Monday, March 19, 2018

Psychotherapy for developmentally delayed and autistic adults in Ontario

This piece is  to share online  the knowledge I gained while providing psychotherapy to  adults with Intellectual  Disability (previously called as mental retardation) and adults on the autism spectrum. I do not have the resources (time) to  do a systematic research and present it in scientific journals; yet I don't want the knowledge gained over almost a decade  remain unshared.

 I would like to introduce the reader briefly to my clients and  the context of my work by saying a few things. (in italics)

I work in a city in Ontario, Canada and all my clients are from this catchment area.

The DD clients  referred to me are adults i.e. over the age of 18;
I counsel both men and women. 
Recently I have started receiving referrals of  transgendered clients.  This indicates the changes happening over time.

Most clients whom I counsel are mildly delayed while a few are either 'high-moderate' or with borderline IQ. Clients with moderate or severe delay are too low functioning to participate in the counselling process and are therefore referred to other services such as behaviour therapy instead of counseling. 
I have a few clients with 'average IQ' too. They are in the DSO sector despite their lack of intellectual disability as the government has changed the criteria to include  people without developmental disability   but who are unable to function.

Few of  the clients  referred for psychotherapy have DD alone. Majority of those referred for psychotherapy have a dual diagnosis. In addition to DD, some are on the  autism spectrum; a few have been diagnosed with one or more of psychiatric disorders such as  anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, personality disorders, OCD. Some clients are on psychiatric medication.

 A handful of my clients live independently while some live with families or in group homes.

Most are single and a handful are in relationships or married.

Majority do not have children and a handful of them have children.

Psychotherapy is FREE. Therefore, cost of counselling is not an issue.  However there are other reasons why psychotherapy is discontinued, refused or not given.

ALL  or majority of the psychotherapy clients receive government support in the form of some money every month, health care and  other services. The money helps clients meet their living expenses such as food, rent, fares, phone bills, etc.

Majority(99%) of the psychotherapy clients did not have paid jobs at the time they received counseling.
handful of clients were in full time competitive jobs for a few years in the past, before they came in for counselling.

There are government funded and other agencies helping my clients by providing housing, psychiatric and health care, behaviour therapy, speech therapy and audiology, hearing aids, day programs and employment training and employment opportunities. They give other services too but I have not listed them all here.  Most or all of these are free or covered by government funding.

The clients are referred for psychotherapy by their (1)families or (2)staff at the group home they live in or (3)they seek psychotherapy  themselves. Some are (4)mandated to receive counseling by court or Children's Aid Society(CAS). For example, a DD parent who had been abusing his child was  mandated by the CAS or court to receive counselling.

Clients go through an intake process  at my organization and if the team decides that the client would benefit from psychotherapy, he is referred to psychotheraspy and put on the waitlist.
 I pick the client from the waitlist when his turn comes up. Clients generally start receiving psychotherapy within one to three months of getting on the waitlist.

 The clients belong to a range of ethnic backgrounds such as Caucasians, African-Americans, Asians, clients from the middle east and so on.

 A few arrive for the psychotherapy sessions independently by public transport  while some are brought by their staff or families to the psychotherapy sessions as they cannot travel independently. A few come by wheeltrans i.e.  public transport for those who are unable to travel independently (Google wheeltrans). 

Less than 5% of clients have missed a few psychotherapy sessions as they could not afford money for covering transport. 
A few clients have declined psychotherapy as they could not afford transport.

The sessions last for an hour and I meet the client once a fortnight for most cases and gradually meet the client once in three weeks or a month.

Clients are closed for counselling when the goals are met or  it's decided that the client will not benefit anymore.  Psychotherapy is terminated for a lot of other reasons too such as clients dropping out of therapy, showing resistance to counseling by absenting frequently with inadequate reasons, not focussing on the goals for counseling, not able to benefit from counseling as they are too low functioning or other reasons.

 Based on my counselling experience with developmentally delayed and autistic adults in a Canadian city for the last decade, I have gleaned the information given below. I have used the male pronoun in this essay for convenience but I have counselled men, women, and transgenders.
I use the word 'adults' to represent the developmentally delayed and autistic  clients I am referring to in this article.
I believe that each sentence in this article below, could be a full fledged scientific article or more  with a wealth of data, analysis and findings.

1)What I say in counseling needs to be extremely simple.
  • I have to take care to be  clear;
  • I have to be concise (as many clients have low attention span
  • avoid using abstract words;
  • avoid saying too many things in a sentence.
  •  I may have to repeat  a few times.
  •  I have to repeat the same things in many sessions.
2)When my client nods I cannot assume he had understood but make sure he has understood by asking him to repeat it back to me.
 Even if he repeats it right, I cannot assume he has understood. I have to ask him to elaborate or give an example of a situation to demonstrate he has got my point.
Many clients have this ability to repeat what they hear;  but this does not mean they have understood what they heard.

3)I have to bear in mind that, for many of my clients,  it's not just intelligence or comprehension that's affected but memory is also affected.
 I have discovered, in my work, that many people with moderate DD & clients with Down's syndrome forgot what was discussed in the previous psychotherapy session. Some clients with brain damage and working memory deficits can retain very little of what  was discussed in the psychotherapy sessions.
I may have to, with client's consent, involve a care giver such as a family member or a staff in the psychotherapy process and ask them to help the client to follow the instructions given in the session. I will have to give my client printed matter to take home to read and practice.

4)Many adults have limited attention span and interest  in the psychotherapy process as also in many areas of their life.
I have to make  continuous efforts  to engage  the  clients with attention deficit,  focussed on a topic during the psychotherapy session. I have to be brief as I may lose his interest & attention if a topic is discussed for more than 2-3 minutes.
I may have to go along with the client's choice of topics in order to hold his interest in the counselling session...even if the topic is not relevant to what is being discussed in the psychotherapy at the time. More time may go toward the irrelevant topic than the content relevant to the therapy.
I have to allow the client wander away from the topic frequently before redirecting him back to the relevant topic of discussion.
 I  also have to redirect him to stay on a topic if he's rapidly jumping from one topic to another . Or when  he says something about a topic and move to another idea which grabs his attention and before he completes the discussion of the first topic.
A psychotherapist has to be very  patient when dealing with attention deficit clients. And many of my clients have attention deficits.

5)Goals for psychotherapy are set in the initial sessions. The client say what they expect from psychotherapy. Goals may be "I want to stop feeling anxious"; "I am depressed and I want to feel happy"; "I have difficulty getting along with my mom";  "I get angry often and get into trouble". and so on. 
The goals of psychotherapy identified by clients is often different from the goals identified by their  care givers. I myself may have a very different idea about what kind of help the client needs through psychotherapy
For example I had a case where the caregiver thought the client needs psychotherapy to manage his anger better ; the client however said  he wants bereavement counseling as he has not got over his dad's death which was 5 years before he sought psychotherapy; Based on the content of this client's sessions, I realized that  he did not really want bereavement counselling but he wanted something else altogether i.e. more money from his trustee! He had asked for  bereavement counselling as that was the only way he could get to talk to someone who would listen to him!

6)Adults  seek psychotherapy for a reason. For example a client adult may seek counselling for anxiety. After the sessions are done and  counselling terminated, he may seek counseling again for the same reason i.e. anxiety. Long standing issues crop up over and over again in psychotherapy. During psychotherapy, I have to  go over over the same things repeatedly, with infinitesimal increments of progress. Patience and a readiness to go over the same issues and repeat the same things is a large part of what I do.

6.a) I have come to the conclusion that a psychotherapist working with my clients needs  patience much more than brilliance or  high intelligence. Highly intelligent individuals/psychotherapists  arrive at solutions to problems quickly.  The outcome of psychotherapy could be  'poor'  if the therapist's high intelligence is NOT matched with the equally high level of patience which is needed  to walk the DD adult at his speed through the psychotherapy process. Patience is a much needed and under-valued trait in psychotherapy. 
I sometimes feel that certain managers seem to be focused on 'serving "quickly" and getting the client out the door as quickly as possible'  rather than accepting that some processes such as psychotherapy cannot be hurried. I could say my spiel to the client 'quickly' in psychotherapy but change in client's  behavior, emotions, cognition and attitudes takes time. 

7) Majority of my clients  are lonely single adults who crave for companionship, friends and partners. A few of these single clients seek psychotherapy only to fill in the void in their social life! But 'psychotherapy is NOT meant to meet the social needs of the client'.  As soon as I recognize that a client is asking for psychotherapy only to come and 'chat' with me and has no real goals for 'psychotherapy', I  try to get them to come up with goals for therapy. I also try to get them into organizations and activities more suited to fulfill their social needs. I then initiate the psychotherapy termination process.
Some clients state their goal for psychotherapy as, "I want to chat with someone".   For these clients, I gently but clearly explain that the psychotherapist is not a friend  to chat . That  psychotherapy is when a therapist delivers the service of psychotherapy to a client; that psychotherapy is a definite goal-oriented, time-limited, process and the relationship between the therapist and the client is professional.  
 Other 'sharper' clients state they have a problem (example anxiety) and ask for psychotherapy. But as the sessions progress, the client doesn't talk of 'the problem' but chats in the session about his friends and family, what he did on the weekend, etc.  I then have to redirect the client to discuss about the 'problem' and when he cannot be redirected to the problem he presented with, I try to identify if there are any issues which need psychotherapeutic intervention and if I don't find any, I consider terminating therapy.

7a)Gender of the therapist: There are a few clients who seek therapists of the opposite sex to meet their need to interact with a person of the opposite sex. I have had women decline my services as they want a male therapist. I have had male clients decline my services as they feel embarrassed to discuss their issues with me as I am a female. Most of the time, gender of the client or the therapist, does not really matter for the psychotherapeutic process. 

7b) As stated in the description of my clients, most of my clients  are single. Most of them are not happy with their single status and dream of having a boy-friend, girl-friend or even  a few friends they can simply hang out with. Majority of them find it difficult to find a boy-friend or girl-friend. 
Their poor social skills and intellectual disability makes it difficult the navigate in the social world of typical people(by typical, I mean people without intellectual disability). 
The number of peers they get to meet with and interact on a daily basis or interact frequently is severely limited for clients who live alone or with families. The clients who live in group homes with peers and clients who attend day programs or work in sheltered workshops get more opportunities to interact with their peers.  
But I have seen less than a handful of romantic relationships developing due to these opportunities.
7c)Lack of friends to hang out with  and not having a partner such as a girl-friend, boy-friend, fiancĂ©e, spouse is the most frequently complaint in psychotherapy. that I hear. Clients may obtain  free food from the food bank, get some money to meet their physical needs but unfortunately, they are unable to fulfill their social and intimacy needs.

8. Lack of insight and denial about their intellectual disability is a common and disturbing piece. I developed a questionnaire and administered to a few clients(20) and found that some of them have no insight about having an intellectual disability or deny they have  intellectual disability.
One client said he did not know he had DD till age of 24 though he had studied in a special school and in special classes all his school life.  He said he realized he had a disability only when his doctor told him at age of 24. Another client refused to accept the results of her assessment and called the assessment 'a piece of paper' and that she did not do well in the assessment as she was  uninterested in the assessment tasks. Another client said she does not have a 'developmental disability' but she has 'learning disability'. The denial of DD manifests in different ways. One I can recall now is a client telling me, " I am weak in maths. Everyone is weak in something. I am weak in maths'.

Lack of insight and denial about disability is a problem for many reasons and yet, it is often not addressed. I believe there are many reasons for this problem not being addressed. Who is going to address it? When is the 'right time' to address it? Should it be addressed at all?
Don't get me wrong. The adults with DD I have seen are getting all the services an adult with DD receives such as disability benefits. Yet, they deny 'to themselves' that they have a DD. Because of this denial, they make poor choices and this leads to expensive mistakes. The client who denied she had DD, despite being assessed and the findings of the cognitive assessment meticulously and slowly explained to her, went on to borrow a loan to apply for a college course in physiotherapy which she had no way of passing! It gives me nightmares thinking of her trying to clear her loan.
I have seen a mother of a 30+ year old DD & ADHD client, compel him to attend tutoring for maths for years and years. Despite telling her that he can never learn enough to 'shop' independently or live independently, she was adamant. He was fearful of his tough mother and was attending mathematics tutoring at age 34 when I last saw him in counselling.
Typical people  too lack insight and judgement about their abilities and make these mistakes. Typical people too are in denial. Yet, I feel really frustrated, watching the adults with DD make huge judgement errors and pay the cost with their limited resources.
The ethics and training for psychology teaches that the psychologist/therapist or whosoever the staff is,  support and encourage the client's decisions, without imposing 'our' i.e. the therapist's ideas or values on to the clients.  It is such a severe ethical dilemma to standby and watch the client make such poor judgements. I do try to redirect them but fail when the client is in denial of his disability.
8a. Denial of the disability in the parents or family members: This is another issue. Several parents are in denial and a sociodemographic study of these parents is likely to provide interesting results. I believe that education, socio-economic status in society, race or religion or ethnicity of the parents of the disabled adult seem to influence the denial of disability. Based on the cases I have seen, I have come to believe that greater the wealth, greater the difficulty of accepting the child born in the family has a disability. I have seen a child who is obviously autistic, put in typical schools instead of special classes as the parent denied the child's autism. The parent finally accepted it when the child became an adult and the mother went into severe depression. The parents had spent a lot of money putting their child in various courses all through childhood and teens, probably in an effort to 'normalize' her.

9) Racist/Discriminatory attitude in clients: My clients, like other people, have discriminatory attitudes. I have had clients who prefer a 'white' psychotherapist to me. I have seen male clients seek female therapists and female clients seeking male therapists. 
I have also seen a few clients  who refuse to interact with their peers. For example, a moderately intellectually disabled client greeted a mildly intellectually disabled client. The mildly delayed client did not even respond to his greeting. When asked why, she said, " I only have a learning disability; He's retarded; I don't want to talk to him". 
9a) Don't want to relate with their peers: A sad discovery of mine is that a few of my clients crave for a relationship or friendship only with typical people i.e. adults without developmental delay. Both male and female clients of mine want to 'marry' or be in a relationship with a 'normal' person. However this is impossible,  as a majority of typical people are not interested in having a romantic relationship with an intellectually challenged  person. Ergo, my clients, end up spending years in this fruitless pursuit.
 Some of these clients are in denial of their disability. The father of a client I was counseling wanted to introduce his intellectually challenged daughter to his friend's son, who was also intellectually challenged and he hoped they would build  friendship or even a relationship. But his daughter refused to meet this boy saying that he is 'retarded'. 
It is like treading on an ethical landmine if I  comment about the negative attitude of my clients toward their peers and so I am going to zip my lips here!

 I have discovered a fact  about a handful of  relatively attractive looking and youthful clients. (ALL my clients are good looking to me! When I say attractive looking, I mean that these clients attract others attention by their looks, more than the average person does) These good-looking clients have had very brief 'encounters' or 'dates' or even relationships' with typical people. However, the 'typical' person they dated did not go out for a second date or ended the relationship. My guess is that the 'typical people'  ended the relationship when they discovered that could not connect with my clients on an intellectual level or did not find that they had much in common with my clients, probably due to my clients disabilities.  After being dumped, my clients  tried to find someone else, again they looked for a partner among typical people.   
These clients seem unable to search for a partner among their own peers, despite the lack of success in finding a partner amongst typical people. This indicates denial or non-acceptance of their intellectual disability. It also indicates discrimination against people like them. 

Denial of disability affects many areas of life such as financially, socially, emotionally.

10) Life-long counselling: Clients are referred to counseling for many reasons.I found that the counselling is needed 'for life' for some cases. However, due to limited resources and long waitlists, counselling cannot be provided for life or endlessly to any client. Here is a list of reasons I found which leads to 'life-long counselling being needed though not provided'.

a)Marriage or couples counselling: Clients with DD who are in a relationship due to concrete thinking, poor social skills and poor social intelligence have great difficulty negotiating relationships and emotions smoothly. Secondly, in all the cases I have encountered, the person they are in a relationship is also with DD or a mental illness, ergo, both have poor social and communication skills. The problems in these relationships last despite counselling as the deficits in social skills are permanent and are only slightly improved with a lot of counselling.
b) I have had limited success in dealing with anxiety and OCD in some clients with DD. Most of these clients are on psychiatric medication also. Yet, the combination of counselling and medication does not completely eliminate the problem. One reason could be that their problem is 'treatment resistant'. I also find that many of my clients simply do not practice the suggestions given in counselling such as practicing deep breathing and relaxation exercises. Poor compliance with instructions can be due to many reasons such as the client's lack of faith in the technique, forgetting to practice, lack of interest, client prefers to come and talk in session but too lazy to follow through on the suggested assignments, etc.
c)Some clients are mildly paranoid i.e. have a single paranoid delusion. Most of the time this delusion is that people around them, such as buses & public places are talking about them, laughing at them or even insulting them. Some clients have this same delusion about friends or peers at their programs or work. Some of these clients are on anti-depressants, some are on anti-psychotics, some are on a combination and a few are not on any medication as the psychiatrist does not believe the extent of their paranoia warrants medication. Despite attempting CBT and other counselling techniques, the clients are unable to get over this paranoia. They are able to continue their life with a little bit less distress with counselling and following the suggestions given; but the paranoid ideas seem to be permanent. I do believe that a few of my clients have been actually laughed at or teased by people such as their peers or strangers at some point in their life. I also believe that a real-life  experience of being hurt or abused or attacked makes a paranoid delusion stronger and almost impossible  to remove from the mind of the client through counselling or medication
I have had great difficulty in building self-esteem in a client with borderline IQ and depression. I have discovered that clients with borderline IQ are the most frustrated with their lot. They have insight into their disability unlike their more disabled peers and are full of rage about it. The best way to describe their frustration is that of one who missed the boat by one second.  This client was bitter that he could not have an education, career, girl-friend, etc due to his disability. no amount of counselling seemed to help reduce his frustration.
I have also had great difficulty or virtually no success in building assertiveness in a client with Down's syndrome who was exploited so easily by his girl-friend. He was desperate to have a girl-friend and he was  easily manipulated by her.  Despite teaching him assertiveness skills  he was unable to use it with his girlfriend. He  had extremely poor memory and it is unlikely he could remember and practice what was discussed in the counselling sessions. Either poor memory or lack of interest in counselling also meant that he missed many sessions and when he did come in for counselling, he had forgotten what had been discussed in the previous session, which was long ago.
I have had very little success in counselling clients with personality disorders such as borderline personality disorders, antisocial personality disorders and other personality disorders. Firstly let me say that people can have DD & personality disorders. Secondly, the DD does not mitigate the effects of the personality disorder. (Maybe an antisocial person with DD is a lot easier to handle than a person with normal or high intelligence and antisocial personality disorder, but all other personality disordered persons with DD are quite challenging to deal with). I should admit some lacuna on my part which contribute to some extent to the limited success. I have training in various schools of psychotherapy but not specilaized training for personality disorders as such. Secondly, the organization rules that no one receives counselling beyond a certain period due to waitlists.  But I do believe that the limited changes brought about by psychotherapy in personality disordered clients is chiefly due to the fact that they have personality disorders which are difficult to treat. the non-personality aspects such as depression can be reduced to some extent by psychotherapy. But the personality traits and the interpersonal difficulties caused by the personality traits remain despite attempts through psychotherapy.
I have had a client who had moderate developmental delay and was not really suitable for counselling as she was not engaging in the counselling process. Despite this fact, she came in for counselling over 50 sessions over a period of three to four years. She neither participated in the counselling process nor agreed to counselling being terminated. She had anxiety but due to moderate delay, could not articulate that she felt anxious. She was extremely rigid and did not cooperate by practicing the suggestions made to her. She did not talk much during the sessions and one could only try to infer what she felt. She appeared hostile to me. She also would never say, I dint understand or I dont know to many questions. She would simply say I dont want to talk about it and after a while I realized she will never admit to not  knowing or understanding something. From this case I learnt that, there are people who are very rigid and dont participate in counselling but for some reason, want to come in for counselling. I also learnt that clients who say, "I dont want to talk about it" may actually by unable to understand but are loathe to admit it to the therapist. I also learnt that the gains made in therapy may not be easily visible but the client would be gaining something. I also learnt that it is impossible to write any notes of a session and a therapist can be bewilderd and not understand what the hell was discussed in the session where the client was silent and non communicative for the most part!
Besides clients with moderate DD, clients who are rigid, who don't accept or act on the suggestions of the therapist; who  don't communicate in the session for most or all sessions, are difficult counselling candidates and therapeutic gains are difficult to assess.
Clients with inflated opinion of their abilities are difficult candidates for counselling. They have high expectations of themselves; they cannot fathom why they failed, they lay the cause of their failure at the wrong doors and continue this pattern of living for ages. They do not take advise when told to set reasonable goals for themselves and do not take responsibility when they fail to meet their goals; they instead, attribute their failure to other things or people. In other words, these are clients who are in denial about their disability and set themselves up for failure as their plans don't take into consideration their disability. I have seen a client take an exam for security guards four times despite having mild DD and also LD. One had to have a minimum of  average IQ to do well in the test which this client din't have; he had DD and in addition to DD he also had LD & ASD.  I have not been successful in counselling these clients as they are in denial about their disability despite efforts to reduce the denial through feedback about their IQ scores and counselling them about their disability.

Acceptance of DD(long for some and short for some)

Continuous drama and so jumping from one issue to another in counselling 
Take a long time to open up or not open up at all
Not much clarity about goals of
counseling for a long time with many clients
Building skills to deal with chronic  depression and anxiety
Building self-esteem in clients with sever abuse history and chronic low selfesteem with DD

Dealing with long term depression of parents of high needs clients 
Selective mutism
Combination of isolation, paranoia and need for intimacy

Helping clients practice their new acquired (e.g. assertive skills)skills in the community which is still the same.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Flu season in Toronto

Went out with a friend who has recently 'recovered' from the FLU on 25th Feb.
Perfectly fine on 26th and 27th.
Full blown sore throat and fever by 28th morning.
Off work on 28th and 2nd. 
At home, sick, coughing, ribs aching due to coughing.

How to spend time at home when you are alone with the flu? Netflix ofcourse!

Watched movies which were 'not deep'. like 'The transporter refuelled', 'Unlocked' a bit of 'Fast & Furious' series, Keanu and started seeing the Netflix show called Love and sort of enjoying it! I can't believe that I , who only likes crime is actually enjoying this show!
And it is such a pleasure to see the homes, gardens and streets of LA in reminds me of the sunny weather of south India and I am missing that sun and heat so much now! Having this flu  this winter is making me miserable and longing for the heat and sun of south India! 
Watched the show 'Money for Nothing'. It is the right show to watch when you have the flu.
I watch it and gradually drift into sleep; the guy's voice is so lulling.
I enjoy this show....I love the concept of the show and the creativity of one guy in particular i.e. Rupert Blanchard.
I like the way the ?artists who restore the 'junk' describe what they plan to do....their words are like poetry to my ears. And I feel bad that I simply cannot expresses those ideas so beautifully in my language..Kannada. The problem is not with's with Kannada. Indian languages did not grow like English and have stagnated and it's impossible to convey modern thoughts and ideas, smoothly in Indian languages. We simply substitute English words now when we can't find  words in our language. 
Recycling is something which fascinates me and I enjoy looking up recycled stuff on Google images and Pinterest and etsy. I can spend hours looking at images of beautifully recycled stuff. In Money for Nothing, one gets to see the actual recycling process. For example,  a guy who works with wood, a couple who work with metal, and others. I was thrilled to see a female blacksmith in this show as I have not met or even heard of female blacksmiths till now. 
There is something different about British shows when compared to American.  I love the British shows. I like the American ones too but there is something more 'genuine' about the British shows ...not sure if honest is the right word. In this show, they failed to sell some items and it was mentioned. I don't recall seeing expressions of 'failure' in American shows.  I love the British talking, the words they use. The flow of ideas is so smooth. Also there is a lot of 'perfection' in American shows which makes them look great but also too good to be true. I am referring to the ultra white and ultra perfect teeth of everyone in the movie or shows, the perfect makeup or at least the perfect skin, the neat suits and so on. The naturalness of the people in British shows seems to appeal to me sometimes more than the photogenic looks of the ones in USA.
I hope the Money for nothing come up with more episodes. This show is more appealing to me than the many shows they have on antiques buying and selling. Here there is actual transformation through craft and skill of something. It's not just buying and selling which is basically passing on an object from one person to another. 

Another great show for someone down with the flu is America's worst driver and Canada's worst driver on UTube. I keep trying to see what makes them drive like that! ADHD, Personality issues, comprehension issues, w-h-a-t makes them drive like t-h-a-t???

People who like Allan Hawco and Paul Gross of Republic of Doyle and Enuka Okuma of Sue Thomas F.B.Eye. should catch 'Caught' on CBC TV. I am loving it! 

Also saw movie Wind river.

BBC show Collateral..binged and finished at one shot.  A scene at the end reminded me of something I had once read in a New York times article  '...bad people don't see themselves as bad people; they see themselves as good'.

Brought up since childhood on a diet of extremely naive, foolishly simplistic Indian movies, I simply cant fathom the grays in today's shows. My mind and heart longs for clear-cut good and bad...I simply can't handle this modern stuff where there is no clear cut good hero and bad villain!
March 17th weekend: Binged on Netflix original, 'On my block'. My sister suggested though I was not keen on a kids was good and mature and I felt really sorry for the kids born into that area of the world...the freedom is limited...choices are limited and imagine worrying about being killed or attacked...when one is so young!
Enjoyed the Hitman's bodygaurd...I wish it had been funnier but I did see the full movie

Saw a couple of romantic movies though I generally don't watch romance...Uma Thurman's The accidental husband

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A sad theory

Do people
 want to look like 'winners'
by hanging out with people,
 they unconsciously perceive
 as losers? 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Photo-therapy for addiction

February 26th 2018... a perfect day in Toronto. The sun was shining. It wasn't cold. No Arctic winds to chill the pedestrians strolling downtown. 
My morning clients cancelled. Deciding that  wasting this  precious day indoors, doing paperwork  is a heinous crime, 
 I strolled  to the bookshop.

I had a lovely time feeling the sun on my skin and reading the interesting posters plastered on the walls of Yonge street. I had a great time browsing the books at Indigo.  And here are photos of the books I would have liked to buy...but did NOT!

I have hoarded a ton of books at home, more than half of which are 'unread'. An incorrigible hoarder, running out of space,  it's is a   struggle, to not buy books and an even bigger struggle to not lug home, the free books. 

This is the first time I am trying this 'therapy', invented by 'ME'. ..taking  photos of books I would like to read and uploading them here. If the temptation to buy is irresistible, I may walk down again and buy the book I want. For now,  photographing 'the-books-I want-to-buy' seems to have 'cooled down the ardor to buy them'.
 I hope this therapy works for me. I would be cured of this book-buying-addiction with this zero-cost therapy! 
Who knows. I may start photographing the souvenirs I am tempted to buy when I travel and  save  space  and  money. I could also photograph the seashells I am tempted to pick, unusual stones, nests, sea-bricks, in fact photograph everything I think of lugging back to my home. My very own pin-interest.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

How to spend cold rainy days at home in Toronto

February 17-20 2018 Long weekend....cold wet..rainy
Alone at home as husband in India....
Nothing on netflix could hold my attention this weekend...but I did manage to finish seeing '2 guns'.
Then discovered that old is gold! Watched  and still watching ALL episodes of ALL seasons of  REPUBLIC OF DOYLE on CBC TV.
This is just the sort of cosy show to watch on cold rainy days to lift one's spirits or just pass the time.

Republic of Doyle is funny...light and light-hearted...exciting. It has great characters...I loved the Doyle family and many of the recurring characters ...every one of them is lovable...even the villains are not too villainish(with a few exceptions of course).
The scenery of Newfoundland is nice. I liked the plots and the dialogues. The individual plots in each episode coupled with the longer threads running through the seasons were good. I loved the ending too. 
What I loved the most about the show is the empowered women and the treatment of women.  The way women have been depicted, is one reason people world over,  should watch this show.. especially people from patriarchal societies. The depiction of empowerment here is different.  the women here are feminine,yet empowered. I think I loved the character of Rose the most. I enjoyed the ladies who acted in single episodes too especially in negative roles. 
If you want a cosy crime series, with good looking actors, a show which is light-hearted and happy, with nothing too depressing, you should watch Republic of Doyle.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Art on the streets of Toronto

The three above are of a box on College and may be at the St.George intersection. The government invited artists to paint these (electricity related?) boxes all over downtown and the artists were supposed to paint something which represents that area I think. I suppose Keight Maclean's submission got selected for this university area.

Below are art work on walls on buildings off Spadina between College  and  Dundas. This is China town and the art is mostly Chinese themed. 

The four art works above are together(next to each other) on one wall.