There are many forms of violence one can talk about. There is violence toward children on the part of adults, which includes sexual abuse. There is also violence toward women and men in the work place.

Here I would like to focus on violence toward women in intimate relationships. This would include adults dating or married or living in common law. This would also include heterosexual and gay and lesbian relationships. This article will not include women who are involved in prostitution and, as a result, are abused.

There was an article on the CBC news web page about family violence. The article reported that every 4 days a woman is killed by a family member. Here is the reference for the article, well worth reading (http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/family-violence-1.3815523). A book I highly recommend is called “The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence” by Gavin de Becker. His main thesis is that, just like animals, we are programmed to be fearful and take Fearfulmeasures to protect ourselves when we are in situations which may contribute to our harm. However, he says that because of our socialization we tend to over-ride these feelings, and tell ourselves we are being foolish and this cannot be. He says women especially tend to be socialized to nurture and take care of the other. As a result some women do not pay attention to their feelings of being at risk, and over-ride their feelings –at their peril. It seems to me that as a society, which includes the courts, there is some of this going on. In our minds we tend to minimize or even disregard statements made by women about fears of abuse or being abused depending on how sensitive we are to the plight of women regarding intimate situations. Even our language re-enforces control over the other in intimate relationships. Men and women talk about MY WOMAN, and women talk in terms of MY MAN. We even introduce ourselves by our position in life, not by who we are. We are introduced as “this is my wife” or “this is my husband”, and our name comes second. I contend that language is important because it speaks to our interior life of how we feel and see ourselves vis-a-vie the world.

There is a progression with regard to women being abused in relationships. The progression happens gradually. Usually the male sees himself as taking care of his partner, and is so insecure he is on the lookout for any act of his partner which seems like he is losing her. In his mind, dominating her becomes the safe way of keeping her, and he can take this attitude all the way to thinking, “if I cannot have her, no one can”. He does not see his actions as control but as caring for his loved one. However the more he cares (controls) for her the more she wants to distance herself from him (to be her own person).

In the beginning of the relationship this behaviour on his part is seen as loving and caring. He is always THERE, and being ATTENTIVE. The only request he denies her is when he decides she is not being logical and reasonable. He disagrees with her not because he sees the situation differently, but because she is being “stupid” or not “logical”. I think this is why others seem to down-play the woman’s complaints, because he is such a nice guy, and he speaks so flattering of her and is so caring.

Here are the steps a woman must be attentive to:

First there is the message received in the relationship that the woman’s thoughts and feelings are not valid, or “faulty”. The male partner becomes the authority on what are the correct feelings and thoughts to have about any given situation or experience. In my opinion this usually progresses gradually.

Second: Along with monitoring her thoughts and feelings he next becomes the “decider” on what is appropriate to wear, and when the house is messy. Along with being unreasonable, and illogical most of the time, the partner finds herself now being “provocative”, or “slutty” if she wears certain clothes. She is also now not a good house keeper.  Control starts to creep into every part of her life.

Third: He always wants to move to isolated areas. This has a lot to do with controlling who she socializes with. He feels more secure when she has very few friends, as they may have, from his point of view, terrible ideas. Isolated, he has more of a chance to monitor and control her friends. At this stage of the relationship, when they socialize he becomes critical of her spending too much time with some males. He perceives her as always flirting, or being with friends who have the WRONG ideas. At this point she may start to stand up for herself out of her perception that she is being unjustly accused. Her opposition and his attempt to control turns into fights where he may start to put her down even more forcefully through intimidation.

Fourth: When they are fighting, the fight turns from words to physical actions such as pushing her, and grabbing her forcefully. At this stage when one asks the women, “Is he violent toward you”, she responds by saying no, “He only pushed me.”

Fifth: The fights become more violent in that the words and the pushing become more intense. He now hits her. The violence becomes more intense because she is not responding to what he wants from her. His ego is being threatened. He fears he will lose her, evidenced because she is starting to rebel. He also fears his friends looking at him in a critical way, meaning, “Why can’t he control his woman”? This means he is seeing himself as a failure, a shame he cannot tolerate. So now he now  totally blames her for his misery.  All these factors increase the violence. After violent fights, he apologizes, and promises he will never hit her again. His behaviour is meant to keep her in the relationship, hoping she will be more compliant.

Sixth: Now he is becoming desperate. He starts to threaten suicide because he sees her as not loving him. Or he starts threatening to kill her, and the children, saying if he can’t have them no one will. Gavin de Becker feels that murder between intimates is the easiest act to predict, because the perpetrator always tells her he will do it. De Becker believes that most victims and most of society over-ride the threats because of socialization issues. We are conditioned to believe that a family man would not do such a deed, even thought statistics indicate differently. I personally think that the reason authorities have trouble believing the threats involves their perception of the perpetrator. Most perpetrators are Anti Social, and their pain is very real.  This makes them very convincing when they say they would not kill their spouse and/or their children. However, their pain is totally based in having low self esteem as well as seeing the other and society as totally responsible for their suffering.

I think that women who are in a situation where they are being threatened need to disappear from the area, and leave no trail of where they are going. Court orders will not work in these situations. His goal is to get rid of his psychological pain. Her goal needs to be safe.

These six stages are red flags to which women need to pay serious attention. Their decision to leave or stay, of course, needs to be their decision. I have encountered couples who have been in therapy, and the violence never happened again. However, even going to therapy needs to be looked at with some caution. It can be an opportunity for the perpetrator to blame the therapist, and seeing his spouse as aligning with the therapist against him.

It is also important to mention that some relationships stop at the  second stage, and never go any further. In the end the spouse and society need to work at taking these red flags seriously, and realize the attitude and behaviour of men controlling women, of seeing women as something to be used, is very deep and has a long history. I hope this article will be of some help in moving beyond this attitude and the risks it endears.

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Reduce Anxiety

Click here for the slides presented for a seminar given by Renee Bueckert October 20, 2016 on how to reduce anxiety.

Anxiety!

Anxiety!

Some take-aways:

  1. Anxiety doesn’t have to run (ruin!) one’s life.
  2. It can be alerting us about something that needs to be changed in our lives
  3. Breathing is a good thing!

Of course you may wish to involve one of our therapists in assisting you through these steps. Just know that there is hope!

Posted in Articles, Eating Disorders, Men's Anger, Therapy & Counselling, Women's Anger | Leave a comment

End Shame

Shame Creating Havoc

Shame Creating Havoc

All of us suffer from shame at times, but it turns up as embarrassment, anger, anxiety, fear, distancing, arguing, convincing, pleading, addictions, eating disorders, suicidal wishes, and much more! Most relationship problems are rooted in shame (communication problems are merely the symptom).

What can you do about it? Lots! Risking sharing one’s shame to another (if appropriate) can help -especially if the other does not try to ‘make’ us feel better but simply appreciates the courage it takes in sharing it. Obviously a skilled therapist can also help.

You can read the resources from a shame seminar (shame-seminar) and/or go through an exercise booklet (dig-deep-activity-2-0). Both were created by Mary Moore of our agency.

Posted in Articles, Eating Disorders, Men's Anger, Therapy & Counselling, Women's Anger, Youth | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thriving in a Blended Family

Bernie Dunning

Bernie Dunning

In this free one-hour seminar Bernie Dunning, a highly experienced Marriage and Family Therapist, will offer many practical tips on how to improve your (or others) efforts to blend families.

Date: Thursday October 27, 2016

Time: Arrive between 5 and 5:30 p.m. for dinner. Presentation begins at 6 and ends at 7:00

Location: The Tap House pub (the old train station, 321 Selby St., Nanaimo), upstairs

Cost of the seminar is free; participants are expected to purchase something from our hosts.

About the presenter: Bernie Dunning had nearly 30 years of experience working with families as a Licenced Marriage and Family Therapist. As you can tell by his picture Bernie is a warm, gentle man who has a lot of wisdom to share.

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Overcoming Anxiety

Renee Bueckert

Renee Bueckert

Are you tired of experiencing anxiety, or know of someone who suffers from it?

In this free one hour seminar Renée Bueckert will reveal practical steps to turn this ‘pest’ into a resource!

Date: Thursday October 20, 2016

Time: Arrive between 5 and 5:30 p.m. for dinner. Presentation begins at 6 and ends at 7:00

Location: The Tap House pub (the old train station, 321 Selby St., Nanaimo), upstairs

Cost of the seminar is free; participants are expected to purchase something from our hosts.

About the presenter: Renée is a Registered Rehabilitation Professional (RRP #5223) helping people achieve positive change in their lives. Currently working towards a Master’s degree in Clinical and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselling, Renée has successfully supported people with a variety of mental and physical health concerns such as chronic pain, brain injury, trauma, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.  She is passionate about her work and is committed to assisting people as they move through challenging parts of their life journey.

Don’t miss this helpful presentation!

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An ingredient to Improving Life Satisfaction

Mary Moore

Mary Moore

Ever wonder what the missing piece to enjoying a more rewarding and fulfilling life? Mary will reveal this during her free seminar that will begin at 6 p.m.

Mary is a school teacher and guidance counsellor in School District 69 who is completing her training to be a registered therapeutic counsellor.

Date: Thursday October 13, 2016

Time: Arrive between 5 and 5:30 p.m. for dinner. Presentation begins at 6 and ends at 7:00

Location: The Tap House pub (the old train station, 321 Selby St., Nanaimo), upstairs

Cost of the seminar is free; participants are expected to purchase something from our hosts.

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Ending Dyslexia

Marlene Lewis

Marlene Lewis

Ending Dyslexia is a free seminar led by Marlene Lewis of Victoria. Marlene is committed to ending dyslexia. While her presentation will be of particular interest to parents of dyslexic children it will be useful for all.

About Marlene: Marlene is a registered speech language pathologist with more than 36 years of experience and a former President and executive council member of the BC Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists. She led the implementation of B.C.’s speech-language, special needs and early intervention programs in her 16 years with the Ministries of Health and Children & Family Development in B.C. She lives and works in Victoria, mainly helping parents improve the reading skills of their children.

Date: Thursday October 6, 2016

Time: Arrive between 5 and 5:30 p.m. for dinner. Presentation begins at 6 and ends at 7:15

Location: The Tap House pub (the old train station, 321 Selby St., Nanaimo), upstairs

Cost of the seminar is free; participants are expected to purchase something from our hosts.

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