Why can’t I just focus!?

By: Dr. Peter Egeto, C.Psych (Supervised Practice)

Everyone has this thought run through their head when they’re having trouble focusing on a work task, school assignment, or other commitment. It is a very frustrating obstacle, so why can’t we just focus?

Attention is the first, and crucial step to apply our thinking power to a task. Without it, we’re unable to learn, problem solve, or think clearly. There are lots of reasons why our attention can be challenged. 

Anxiety often takes attention away from the task at hand. Evolutionarily, anxiety developed partly to help us survive by looking for threats in the environment. Although your project deadline may not be a life or death “threat,” the emotion still kicks in and draws your attention away from the work you’re trying to do.

Alternately, some people’s brains develop differently, and have trouble controlling their attention. This is referred to as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). People with ADHD have great difficulty focusing because they are easily distracted by other thoughts or things in their surroundings. It can feel like your head is a vortex of racing thoughts, which can make a simple task frustrating or daunting.

How can I focus better? 

Luckily, there are ways to optimize your attention. Completing a neuropsychological assessment is a good way to tease apart whether your attention is hindered by anxiety, or potentially ADHD. It can also offer solutions tailored to your unique issues. Anxiety management strategies can free up your attention, while ADHD can be managed with medication, therapy, or both. 

Six Reasons to Book Your Appointment at CFIR Toronto Today

Did you know that Centre for Interpersonal Relationships (Toronto) opened the doors to our new, spacious office located at 790 Bay St. in June 2018? Our relocation is an exciting chapter in the story of CFIR as we continue to provide accessible and flexible mental health services for children, adolescents, adults, couples, families & groups. There are a lot of good reasons to consider coming to CFIR’s Toronto location for an appointment. Here are six that immediately come to mind:

1. Vast Clinical Experience – Psychologists at CFIR are skilled professionals ready to address the cognitive, emotional, behavioural, interpersonal and socio-cultural dimensions of your concerns. 

2. Location – 790 Bay Street is a medical office building located in the heart of downtown Toronto. CFIR is now just steps from major downtown hospitals including Women’s College Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, Sick Kids Hosptial. We’re also in very close proximity to College Subway Station, and buses as well as the PATH (our underground walkway through the business district). On-site and underground paid parking is available.

3. Broad and Flexible Treatment Options – We believe it is crucial for your clinician to be able to be flexible in offering a variety of scientific, evidence-based treatments to address the various facets of your concerns. No one treatment fits all, so we provide you with different possibilities.  At CFIR, we take an integrative approach to treatment, to ensure we tailor them to each client’s needs. 

4. One Stop for All Mental Health Issues – CFIR provides a wide-range of specialized services to support you:

Treatment Services:

  • Adolescent Psychology
  • Adoption
  • Anger & Emotion Regulation
  • Anxiety & Stress
  • Attention Deficit & Learning Challenges
  • Career & Workplace
  • Child Psychology
  • Couples Therapy
  • Depression Mood & Grief
  • Eating Weight & Body Image
  • Family Psychology
  • Fertility Counselling
  • Forensic Treatment
  • Health Psychology
  • Interpersonal Relationships 
  • Multicultural
  • Neuropsychology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive
  • Personality
  • Rehabilitation Psychology
  • Self-Growth & Self-Esteem
  • Sex Therapy
  • Sexual Addiction
  • Sexuality Gender & Relationship Diversity
  • Substance Use
  • Trauma Psychology & PTSD

Assessment Services:

  • Adoption Assessment
  • Alcohol & Drug Evaluation
  • Attention Deficit & ADHD
  • Autism Spectrum & Developmental Disorder
  • Career & Vocational
  • Couples & Pre-Marital
  • Disability Injury & Accident
  • Fertility & Third-Party Reproduction
  • Forensic Assessment
  • Immigration & Refugee
  • Neuropsychological Assessment
  • Personality & Interpersonal Functioning
  • Psychodiagnosis & Mental Health
  • Psychoeducation Assessment
  • Trauma & Dissociation

5. Remote Support that Can Come to You – We make it easier to address your concerns by offering you a secure, confidential and private way for you to get the care that you need via our optional SecureVideo Telepsychology Service.*

6. Coverage by Most Insurance Plans – Private extended insurance plans (as well as Medavie/BlueCross (RCMP, Veterans Affairs, Canadian Armed Forces) and CUPE) provide coverage for CFIR services.  Our Psychologists are approved providers of the Canadian Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) for Refugees.  

Clinicians at CFIR will conduct a comprehensive assessment to identify the factors that have contributed to your concerns. The assessment is followed up with a treatment plan to address your issues and provide you with a sense of the treatment duration, and what type of progress and change you can expect over time.

There you have it, six solid reasons to book your initial appointment at CFIR – Toronto today. With offices in Toronto and Ottawa, we’ll get you started on your journey towards positive change.  Click here to request your session.

*SecureVideo Telepsychology Services are only available for Ontario residents. 

Assessments 101: What You Can Expect from an Evaluation Through CFIR

There are different times when someone may need to access psychological assessment services.

Take, for example, situations where a family physician or a vocational rehabilitation organization refers a patient for evaluation through psychological tests. Or when an assessment needs to happen as part of an initial intake with a mental health professional.

Psychological assessment contributes important information to the understanding of individual characteristics and capabilities, through the collection, integration, and interpretation of information about an individual (Groth-Marnat, 2009; Weiner, 2003).

One of the key objectives for testing is to identify the factors that have contributed to concerns related to an individual’s emotional or mental health. At CFIR, depending on your concerns, and our assessment (and any diagnosis if rendered or requested), we will make recommendations about whether a specific treatment approach or a combination of approaches may be required to help you with your problem.

CFIR’s Assessment Services offer comprehensive, scientific and evidence-based psychological evaluations for children, adolescents, adults, and couples.

1.    The Adoption Assessment Service offers comprehensive psychological assessments for individuals and couples who are considering adopting a child. Our clinical psychologists are highly trained and have conducted numerous adoption assessments of caregivers and families wanting to adopt children domestically or internationally (e.g., South Korea, Philippines, Columbia). Click here for more information.

2.    The Alcohol & Drug Evaluation Service offers comprehensive psychological assessments of your own or your loved one’s alcohol and drug use. Our clinical psychologists use the information acquired to determine whether alcohol and/or drug use diagnoses are applicable and outline treatment plans for those wanting or needing to change their substance use. Click here for more information.

3.   The Attention Deficit & ADHD Assessment Service offers comprehensive, scientific and evidence-based psychological assessments for children, adolescents and adults struggling with attentional issues or disorders. These assessments are administered when individuals have experienced struggles with attention, concentration and/or hyperactivity that have negatively impacted academic or work performance or relationships. Click here for more information.

4.    The Autism Spectrum & Developmental Disorder Assessment Service provides comprehensive, scientific, evidence-based psychological testing to children, adolescents and adults to render or clarify diagnoses of autism spectrum or developmental disorders. 

There is a great deal of research that suggests that early identification and treatment of autism spectrum disorders can lead to significant improvements in an individual’s life. An assessment is the first step in the process; we can identify whether a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is applicable or not and make recommendations so that appropriate treatment can be put in place in the community as well as at school. Click here for more information.

5.    The Career & Vocational Assessment Service provides comprehensive psychological evaluations to support you or your loved one to find a new career that is best suited to your needs, interests, strengths, and goals. We provide a thorough assessment that uses a variety of scientific, evidence-based questionnaires to assess various factors (e.g., occupational interests) that are important in clarifying your career possibilities. Click here for more information

6.    The Couples & Pre-Marital Assessment Service provides new couples or couples in long-term relationships a comprehensive assessment of their couple relationship for the purpose of helping partners to identify their relationship strengths and address areas of difficulty within the relationship. Click here for more information.

7.   The Disability, Injury & Accident Assessment Service offers comprehensive psychological assessments of mental health symptoms, physical symptoms, and functioning in many domains (e.g., home, school, leisure). There are other symptoms and concerns that can occur following an accident, traumatic injury, or the onset of a physical illness or disability. These can include but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, trauma (PTSD), acute and chronic stress, adjustment to transitions and loss, functional impairments, and physical symptoms (e.g., chronic pain, fatigue). Click here for more information.

8.  The Fertility & Third-Party Reproduction Assessment Service provides individuals, couples and third-parties (i.e., donors or surrogates and their partners) with psychosocial assessments/counselling in preparation for all forms of assisted reproduction as required by a fertility clinic or lawyer. Click here for more information.

9.   The Immigration & Refugee Assessment Service provides comprehensive psychological evaluations for foreign-born (i.e., outside of Canada) adolescents and adults who have applied for residency through the Immigration and Refugee Board. Click here for information.

10.  The Neuropsychological Assessment Service provides comprehensive psychological assessments to support clients in understanding their brain functioning as it relates to emotions, behaviour, and cognition. Click here for information.

11.   The Personality & Interpersonal Functioning Assessment Service offers comprehensive psychological evaluations of you and your loved one’s personality and interpersonal functioning. Typically, these types of assessments provide important information about the habitual ways that you tend to think, emotionally react and relate to others in everyday life. This information is important as some individuals struggle in everyday life as a result of some features of their personality and their manner of engagement with others and this blocks them from living a rich, meaningful and purposeful existence (e.g., developing and reaching personal goals, creating greater self-resilience, and developing strong relationships with others). Click here for information.

12.  The Psychodiagnosis & Mental Health Assessment Service offers comprehensive psychological evaluations of your or your loved one’s mental health concerns. Psychodiagnostic assessments provide a framework to understand your current psychological or psychiatric symptoms, challenges, and strengths. Click here for information.

13.   The Psychoeducation Assessment Service offers comprehensive psychoeducational assessments for children, adolescents and adults for the purpose of assessing cognitive and intellectual functioning, attention deficits and ADHD, learning challenges and giftedness. Click here for information.

14.  The Trauma & Dissociation Assessment Service offers comprehensive psychological evaluations of symptoms associated with traumatic experiences for the purpose of providing or clarifying diagnoses including Acute Stress, Adjustment, Post-Traumatic Stress, complex PTSD or Dissociative Disorders, and making treatment recommendations to address your concerns and struggles. Click here for information.

Contact us today to book your initial appointment. Services provided through CFIR are covered by most private extended insurance plans as well as Medavie/BlueCross (RCMP, Veterans Affairs, Canadian Armed Forces) and CUPE. CFIR Psychologists are also recognized as approved providers of the Canadian Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) for Refugees.

We believe that everyone should be able to access quality services and receive optimal psychological care. Let us know if you would like to learn about our accessible low fee psychological treatment & assessment services options.

Call us now further information about the psychological services offered through our Ottawa and Toronto locations or to book a session with one of our counsellors.