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.

User-friendly Therapeutic Strategies for Intellectual Disability

What can a therapist do in session to make any therapy more intellectually attainable, or user-friendly, to someone who has at least cognitive limitations, but who also may be struggling with communicative deficits, sensory impairment, and/or psychological conditions? Morasky (2007) proposes a series of dimensions along which strategies can be evolved to adapt counselling and therapy (and he says, also vocational and life skills instruction) for persons with intellectual disability. The adaptations revolve around the central question: what makes an intellectual activity difficult? He discusses four parameters which commonly impact intellectual tasks: speed, number, abstraction, and complexity. In this article, we look at them in turn. »

Principles and techniques of Motivational Interviewing

If you have even a small track record of helping people change, you are familiar with the dynamics regarding change: client presents with problem (often precipitated by a crisis), becomes aware of compelling reasons to adopt a healthier lifestyle or cease harmful behaviours, and then hems and haws, straddling the fence with incomprehensible ambivalence. Persuading the client with logic, browbeating them by outlining dire consequences if behaviour is not immediately changed, pulling rank as “the expert”, or even describing in glowing terms the wonderful life they can have if they adopt the good advice often come – frustratingly and bewilderingly – to nothing. Some of these strategies, in fact, have the opposite effect, building resistance and/or undermining the therapeutic relationship w... »

Interpersonal Therapy: History and Theoretical Background

Interpersonal psychotherapy has been defined as a time-limited, dynamically-informed psychotherapy which aims to alleviate clients’ suffering while improving their interpersonal functioning. It is concerned with the interpersonal context: the relational factors that predispose, precipitate, and perpetuate the client’s distress. It is widely, but not exclusively, used to treat mood disorders. Rather than examine internal cognitions, as the other empirically-based intervention for mood disorders – Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy – does, IPT focuses specifically on interpersonal relationships, with the goal of assisting clients to either improve their relationships or else change their expectations about them. Moreover, IPT helps clients to build up their social supports so that they can manage... »

Hard-wired to connect: Mirror neurons and empathy

Many people have suspected for a long time that we human beings are designed to be able to experience things happening for another person: in good times or in bad. So we see a stranger clumsily bump their head on a low-hanging branch at the park, and we flinch, too. We hear that a friend has gotten some good news about a medical diagnosis, and we are genuinely happier. Yet although we have suspected this – and even have words, such as empathy and clairsentience, to describe it – it was not until 1992 that science could demonstrate how it happens, and even then it was a serendipitous discovery. »

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A Case Using Brief Psychodynamic Therapy

Wendy is a 54 year old woman who has two adult children and has been married for twenty-nine years. Her husband, Steve, has recently and unexpectedly informed her that he no longer loves her and that he wants a divorce. Wendy was shocked to hear this...

Suicide: Warning Signs and Prevention Tips

Because most people who die by suicide give warning signals of their intentions, the best way to help prevent suicide is to learn how to recognise – and then respond to – those signs. It may be helpful to think of a continuum, at one end of which is ...

Motivational Interviewing and Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older (18 percent of the U.S. population) (ADAA, 2014). The percentage is similar in Australia, with 14.4 percent of Australians being a...

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...