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Resources & reading list

Healthy, Portable Snacks & Meals

If you don't have access to a refrigerator, microwave, or oven and need some healthy meal and snack ideas, check out my favourite ideas and recipes

The Many Different Names of Sugar

Sugar is sneaky! Click on the candy to the left to see all the different names of this toxic substance.

Read this when you feel the urge to engage in emotional eating. 

This tool can help you identify your emotions when they come up. When we understand the specific emotion we're feeling, it can be easier to know how to cope with it more effectively. Start at the inner part of the wheel and work your way outwards. 

The glycemic index (GI) tells you how quickly your blood sugar levels rise after eating certain foods. We want to stick with low glycemic foods because the more stable our blood sugar levels, the better! Click here to find out information on common foods.

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reading list

"Doing CBT: A Comprehensive Guide to Working with Behaviors, Thoughts, and Emotions" by David F. Tolin

This is a great book for clinicians, especially new grads. It was the first book that gave me a sense of structure that I found very helpful when I was newer to the world of psychotherapy. Plus, the author has a great sense of humour that makes it a more enjoyable read rather than a super dry  one :)  

"Self-Therapy: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Wholeness and Healing Your Inner Child Using IFS, A New, Cutting-Edge Psychotherapy" by Jay Earley

This book translates a model of therapy called Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) into simple, layman's terms so people can become their own therapists. Rather than believing that there's only one "us," IFS posits that each of our personalities are made up of different "parts." When these parts are in conflict or feel shameful for whatever reason, it can create an unharmonious internal "system," which manifests itself as mental health symptoms and more. A lot of people I've worked with find that IFS offers them a useful way of looking at why they do the things they do and how they can make healthier choices.

"Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Internal Self-Alienation" by Janina Fisher

This is a wonderful read for clinicians and the general public. It frames 'trauma' in a very de-shaming, approachable way, while combining different therapeutic modalities to help us learn ways to approach it gently and effectively. This is truly one of my favourites and is a great choice for trauma therapists and individuals who are trying to make sense of their traumatic experiences and corresponding present-day reactions.

"Self Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself" by Dr. Kristin Neff

Dr. Kristin Neff is the pioneering researcher on the topic of self-compassion. Her book is educational, informative, and practical—a great read for both clinicians and the general public. 

"The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients" by Irvin Yalom

This book really changed how I approach therapy as a psychotherapist in a wonderful way. Mainly, it gave me permission to do certain things that I'd been told were a "bad idea" in school and helped "re-humanize" our role as therapists, too. I highly recommend for any new grads and experienced clinicians, too. 

This book provides a helpful, de-pathologizing conceptualization of depression. I recommend it for clinicians and individuals who feel "stuck" in depression. Both educational and practical, it is a great introduction to the concept of 'mindfulness,' too. 

This is a great workbook that patients can complete whether they are presently in therapy or not. It also is a great resource for clinicians as  the tools and strategies it discusses can be used in session as well. Great for people who like more of a "hands-on" approach and "homework" outside of therapy.

Terrence Real completely changed how I do couples therapy. He was the first person who helped me realize that my desire to teach people skills in therapy was totally okay—and actually more helpful in many cases. His knowledge of how to work with trauma and dislike towards the notion that all couples are equally responsible for relational hardships totally resonated with me and affected how I do therapy. This is a great read for both couples therapists and people who are trying to maintain healthy, positive relationships, too. 

"The Anxious Teen" by Kristina Virro

Yes, I am shamelessly plugging my own book here! I was inspired to write this book after hearing countless teachers, parents, and mentors ask how they can help the teenagers in their life who feel anxious. I cite a vast number of studies about anxiety throughout the book and provide practical, evidence-based tips so you feel confident lending a helping hand to today's anxious teens. 

"Your Mental Health Detox" by Kristina Virro

Yup, another shameless plug! In all honesty, however, I'm incredibly proud of this online workbook I created. Inside, readers learn practical ways to disengage from the five unhealthy mental health-related habits I see most often in my private practice: people pleasing, negative habits relating to social media and news consumption, judging emotions, negative self-talk, and staying in unhealthy relationships. In addition to learning information, this is mainly a workbook that's great for people who like more "hands on" reads and "homework" outside of session. 

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on my 'to read' list

"The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships" by Harriet Lerner

I have yet to read this myself, but it's on the top of my list! It has been touted as an awesome resource for teaching people how to turn anger into a constructive force that can positively reshape their lives. 

"A Good Apology: Four Steps to Make Things Right" by Molly Howes

I haven't read this one yet, but would love to soon! In this book, Dr. Molly Howes uses her experiences with patients in her practice, research findings, and news stories to illustrate the power and importance of a thorough apology. She teaches how we can all learn to craft an effective apology with four straightforward steps.

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