Welcome to the AIPC Online Article Library. The library includes over 200 articles focusing on counselling, life coping skills and mental health. We invite you to explore our range of articles by clicking the category links above, or using the drop-down menu on your right. To learn more about AIPC, visit www.aipc.edu.au.

Counselling and the Neurobiology of Personal Experience

The research in neuroscience is highly supportive of counselling’s emphasis on deep listening, empathic understanding, strength building, and wellness (Ivey, Ivey, Zalaquett, & Quirk, 2011). Counselling is shown to change the organisation of the brain: a learning process as the brain responds to stimuli and creates neural pathways to accommodate new information (Ivey, 2009). “Information” includes experiences, actions, thoughts, and cues: both those emanating from within ourselves and those from others and most especially including those stimuli arising within the therapeutic relationship. As John Ratey (2008, in Sullivan, 2012) said, “Experiences, thoughts, actions and emotions actually change the structure of our brains” (emphasis added). In this article, we review five key processes ... »

Creative Therapies and Intellectual Disability

There is wide agreement among writers on issues of intellectual disability that there isn’t much agreement on the effectiveness of counselling and psychotherapy with clients who have intellectual disability; the state of the art is “controversial” (Prout, Chard, Nowak-Drabik, & Johnson, 2000; Bhaumik, et al, 2011; WWILD, 2012). Prout et al cited historical reviews of Eysenck (1965) and Levitt (1971, both in Prout et al, 2000) which concluded that treatment with psychotherapy yielded no or minimal benefits when compared to untreated individuals. Several years later, the meta-analysis of Smith and Glass (1977/1983) yielded the opposite conclusion, pointing to the general effectiveness of psychotherapy. None of these reviews, however, addressed the specific question of effectiveness with ... »

Grief and the Four Tasks of Mourning

Grief is the universal, instinctual and adaptive reaction to loss, and particularly, the loss of a loved one (Dialogues in clinical neuroscience, 2012). It is a natural response and can be anything from missing out on a scholarship to the loss of limbs through an accident to loss of a car or other possessions through theft. Surely the most painful loss is that of someone we love through death. Loss is an emotional wound, and like physical wounds, requires time to heal: not just a few days or weeks, but months rolling into years. The process of grieving, or mourning, allows people to come to terms with their loss. This does not mean that the person who died is forgotten, but that those left behind come to accept that the person is no longer around. Grieving has as many forms as there ... »

Psychoeducation: Definition, Goals and Methods

Psychoeducation has been termed the combining of “the empowerment of the affected” with “scientifically-founded treatment expertise” in as efficient a manner as possible (Bauml, Frobose, Kraemer, Rentrop, & Pitschel-Walz, 2006/2014). A common understanding is that psychoeducation “refers to the education offered to people with a mental health condition” (Wikipedia, 2014). More broadly, it is also referred to as “an important component of any psychotherapy program as well as any visit you have to the doctor. . . . [It] is education about a certain situation or condition that causes psychological stress” (myVMC, 2014). »

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Case Study: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Marian, a psychologist who specialised in anxiety disorders, closed the file and put it into the filing cabinet with a smile on her face. This time she had the satisfaction of filing it into the “Work Completed” files, for she had just today celebrat...

The Opening Micro-skills

“First impressions stick.” “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” If there is any truth in these two popular notions, then anyone working with a helpee (e.g. a therapy client, a friend, a family member, etc.) within the context o...

What is CBT? Principles and Practices

If you are a mental health helper of almost any stripe: social worker, counsellor, psychologist, psychotherapist, or even psychiatrist, it would be surprising for you not to have heard of CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), such is its fame in the men...

Fostering Resilience: In-session boosters to help clients bounce back

Suppose someone asks you, a mental health practitioner, “What is the most important thing you do as a counsellor (psychotherapist/psychologist/social worker) for your clients?” Your response might go along the lines of “helping them sort out their pr...