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.

Challenges of Single-parent Families Due to Death or Separation

In this article we will explore challenges faced by single-parent families due to death or separation. But before we dive into this subject, we encourage you to explore a little background information that will set the tone for the series. First, we recommend you read the article Trends and Statistics of the Contemporary Family to understand some of the emergent trends and statistical truths about the “modern family unit”. After you have read this article, return to this section as we explore another background concept for the series: the functions of the family. »

Six Principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Six basic principles form the foundation of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. They work in conjunction with one another toward the main goals of effectively handling painful thoughts and experiences and creating a rich, vital life. The principles are: Cognitive defusion Expansion and acceptance Contact and connection with the present moment The Observing Self Values clarification Committed action (Harris, 2006; Harris, 2007) We take a brief look now at what they entail. Principle 1: Cognitive defusion This skill is about learning to perceive thoughts, images, memories and other cognitions for what they are – nothing more than bits of language and images – rather than what they often appear to be: threatening events, rules that must be obeyed, or objective truths and facts. The opposite ps... »

Transpersonal therapy: What is it?

Most Western models of health deal extensively with physical, social/emotional, and mental levels of health. When they talk about maximising a person’s potential, it is normally within a context such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1962), which – in stating that the highest level of the nested hierarchy is “self-actualisation” – takes one to the threshold of the transpersonal, but not into it. Transpersonal therapy, conversely, can be thought of as an open-ended effort to help clients expand their awareness and grow beyond the limits implied by the Western models. The transpersonal is a phenomenon or experience “in which the sense of identity or self extends beyond (‘trans’) the individual or personal to encompass wider aspects of humankind, life, psyche or cosmos” (Walsh &... »

Mindfulness Skills and Techniques

In a previous article we explored how mindfulness interventions have been shown to be beneficial for a wide range of psychological and physical conditions such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, personality disorders, and addictions. It would be hard not to want the many benefits of mindfulness practice – yet while the concept is simple; the practice is not always easy. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) divides mindfulness into four psychological skills. In this article, we look at these and some of the techniques which utilise them to bring therapists into a more fully present, aware, mindful state. The skills Defusion. This is defined as distancing from and letting go of unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, memories and other cognitions. Acceptance. Mindfulness practitioners realise tha... »

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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...

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 lim...

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...