Counselling Process

Revisiting Subpersonalities for Internal Conflict

Peter is 32, with a wife and three young children. Living in a medium-sized town in Western Australia, Peter has had jobs in the field of social work since gaining his social work degree in Perth. He has a sensitive personality and has always found some aspects of the work difficult to face emotionally, but in the last year or two, the reality of this work has just been too much for him. Peter rea... »

Building Shame Resilience in Clients

Jungian analysts have called it the “swampland of the soul”. Other psychotherapy writers have observed how it originally served to keep us safe; the tendency to shame has been a universal one in which our desire to hide our flaws from others has saved us from being kicked out of the group (the society), which evolutionarily would have meant death (Sholl, 2013). So which is it? Is shame totally pat... »

Working with the Highly Sensitive Client

Your client fidgets as she tries to explain what’s bothering her, and why she has come to see you. “It’s not that I don’t like my job,” she says hesitantly. “Facilitating groups is fun, but I’m doing it so many days a week, I just feel overwhelmed!” And it’s not just her work. “In my relationship,” she continues, “I’m distressed, because during the upcoming holiday season, we are supposed to go to... »

Counselling Parents: The Early Stages

The counselling of parents, like most counselling and many other endeavours, is likely to be heavily influenced by what happens in the early stages. If parents come to you and feel welcomed, respected, and understood, they are more likely to open up with the vital information that will enable you to help their children change challenging or harmful behaviours. If in addition, you are able to conve... »

Helping Clients Develop Healthier Dietary Habits

Nutrition author Adel Davis used to claim, “You are what you eat” (Davis, 1970). Beyond diet, we “are” to some extent also how we exercise, how we sleep, and how we interact with our environment. That is because these are all variables which ultimately determine the condition of our physical self, which greatly impacts our capacity to express ourselves on other levels of being. In this article we ... »

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 practitioner is asking or intends to convey (Rosengren, 2009). In this article, we explore five ways in which practitioners may inadvertently build resista... »

Psychoeducation: Definition, Goals and Methods

Psychoeducation has been termed the combining of “the empowerment of the affected” with “scientifically-founded treatment expertise” in as efficient a manner as possible (Bauml, Frobose, Kraemer, Rentrop, & Pitschel-Walz, 2006/2014). A common understanding is that psychoeducation “refers to the education offered to people with a mental health condition” (Wikipedia, 2014). More broadly, it is also ... »

Working with Clients with Intellectual Disability

Are you as a mental health professional aware of the needs of clients with intellectual disabilities? Do you know what generally constitutes “impairment”, “disability”, or “activity limitation”? Would you be aware of special considerations or needs that such a client might have in a counselling context? »

The Benefits of Mindfulness Practice

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. Controlled trials of normal populations have also demonstrated positive changes in brain function and immune response, self-awareness, perceived stress, and increase in self-compassion (Shapiro, Astin,... »

Classical Bases of Transference Love

This article seeks to examine the characteristics of the psychoanalytic transference. It asks the question: “What are some key links between the transference and love?” The first section traces Freud’s developing ideas on the topic of the transference love. This is in order to seek evidence as to how the transference love might be grounded. Since transference love is a known characteristic of the ... »

What is Psychological Shadow?

Fittingly, the psychological phenomenon called shadow is so – well, shadowy – that even the best definitions of it are often by default: we define what shadow is not in order to get a sense of what it may be because, being shadow, it is difficult to look at directly. So here goes a try. “Shadow”, meaning our psychological or personal shadow, is comprised of those qualities, impulses, and emotions ... »

The 16PF Personality Questionnaire

The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) is a multiple-choice, comprehensive measure of normal range personality found to be effective in a variety of settings where an in-depth assessment of the whole person is needed. Developed over several decades, Raymond Cattell began to work on it in the 1920s when he shifted from the physical sciences to psychology and was shocked at the lack of ... »

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. »

The Micro-skills of Non-verbal Language

The American National Science Foundation discovered that we form an impression of someone in just three seconds (personal communication, 1984). Social scientists also claim that at least 80 per cent of our communication takes place on the non-verbal level (Young, 2005), with only 7 percent of emotion being conveyed by verbal means. Of the rest, 38 per cent is conveyed by voice, and 55 per cent by ... »

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