Personal Stories

When Should You Go to Therapy?


When Should You Go to Therapy?

  • When you don’t have problems, and you want to prevent them (preventive action).
  • When you think about going.  It’s easier to address problems before they get too serious.
  • When problems keep happening, and you keep responding the same way.
  • When you have PTSD or childhood trauma from the past that keeps popping up in the present.
  • To increase your awareness of:
  • your thoughts (beliefs/images/standards/values)
  • sensations in your body
  • patterns of behaviour (identify negative patterns and tweak them to get a positive outcome)
  • identify positive patterns and tweak them so that they happen more often.

If you are in a good place, i.e., you are not particularly stressed or bothered about anything, you may think there is no reason to seek therapy, so you cancel the session.

However, I encourage you not to cancel.; When you have nothing pressing, issues can come to the foreground that needs addressing.  I often find those are the most productive sessions my clients have.

Canceling sessions:   Clients often unconsciously cancel sessions when they do not want to face their struggles. If that is true for you, allow the part of you that does not want to face the issue or feel unpleasant sensations to say so.  In other words, allow expression from this part of you.

You are conflicted – part of you wants to face certain issues and part of you does not. Often this frees up the energy to realign, – creating new neural pathways with different pleasant/calm sensations.

Procrastination: arriving late for sessions is another unconscious way to avoid dealing with issues.

If you are late, let go of being late and settle into what time is left of the session.

Take two minutes to breathe and shift gears from being in the outside world to being in therapy.

Sometimes you can be even more productive when you do that.


Client Story:

One time, a client of mine came rushing to her session. She was late. 

She apologized profusely for being late, explained why she was late and berated herself for being late and wasting my time. She said she had something important she wanted to address, and now she would not have time to do it.

I listened to her for 3 minutes, and then I said I want you to put the issue of your lateness aside; we will revisit it at the end of the session. I would like to see what we can accomplish in the time we have left. Do you think you can do that?” 

She nodded, and we focused on her issue for the remaining time.  

At the end of the session, I asked her how she felt about what we had done.  She said she felt good about it.  I asked her if she had gotten what she wanted and needed from our work together.  She responded, “Yes, more than I thought I would.”


If you’re late, make use of whatever time you have.


Albert Einstein is often quoted as having said: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”


I think Einstein thought humans would obliterate each other with nuclear weapons. He probably did not realize that the threat could be a deadly virus. While the virus is dangerous, what is important is how people handle the pandemic. The weapons we have are vaccines, physical distancing, handwashing and sanitizing, shutting down most businesses, including airlines, and not permitting public gatherings of any size. 


If the virus is not held in check, World WAR lV might be fought with sticks and stones.

pandemic has the word panic in it

Embedded in the word “pandemic” is the word panic.


There is a valid fear: the virus is deadly.

There is an irrational fear: overreaction to the virus—the fear of the fear. 


Another “weapon” is alienating us from each other.


Pandemics are a disaster, but most disasters bring us together, and we support/comfort each other. However, this worldwide pandemic is a global disaster, so how does it differ from most disasters? This pandemic is isolating.


To be continued . . . 


With care and concern, 

Dr. Bea Mackay

The Power of Connection Is Born

On January 6, 2020, the Iranian general was assassinated. Does anyone remember this? 


I am on a global internet LISTSERV with my colleagues (psychologists, psychiatrists, professors, students, trainers, counsellors, and coaches). When this happened, the level of fear in the world ramped up. I was concerned about how worried my LISTSERV colleagues were about themselves and their clients.  


Of course, once COVID-19 became a serious threat to life, hardly anyone remembers the assassination of the Iranian general. The fear around COVID-19 started as a slow burn and then became a raging blaze once people let sink in how we are all at risk. Countries scrambled to deal with the threat, but they had never had to deal with anything like this before. Everyone was on new ground. 


I mentioned to a publisher I know, that if ever there was a time to market a book on processing emotions, it was now. I said to him, “I’m not sure how to go about it. It needs to be a shorter book.” His response was, “Send me a couple of chapters for the shorter version.”


This was how my second manuscript, The Power of Connection: How to process emotion in turbulent times, came into being. 


When will The Power of Connection be available?


The manuscript has been accepted for publishing by Friesen Press. While it is a shorter version of Let Things Fall Together, Friesen Press suggested we edit content and personal stories to target COVID-19. Currently, my team, Tereza Racekova (editor), Lesley Wexler (graphic artist), Bree BV (virtual assistant), and myself are editing the manuscript and adding graphics.  

We are aiming to launch in May 2021. 


I can hardly wait to announce the date.


With care and concern,

Dr. Bea

Writing Retreat in Montreal

This time last year, I took time off from seeing clients and went on a writing retreat. I wanted to fully immerse myself in my writing and felt I couldn’t do it staying in Vancouver.  


After stopping off in St. Catharines, Ontario, where I joined with my brother and sister-in-law in celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, I went to Montreal to work with my editor, Tereza. We spent five weeks together from February 8th to March 13th, 2020. For me, it was an enjoyable and productive time. I enjoyed getting to know Tereza in person. We found we were in sync with my content and how to share it with my readers. She is a fantastic editor. She takes my writing and makes it flow


At this time, the pandemic was in its infancy and just ramping up. My ticket back to Vancouver was Saturday, March 14th.  On my last evening, Tereza took me out for dinner at one of Montreal’s great restaurants. The next day, I left and remember the huge airport and how “dead” it was. I got home safely and reconnected with my family before restrictions were solidly put in place. Tereza told me that the day I left, Montreal shut down. None of the restaurants were open, and businesses were closed.  


I was happy to get home and happy to be healthy. Because of restrictions, I was not seeing clients and could not even have my family over for dinner. There was nothing to do but write. Tereza and I had not completed the manuscript, so we continued to work by videoconferencing for the next few weeks. I benefited from this unscheduled writing retreat, this time at home.


Fortunately, I live within a five-minute walk from the beach, so I would take walks on my breaks. I was able to see my family and friends outside. Vancouver is a beautiful place to be “trapped” during any season, but it is especially so in the summer. The city is also bike-friendly; there are hundreds of kilometres of well-cared-for bike paths and trails throughout the city and surrounding communities.


With care and concern,

Dr. Bea

UPDATE: Dr. Bea Is Back!

March 7, 2021 By Lesley W Comments are Off Personal Stories

Hello everyone!

I have been away from my blog for a long time. Here is an update.


For the past five to six years (on and off), I have been writing a book based on my work with clients. Having worked in the helping profession for over thirty years, I wanted to share what I’ve learned. 


My book’s working title is Let Things Fall Together: How to stop managing your emotions and start processing them.

Many years ago, early in my career, I got some excellent feedback from a doctor who had referred many of her patients to me. She told me that after seeing me, her patients would immediately start to make positive changes in their lives, but when asked how their sessions with me went, they’d simply respond by saying, “It was good to talk to someone.” She was confused because her patients didn’t recognize that the therapy had any impact on them.


I was delighted with her feedback and told her that they didn’t need to acknowledge me as long as she continued to refer her patients to me. We laughed.


However, I took her feedback seriously, as this was the first indication that I was doing something different from other psychologists. At the time, I didn’t know what I was doing or how I was doing it to have such a therapeutic impact. So I started to pay attention.


Good News! I have figured it out, and I want to share it with everyone. Hence the reason and drive for writing my book.


To be continued . . . 


It’s good to be back!

With care and concern,

Dr. Bea