Community Counselling Centre Offers Support for Suicidal Persons

May 6th, 2016

A recent Huffington Post article, I Have Mourned 14 Deaths By Suicide, Isn’t That Enough? spells out the sad reality of inadequate support for suicidal persons in Canada today. Alicia Raimundo’s point that accessing services is practically impossible when people are suicidal, really resonates with me. In my professional experience I hear of far too many suicidal persons getting sent away from emergency departments due to lack of resources and improper assessment. When they are admitted, effective treatment is seriously lacking, and upon release, referrals and follow-up rarely occur.

That’s why we at the Community Counselling Centre in Edmonton offer affordable sliding-fee scale long-term counselling. We do not have a waiting list, and we connect with people asap on the phone and in the office. Our therapy approach is non-judgmental, attentive, and informed by the research on suicide. If you or anyone you know is having thoughts of suicide please feel free to call us at 780-482-3711.

Here’s the link to Raimundo’s Huffington Post artice:

Sexual Exploitation – Dirty Little Secret Launch

October 28th, 2013

Sexual Exploitation - Dirty Little Secret Launch

Sexual exploitation/sex trafficking is an issue that impacts every community, including Edmonton.

The impact is wide-ranging, affecting safety, health and wellness, and economic prosperity of the community.

But there is hope!

We can stop sexual exploitation/sex trafficking!

This is not an issue that can be solved through a single approach. This is not solely a legislative issue, an issue of poverty, a policing issue, a mental health or an addictions issue.

Sexual exploitation/sex trafficking is a community issue.

There is Hope! We can stop the exploitation if we work together. Stay informed. Sign up to receive key information

Your information will not be used for solicitation purposes. We will keep your contact information on file and send you: information about the issue, updates on what SEWG is doing, and opportunities for involvement in activities.

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Nietzsche, a novel, and the start of psychotherapy

August 13th, 2013

I knew that Nietzsche was a famous existential philosopher who declared, ‘God is Dead’, and affirmed the sanctity of one’s own experience while questioning socially popular “truths”, but I never knew that he wept, much less why. So I was intrigued to learn more when I recently read the fascinating award-winning novel, When Nietzche Wept, by Irvin Yalom.

Author Irvin Yalom, an experienced psychotherapist, blends fact with fiction to tell the 19th century tale of a therapeutic relationship between Nietzsche, and a renowned neurologist Dr. Josef Breuer who confers with a young medical intern, Sigmund Freud.

A superb storyteller, Yalom demonstrates the importance of the task of relational authenticity in psychotherapy and of the individual person’s challenge to “become who you are.” And the descriptions of Nietzsche’s migraines – I could relate!

For me When Nietzche Wept is a compelling novel and I definitely recommend anything by Irvin Yalom; however, I must say I feel some dismay with Yalom’s portrayal of the main female characters as compelling yet demanding, and as beautiful yet manipulative. The novel left me me wondering: whatever happened to the infamous Anna O, the original psychoanalysis patient? I will look into this and get back to you!
To be continued . . .

Susan Anderson

Freud and Ambivalence – entry by Susan Anderson

May 6th, 2013

The month of May marks the birthdays of several people in my personal circle, and as well that of Sigmund Freud whose birthday is May 6th. While many of Freud’s claims have been discredited, one of his insights remains a useful one today: ambivalence.

Ambivalence can be defined as the psychological experience of having opposite feelings or emotions simultaneously about someone or something.

We have ambivalence when:

Read the rest of this entry »


March 27th, 2013

“There is no way to happiness; happiness is the way.” Paul Tingen

Vitamin D, Depression and Suicide Risk

March 20th, 2013

There are many factors that increase the risk of depression and suicide risk: personal history of trauma, neglect and loss, social and cultural context, genetics, biological conditions and nutrition.

Recent research has focused on the relationship between Vitamin D status and depression and suicide risk. The Vitamin D council website (  ) comments that

A number of studies report some connection between vitamin D levels and the risk of depression. Low vitamin D levels may be related to depression rather than contributing to the disorder. In addition, an increased risk of depression may be related to several vitamin D–sensitive diseases”.

And Read the rest of this entry »

Edmonton Suicide Awareness Week

September 9th, 2012

This week Edmontonians are invited to gather at City Hall on September 13, 2012 from 4 – 6 PM for the 10th annual Lift the Silence March to honour the memory of hundreds of beloved Albertans, and to raise much-needed awareness around the cause of their tragic deaths: suicide.

Suicide statistics indicate a serious public health issue that calls for much-needed increased public attention.

Most of us know that  2977 people died in the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Read the rest of this entry »

Folk Fest, KD Lang, and Neil Young’s Helpless

August 9th, 2012

With the Edmonton Folk Fest season upon us, I am recalling kd Lang’s powerful rendition of Neil Young’s iconic song, Helpless. I love that song, the haunting melody, the profound lyrics, that refrain that anthems and honours one of our most painful human emotions: helplessness.

Now I know it’s commonly held view, and one recently portrayed in the newly released documentary, Neil Young Journeys, that the song Helpless is about his childhood years in Omemee, Ontario, but I think that is a mistaken conclusion. Yes, Omemee was where Neil’s formative childhood years occurred, but surely Helpless is much more likely about two other truly northern Ontario towns: Thunder Bay and Blind River. Read the rest of this entry »

What Is Anxiety?

June 21st, 2012

Anxiety is that feeling we get of “butterflies in the stomach.”
In its gentler forms, anxiety is a kind of nervousness, like when we performed at a piano recital when we were kids or when we give a speech in public. We can also feel anxious when we’re worried about a project that’s due at work, or we have trouble in our relationships or with our children. When this anxiety becomes troubling, we might begin to lose sleep about it or become easily irritable.

Anxiety is particularly scary, though, when it comes on like an attack. Sometimes these “panic attacks” come as a result of a frightening situation and sometimes they can come “out of the blue,” for no apparent reason. We have no control of it and we might even feel like we’re going to die.  Read the rest of this entry »

Why Counselling?

June 18th, 2012

Why do people choose to go “into therapy?”

Because, as human beings, we all need to give voice to the struggles we experience inside of us. Maybe there’s something troubling but you’re too embarrassed to tell your friends. A counsellor is trained to hear your story and to keep your confidence. Maybe you’ve tried telling those close to you what’s bothering you but all they do is give you cheap advice. A good psychotherapist is trained to listen first and then to help you look for you own inner wisdom. Read the rest of this entry »