Counselling Theory & Practice

Treatment Options for the Depressed Elderly

Because depression in older adults is so widely unrecognised, it can be difficult to comprehend just how forcefully conditions such as deteriorating health, a sense of isolation and hopelessness, and the challenge of adjusting to new life circumstances can create a “perfect storm” pushing an already-depressed person over the edge to suicide. When depression is not treated in elderly white men (in ... »

A Brief Comparison of Psychologies: Part 2

In this two-part special series we explore what different schools of psychology and counselling modalities tell us about how to help change happen. For the purpose of the series, we’ve divided the world of psychological therapies into 4 main classes: Cognitive and/or behavioural; Psychoanalysis/ psychodynamic/ analytical; Humanistic and; Transpersonal. In Part 1 we explored Cognitive and/or behavi... »

A Brief Comparison of Psychologies: Part 1

In this two-part special series we explore what different schools of psychology and counselling modalities tell us about how to help change happen. For the purpose of the series, we’ve divided the world of psychological therapies into 4 main classes: Cognitive and/or behavioural; Psychoanalysis/ psychodynamic/ analytical; Humanistic and; Transpersonal. In Part 1 we explore Cognitive and/or behavio... »

Psychotherapy vs. CBT for Chronic Pain

Pain can have a profound social and psychological impact on those who suffer from it, and also those who care for them. What can you as a counsellor, psychotherapist, or psychologist do for such a client? While “talk therapy” admittedly does not always have the same quick response time as, say, painkilling medication, it can be hugely effective in helping the chronic pain client to come to a place... »

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 First Aid?

Imagine for a moment that you are a survivor of a powerful cyclone. Let’s say that you and all your loved ones managed to get out safely, but you arrived at the community shelter with only a backpack each of essential medicines, basic documents (such as your birth certificate and passport), and a few precious photos. There was not time to grab more. After the winds receded and you were allowed to ... »

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

Acceptance and commitment therapy (usually pronounced as the word “act” rather than the initials “A-C-T”) is a form of clinical behavioural analysis developed in 1986 by psychologists Steven Hayes, Kelly Wilson, and Kirk Strosahl. Originally called comprehensive distancing, it gets its current name from one of its core messages: the injunction to accept what is out of one’s personal control and co... »

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 ... »

Psychological Treatments for Chronic Pain

Pain can have a profound social and psychological impact on those who suffer from it, and also those who care for them. Some of the psychosocial consequences of living with chronic pain include the tendency for sufferers to become dependent on medication and over-reliant on their families and other caregivers. Those in search of a solution to long-term pain can be inappropriate in their repeated u... »

What Does Resilience Look Like?

As a counsellor or other mental health professional, of course you help your clients deal with difficult life events when they come to your therapy rooms. But how do you boost their capacity to prevail over adversity when they are not with you?Most of the time when mental health professionals talk about resilience, they are referring to psychological hardiness, primarily, and physical toughnes... »

What is mindfulness, and what is it not?

Although only recently embraced by Western psychology, mindfulness practices and techniques have been part of many Eastern philosophies, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Tai Chi, Hinduism, and most martial arts, for thousands of years. The various definitions of it revolve around bringing non-judgmental consciousness to the present experience, so it can be considered the art of conscious living. This ar... »

Treating Substance Addiction

Treating any type of substance abuse and substance addiction is challenging because they both have so many dimensions and they both disrupt so many aspects of the individual's life. Effective treatment programs typically incorporate many components, each directed to a particular aspect of the condition and its consequences. Ultimately, treatments aspire to help the individual stop using substances... »

Treating NPD in the Therapy Room

Benjamin (1996) asserted that therapy interventions for narcissism could be evaluated in terms of five categories of correct response: whether or not the intervention enhanced collaboration, facilitated learning about patterns, blocked maladaptive patterns, strengthened the will to give up maladaptive patterns, or facilitated new learning. In this article, we take each in turn. »

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