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Editor: Sandra Poletto

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Copyright: 2012 Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors

Welcome to Edition 124 of Institute Inbrief. This edition's featured article explores the history, definition, goals and models of group therapy.
Also in this edition:
-      Introduction to Telephone Counselling
-      Professional Development news
-      Blog and Twitter updates
-      Upcoming seminar dates
If you would like to access daily articles & resources, and interact with over 2700 peers, make sure you join our Facebook community today: It is a great way to stay in touch and share your knowledge in counselling.

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AIPC Is Determined To Make Counselling An Attainable Career For You, Just Like Over 55,000 Other Students In The Past 19 Years
We have helped over 55,000 people from 27 countries pursue their dream of assisting others with a recognised Counselling qualification.
It's been a wonderful journey over the last 19 years (the Institute was first established in 1990). And it's been a pleasure to assist so many people realise their counselling aspirations in that time.
Why are so many people delighted with their studies? Our research over the years highlights three keys points...
  1. Our courses and personnel have just ONE specific focus... Excellence in Counselling Education. We live and breathe counselling education! Nothing else gets in the way.
  1. Exceptional value in your education investment. Our courses are always (always) much less than other providers that deliver counselling education. Our unique focus on counselling education, the large number of students undertaking our programs, and the creative way we deliver our courses provide us with cost savings that we pass on to you.
  1. The flexibility to study where, when and how you want to. You can study Externally, In-Class, On-Line or any combination. And you can undertake your studies at a pace that suits you... 12 to 18 months or over 2, 3 even 4 years or more. You decide because you are in charge.
We understand that no two people have the same circumstances. You no doubt have issues affecting your life that are unique to you and affect the speed and manner you'd like to study. You may be working full or part-time, undertaking other studies, or may not have studied for a long time.
Let's face it, life is not predictable and in today's fast paced society it's important that your education is flexible enough to fit in with your other obligations. AIPC provides you with flexible course delivery modes so YOU set the rules for how and when you learn.
Want to find out more? Visit today!
Learn How You Can Gain Specialty Expertise And A Graduate Qualification With A Vocational Graduate Certificate Or Vocational Graduate Diploma In Counselling...
...In Only 6 to 12 Months
More and more Counsellors are gaining advanced specialist skills with a Vocational Graduate qualification. Vocational Graduate qualifications provide a higher level, vocational alternative to traditional Post Graduate courses offered by Universities.
It's time and cost effective, meaning you can gain a formal graduate qualification in 6 to 12 months in your specialist area. Here's how a graduate qualification can advance your career:
-      Develop a deeper understanding of your area of interest and achieve more optimal outcomes with your clients.
-      A graduate qualification will assist you move up the corporate ladder from practitioner to manager/supervisor.
-      Make the shift from being a generalist practitioner to a specialist.
-      Gain greater professional recognition from your peers.
-      Increase client referrals from allied health professionals.
-      Maximise job opportunities in your preferred specialty area.
-      Formalise years of specialist experience with a respected qualification.
Save Over $6,000 (67% Discount to Market)
A Vocational Graduate Diploma at a university costs between $10,000 and $38,000. BUT, you don't have to pay these exorbitant amounts for an equally high quality qualification. You can do your qualification with the Institute and save a massive $6,000+ on the cost of doing a similar course at university.
To learn more, please visit Alternatively, call your nearest Institute branch on the FreeCall numbers shown below:
Sydney: 1800 677 697
Melbourne: 1800 622 489
Perth: 1800 353 643
Brisbane: 1800 246 324
Adelaide: 1800 246 381
Regional NSW: 1800 625 329
Regional QLD: 1800 359 565
Gold Coast: 1800 625 359
NT/Tasmania: 1800 353 643
Groups and Group Therapy
Group therapy is a popular mode of therapy for both therapists and clients. Group therapy is a highly effective form of psychotherapy that is based on interdependence and interaction among the group members who mutually disclose personal material (Lasky & Riva, 2006).
Group psychotherapy began in the late 1800's/early 1900's when Joseph Pratt, a Boston physician, recognised the positive effects on tuberculosis patients who did not have access to sanatoria (Laski & Riva, 2006). Because their recovery required strict hygienic regimens in their impoverished homes, he used regular group meetings to educate his patients on how to combat the diseases.
Other psychiatrists were influenced by this method. For example one psychotherapist, Cody Marsh, even included dance classes in his hospital (Brabender, Fallon & Smolar, 2004; Laski & Riva, 2006). The role of the charismatic leader and the dynamics of group relationships were recognised by Freud later.
Group therapy received increased attention during World War II when many therapists were initially exposed to group work during their military experience. Theorists from England and the US applied psychoanalytic and other interpersonal theory to group therapy concepts. The social revolutions in the 1960s resulted in the beginning of sensitivity training experiences (T groups), and a variety of personal growth groups.
The emergence of transactional analysis, gestalt theory, bioenergetics, and existential models for group therapy; along with many additional innovative variations, have also enriched the group therapy fields over the decades (Jose, 2010).
In Britain and America during the second world war, an appreciation of group psychotherapy lead to a wide range of innovations, including the use of a group approach in the selection and allocation of work responsibilities, studies of group morale and in the integration of psychiatric knowledge in the management of large groups through the role of the command psychiatrist.
Definition of a group
A group is a collection of individuals whose association is founded on commonalities of interest, norms and values. Membership in the group may be by chance, by choice or by circumstances. The group can either be open (i.e. admitting new members at any time) or closed (i.e. not admitting new members after the first session).
Definitions of Group Therapy
Below is a list of key aspects that different schools of psychotherapy have used to define the qualities of group therapy.
-      Group therapy is a type of psychotherapeutic care in which several clients meet with one or more therapists at the same time. The client's form a support group for each other as well as receiving expert care and advice. The group therapy model is particularly appropriate for mental health issues that are support intensive, for example anxiety; but is not well suited for the treatment of some other psychiatric disorders, for example schizophrenia.
-      Group therapy is a type of psychoanalysis in which clients analyse each other with the assistance of one or more psychotherapists, as in an "encounter group".
-      Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves sessions guided by a therapist and attended by several clients who confront their personal problems together. The interaction among clients is considered to be an integral part of the therapeutic process.
-      Group therapy is a form of psychosocial treatment where a small group of clients meet regularly to talk, interact, and discuss problems with each other and the group leader (therapist).
Characteristics of a group
-      Size of the group
-      Homogeneity (similar issues) or heterogeneity (variety of issues) of the members
-      Stability of the group
-      Climate of the group (warm, cold, friendly, aloof)
-      Degree of cohesiveness
-      Conformity to norms
-      Degree of agreement with the leader and the groups norms
-      Ability to deal with members infractions
-      Goal directness and task orientation of the group's work
Homogeneous versus heterogeneous groups
Some therapists believe that a group should be as heterogeneous as possible to ensure maximum interaction. Heterogeneity refers to the diversity of clients within the group and can include different diagnostic categories and behavioural patterns, and clients from different races, social levels, educational and backgrounds. The assumption is that groups composed of participants from a diversity of backgrounds (heterogeneous) can enrich the psychotherapeutic experience and interpersonal interaction for each member (Gladding, 2003).
Homogeneous groups are composed of members based on similarities rather than diversity. Similarities could be on such things as issues/disorders being faced (e.g. drug abuse, depression, etc), gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc. Some have suggested that the homogeneous psychotherapy group is most suitable for children and adolescents (Gladding, 2003).
Goals of Group Therapy
Behavioural therapists have identified two primary goals of group therapy. These are process goals and outcome goals. Process goals refer to goals that are related to the group process. For example, process goals can be to help members improve their comfort level in the group, to increase openness in the group, and to learn to confront members in a more productive manner (Jacobs, Masson & Harvill, 2006).
Outcome goals on the other hand are goals that affect the behaviour changes in the member's life such as obtaining employment, improving interpersonal relationships and successfully addressing whatever issues that the member presented with for group therapy. Therapy groups that focus primarily on the members concerns are usually more beneficial than those that focus on the interactions of the group members (Jacobs, Masson & Harvill, 2006). However, for the more robust effectiveness of any group therapy, the therapist should focus on both process and outcome goals.
Models of Group Therapy
Interpersonal Group Therapy
The focus in this form of group therapy is based on the premise of interpersonal learning being a primary mechanism of change. The group provides the antidotes to maladaptive interpersonal beliefs and behaviours through feedback from others and encouragement to experiment with healthier alternative behaviours, first within the group and then outside the group.
The shared examination of inter group transference reactions allows members to replace processes of relating that have a historical origin in the 'there and then' (the dynamic past) with those more appropriate to the 'here and now' (dynamic present).
The Tavistock Model
According to this model, the culture and climate of a group is governed by primitive unconscious anxieties that ultimately can impede the group's capacity for rational work. This is a therapist centred approach with the focus on techniques that enforce a series of interactions to reduce the complexity and the constraints of the group work.
The Group Analytic Model
Group Analysis is a method of group psychotherapy that combines psychoanalytic insights with an understanding of social and interpersonal functioning. It has a specific focus on the relationships between the individual group members. Deriving from psychoanalysis, Group Analysis also draws on a range of other psychotherapeutic traditions and approaches. This includes systems theory other psychotherapies, developmental psychology and social psychology. From this emerges what some group therapists consider a powerful psychotherapeutic technique.
The assumption of this model is that deep lasting change can occur within a carefully formed group whose combined membership reflects the wider norms of society. A stimulating interaction between group members becomes the focus of treatment and therapeutic work by building an understanding of group interactions, conversations and events to facilitate a powerful way each group member learns about themselves (Aviv, 2010).

Related Readings
-      Aviv, A. (2010). Where intersubjectivity and group analysis meet. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 60, 91-109.
-      Brabender, V. A., Fallon, A. E., & Smolar, A. I. (2004). Essentials of group therapy. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
-      Gladding. G.T. (2003) Group Work: A Counselling Speciality (4th ed). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
-      Jacobs, E., Masson, R.L. & Harvill, R.L. (2006). Group Counselling: Strategies and Skills. Belmont, CA: Thompson Brooks/Cole.
-      Jose, J. (2010). Group therapy. Psychiatric Nursing. Retrieved from on 5th August 2010.
-      Lasky, G.B. & Riva, M.T. (2006). Confidentiality and Privileged communication in psychotherapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 56, 455-476.
Did you enjoy this article? Then share the feeling and forward it to a friend! Quick reminder: Please send this eZine to all your family and friends so they too can enjoy the benefits. Thank you.
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The Institute has a list of recommended textbooks and DVDs which can add great value to your learning journey - and the good news is that you can purchase them very easily. The AIPC bookstore will give YOU:
-      Discounted prices!
-      Easy ordering method!
-      Quality guarantee!
This fortnight's feature is...
Name: Current Psychotherapies
Author: Corsini R J, Wedding R
AIPC Price: $107.95
ISBN: 0-53463-850-3
Current Psychotherapies provides students of counselling psychology and social work with an authoritative treatment of the major systems of psychotherapy. One of the most widely used textbooks in its field for more than twenty years.
To order this book, simply contact your nearest Student Support Centre or the AIPC Head Office (1800 657 667).
Introduction to Telephone Counselling
The telephone has long been considered a professionally acceptable tool for helping counsellors provide their services. In the past two decades, there has been an enormous growth in technology aided services provided by psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and counsellors. The use of the telephone has gone beyond answering initial inquiries and scheduling client's appointments to offering full psychological interventions.
Historically, telephone counselling evolved from psychiatric services and medical triage experiences. In the late 1950's crisis hotlines focusing on suicide prevention began to emerge in both Europe and the United States and rapidly expanded to Australia (Ormond, Haun, Cook, Duqutte, Ludowese & Matthews, 2000; Cruz, San Martin, Gutierrez, Farias, & Mora, 2001). These hotlines, despite lack of empirical evidence for their effectiveness, soon became part of community mental health services in many places around the world.
Click here to continue reading this article...
Other articles:
Convenient Professional Development
Hundreds of counsellors, psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses and allied health professionals already access over 100 Hours of Professional Development online, for less than $1 a day. Now it's your turn.
Mental Health Academy (MHA) is the leading provider of professional development education for the mental health industry. MHA provides the largest variety of courses and videos workshops, all conveniently delivered via the internet.
With MHA, you no longer have to worry about high costs, proximity and availability, or fitting a workshop around your lifestyle!
You can access the huge range of PD, including courses and video workshops, whenever and from wherever you want.
Whether you are looking for courses on anxiety and depression, or a video workshop discussing the intricacies of relationship counselling - Mental Health Academy is your gateway to over 100 hours of professional development content.
Take a quick look at what Mental Health Academy offers:
-      Over 65 professionally developed courses.
-      On-demand, webstreamed video workshops.
-      Over 100 hours of professional development.
-      Extremely relevant topics.
-      New courses released every month.
-      Video supported training.
-      Online, 24/7 access to resources.
-      Endorsement by multiple Associations, including AASW, ACA and APS.
Begin your journey today. Click on the link below to register for a monthly or annual unlimited membership. As an unlimited member, you can access all MHA courses for less than $1 per day, and receive discounts when purchasing any video workshops:
ACA/NZAC Joint Conference
The Australian Counselling Association (ACA) and New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) will be co-hosting the "Pacific Counselling Hui 2010: Nations coming together as whanau/family in the great ANZAC tradition" conference in Auckland, New Zealand.
Dates: 30th September until 2nd October 2010
Location: Langham Hotel, Auckland
This event is highly recommended if you're a counsellor/therapist in Australia, New Zealand or neighbouring countries. 
Have you visited Counselling Connection, the Institute's Blog yet? We continually publish new and interesting posts including case studies, profiles, success stories and much more. Make sure you too get connected (and thank you for those who have already submitted comments and suggestions).
Teaching Children to Deal with Emotions
For children to deal effectively with the experience of strong feelings, they must first know how to identify their feelings. It is important to talk to children about their feelings and help them see the link between their feelings and their behaviour.
This will help them gain an understanding of how their feelings can affect the choices they make, thus improving their level of self control. Below we explore an activity to assist children in identifying their feelings.
Click here to continue reading this post...
Happiness and Positive Psychology
The concept of happiness is the corner stone of the assumptions of positive psychology. Happiness is characterised by the experience of more frequent positive affective states than negative ones as well as a perception that one is progressing toward important life goals (Tkach & Lyubomirsky, 2006). Identifying factors that contribute to happiness has proven to be challenging. Interestingly though, one thing that does stand out in the research to date is that the attainment and pursuit of pleasure may not always lead to happiness.
Certain kinds of environmental factors or conditions have been found to be associated with happiness and include such things as: individual income, labour market status, health, family, social relationships, moral values and many others (Carr, 2004; Selim, 2008; Diener, Oishi & Lucas, 2003).
Click here to continue reading this post...
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"Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
~ Vince Lombardi
Many students of the Diploma of Counselling attend seminars to complete the practical requirements of their course. Seminars provide an ideal opportunity to network with other students and liaise with qualified counselling professionals in conjunction with completing compulsory coursework.
Below is a list of the seminars available between Sep-Dec. To register for a seminar, please contact your Student Support Centre. To access the full list of seminars for 2010, visit:
Diploma of Counselling (CDA) Timetable
Northern Territory
The Counselling Process: 18/09, 12/12
Communication Skills I: 02/10
Communication Skills II: 27/11
Legal & Ethical Frameworks: 03/10
Family Therapy: 14/11
Case Management: 18 & 19/12
South Australia
The Counselling Process: 18/09, 27/11
Communication Skills I: 16/10, 04/12
Communication Skills II: 17/10, 05/12
Counselling Therapies I: 06 & 07/11
Counselling Therapies II: 11 & 12/09, 20 & 21/11
Legal & Ethical Frameworks: 19/09
Family Therapy: 14/11
Case Management: 30 & 31/10
The Counselling Process: 18/09, 29/10
Communication Skills I: 22/09, 06/11, 11/12
Communication Skills II: 25/09, 12/11, 16/12
Counselling Therapies I: 01 & 02/11
Counselling Therapies II: 23 & 24/09, 01 & 02/12
Legal & Ethical Frameworks: 09/12
Case Management: 11 & 12/10, 06 & 07/12
Western Australia
The Counselling Process: 16/10
Communication Skills I: 27/11
Communication Skills II: 28/11
Counselling Therapies I: 30 & 31/10
Counselling Therapies II: 30 & 31/10
Legal & Ethical Frameworks: 18/12
Family Therapy: 19/12
Case Management: 11 & 12/09, 11 & 12/12
The Counselling Process: 26/09, 28/11
Communication Skills I: 14/11
Communication Skills II: 03/10, 05/12
Counselling Therapies I: 11 & 12/12
Counselling Therapies II: 25 & 26/09, 18 & 19/12
Legal & Ethical Frameworks: 24/10
Family Therapy: 31/10
The Counselling Process: 12/09, 19/12
Communication Skills I: 03/10
Communication Skills II: 31/10
Counselling Therapies I: 26/09
The Counselling Process: 02/10, 23/10, 27/11
Communication Skills I: 25/09, 24/10, 28/11
Communication Skills II: 26/09, 04/12
Counselling Therapies I: 16 & 17/10, 11 & 12/12
Counselling Therapies II: 20 & 21/11
Legal & Ethical Frameworks: 28/08, 06/11
Family Therapy: 07/11
Case Management: 18 & 19/09, 13 & 14/11
Sunshine Coast
The Counselling Process: 02/10, 04/12
Communication Skills I: 13/11
Communication Skills II: 14/11
Counselling Therapies I: 11 & 12/09
Counselling Therapies II: 30 & 31/10
Legal & Ethical Frameworks: 11/12
Family Therapy: 20/12
Case Management: 20/12
Gold Coast
The Counselling Process: 08/10
Communication Skills I: 13/11
Communication Skills II: 11/09
Counselling Therapies I: 29 & 30/10
Counselling Therapies II: 26 & 27/11
Legal & Ethical Frameworks: 10/12
Diploma of Professional Counselling (DPCD) Timetable
Northern Territory
Communication Skills I: 11/09, 11/12
Communication Skills II: 13/11
The Counselling Process: 25/09
Counselling Therapies I: 09 & 10/11
Counselling Therapies II: 20 & 21/11
Case Management: 04 & 05/12
Advanced Counselling Techniques: 23/10
Counselling Applications: 06/11
South Australia
Communication Skills I: 16/10, 04/12
Communication Skills II: 17/10, 05/12
The Counselling Process: 18/09, 27/11
Counselling Therapies I: 06 & 07/11
Counselling Therapies II: 11 & 12/09, 20 & 21/11
Case Management: 30 & 31/10
Advanced Counselling Techniques: 13/11
Counselling Applications: 28/11
Communication Skills I: 22/09, 15/10, 06/11, 11/12
Communication Skills II: 25/09, 16/10, 12/11, 16/12
The Counselling Process: 18/09, 08/10, 20/11, 16/12
Counselling Therapies I: 01 & 02/11
Counselling Therapies II: 23 & 24/09, 01 & 02/12
Case Management: 11 & 12/10, 06 & 07/12
Advanced Counselling Techniques: 29/11
Counselling Applications: 26/11
Western Australia
Communication Skills I: 04/09, 27/11
Communication Skills II: 05/09, 28/11
The Counselling Process: 16/10
Counselling Therapies I: 30 & 31/10
Counselling Therapies II: 30 & 31/10
Case Management: 11 & 12/09, 11 & 12/12
Advanced Counselling Techniques: 23/10
Counselling Applications: 24/10
Communication Skills I: 09/10, 04/12
Communication Skills II: 18/09, 13/11
The Counselling Process: 23/10
Counselling Therapies I: 20 & 21/11
Counselling Therapies II: 11 & 12/12
Case Management: 16 & 17/10
Advanced Counselling Techniques: 11/09, 06/11
Counselling Applications: 27/11
Communication Skills I: 14/11
Communication Skills II: 19/09, 05/12
The Counselling Process: 17/10
Counselling Therapies I: 11 & 12/12
Counselling Therapies II: 09 & 10/10
Case Management: 20 & 21/11
Advanced Counselling Techniques: 07/11
Counselling Applications: 28/11
Communication Skills I: 25/09, 24/10, 28/11
Communication Skills II: 26/09, 04/12
The Counselling Process: 02/10, 23/10, 27/11
Counselling Therapies I: 16 & 17/10, 11 & 12/12
Counselling Therapies II: 04 & 05/09, 20 & 21/11
Case Management: 18 & 19/09, 13 & 14/11
Advanced Counselling Techniques: 30/10, 05/12
Counselling Applications: 03/10, 31/10
Sunshine Coast
Communication Skills I: 13/11
Communication Skills II: 14/11
The Counselling Process: 02/10, 04/12
Counselling Therapies I: 11 & 12/09
Counselling Therapies II: 30 & 31/10
Case Management: 27 & 28/11
Advanced Counselling Techniques: 16/10
Counselling Applications: 11/12
Gold Coast
Communication Skills I: 13/11
Communication Skills II: 11/09
The Counselling Process: 08/10
Counselling Therapies I: 29 & 30/10
Counselling Therapies II: 26 & 27/11
Counselling Applications: 25/09
Important Note: Advertising of the dates above does not guarantee availability of places in the seminar. Please check availability with the respective Student Support Centre.
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