Brainspotting Therapy Now Available

If you are looking for a Brainspotting Therapist (Phase 1) I am now officially trained (as of March 12, 2023). Here is my info sheet on Brainspotting Therapy (BSP):

What is Brainspotting Therapy (BSP)?

Where you look affects how you feel. – Dr. David Grand

Brainspotting Therapy (BSP) was discovered by Dr. David Grand, PhD in 2003. BSP functions as a neurobiological tool to locate, focus, process, and release experiences and symptoms that are typically out of reach of the conscious mind and its cognitive language capacity. Working with the deep brain and the body through its direct access to the autonomic and limbic systems, it taps into and harnesses the body’s innate self-scanning capacity to process and release focused areas which are in a maladaptive homeostasis or “frozen primitive survival modes.”

More simply: BSP is the utilization of fixed eye positions which appear to stimulate neural networks and facilitate both the associative process and the resolution, digestion, or healing of both physiological and psychological trauma. 

Who benefits from BSP?

Children, teens, and adults can benefit from BSP. 

What are the risks of BSP?

The risks are similar to regular talk therapy in that you may feel tired or fatigued after your session and processing of your emotions may spill over into the next day. 

What can be expected during a BSP session?

During a session, the trained therapist might:

  • guide you to think about an issue or problem that causes trouble or concern, such as memories of bad experiences, arguments, physical pain, worries, etc. The therapist will ask a few questions about the problem but does not focus on an in-depth discussion of the issue or trauma. 
  • help you find an eye position (i.e., Brainspot)
  • guide you to be aware of how your body is feeling, e.g., noticing any tension in the head, neck, shoulders, stomach, or other areas. 
  • encourage you to harness the deep, mindful processing of your issue.
  • suggest you listen to bilateral sounds, a type of music or nature sounds which move back and forth between right and left ears. Bilateral sound causes alternating activation of the right and left-brain hemispheres and activates the parasympathetic, or calming, part of the nervous system. 

Through these and other interventions, the therapist helps your brain reprocess anxiety, trauma, and stress. When completed, like most people, you will likely report feeling calmer and more relaxed.


  • During your session, you may or may not be able to (or want to) verbalize your thoughts. It is completely up to you if you want to remain silent or not.  
  • You may become upset, tearful, or some other strong feelings (activation) may emerge. This is completely normal, and it will likely come in waves of intensity.
  • You may feel like closing your eyes at times and that is okay, too. Just remember when you open your eyes to try and come back to the brainspot. 
  • If you feel like you need to move, or shake it off, that is okay, too. 
  • Your therapist may check in with you and will let you know when the Brainspotting session is coming to an end. 
  • Most sessions last about 40 minutes. 
  • Self-Brainspotting is not recommended. 

Note that although ideally it is done face-to-face, BSP can also be done virtually.

For more information on Brainspotting:

or contact myself, Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW.


How to Journal and the Benefits of Journaling

Photo by Arina Krasnikova on

Journaling is a practice that has been around for centuries and has been used by many individuals as a way to reflect, plan, and process their thoughts and emotions. Writing down your thoughts and experiences in a journal can be a therapeutic and enlightening experience that can lead to a number of benefits. I have been journaling for as long as I can remember. It all started with my tiny daily diaries when I was about 10 years old. I often recommend journaling to my clients as a way to help them process and move forward with issues they are struggling with. In this article, we will explore how to journal and the many benefits that can come from incorporating this practice into your daily routine.

How to Journal

The beauty of journaling is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Journaling can take many different forms, and it’s up to you to decide what works best for you. Some people prefer to write in a physical notebook or journal, while others prefer to use a digital platform. Our mobile phones have a “Notes” feature that many of us use to record our thoughts, feelings, and other ideas as they come to us. There are also different types of journaling, including daily journaling, gratitude journaling, and goal-setting journaling.

To get started with journaling, simply set aside some time each day to reflect and write down your thoughts. Some people find it helpful to write in the morning as a way to start their day, while others prefer to journal at night as a way to wind down and reflect on the day’s events. You can also choose to write in your journal as often as you like, whether that’s daily, weekly, or on an as-needed basis.

When you sit down to journal, it’s important to be open and honest with yourself. Write down whatever comes to mind, without judgment or criticism. Remember that your journal is a safe space where you can express yourself freely and without fear of judgment. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling. Just let the ideas flow from your head and heart to paper or keyboard. If your writing contains sensitive and private information ensure you can maintain privacy and keep your writing safely stored away from the eyes of others.

The Benefits of Journaling

1.Reduces Stress and Anxiety

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that it can help to reduce stress and anxiety. By writing down your thoughts and emotions, you can process and release them in a healthy way. This can help to reduce the physical and emotional symptoms of stress and anxiety, such as headaches, fatigue, and mood swings. You may discover something you never realized you were concerned about before providing insight into how you can reduce your feelings of stress and worry. Expressing yourself on paper (or via a digital platform) may help you discover hidden or buried feelings. This gives you an opportunity to release whatever it is that you are holding on to.

2. Improves Mental Health

Journaling has been shown to be an effective tool in improving mental health. Studies have found that journaling can help to improve mood, reduce symptoms of depression, and increase self-awareness. By writing down your thoughts and feelings, you can gain a better understanding of yourself and your emotions. You can get to know yourself in a way you never did before by letting your thoughts flow freely without judgement. Negative self-talk may be expressed outwardly and this gives you an opportunity to challenge these negative thoughts and turn it around.

3. Increases Creativity

Journaling can also be a great way to boost creativity. By giving yourself the space to write freely, without judgment or criticism, you can tap into your inner creativity and come up with new ideas and solutions.

4. Enhances Memory and Learning

Writing down your thoughts and experiences in a journal can also help to enhance your memory and learning. By reflecting on your experiences and writing down what you’ve learned, you can better internalize and remember the information.

5. Helps with Goal-Setting

Journaling can be a helpful tool in goal-setting. By writing down your goals and tracking your progress, you can hold yourself accountable and stay motivated to achieve your goals.

6. Helps Shift a Negative Pessimistic Outlook

Writing down things you are grateful for can help shift a negative thinking pattern. I often recommend a Joy Journal or Gratitude Journal to my clients. Whenever we are feeling trapped in a negative-thinking cycle, it is often helpful to focus on the things we are grateful for. Write down at least three things that bring you joy or things you are grateful for on a daily basis. It could be in the beginning of the day or at the end of the day. The simple things count too! For example, “I am grateful for my pillow.” Or, “I appreciate my partner for all they do.” Within a few days this habit will help improve your negative attitude.

In conclusion, journaling is a powerful tool that can help to improve your mental and emotional well-being. By taking the time to reflect and write down your thoughts and experiences, you can reduce stress and anxiety, improve your mood, boost creativity, enhance memory and learning, and achieve your goals. So why not give journaling a try and see how it can benefit you?

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

Written with the help of ChatGPT

More information on How to Start a Journaling Practice from Psychology Today.

Gut Issues? Try FODZYME – Because Food Shouldn’t Hurt


Irritable bowel syndrome?

Non-celiac gluten sensitive?

GOS intolerant (some nuts, beans, root vegetables)?

Trouble with garlic and onions?

Having other digestive issues?

Let’s talk FODZYME.

I am trying this new enzyme formula to help with my digestive issues. It’s called FODZYME. I just sprinkle the tasteless odourless powder (enzymes) on my food that I know causes gut and gastro issues. So far it has been helping me enjoy food without pain and tummy troubles. If you are like me, you will be looking for a solution!

I am a FODZYME affiliate which means if you use my discount code you can get 10% off. Let me know if you are interested in learning more. I have patient handouts I can share. Try the “Assessment” tool to see if FODZYME may be right for you.



Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

Untangling Alzheimer’s and Dementia: A Podcast Interview Regarding My New Book

Marianne Sciucco of AlzAuthors interviewed me and put together a podcast for your listening pleasure. Check it out, here.

She asks me lots of great questions about myself and my new book, “Alzheimer’s, Dementia, & Memory Loss: A Helpful Guide for Caregivers.” Available now on Amazon in paperback and ebook for Kindle.

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

Stressed Out? Consider Counselling and Speak to a Therapist

Photo by Pedro Figueras on

Stress is a normal part of life and can be caused by a wide range of factors such as work, relationships, financial problems, aging, caregiving, and health issues. While some level of stress can be helpful in motivating people to take action and find solutions, chronic stress can have a negative impact on a person’s mental and physical health.

People may seek counselling for stress because it provides a safe and supportive environment to explore and understand their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours related to stress. A therapist can help individuals identify the root cause of their stress, develop coping strategies to manage it, and learn relaxation techniques to reduce symptoms of stress.

Therapy can also provide an opportunity for people to process their experiences, address past traumas or negative life events that may be contributing to their stress levels, and develop a better understanding of their emotions and thoughts.

In addition, counselling can also help individuals with stress-related conditions such as anxiety, depression, and burnout. By working with a therapist, people can gain a deeper understanding of their patterns of behavior and thought, and develop a more holistic approach to managing stress.

Overall, therapy for stress can provide people with the tools and support they need to manage and reduce stress levels, and improve their overall mental and physical well-being.

Check out my Psychology Today profile for up-to-date information on my counselling services.

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

Made with the help of ChatGPT.

How to Have a Successful Book Launch Event

Angela G. Gentile, book launch for Alzheimer’s, Dementia, & Memory Loss

1. Plan well in advance: Give yourself enough time (3-4 weeks) to plan the event and invite guests.

2. Recruit a sponsor who can get more exposure for their generosity. They can pay for refreshments for example. Give them a table so they can have brochures and business cards available to your guests.

3. Choose the right venue: Select a venue that is appropriate for the type of event you want to have. Plan for about 40 people.

4. Create a guest list: Invite friends, family, media contacts, politicians, and other important people to your book launch party. Have an RSVP contact number. Follow up with your guests.

5. Consider holding a fundraiser to compliment the theme of your book. Offer to donate a portion of your sales to a charity. Take a collection. Set up an online donation page.

6. Promote the event: use social media and other marketing channels to promote your book launch party. Make posters and send them out.

7. Enlist people to: take photos, take a video, help with other tasks as needed.

8. Offer refreshments: Provide snacks and drinks for your guests to enjoy. Your sponsor can pay for this!

9. Greet people as they arrive. Let them know how much you appreciate them.

10. Prepare a presentation and tell your guests about your book. Provide a Powerpoint presentation with visuals to make it more interesting. Present some background on your book and read some passages. Let your guests know what inspired you. Aim for 20-30 minutes or so. Leave time for questions!

11. Make it interactive: Encourage guests to engage with the book’s topic by having activities or discussions related to the book’s theme.

12. Provide door prizes. Everyone likes to win something!

13. Have copies of the book available for purchase: Make sure to have copies of your book available for purchase at the event, so guests can take home a copy. Prepare to sign the books, too!

14. Prepare a small flyer as a takeaway if they aren’t ready to buy the book or want to bring back information to someone else.

15. Share your news on social media (photos, videos).

16. Thank your guests: Show your appreciation to the guests who attended your book launch party by sending thank-you notes or other small gestures.

17. Follow up with media contacts and guests after the event to thank them for attending and see if they have any feedback or opportunities for future promotion.

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

Made with the help of ChatGPT.

Dry January – Resetting My Relationship with Alcohol

Photo by ready made on

In January of 2023, I decided to go for a month without drinking alcohol. There are many reasons why people decide to go “dry” for a month at any time of the year, but I decided to start my non-alcoholic journey on January 2nd. Some may say I cheated, but I had intentionally decided my last drink was going to be on New Year’s Day. January and February, the “Dry-uary” months, are a great time to take a hiatus from poisoning our bodies with alcohol. Whether it’s going cold turkey or cutting back, any time we intentionally reduce our liquor consumption is good.

Dry January: An entire month where one abstains from drinking alcohol.

My experience was a very positive one. I had decided to take a break as I was noticing since the Covid pandemic lockdowns I was drinking more out of habit. I didn’t like how it made me feel – which was a tired feeling. It also made me want to snack more. I had developed a habit and association between alcohol and snacking on chips or cheese and crackers. The saying, “It’s five o’clock somewhere” became a daily joke.

I found myself being less productive and I wanted a reboot. As Alberta blogger Justine Celina ( said back in 2021, one of her main goals for the new year was to develop a routine that supports her well-being and ditch some of the unhealthy, pandemic-induced habits she had developed. Dry January was one of the ways she was able to work on her relationship with alcohol. Her article was inspiring.

The 30 days without alcohol was surprisingly easy for me to do. When I went out to a restaurant, I told the server I was doing a Dry January, and he brought me a delicious and refreshing “mocktail.”

Much to my surprise, during the month of January, there was a big announcement from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, funded by Health Canada, providing guidance that consuming more than two drinks per week constituted a moderate health risk due to evidence linking alcohol to cancer. What timing! This gave me even more reason to cut back on my drinking.

Self-Care 101 – Commit to a Sober Month and Reboot Your Relationship with Alcohol

I found a “Dry January 2023” Facebook Group managed by Mari Wuellner and Molly Fitterer, hosts of “Don’t Take It From Us” podcast, and they had some great prompts to get us sharing about our experiences. There were about 266 members in the group. At the end there were about a dozen women who were commenting that we were very thankful to Mari and Molly for creating and managing the group. Listen to their podcast on Dry January (language and mature content warning!) –

I could totally relate to Justine Celina’s comment, “Ditching alcohol reminded me just how focused and productive I can be, and how effectively I can manage my time!” (

I am glad I chose to start this new year on the right path. It was easy to do, especially after all the holiday festivities of dining, snacking, and drinking. Lots of people make a pact with themselves to do a reboot whether it be a New Year’s resolution or just a commitment to live the happiest and healthiest life possible in the wake of a new year. I am glad I was successful in my mission.

After this experience of being alcohol-free for a month, I am happy to say I have found myself again! I have more energy and started exercising again. I feel more productive. I feel like I am in control. Self-care is so important to me and alcohol was getting in the way. Plus, I can only guess how much money I am saving. Dining out certainly costs a lot less when there are no alcoholic drinks on the bill!

I am not sure when my next drink will be, but I sure won’t be drinking as often as I was. I feel much better having a bubbly drink made with my new SodaStream (I bought it on January 8) or a nice herbal tea. Sometimes I indulge in a Pepsi! I am also looking forward to checking out the new Sobr Market non-alcoholic beverage store in Winnipeg (

If you are thinking about doing a “dry month,” I would highly recommend it. It’s a great way to reset your relationship with alcohol and to put yourself first. And you may be pleasantly surprised!

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

Presidium Gem Tester II – Thermal Conductivity Scale and Semi-Precious Gemstones

I have a small, compact device that helps me determine the authenticity of the beads and gemstones I sell. The machine is called a Presidium Gem Tester II. It runs on electricity or battery power (2 AAs). The technique is called thermal conductivity scale (TCS) testing. The scale reads Glass at one end (left side) and Diamond/Moissainte (right side) on the other. In between glass and diamond is a number of other semiprecious gemstones, including garnet, tourmaline, iolite; chyrsoprase, emerald, nephrite (greens); tanzanite, aquamarine; quartz, amethyst, citrine; jadeite, spinel; topaz; ruth, sapphire. (The red CAL stands for calibrate.)

To help me “measure” and record a reading of the thermal conductivity of the stones, I have decided to give them values from 0 – 6 (see the arched bars on top, like a rainbow). The first arched bar on the top left I will call value 1, next to the right is 2, and so on, until we get to the far right, which is 6 for diamond/moissanite. I will test three times, and use different beads from the same strand.

Each value (1-5) will be divided into quarters. So each stone will have a reading of a whole number (e.g. aquamarine could read as 2.0), or a portion of a whole number (e.g. jadeite could read at 2.75).

I will keep this listing updated as I test new stones.

AGATE: Bamboo Leaf (matte), 2.0; Black banded agate, 2.0; Yellow Fire Crackle Agate, 1.75

(An observation about agate: When the bead is broken, it looks like a glass substance. It is very shiny.)

AMETHYST (purple quartz): 2.5

CITRINE (yellow quartz): 2.5



MOONSTONE: white with blue flash, rainbow, 0 – 0.25

QUARTZ (clear): 2.5




TIGER’S EYE: Natural matte, 2.25

Testing the stone with the Presidium isn’t the only test I do to determine authenticity. There are other ways to examine beads, too!

If you would like to see my jewelry and gifts, check out “Gentle Angel Treasures” on Facebook and Instagram (@gatreasures).

Angela G. Gentile

“Sail On” by Brent Hoag (Poem & Song) – Coping with Ambiguous Loss When a Loved One Has Dementia

Sail On by Brent Hoag

YouTube video by Marilyn Christian: Sail on by Brent Hoag Brent Hoag wrote a poem for his wife, Sally, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. The words were put to music by Songfinch and sung by Effee.

On page 92 of, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, & Memory Loss: A Helpful Guide for Caregivers, which Brent Hoag helped me with, I explain about ambiguous loss, a term coined in the 1970s by Dr. Pauline Boss. It is the unfortunate situation whereby a loved one is still alive, but “lost” at the same time. They are physically present but psychologically absent. This happens when someone is affected by a disease such as Alzheimer’s or one of the many other neurocognitive disorders. Damage to and dying parts of the brain ultimately affects one’s personality. Some caregivers find writing can help them cope with their grief. Brent Hoag wrote a poem in 2021 called “Sail On” which is dedicated to his wife Sally (see below). He then had it made into a song, then naturally a video on YouTube followed (see above).

The book, “Alzheimer’s, Dementia, & Memory Loss: A Helpful Guide for Caregivers” that I helped author Angela G. Gentile in part to write, has been well-received with a lot of positive feedback. My original poem “Sail On,” which I dedicated to my wife Sally who is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s, appears on page 93 which follows Chapter 9 that I wrote addressing humour and coping in relation to Alzheimer’s/Dementia.

For your ease of reference purposes, I am also including the original poem that I wrote that went viral across Canada, the USA, and beyond. I am so grateful to have heard back from countless people who thank me and let me know how much the poem (and now song) resonate with them. It is also great to learn that it has been disseminated/shared within the Alzheimer Society British Columbia and amongst personnel primarily at the renowned UBC Brain Health Centre. The song “Sail On” was also played at a national conference on-line discussion at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

Brent Hoag
Brent and Sally Hoag



So far from the shore

I feel like I am no more

So far from land

I am now a lost husband

I am losing you

You are going away

Like a lost horizon on a cloudy day

From the deck I will release a dove

As a sign for you the one I love

Even though you are still here

I find that you are no longer near

Because you went adrift at sea

I will never again really be me

I love you Sally wherever you are

My heart is broken because you have forever gone afar

Even though I have found the shore

The “we” and “us” are never more

Sail on my love

Sail on my love

I pray that you find my dove

That I sent to you my love

Sail on

Sail on

Until you are finally free

From the bonds of this cruel sea

I will see you one day beyond the horizon

And my heavy tears will be no more

As we join together once again

So far from the shore

Love, Brent 💙

A special thank you goes out to Brent for sharing his beautiful poem. My heart goes out to him.

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

Note: Brent says, “Feel free to share and further disseminate this.”

Book Launch and Alzheimer Society Manitoba Fundraiser

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and I am planning to launch my newest book, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, & Memory Loss: A Helpful Guide for Caregivers on Wednesday, January 25th, 2023, 7:30 – 8:30 pm, at Smitty’s, 1629 Kenaston Blvd. here in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

I hope you can make it! Seating is limited so please let me know if you plan to be there.

Please help me out and share this with anyone you feel would be interested in attending.

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW