Featured in this month’s Spotlight is Dr. Timothy Paré, Registered Psychologist. A local to Fairfield, he has been practicing for over 30 years.
1) What brought you to psychology?
Well two things come to mind. First, in my final year of high school in Montreal, psychology was being offered as a course for the first time. In the twelve years of schooling I had been through thus far, psychology was, in my opinion, by far the most interesting and engaging subject! Secondly, I am from a family of nine children and almost all of us were drawn to the helping profession. My father was a Lung Specialist, two siblings are social workers, three of us are psychotherapists, one is a professor of psychology, one is a medical doctor, one is a professor of English and the youngest is a comedian! In the end, the youngest may have been helpful to more people than the rest of us!!
2) Do you have any areas of special interest in your field?
Recently I have been fascinated by how evolutionary psychology is relevant to our well being and psyche. We are finely tuned beings that have adapted to our environment for millions of years. One of these “adaptations” was the development of what we call the Reptilian, or Old Brain, which we still carry around with us, mostly it seems, to our detriment. The Old Brain is the source of fear, which acts as an emotion that directs us away from danger. Unfortunately, fear leads to anxiety and anger, which are very ineffective ways to solve life’s modern challenges. If we can face our fears and reinterpret them as unhelpful ways to address problems, we can overcome them and make more effective choices. It would appear, we need to move from “avoidance” as the solution to an “approach/bring it on” strategy to overcome obstacles.
3) Do you enjoy working in Fairfield?
My wife, Lisa, and I moved to Fairfield a year and a half ago and we still marvel over how ideal the location is for us. When I joined the Team here at Moss Street Healthcare and realized I could now walk to work in Fairfield, I was thrilled.
4) Where is the most favourite place you’ve traveled?
I think I would have to say that my most enjoyable experience travelling was when I trekked the Annapurna circuit in Nepal in my early thirties. The combination of the spectacular mountain scenery and getting a physical workout every day was a winning combination.
5) What have you learned from your patients?
Many things. One thing is that we all struggle with very similar challenges; a deep sense of incompleteness, a craving/desire for wholeness, a fear of not getting approval or fitting in, and physical pain and discomfort, to name a few. I have also learned that everyone has wisdom and that if we “listen” to our own wisdom we can move forward and grow personally.
6) How do you like to spend your time outside of Moss Healthcare?
Mostly playing tennis and guitar! I also have a sailboat that is both highly satisfying at times and an albatross around my neck!!
7) What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned for yourself as a psychologist?
I would say that as a psychologist I have learned that to help people relieve their suffering it is essential to respect their worldview and choices and to believe that they themselves have the resources within them to solve their difficulties. My role in helping, I have learned, is to be more of a companion on this difficult journey, rather than a guide.
8) What is the one wish you have for all your patients?
I wish them the courage to face their fears and to move through them, where, beyond fear, they can experience the wonder and joy of all that life has to offer.