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.

Fixed vs Growth Mindsets

Nearly four decades of research has shown that intelligence is not fixed as scientists used to think; rather, people can develop their brains like a muscle if they put in the effort. People who do that – persisting despite obstacles – can be said to have a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset and they enjoy significantly more success than their fixed-minded peers. In this article, we define and compare these two kinds of mindsets, and outline the benefits of developing a growth mindset. »

Loss and the Chronic or Terminally Ill

Australians, like Americans and their other Western counterparts, are living longer but suffering more chronic diseases. While the Australian boy born today can expect to live to 79.9 years and the Australian girl to 84 (the American statistic is similar), the odds are that they will be plagued by chronic illness, which will eventually kill them. Eighty percent of deaths in the United States now occur among persons age 65 years and older (Lyness, 2004). The majority of deaths occur in the context of chronic illness associated with functional decline. For example, at the time of death, 75 percent are unable to walk, 33 percent are incontinent, and 40 percent are cognitively impaired (Sullivan, 2003). In Australia, about 20 percent have more than one chronic condition (ABC News, 2014), and c... »

Counselling the Terminally Ill: Anxiety and Spirituality

For all the prevalence of chronic illness-becoming-terminal, clinicians note that few resources are available which address grief and loss in a chronic illness context. Moreover, numerous studies have shown that counsellors are uncomfortable dealing with grief- and loss-related concerns, particularly loss related to death. This article entertains the question of what philosophical or spiritual preparation mental health helpers need in order to counsel someone who is chronically ill or dying, or that person’s caregiver. »

Trauma: The Therapeutic Window

If you had to endure a traumatic event – say, dangerous flooding, an out-of-control bushfire, or being caught up in terrorism – would you want to talk about your experiences later? Would you believe that it would help you to heal from them if you did? Early models for treating trauma asked clients to do this, insisting that the cure was in the retelling. Just around the millennium, however, research began to show that, while some people were helped by going over the trauma again with a counsellor or other “de-briefer”, many others’ trauma symptoms were exacerbated by the insistence on going over the event (van der Kolk & McFarlane, 1996; Rothschild, 2000). »

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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...

Traps for the Unwary: Ways Practitioners Build Resistance in Clients

Most practitioners would be shocked to hear it, but without realising it, many build resistance in clients – lowering their capacity to engage – through protocols and habits which communicate something very different to the client than what the pract...

Lifestyle, Neurotransmitters and the Brain

Dr Matthew Bambling (2014) approaches the question of why (how?) nutrition might affect our brains by noting that nutrients serve numerous functions, such as energy metabolism, maintenance of healthy mood, protection and growth of neural structures, ...

Balance and Stress Management

The world’s religions, most scientific literature (Treadway, 1998), and most cultures’ traditions of common sense and wisdom agree: as human beings, we need balance. That is, we most capably give ourselves an antidote to the stresses of life if we ha...