Q&A With Dr. Jack Muskat, Psychologist

Jack Muskat, Ph.D., is a Toronto based organizational psychologist, writer and lecturer with over twenty years consulting and business experience with individuals and organizations. He joins the Simcoe Place Health Clinic team as our resident psychologist. To book an appointment with Dr. Muskat, please call our clinic at 416.599.9000 or book online.

Welcome to Simcoe Place Health Clinic! We’re so glad to have you on the team, Jack. What has your experience been like so far?

So far, I’ve been very impressed by the team at SPHC. Everyone recognizes how important a collaborative team approach is when it comes to health care. If we have a client who needs a massage, a physiotherapy treatment and a psychology session, having all the practitioners in one place means clients can work on their mind and body at the same time.

You’ll be SPHC’s first psychologist. What is psychology all about?

Psychology gives us insight and tools to better understand and cope with life’s challenges. It’s about developing strategies for finding balance, perspective and making decisions.

Working with a psychologist is about sharing our concerns and finding ways to change and grow. In day to day life, we often don’t have someone we can really talk to. Being able to speak to a professional with specialized training in dealing for an hour on a regular basis helps us cope with whatever we may be facing.

Why should someone see a psychologist?

If you have a problem you can’t seem to find a solution to, seeing a psychologist can help. Maybe you need a new perspective. Maybe you feel stuck. Or maybe you just need confirmation on a big life decision you are facing. Often times, just having an objective person to talk to can make all the difference.

I like to think of psychology as “insight and action” – a good psychologist can help you find another way to look at your problem and will work with you to develop solutions.

You also specialize in organizational psychology. What trends are you seeing in today’s workplaces?

We live in a time where people are required to do more with less and stress levels are out of control. Whether you’re just starting your career and struggling with too much responsibility and not enough direction, or you’re in an older generation struggling with technological change, the expectations on everyone are extremely high.

In organizations this is leading to burn out, stress leave and low morale. In fact, 40% of disability short-term disability claims are for depression and anxiety.

The good news is it’s not all doom and gloom. Companies are starting to see the value of workplace wellness programs and are embracing strategies for supporting employee mental health. Whether it’s management training or executive coaching, more and more organizations are investing in the health of their employees.

As an individual or a company, how do you know when you need to seek professional services and aren’t just having a bad day or a bad quarter?

For individuals, if you feel stuck, irritable or anxious, or are feeling depressed and unable to cope with life’s everyday challenges, it’s likely a good time to reach out.

In the workplace, a stressed out team, low trust and high turnover are key indicators something isn’t right.

It’s important to remember that for both individuals and organizations, it’s in everyone’s best interest to invest in mental health and wellbeing.

People are often nervous about seeing a psychologist because of the stigma that comes with it. What would you say to someone who wasn’t sure about seeking support?

You would be surprised how many “normal” people seek help from time to time. Life is incredibly complicated and we all could benefit from professional assistance when we are unable to cope and when we face big decisions. In fact, there is less stigma today, which is a good sign.

Finally, the quality of the relationship you establish with your therapist is key to success. A good psychologist is a non-judgmental, accepting person with strong listening skills and a commitment to your well-being. Like any other health practitioner, we’re here to help you reach your best health.


To book an appointment with Dr. Muskat, click here.

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