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 Families with a Parent Working Away from Home Base

For modern Australian families there is another dimension of challenge that sits just outside the framework of what used to be considered “normal”. Much has been said about the mining boom and the advantages that it has brought to this country’s economy in what are generally troubled economic times globally. Similarly, few Australians would argue about the necessity for Defence Force personnel to continue their commitments around the globe to preserve order, help stabilise and re-build war-torn countries, and complete other humanitarian missions. Yet families whose parents are in either the mining or defence industries – or other industries to a lesser degree – experience strong impacts from the effects of one parent being away for major periods of time. Defence personnel are referred t... »

Family Issues When There is Disability, Illness, or Serious Injury

Have you ever experienced anyone in your family becoming seriously ill or disabled? Chances are that it was a difficult time for you. When a family member is stricken with a physical injury, illness or disability, the ramifications of that change go far beyond the physical, often causing deep-level re-alignment of membership roles, responsibilities, and expectations as the family deals with the present while attempting to adapt to a very different future than the one they had envisioned. »

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy in Practice

There are four primary modes of treatment, or elements, in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy: (1) Therapist consultation groups; (2) Individual therapy; (3) Telephone contact/crisis coaching and; (4) Group skills training (Mind, 2013). Not all DBT programs carry all four modes of treatment. When they do, the various modes can be described as follows. Therapist consultation groups: An essential aspect of the therapy is that therapists, who usually work in teams rather than independently, receive DBT from each other. Working with people who have suicidal ideas and are self-harming can be very stressful, so the members of the group undertake to keep each other in DBT mode: being dialectical with one another and avoiding pejorative descriptions of either client or therapist behaviour. »

Challenges of Families Who Experience Domestic Violence

There is no way around it; all four functions of a family are put at risk in the sad situation of family violence, and to a large degree the risk factors are interrelated. Focusing first on Function One, family formation and membership, we can comprehend how the pervasiveness of family violence in Australia (which is a microcosm of the global picture) hugely distorts the capacity of the family to function positively as a “first tribe”, or initial place of experiencing membership for children. When there is domestic violence, there are issues of power and control. When family violence is so pervasive that a woman is physically abused by her husband every nine seconds, as in the United States (Commonwealth Fund, 1993), the question arises as to how well the family unit can function. »

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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...

Motivational interviewing: The definitions, the spirit, and what it is not

The initial description of motivational interviewing (MI), provided by William Miller in 1983, has evolved through both clinical experience and empirical research into the evidence-based practice it is known as today. Differing from more “coercive” m...

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...