Ask me

Ah, the inaugural post, so full of promise and a future of blogs to come.

My name is Susan Tarshis and I am, amongst many other interesting things, a psychotherapist who has a practice in Milton, Ontario, Canada.  This is my professional blog and I have some high hopes for it. 

I hope that this can be a place where folks who might be considering therapy can ask questions easily.  These questions can be related to a specific problem or just the process itself.  I also hope that this can be a place where I record those little and large moments I experience in my own life that can be useful to others. 

If you are interested in finding out more about my practice, visit my website, .

For the past few months, I’ve been publishing an advice column in SNAP Milton, a local paper    I’d love to be able to share those columns here and get inspiration for more from any comments you might have.  Don’t be shy, you can ask me just about anything related to emotional health and well being.  Relationships and sexuality are topics I have a particular expertise and fondness for.  Don’t worry, if you are blushing, I won’t see you. 

Here’s my August column:

Dear Susan:

Last month, I my 17 year old cat died of natural causes.  I’m 42 years old and she had been with me nearly half my life.  I am having a terrible time of things.  I can’t eat.  I can’t get out of bed some mornings.  I keep thinking I see her walking down the hall or in the garden.  Am I going crazy?


Dear N.V.:

Sometimes, our society doesn’t fully respect the importance of pets to our emotional well being.  We know that a dog is a “best friend” and cats are excellent company, but we don’t acknowledge that our attachment to the animal can be as important and intense as a human attachment.  You are experiencing grief and it isn’t crazy.  Grief is often associated with depression and your inability to eat and get out of bed is concerning.  We have funerals for humans, which provide a context for death and help guide grieving.  Perhaps you might consider a ritual or memorial of your own for your beloved cat.  Acknowledging her death might help make it more concrete for you.  Consulting with a counsellor for some ideas on how to move your grieving forward could also help. 

Be well,  Susan

Dear Susan:

About 2 months ago, I was in a car accident that resulted in some minor injury to my neck and back.  I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I’ve found that driving makes me very nervous these days.  The highway is especially difficult for me and I’ve started to avoid it.  I keep thinking I’m going to get hit from behind every time I see movement in my rear view mirror.  Can anything help this?


Dear Y.K.

Sometimes, even minor accidents can have serious impacts on our emotional well being.  It sounds like the anxiety and fear you are having are symptoms of trauma.  You should seriously consider getting some counselling at this stage before anything gets worse.  Anxiety has a way of spreading through your life as you avoid those things that cause it or might cause it.  A counsellor can help you process through the experience of the accident and consolidate your feelings about it, defusing the anxious response.  You should consult your doctor also as there may be coverage through your motor vehicle insurance.

Be well, Susan