Roger Covin, Ph.D
Dr. Roger Covin is a registered clinical psychologist in Ottawa, Ontario. He offers assessment and treatment services at Turning Corners Psychological Services, and works primarily with adolescents and adults.

He is also author of the book The Need to be Liked - a book about the problems we all have in connecting with people.

To learn more, visit

Entries by Roger Covin, Ph.D

Advice for High Achievers as School Starts

(1) Comments | Posted August 27, 2015 | 8:32 AM

It's that time of year when students start returning to high school or university, and I thought it might be useful to offer some advice to a particular group of students -- the perfectionist high achiever. I've worked with many in therapy over the years, and while a simple blog...

Read Post

Why Emotions Are Important When Making Decisions

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 6:06 PM

I was recently at a restaurant and overheard the patrons to my right having a discussion. One of them said: "You should never make decisions out of fear." Everyone at the table seemed to nod approvingly at this piece of advice.

We've all heard different versions of this message,...

Read Post

Why I Don't Like The Term 'Mental Illness'

(47) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 4:33 PM

I have to admit something embarrassing. I am a registered psychologist working in private practice and I don't know what the term mental illness means. Well, on a general level I know that it refers to psychological problems, but I don't know exactly what is meant by the "illness" part....

Read Post

We Need More Research and Less Shaming When Talking to Anti-Vaxxers

(64) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 11:57 AM

At present, there is a wave of angry sentiment toward parents who choose not to vaccinate their children -- especially given the recent outbreak of measles in North America. One only has to glance quickly at posts on Twitter to see the wrath of social media toward "antivaxxers", who are...

Read Post

How a Powerful Imagination Can Leave You Feeling Anxious

(1) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 4:20 PM

Imagine two women experiencing the same physical health worry -- they both find a suspicious mole on their arm. Both women visit their family physician and are reassured that there is no reason for concern based on the evaluation.

Now imagine that one of the women can easily imagine...

Read Post

Why We Need To Increase Insurance Coverage For Private Psychological Care

(2) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 5:41 PM

In 2006, a research paper was published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, where the authors argued for greater public access to psychotherapy - specifically Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). To make their point, the authors did not rely on emotional appeals to compassion or empathy for those in...

Read Post

Why We Don't Need a Blood Test to Diagnose Depression

(12) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 9:11 AM

One of my favourite stories from the history of psychology is a well-known tale involving Gordon Allport and Sigmund Freud. Allport was a pioneer in the study of human personality, and is a well-known figure in the field of psychology.

After graduating from university, Allport took a trip to...

Read Post

Why Rob Ford's Addiction is An Explanation, Not An Excuse

(7) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 5:42 PM

Rob Ford's recent attempts to causally link his improper behaviour with his addiction problems has lead to some hair-pulling on the part of columnists and bloggers alike. For example, Andrew Coyne of the National Post recently fretted over the use of the term 'disease' to describe addiction, as...

Read Post

There's Nothing Wrong With Feeling Depressed Every Once in a While

(3) Comments | Posted June 20, 2014 | 1:07 PM

From Internet sites like WebMD to blogs and news articles, we are a society that is becoming more attuned and aware of symptoms -- be they physical or mental. These benefits, however, come with a number of drawbacks.

For example, there has been a push in medicine to make people...

Read Post

Is Homophobia a Religious or a Psychological Issue?

(102) Comments | Posted May 17, 2014 | 12:38 AM

"My faith won't allow me to ACCEPT what took place over the weekend! Sorry, NOT sorry! #AdamAndEve #NotAdamAndAdam." -Maurice Price

Maurice Price was not the only pro football player to express an anti-gay attitude following the drafting of Michael Sam, the first openly gay person to be drafted...

Read Post

Why We Shouldn't Dismiss First World Problems

(3) Comments | Posted January 9, 2014 | 3:20 PM

"That is just a first world problem."

Have you heard this expression used lately? It is a phrase that, with growing frequency, is now commonly used to describe many of the stressors those of us living in developed countries experience on a daily basis. The "first world" response has even...

Read Post

What to Ask Your Doctor Before Going on Antidepressants

(3) Comments | Posted December 15, 2013 | 11:00 PM

The Problem

My new patient sits down to start our first therapy session.

Me: "So, what can I help you with."

Patient: "I've been feeling nauseous, panicky and depressed lately."

Me: "I'm sorry to hear that. When did this start?"

Patient: "Well, I recently tried to stop taking my...

Read Post

Why the Pain Caused By Bullying is Just as Dangerous as a Physical Assault

(4) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 6:00 PM

An interesting thing happened this morning while I read the news online. In the left column of the page was the story of MP Steven Fletcher, whose advocacy of assisted suicide was accompanied by this sobering quote: "When you're in real pain, you would do anything to stop it. You...

Read Post

Why Mental Illness Goes Much Further Than Research Tells Us

(2) Comments | Posted September 24, 2013 | 4:15 PM

Canadians recently learned the results of the Canadian Community Health Survey on Mental Health (2012), which revealed that 1 in 6 Canadians were in need of mental heath care. This is a large portion of the population and so the findings are not only significant, but they have...

Read Post

5 Mental Health Tips for Students

(2) Comments | Posted August 28, 2013 | 12:37 PM

I have been fortunate enough in my career to work with many university students throughout Canada. Sitting across from these students in therapy has certainly provided me ample opportunity to get a handle on some of the more pressing issues facing them during their college years.

Given that classes...

Read Post

Rex Murphy and the Myth of the Angry Atheist

(16) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 12:13 PM

A few days ago, the well known and respected commentator Rex Murphy presented a blistering critique of atheists, which seems to have been triggered by the recent debate over whether atheists soldiers should have access to their own chaplain. Graham Templeton's interpretation of Rex's comments lead to scathing...

Read Post

1.4 Billion People Don't Like Me -- And That's OK

(1) Comments | Posted February 24, 2013 | 11:00 PM

What should you do if you have a quality or characteristic that other people dislike?

Knowing that another person dislikes us usually evokes the same emotional responses in most people -- usually sadness, disappointment, anxiety and even anger. Such experiences can also get you thinking about whether there is...

Read Post

Science Says You're More Attractive Than You Think

(6) Comments | Posted July 30, 2012 | 10:38 AM

The notion that physical attractiveness is a valued and even revered quality in Western society -- an obsession for many people -- is essentially a given fact. The preferential emphasis on beauty is beyond evident in the worlds of media and entertainment, where by miracle of chance the people who...

Read Post

Rejection Phobia: Explained

(1) Comments | Posted June 21, 2012 | 2:43 PM

I recently wrote about rejection phobia and the impact it can have on people's lives. One of the more tragic aspects of rejection phobia is how self-sustaining the problem can be. In fact, people who are rejection phobic ultimately fabricate their own reality that perpetuates their phobia and...

Read Post

The Difference Between Phobia and Fear

(1) Comments | Posted June 17, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Psychologists often make a distinction between fears and phobias. A fear is an emotional response to a real or perceived threat. Fears are common in the population and are often normal -- or at least innocuous -- reactions to objects or events. For example, many people fear spiders -- they...

Read Post