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.

Prevalence, Incidence, and Risk Factors for ASD and PTSD

In a previous article, we explored the definition of trauma, and reviewed the DSM-V diagnostic criteria for two trauma-related mental health disorders: acute stress disorder (ASD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The answer to how many people in a given population have AST or PTSD is not straightforward, as it should be considered in the context of how many potentially traumatic events (PTEs) people are exposed to in the general community. Countries in prolonged conflict or who are prone to natural disasters (flooding or hurricanes, for example) may have higher exposure rates to potentially traumatic events and thus a higher per-capita ratio of PTSD in the general population than countries with fewer PTEs occurring. The ratio of PTSD-to-PTE may not be higher, however, than countri... »

Trauma, ASD and PTSD

What is “trauma”? The word seems to be used inconsistently in the mental health field, sometimes referring to an adverse event and sometimes describing the psychological injury sustained from experiencing such an event. “Trauma” comes from the Greek word for “wound, hurt, or defeat”; before 1700 it was used to mean a physical injury, the sense in which many medical practitioners today use the word. The sense of a “psychic wound, [an] unpleasant experience which causes abnormal stress” has been in use from around 1900 (Harper, 2015) and is more aligned with the counselling and psychology sense. In this article, we will refer to trauma not as an event, but as the psychological injury which results from experience of the adverse event. »

Loss and Grief: Why We All Grieve Differently

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 loss of limbs through accident to loss of a car or other possessions through theft. Surely the most painful loss is that of someone we love through death. Loss is an emotional wound, and like physical wounds, requires time to heal: not just a few days or weeks, but months rolling into years. The process of grieving, or mourning, allows people to come to terms with their loss. This does not mean that the person who died is forgotten, but that those left behind come to accept that the person is no longer around. »

Self-help Strategies for OCD and OCPD

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) are said to affect two to three percent of the population for OCD (that is: more than 500,000 Australians) and one percent for OCPD, although three to ten percent of the psychiatric population is said to have it (Long, 2011). Many cases probably go untreated. As a therapist, what can you give to obsessive clients and their families to encourage personal initiative toward conquering symptoms? That is the focus of this art »

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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...

MBCT: A Look at the Mechanisms of Action

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a psychological therapy designed to help prevent the relapse of depression, especially for those individuals who have Major Depressive Disorder (the principal type of depressive disorder defined by the DS...

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 ...