Life Coping Skills

Social Support Development Skills

The saying that “no man is an island” seems not truer anywhere than in the realm of resilience. Happiness author and business coach Alvah Parker lists ten traits of resilient, happy people. In the very first one she notes that resilient people “are strong people who realize the importance of having a good social support system and are able to surround themselves with supportive friends and family”... »

Optimism Skills and Resilience

Do you tend to look on the bright side of things? More importantly for your clinical work (if you are a counsellor, psychologist or social worker): do your clients? It used to be deemed generally irrelevant whether someone tended to see the glass “half-full” or “half-empty”, but the work of Martin Seligman in recent decades has shown that optimists have an advantage in the game of surviving and th... »

Counselling Strategies for Dealing with the Lonely Client

In part 1 of this 2-part series, we explored the symptoms, causes and effects of loneliness. In this continued article, we’ll discuss various counselling strategies for dealing with the lonely client and provide you with guidelines to maintaining appropriate professional boundaries. »

Symptoms, Causes and Effects of Loneliness

According to Murphy and Kupschik (1992), loneliness is defined as a state in which a person describes experiencing an overwhelming sense of inner emptiness and social isolation. It is, therefore, an emotional state. Loneliness is more than a person feeling that they want to be able to connect on a social level with others – but rather it is a perceived sense of disconnection, rejection and alienat... »

Fundamentals of Stress and Anxiety

Although never quite adequately defined, vague generalisations such as “stress and tension are normal reactions to events that threaten us” are used to describe it. Such threats can come from accidents, financial troubles and problems on the job or with family and through our emotional and physical reactions to the given situations, we become what is termed ‘stressed’. Not that long ago, the terms... »

Six Anger Management Strategies for Clients

“Kassinove and Sukhodolsky (1995) defined anger as a felt emotional state. This private state varies in intensity and duration, as well as frequency, and is associated with cognitive distortions, verbal and motor behaviours, and patterns of physical arousal. Although anger may emerge spontaneously, another person is typically seen as the cause of anger. And it usually includes a perception of blam... »

Counselling Techniques to Reduce Stress

How do we cope with stress? There are literally thousands of books, articles and websites that cover stress and stress management. However, the ancient and natural ways are probably still the best ways towards peace and serenity. The old adage, ‘prevention is better than cure’ is certainly true for stress management. Below are three counselling techniques counsellors can utilise with clients: »

Coping with the Death of a Loved One

Losing someone you love can be like losing one half of yourself.  The pain and emptiness felt during the grieving process can go on for months or years, however no two people will ever respond to the same situation in the same way.  Working through grief is a day by day, week by week process.  You may have bad days when you think you will never recover from this loss.  You may also think that you ... »

Six Options for Building Healthy Self Esteem

In a previous article you looked at the various factors that influence your self esteem and determine why some people have high self esteem and others low self esteem. You saw that your nature, nurture, locus of evaluation and self talk all contributed to creating your self image. Knowing why you feel the way you do about yourself may empower you take some steps to change your unfavourable self co... »

Work-Life Balance: Ways to Restore Harmony

According to the Australian National Occupational Health and Safety Commission Report, December 2003, high stress levels lead to thousands of stress-related WorkCover claims every year. Cases of mental stress had by far the highest median (8.5 weeks) and average (16 weeks) time lost, and accounted for 29% of all new cases of disease. This is way above the median of 3.4 weeks lost and average of 9.... »

Coping with Stress

Stress is a term used to describe a pattern of physiological responses which are directed to specific events in our lives. It is also a term that has fallen into fashion in recent years, particularly when referring stress to the context of work, productivity and health. »

Burnout and Self-Care Strategies

Self-care is an intrinsic, continuous and highly important activity performed by any professional, particularly those involved in health care. Also called the 'inner therapy', this practice aims to ensure that both mental and physical health of the professional is in good shape. So why is self-care for Counsellors important? Essentially, Counsellors have a clear responsibility: their clients. If a... »

Coping with Relationship Breakdown

Conflict is a normal part of being emotionally attached. But sometimes, conflict in a relationship can be overwhelming and a huge challenge to the parties involved, plus a cause of concern to close family and friends. And despite the inexistence of an antidote or prevention method that can effectively tackle all side effects of a relationship breakdown; there are strategies which can help manage i... »

Coping with Infidelity

What exactly defines infidelity? Most of us believe that infidelity is the act of intercourse occurring with an external person outside a relationship. Interestingly, feelings of hurt and betrayal can be equally intense on discovering that your partner has been having secret regular coffee dates with a work colleague. People Magazine asked readers to define an extra-marital affair, with this resul... »

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