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.

Social Anxiety Disorder: The Core Patterns and Symptoms

Said to be the most common of the anxiety disorders, impacting people from all walks of life, SAD is estimated to affect tens of millions of people worldwide. Of course, nearly everyone experiences occasional anxiety in certain social settings or at some social events. Were we never to own moments of awkwardness, embarrassment, or a sense of being inhibited in public, we might have a disorder of a different type! The question for diagnosing SAD is: how extreme must the fear and stress in social situations be and how severely do such situations need to impact on a person’s life before the person is considered to suffer from SAD? »

Counselling and the Brain: Five Major Processes

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). »

Treating Anxiety with CBT: The Evidence

Generally considered a short-term therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) often consists of about 8 to 12 sessions in which client and therapist work collaboratively to identify problem thoughts and behaviours (click here to learn more about CBT’s principles and practices). CBT is considered the gold standard in the psychotherapeutic treatment of anxiety disorders and several meta-analyses (i.e., studies reviewing the results of multiple studies) have been published in recent years regarding the efficacy and effectiveness of CBT for anxiety (Stewart & Chambless, 2009; Hoffman & Smits, 2008; Norton & Price, 2007). »

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 mental health professions. We can broadly define it as a combination of cognitive and behavioural therapeutic approaches used to help clients modify limiting, maladaptive thoughts and behaviours, ones that are often inconsistent with consensual reality (Beck, Rush, Shaw, & Emery, 1979). The basic premise of CBT is that emotions are difficult to change directly, so CBT targets emotions by changing the thoughts and behaviours that are contributing to the distressing emotions. »

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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...

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...

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 ...

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...