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Roger Covin, Ph.D

Ottawa Psychologist, Author of "The Need to be Liked"

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
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Advice for High Achievers as School Starts

When it comes to academic achievement, many high achievers run into an annoying paradox -- they are highly motivated to succeed, but the resulting anxiety and pressure actually decreases their motivation and concentration, and ultimately causes problems with achievement.
08/27/2015 08:32 EDT
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Why I Don't Like The Term 'Mental Illness'

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.
02/19/2015 05:33 EST
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Why We Need To Increase Insurance Coverage For Private Psychological Care

Increasing insurance benefits increases access to private care, which has become a necessity in Canada. Those wanting psychological treatments must either choose between public care (ex: psychologist in a hospital) or private care (ex: psychologist in private practice). Unfortunately, there tend to be unreasonable wait lists for access to public care (typically one year or longer).
10/02/2014 05:41 EDT

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

For those who are unfamiliar with this latest science story, researchers in the U.S. claim they can diagnose depression using a blood sample. Why would we need a blood test to do something professionals can already accomplish on their own in a fairly short period of time? The most touted benefit of this test seemed to be that it would offer the first "objective" measurement of depression. In the present case, the problem with trying to find an "objective" method of diagnosing depression is that "depression" and "diagnosis of depression" are two separate things.
09/21/2014 01:02 EDT

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

In the case of someone like Rob Ford, he may have very little control over his cravings for alcohol, and this is where he deserves sympathy. In a culture where everyone has something -- coffee, cigarettes, marijuana, shopping, alcohol, need for approval, etc. -- it shouldn't be too hard for us to sympathize with someone dealing with a dependence problem. However, as a man who has good financial resources and who is capable of accomplishing significant person goals, he has considerable, personal influence over the treatment of this problem.
07/10/2014 05:42 EDT

Is Homophobia a Religious or a Psychological Issue?

Historically, prejudice of any kind could be freely expressed with few repercussions (emotional, legal, or otherwise) so long as there was a reasonable justification. Religion has often served as the justification, and has therefore facilitated an array of prejudice, from racism to sexism to homophobia. Over time, the use of religious beliefs to justify prejudice has tended to decline, but still persists -- especially when it comes to homosexuality.
05/17/2014 12:38 EDT

Why We Shouldn't Dismiss First World Problems

Now, there is value in perspective taking, but only when it is done in healthy a way. Consistently dismissing and minimizing seemingly minor problems as being unworthy of sympathy is not healthy perspective taking. Perspective taking involves consideration of the context.
01/09/2014 05:18 EST

What to Ask Your Doctor Before Going on Antidepressants

I have had many conversations with clients over the years where they tell me they've been feeling nauseous, panicky and depressed. The symptoms my clients describe are directly due to a reduction in, or complete termination of, their antidepressant medication. I hope the following advice is useful to patients.
12/16/2013 12:00 EST

Why Mental Illness Goes Much Further Than Research Tells Us

Imagine if the true prevalence of cancer in Canada was somewhere around 50 per cent, but the government of Canada estimated the prevalence to be approximately 20 per cent because they included in their estimate only a portion of all possible cancers. The medical community would be in an uproar because there are important implications drawn from such data.
09/24/2013 05:44 EDT

5 Mental Health Tips for Students

University is stressful and students can develop mental health disorders at this time. In fact, the majority of these disorders tend to develop around this age group. Getting help early on for mental health problems is always a good idea. For example, it is ideal to prevent problematic shyness from becoming Social Anxiety Disorder and normal sadness from becoming clinical depression.
08/28/2013 12:37 EDT

Rex Murphy and the Myth of the Angry Atheist

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. I believe it is worthwhile to highlight another glaring weakness of Mr. Murphy's article -- his misuse of the term anger.
07/30/2013 12:13 EDT

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

Constantly trying to avoid being disliked can take its toll on one's mental health. Indeed, most of the people I have seen in therapy with such an issue were more harmed by the worry and anxiety caused by the possibility of being disliked than by actual instances of rejection or negative evaluation.
02/24/2013 11:10 EST

Science Says You're More Attractive Than You Think

There is no absolute and true number when it comes to attractiveness. There are no real fives, eights or threes. Just because our society seems to be confused and mistaken in its understanding and conceptualization of physical attraction, doesn't mean that you have to make the same mistake as an individual. Having a realistic and grounded understanding of what attractiveness is and the role it plays in your life can have a big impact on your mental health.
07/30/2012 12:48 EDT

Rejection Phobia: Explained

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 can leave them socially isolated.
06/21/2012 02:43 EDT

The Difference Between Phobia and Fear

Psychologists often make a distinction between fears and phobias. A fear is an emotional response to a real or perceived threat. A phobia is similar to a fear with one key difference: the anxiety they experience is so strong that it interferes with their quality of life and/or their ability to function.
06/16/2012 11:15 EDT