Life in Balance

Through this online art blog/gallery we can encourage, inspire and share hope with one another…We invite who you to share your “NAPS” (News, Art ,Poetry, Songs) or inspirations. Email if you would like to share inspirations. Please note we can not post advice with regards to nutrition and exercise.

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Emotion-Focused Family Therapy

Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) is a treatment model first developed for individuals struggling with an eating disorder and their families. It has since been adapted for a variety of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and adjustment disorders, as well as parent-child relationship difficulties.

EFFT is rooted in the deep belief in the healing power of parents and caregivers. As such, the goal of EFFT is to support parents and caregivers to take on the dual roles of recovery coach (with respect to problematic symptoms and patterns of behaviour) and emotion coach (with respect to emotion “processing”).  If appropriate, parents and caregivers are also taught how to facilitate the healing of emotional injuries in the family’s past, including relationship repair.

EFFT is a lifespan approach that is built on the framework that difficulties with emotion are at the root of many mental health issues and relationship difficulties. The ability to have a healthy relationship with ones emotions is the treatment target in EFFT – a model that can be delivered with individuals only, parents and caregivers only, and with families.  The treatment approach incorporates the principles and techniques of 1) behavioural family therapy, 2) traditional emotion-focused therapy, 3) motivational enhancement therapy, and 4) the New Maudsley family skills-based approach.


We are pleased to offer Emotion-Focused Family Therapy at our Aurora location, facilitated by Molly Pocklington Thompson MSW, RSW. To sign up for the Winter 2014 session, please email as our Fall group filled up fast! For details please visit

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Understanding Addiction: Rat Park

Here is an interesting illustrated comic about the rat park:

Globalization of Rat Park:

Rat Park was a study into drug addiction conducted in the late 1970s (and published in 1980) by Canadian psychologist Bruce K. Alexander and his colleagues at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada.

Alexander’s hypothesis was that drugs do not cause addiction, and that the apparent addiction to opiate drugs commonly observed in laboratory rats exposed to it is attributable to their living conditions, and not to any addictive property of the drug itself.[1] He told the Canadian Senate in 2001 that prior experiments in which laboratory rats were kept isolated in cramped metal cages, tethered to a self-injection apparatus, show only that “severely distressed animals, like severely distressed people, will relieve their distress pharmacologically if they can.”[2]

To test his hypothesis, Alexander built Rat Park, an 8.8 m2 (95 sq ft) housing colony, 200 times the square footage of a standard laboratory cage. There were 16–20 rats of both sexes in residence, an abundance of food, balls and wheels for play, and enough space for mating and raising litters.[3]:166 The results of the experiment appeared to support his hypothesis. Rats who had been forced to consume morphine hydrochloride for 57 consecutive days were brought to Rat Park and given a choice between plain tap water and water laced with morphine. For the most part, they chose the plain water. “Nothing that we tried,” Alexander wrote, “… produced anything that looked like addiction in rats that were housed in a reasonably normal environment.”[1] Control groups of rats isolated in small cages consumed much more morphine in this and several subsequent experiments. – From Wikipedia