Articles — The Second Year(31)

Telling the Truth

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Second Year The Sixth Year

One day my uncle and I were having a discussion about the effectiveness of the justice system. He stated "It may be slow but it works" and went on to explain his position to me. He had been a judge for many years and noted that when a person tells a lie they have to tell another lie to cover it up. Then they tell another to cover that one and so forth until they finally get to the point that they can't remember what the first lie was. At that point, they are "caught" and the justice system can...

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Journaling - "Dear Diary"

Dr. Linda Hancock The Second Year Writing & Speaking

Thoughts go around and around and around in your head but when you write them on paper, they have a beginning and an end. My Aunt Eleanor kept a daily diary and whenever we wondered about the details of an event or circumstance, she could fill in the missing information by merely looking it up. I always thought that she was very disciplined and amazing but never followed her example other than when I travel. I always take a journal with me on trips to document my "adventures", gather autographs and record my personal feelings and thoughts. As a therapist...

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Corner Gas

Dr. Linda Hancock The Second Year Uncategorized

One of the stars of the popular television program, Corner Gas, is from my hometown. "Oscar" is the grumpy "know it all" who seems to think that change is his enemy. He is continually reminding his family and neighbours that he has all the answers to life's problems and most seem to be rooted in the past. The show, which is set in a small prairie community, has been described as the "New Friends" - probably because each weekly segment focuses on relationships of a handful of characters and their unique perspectives to daily living circumstances. Surprisingly, the fan base extends far beyond rural...

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Upset, What Should You Do? - HALT

Dr. Linda Hancock Anger Management Self Improvement The Second Year

Sometimes our feelings and needs are jeopardized by factors that we can but fail to control. There is a neat little formula that we can use to identify inner signals and reduce our personal vulnerability. H - stands for hungry. I tell my clients that I am like a baby. If I don't eat or sleep - I cry. Not eating in a regular and healthy manner can interfere with our blood sugar levels and reduce both physical and mental energy. I once worked with a man who did his doctoral dissertation on the importance of breakfast for intellectual functioning....

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Life is Like a Chess Game

Dr. Linda Hancock Home and Family Other Home and Family The Second Year

The game of chess is strategic and complex. So is family life! Let us consider the similarities between the two. The Player - Game pieces and people are unique in their size, shape and abilities. They each have at least one role to play. Learning the rules - Chess and life are complex activities. It is therefore important to study and learn from others in order to understand what moves can be effective and how to stay out of trouble. The good news is we all have the opportunity to develop skills and improve our game! Offence - To move forward and make...

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A Simple Explanation of Bipolar Disorder

Dr. Linda Hancock Health and Fitness Other Health and Fitness The Second Year

Imagine that each of us has a horizontal line that represents our moods. A "flat line" would symbolize a steady and unwavering mood that is always the same without the variation of healthy emotions which are unique to man. But living life on the line without variation isn't reality. We all have days when our mood makes a slight loop above the line and days when the loop goes below the line. A birthday celebration may cause an upward loop while a loss would result in a downward loop. Bipolar Disorder is a condition in which an individual experiences moods...

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An Old-Fashioned Christmas

Dr. Linda Hancock Christmas Holidays Home and Family The Second Year

Christmas in Indian Head was always a joyous and giving time that we greatly anticipated as children. We didn't start the season in November like we do now, but made a point of putting up the artificial tree before the round of staff parties began. Dad would invite his Credit Union co-workers over for a meal and mom would ensure that the teachers had an opportunity to celebrate the half-way point in the school year by coming over to the house for a little "cheer". We always tried to guess who would send us the first Christmas card and then,...

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A Business Plan is Your Career Roadmap

Dr. Linda Hancock Business Strategic Planning The Second Year

Four years ago, I decided to write a Business Plan for what was then a part-time endeavour. That year end I was shocked and pleased to discover that my income had increased by several thousand dollars over the previous year. This was a good return on my investment of only a few hours of creating the plan. Everyone knows that contractors do not begin working until they have a blueprint. Teachers develop a curriculum before starting a semester. Producers and directors require a script while sports enthusiasts play by rules and time limits that were previously established. A story is...

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Cleaning Up Your Life

Dr. Linda Hancock Organizing Self Improvement The Second Year

When I walk into my condo at night, I can tell exactly what condition my life is in at the time. You see I use my living environment as a gauge or thermometer that reveals my emotional situation. When there are shoes in the doorway, piles of unread newspapers on the couch and dishes in the sink I know that life, which has made many demands on my time and energy, has also drained my personal resources. Taking a couple of hours to put things in order not only improves the appearance of my home but also allows me to...

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Remorse Or Repentance?

Dr. Linda Hancock Other Relationships Relationships The Second Year

Frequently I am asked to work with clients who have behaved in a manner that leads to serious consequences. When someone assaults another person, abuses substances while working a safety-sensitive job position or commits a criminal act, they may be Court-ordered or required by an employer to have a a psychological assessment. During the initial clinical interview, I frequently observe nervousness, fear reactions and even tears. The client may minimize his or her actions, state that this was the first time that this circumstance had occurred or try to assure me that "this will never happen again". Despite their sincerity,...

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What is Learned Helplessness?

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Second Year

Many years ago, long before some of the legislation regarding harm of animals, some psychologists conducted research projects. In one of them, they placed a dog in a cage which was fitted in the middle with a vertical grate that rose to half the height of its walls. The psychologists had rigged a device that would give the dog a small electric shock. When the dog received the shock, it would jump over the center grate to the other side of the cage. The psychologists would then move the dog to the original side of the cage and give it...

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Boundaries and Limits

Dr. Linda Hancock Home and Family Parenting The Second Year

It was 10:30 p.m. and I was driving home from work tonight. At every corner of downtown there were young people chasing each other, visiting and riding their bikes. I couldn't believe it! After all, it was 10:30 p.m. and this is a school night. And then it hit me - it is 10:30 p.m. and I was just coming home from work! Things have changed over the years. I remember when I grew up in a small town that had a 9 p.m. curfew. Everyone knew that the alarm from the fire hall would ring and we had better...

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Abuse is Not Age Related

Dr. Linda Hancock Domestic Violence Relationships The Second Year

There are a number of different types of abuse which are evidenced in all cultures across all age groups. Emotional, physical, sexual, mental or social abuses unfortunately are prevalent across North America. Imagine two circles, one inside the other, in a manner that would be similar to a wheel. Within the hub are the words "Power and Control". Each person needs to have the power to do things in life and the ability to control his or her environment to a certain degree. When a person begins to steal the power and control belonging to another person, however, an abusive...

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Problem-Solving - What Are Your Options?

Dr. Linda Hancock Self Improvement Techniques The Second Year

Do you have a problem with another person that you cannot solve? There are several options that you might try: Do nothing - Many times individuals decide that they are afraid of making matters worse and so they choose to not do anything. This, unfortunately, can result in more complex relationship difficulties or even health problems including ulcers, headaches or other stress-related ailments for those involved. Communicate directly with the other person on your own. Often speaking honestly about your concerns in an open and respectful manner will resolve any misunderstandings or differences of opinion without any outside help. Litigation is a legal...

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What Show Are You Living?

Dr. Linda Hancock Happiness Self Improvement The Second Year

Everyone wants life to be as home-spun as "Little House on the Prairies" with a budget as large as that on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire". We crave the glamour shown in episodes of "The Bachelor" and the excitement of "The Price is Right". Over the years I have had children tell me they wished their family were like the Cosbys and parents who stated they wanted the skills of "Super Nanny". Some people desire the ability to cook like chefs from the Food Channel and to host like Martha Stewart. Many state that they would like to look...

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What If We Didn't Have Drugs?

Dr. Linda Hancock Health and Fitness Mental Health The Second Year

Many individuals would lose their livelihood - like those who grow, package, transport and traffic them. The Court system and jails would likely be much emptier and less money would be needed for policing. Organizations such as MADD would be unnecessary. We wouldn't lose millions of dollars and man hours a year because of addictions. People would have to socialize without a martini and cigar. Individuals who couldn't cope with their feelings would need to find other ways to "escape" or deal with their problems. If we didn't have drugs schools wouldn't need drug dogs or "zero tolerance" policies. Parents...

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Troubled Teens

Dr. Linda Hancock Home and Family Parenting The Second Year

It is sad to think about the young celebrities who have recently been making headlines because of their drug and alcohol abuse, law-breaking antics and disrespect for society. They tend to blame those around them and the justice system because they are facing jail terms or ordered into rehabilitation. It seems pretty obvious that these individuals have not been held accountable for their actions for so long that they have begun to believe that they have the right to do as they please. I have been part of discussions where some people blame the teen or young adult for their...

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I Think I'm Getting Old!

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Second Year

This is the year of the fifty-fifth birthday! When I was a child I thought that was ancient! (But in those days I was the young one and besides the life expectancy was much lower). I'm finding that it's a little harder to climb stairs without some body part protesting and keeping my weight within a healthy range is almost impossible. My doctor wants me to lower my cholesterol and politely explains why this is important every time that I visit him. I don't know if he thinks I have forgotten what he told me or if he's just trying...

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The Psychology of Money and Personal Finance

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Personal Finance The Second Year

The people who tend to complain about money seem to fall into three categories. There are those who don't have any, those who spend more than they earn and those who have money but are terribly afraid of losing it. Throughout history, money has been a topic of discussion and debate. Expressions such as "money doesn't buy happiness" or "money is the root of all evil" are often declared by those who do not have any. I'm definitely not trying to criticize anyone in this article or in life; however, I've met many poor people who are desperately unhappy and...

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Self-Talk - What Style of Music Does Your Self-Talk Resemble?

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Second Year

My dad used to say that he always knew who was at home when he arrived. If he smelled something cooking he knew it was my sister, Debbie. If he heard piano music he knew it was me. From the time that I was a baby, my dad sang to me. My mother, to the horror of family members, cashed in her teacher's superannuation (pension) of $300.00 when I was six to buy a piano so that I could take lessons. I remember taking my quarter each week and setting it on the corner of the instructor's piano to pay...

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A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

Dr. Linda Hancock Grandparenting Home and Family The Second Year

I once read an article that asked, "Why do grandparents and their grandchildren get along so well?" The answer was "Common Enemy". I'm sure that the intent of this story was to illicit a chuckle from the reader but often, in my private practice, I see an unhealthy alliance between these two separate generations against the parents of the children. Being a grandparent has a number of advantages. Often retirement allows time and finances that were not present for individuals when they raised their own children. Grandparents have "experience" and "wisdom" that they may have lacked in previous years and...

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What Does "Informed Consent" Mean?

Dr. Linda Hancock Health and Fitness Mental Health The Second Year

I recently heard the sad story of a woman who woke up from an investigative surgery to find to her horror that one of her breasts was missing. She had obviously signed consent for the hospital and doctor to do the surgery but did not have enough information to know what the results of that might be. Sometimes we give permission, approval or agreement to something but don't have enough information to understand the process to be used or the risks associated with it. Have you ever taken your car to a mechanic and returned to a large and unexpected...

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Legal Choices to Help with Communications

Dr. Linda Hancock Communication Relationships The Second Year

Collaboration, mediation, arbitration, litigation - they all sound so complex! Perhaps defining each would help to solve the mystery. The American Heritage dictionary states that collaboration is to work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort and to cooperate reasonably, as with an enemy occupation force in one's country. I have noticed the word collaboration appears more frequently than ever in meetings, project planning and even relationships. It implies that individuals can use their own skills and abilities to accomplish goals. Mediation, according to WordNet is negotiation to resolve differences conducted by some impartial party or intervening for the purpose of bringing about a settlement....

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You Grow When You Volunteer

Dr. Linda Hancock More from Self Improvement Self Improvement The Second Year

The organization called "Volunteering England" states: "We define volunteering as any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone (individuals or groups) other than, or in addition to, close relatives. Central to this definition is the fact that volunteering must be a choice freely made by each individual. This can include formal activity undertaken through public, private and voluntary organisations as well as informal community participation." From the time I was a small child in rural Saskatchewan, I understood that volunteering is an important part of life. The first hamburger I ever...

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Adult Children

Dr. Linda Hancock Home and Family Parenting The Second Year

Lately I have been working with a number of individuals who referred themselves because they don't know how to deal with their adult children. Some are concerned about relationship problems and others with financial dealings. Still others are worried about choices that the adult child has or is making. Several couples have boundary and respect difficulties. Dealing with family members can be difficult at times. Some parents want to be "just like my parents" and others want to be "nothing like my parents". Some view children as a gift, others as a burden. There are parents who want to be...

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