Therapists busy with blues

Therapists busy with blues

by Andy Marshall (Calgary Herald) on December 28, 1995

Holidays depressing and lonely for many, say psychologists.

Consulting your therapist on Boxing Day isn’t just for the very rich and the very fmaous — like Princess Diana in England.

At least one Calgary psychologist was taking calls the day after Christmas, and several others are facing a hectic week of bookings for people struggling with the seasonal blues.


“You can be rich and beautiful and not be happy.”

Chartered psychologist Shannon St. Pierre is also busy this week seeing many people from better-off socie-economic groups.

“It’s tragic. Some peopel are very lonely,” she said.

A growing theme, from her observatisions, is the lack of “glue” or traditions holding families together.

“… Diana is part of this. She’s been torn away from part of her family, and her traditions would normally be very strong,” said St. Pierre.

Family break-up is an obvious cause for the loss of traditions. But the declining influence of formal religion or the death of a grandparent who usually promoted traditional activieis are also factors.

“We need to keep renewing our traditions… I encourage rebuilding traditions,” said St. Pierre — even if it means new husabnds sitting down to a meal with the former hubby, as long as there’s not threat of violence.

In practice for 15 years (Editor’s Note: now 32 years), St. Pierre ┬áhas clients who’d sooner pay her $95-an-hour rate than go to a party.

“After a couple of drinks, it’s gone anyway,” she siad.

And, even though money worries have not disapeared, she’s noticed many of her clients have adapted to financial uncertainties.