Hope in Motion
Counselling and Psychotherapy Service


Thank you for visiting Hope in Motion.  It is my mission to help people who are having trouble in life.  May it be general unhappiness, relationship issues, depression, anxiety, addiction, self-esteem, I can help.  

Depression and Anxiety



Many of the treatment recommendations for mental health and addiction involve working on and improving self-esteem.


Check out this video about self-compassion.


Addiction and mental health can go hand in hand.  1 in 5 will be affected my mental health in their life time.  At any time in Canada 1 in 10 people will be suffering from mental health.  Many who experience addiction problems may have traumatic experiences in their past. It helps to talk. Research shows that talk therapy is effective in 70 - 80% of cases.
Please see the attached for Gabor Mate's response to addiction: https://www.thefix.com/gabor-mat%C3%A9-addiction-holocaust-disease-trauma-recovery#.Vvg_rLioMys.facebook
If you are reading this you may be taking the first step to getting help. People experience different challenges in their lives that are sometimes difficult to work through alone.  Recognizing we need support and asking for it is often the hardest part, and congratulations for recognizing this.  Together we can make sense of the challenges, and achieve a healthier, happier life.
My approach to each and every session is to be with you, through truly listening, providing a judgement-free environment, respectful challenge, and mutual participation throughout the therapeutic process.

An interesting read for those working on new behaviours.

H  A  L  T

H: Hungry   -         25%
A: Angry       -        25%
L: Lonely      -         25%
T: Tired         -         25%

This acronym speaks to one of four physical or emotional conditions that can affect a person’s ability to cope and leaves them vulnerable to relapse back to old unhealthy behaviours they have been trying to change.  This acronym is common among AA members and 12 step groups.

This tool is used as a short method to help people pay attention to their emotional and physical needs.  As a therapist, I’ve heard people say, “I don’t know what happened, I was doing great and them ‘bam’.  I found myself doing __________ whatever their old behaviour was that they are working on changing.  Some people say that they are self-sabotaging.  I suggest that people pay attention to their H.A.L.T. before they label themselves self-saboteurs. 

If you skip a meal your coping ability goes down 25%.  If you slept poorly your coping ability is down 25%.  Combine the 2 - hungry and tired and a person has a 50-50 chance of making a good or poor decision.  This will be a real challenge if temptation presents itself.  How many of us can resist our favourite sweet treat when we are hungry and tired?

Additionally if you have had words with a family member, spouse, or friend and are ruminating about the incident - there goes another 25%.  Our feelings are there to guide us; tell us information about ourselves; help us take good care of us.  However, our feelings are not there to rule us.  This is a delicate balance of paying attention to how we feel so we can validate ourselves but not allow our emotions to control us and take over our decision making ability.  If you are unaware of how to express your anger, you are not alone.  Often our anger comes out in unhealthy ways – such as turning it on ourselves or others.  This shows up when we hear people engage in name calling, criticizing, belittling, or physically harming ourselves or others.
How do we handle our anger in a healthy way?  First you may want to take a time out and think about what is going on.  Journaling about what happened can help bring clarity.  Sometimes getting some physical activity can help expel any negative energy that may be building up and allow you to process.  Sometimes the issue could be an unmet relational need; it could be that you have fallen into an irrational thought process.  (More to come on irrational thoughts and relational needs.)  Typically anger can be alleviated by asking directly for what we need or making a request and then be willing to negotiate a solution that works for both people involved.  It could also be that we are in an unhealthy situation and compromise is unrealistic. Then we may need to put some space between us and the person causing the anger.
If you have tried these techniques or other suggestions and are still experiencing difficulties with anger you may need professional help.

Lonely:  The third letter of HALT is lonely, humans are social creatures – we need to get out and about and socialize.  This is true even if you are an introvert.  Introverts may need less social time and they may need more time to recharge their batteries after they have had social time.  None the less, we all need some social time – it helps us feel connected with others.  Many of us tend to isolate when we are experiencing problems.  Some of us have difficulty reaching out and this can lead to isolation, depression and other problems.  If this is an area where you struggle, I recommend you seek professional help – remember that it is confidential.
If you find yourself down 25% or more, you will want to increase your self-care and be mindful that you are vulnerable.  Perhaps you will take less on until you get back to 100%.  I wish everyone success in using this acronym.  Should you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me at [email protected]
Lou-Anne is a registered psychotherapist with offices in Waterdown and Hamilton.