Clare Pentelow, MSW, RSW, RP

EMDR: Safe or Calm Place Imagery

Many individuals who have a trauma history, or experience mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, can experience elevated stress levels. In EMDR and other trauma therapies, creating Safe(r) Place imagery is used to support clients in managing overwhelming feelings or when the nervous system is flooded.  In EMDR, this is usually done in the preparation phase, shortly after the clinician takes the client’s history.  To create a Safe(r) Place, the clinician usually guides the client through a series of steps to support them in getting a vivid image… Read More »EMDR: Safe or Calm Place Imagery

Helpful Hints for Thought Records

In this post I will be discussing some helpful hints for completing thought records.  Thought records are a tool commonly used in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).  CBT is a therapy that focuses on helping people change the way they think – the theory is that the way we think and interpret life events impacts our thoughts, feelings and behaviour, which can in turn cause our mental health to be impacted.  CBT is highly researched and is considered to be an effective treatment for many mental health issues, including but not… Read More »Helpful Hints for Thought Records

The Importance of Self Compassion

Self compassion comes up a lot in the work I do with clients.  Some  people have a really strong critical inner voice that comes out and berates them when they make the slightest mistake.  Others deal with a lot of guilt and shame.  There are also those that are struggling with really challenging symptoms rooted in trauma and other mental health issues, and feel frustrated with themselves for how these symptoms impact their lives.  Over and over again I end up coming back to the importance of self compassion.   What… Read More »The Importance of Self Compassion

Nature’s Healing Power

I think most of us have had the experience of being outside, in nature, appreciating the scene before you – whether it’s forest, a lake, rolling hills… and experiencing a sense of calm.  This is not just your imagination – being in nature calms your nervous system (Gladwell et al., 2012). Getting out in nature has been proven to have positive impacts on mental health, stress levels and self esteem (Cox et al., 2017). Studies have shown that being in nature impacts certain areas of the brain that helps to… Read More »Nature’s Healing Power

Does EMDR Work?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapeutic intervention developed for people struggling with trauma. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health describes trauma as: the lasting emotional response that often results from living through a distressing event. Experiencing a traumatic event can harm a person’s sense of safety, sense of self, and ability to regulate emotions and navigate relationships. Long after the traumatic event occurs, people with trauma can often feel shame, helplessness, powerlessness and intense fear. Some of my clients have wondered whether what they experienced is… Read More »Does EMDR Work?

Mental Health Tips to Help Cope with the Pandemic

I wrote a guest post for SydFIT Health Centre discussing some evidenced based tips to help cope with the toll the pandemic has taken on our mental health. If you are interested in reading more, please check out the post here. About SydFit Health Centre: We are a full service gym in Kitchener, Ontario Canada, offering Online and In-House personal training (private, semi-private and group classes) and Fitness Boxing.  Our Wellness Centre offers Massage Therapy and Osteopathic services by qualified registered professionals.  We welcome all fitness enthusiasts from beginner to… Read More »Mental Health Tips to Help Cope with the Pandemic

Guest Post: Top 5 Nourish HACKS for Postpartum Recovery

Guest Blog Post by Julie Keta, RD, WHC from Flourish True Nutrition & Women’s Health Coaching New Mama-hood can feel like you’ve become the CEO of an extra large corporation overnight. Pregnancy can feel like a monster mountain, then the marathon of L&D comes, and the next thing you know YOU have also been appointed MAMA-ger of the most precious gift of life. Talk about responsibility. It’s no surprise that your new gig leaves little room for a ‘lunch break’. I get it, the thought of food preparation in the… Read More »Guest Post: Top 5 Nourish HACKS for Postpartum Recovery

Relationships in the Pandemic- Part 2: Navigating the Challenges

Two weeks ago I discussed common pandemic relationship issues.  In this blog post I will be discussing how to navigate these issues.  My first suggestion is commonly suggested by relationship experts, even in non pandemic times… Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! Communication resolves SO many issues.  When we bottle feelings up, the result is two-fold: we feel increasingly frustrated/upset, and our partner has no idea how we are feeling and therefore can’t take any steps to resolve the issue.  When we want to bring up an issue (eg.  unequal distribution of household… Read More »Relationships in the Pandemic- Part 2: Navigating the Challenges

Relationships in the Pandemic- Part 1: Common Issues

The pandemic has certainly put us under a great deal of stress. It has affected our lives in so many ways, and it seems inevitable that it would have an impact on our relationships. The statistics seem to bear this out: there have been increases in divorce filings, or enquiries about divorce in China, US and the UK (Lemann 2020; Savage 2020).  The pandemic  can act like a pressure cooker on relationships, and while we don’t understand the exact mechanisms of how it’s impacting relationships there are clues as to… Read More »Relationships in the Pandemic- Part 1: Common Issues

Naming our Emotions – Part 3: Emotions as Information and How to Label Them

In the last two blog posts we discussed why naming emotions is a challenge, and what the research says about the benefits of naming out emotions. Much of the research is focused on lessening the intensity of the emotions we experience as a benefit to naming our emotions; while this is a worthy goal, I think it is important to state that part of my objective in writing these posts is to honour our feelings and to better appreciate how they serve us.  Feelings have evolved and have been an important… Read More »Naming our Emotions – Part 3: Emotions as Information and How to Label Them