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Institute Inbrief - 22/03/2017


Welcome to Edition 266 of Institute Inbrief! Looking to improve your parenting skills? In this edition’s featured article we summarise Laurence Steinberg’s ten basic principles of good parenting. These principles are valid for anyone dealing with children, from parents to teachers, coaches, and even babysitters.


Also in this edition:

  • MBCT: A Look at the Mechanisms of Action
  • Fixed vs Growth Mindsets
  • Practical Prioritising: Important, Urgent, or Just Demanded?
  • Social Media Updates & Much More!

Enjoy your reading!





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Diploma of Counselling


Imagine Being Passionate About Your Work

And Assisting People Every Day Lead Better Lives


It’s rare these days to hear people talk about their work with true passion. You hear so many stories of people working to pay the bills; putting up with imperfect situations; and compromising on their true desires. That’s why it’s always so refreshing to hear regular stories from graduates living their dream to be a Counsellor. They’re always so full of energy, enthusiasm and passion. There’s no doubt that counselling is one of the most personally rewarding and enriching professions.


Just imagine someone comes to you for assistance. They’re emotionally paralysed by events in their life. They can’t even see a future for themselves. They can only focus on their pain and grief. The despair is so acute it pervades their entire life. Their relationship is breaking down and heading towards a divorce. They can’t focus on work and are getting in trouble with their boss. They feel they should be able to handle their problems alone, but know they can’t. It makes them feel helpless, worthless. Their self-esteem has never been lower. They’re caught in a cycle of destruction and pain.


Now imagine you have the knowledge and skills to help this person overcome their challenges. You assist to relieve their intense emotional pain. You give them hope for the future. You assist to rebuild their self-esteem and lead a satisfying, empowered life. As a Counsellor you can experience these personal victories every day. And it’s truly enriching. There is nothing more fulfilling than helping another person overcome seemingly impossible obstacles.


You can learn more here:



AIPC’s Community Services Courses


Helping You Help Your Community!


We’ve helped people from all sorts of backgrounds become counsellors, and now we can assist you in fulfilling your goal of working within the Community Services sector! From 2017, AIPC is delivering the following two new courses:


Diploma of Community Services (Case Management) – learn more


Diploma of Youth Work – learn more


There has never been a better time for you to become involved and invested in the Community Services industries. It is predicted, between the years of 2015 to 2019, that employment within the Health Care and Social Assistance industries will increase by 18.7% (, 2015).


By gaining a qualification in Community Services (Case Management) or Youth Work, you will be contributing to an industry that serves a very important purpose: to assist those with personal or relationship challenges. There is nothing more fulfilling than helping others overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. And there’s no better time to do that than now!


To learn more about these programs, visit


AIPC courses:


Diploma of Counselling

Diploma of Community Services (Case Management)

Diploma of Youth Work

Bachelor of Counselling

Graduate Diploma of Counselling

Master of Counselling



The Basic Principles of Parenting


Have you ever wrestled with a problem, walked away from it for a period, and then ended up having an epiphany while you were officially “off duty” from the problem? Laurence Steinberg, an internationally renowned expert on psychological development during adolescence, talks about having such an experience leading to the development of his book on parenting. He says that he was reading “probably for the 10th time” (Slideshare, n.d.), Harvey Penick’s Little Red Golf Book, built around a series of short essays treating very basic golfing principles, when it dawned on him that the same approach could work for parenting. The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting (Steinberg, 2005) was born.


We summarise the principles below, in lay person’s language. Steinberg writes that, while no parent is perfect, all parents (he includes himself) can improve their batting average. These principles are valid for anyone dealing with children, from parents to teachers, coaches, and even babysitters.


What you do matters


How you treat and respond to your child matters; your child is watching you! This important principle urges parents not to react spontaneously, but with a deliberate sense of what they wish to accomplish with a given response or intervention. The $64,000 question is: “What effect will this decision/action/remark have on my child?”


You cannot be too loving


Steinberg insists that parents cannot love a child too much, as determined by expressions of warmth and affection. Rather, when we talk about “spoiling” a child with too much “love”, we are actually referring to the consequences of giving a child too many things in place of love, be they leniency, lowered expectations, or material gifts.


Be involved in your child’s life


This principle involves showing up for the relationship, being “there” for the child mentally as well as physically. The consequences of adopting this one are that parents are constantly re-prioritising and re-arranging their lives, sacrificing what they would like to do for what their child’s needs mean that they should do. It does not mean taking over the child’s duties, such as homework (or for that matter correcting it before it goes to the teacher who, after all, needs to see if the child is learning). It does mean that the parent who has not stepped inside the sports complex by the end of the season to watch a single game of their child is not following this principle, and is probably also hugely disappointing the child.


Adapt your parenting to fit your child


Parents who love having a baby around may be loath to see that baby develop, but grow the child must: no parental “freeze-framing” allowed. Frustrated parents have difficulty seeing suddenly rebellious two-year-olds frequently utter their favourite new word: “No!” But the drive toward individuation that underlies that refusal to cooperate is the same as the one that launches the late adolescent, prepared, into a responsible adult life. The drive toward mental and psychological autonomy that generates a sense of intellectual curiosity is also the one that makes the fourteen-year-old argumentative at home. It is easy to come down hard on children, enforcing parent-generated rules inflexibly and without regard for developmental milestones being reached, but a second look at what may be motivating behaviour is important for the child. For example, an irritable twelve-year-old who can’t seem to concentrate could be depressed or sleep-deprived. Steinberg advises parents to let professionals diagnose whether the problem is depression or, possibly, difficulty structuring time in order to get homework and other duties completed in time to get sufficient sleep.


Establish and set rules


Mental health helpers realise (but not all parents do) that self-discipline springs eventually from appropriate external discipline (read: boundaries set and rules followed) earlier on, as children learn to govern themselves based on how they were managed when younger. Steinberg tells parents that they should always be able to answer three questions: (1) “Where is my child?” (2) “Who is with my child?” (3) “What is my child doing?” Children who were reared without (reasonable) rules or boundaries enforced will have difficulty disciplining themselves later on. Note to parents: this is not an excuse for micro-managing, which may achieve the opposite effect!


Foster your child’s independence


Similarly to dealing with rules, the limits set externally by parents when the child is young are what allow the child to develop the internal limits (self-control) later. When parents also encourage independence, children gain a sense of self-direction. Successful, autonomous adult life requires both. You can be on the lookout for a common parental mistake: assuming that a strong drive for independence is rebelliousness or disobedience. You can help parents recognise, rather, that it is human nature to want to feel in control rather than be controlled by someone else.


Be consistent


Steinberg insists that, when parents’ rules vary from day to day (or situation to situation?), then the child’s misbehaviour is the parents’ fault, not the child’s. Consistency, he claims, is the parent’s most important disciplinary tool, suitably sharpened by clear identification of the parent’s non-negotiables (e.g., a stance that a child might sometimes be allowed to stay up a bit later, but she is never allowed to jump into the swimming pool right on top of her little brother). The more the parent’s authority is based on wisdom, not power, the less children will challenge it. Inconsistency is confusing for children.


Avoid harsh discipline


Parents invoke many forms of excessive discipline, but the worst is that of physical punishment, says Steinberg. Children who are spanked, hit, or slapped are more prone to fighting with other children. They are more likely to be bullies and more likely to use aggression to solve disputes with others. Parents should never hit a child; spanking causes aggression, which can lead to relationship problems with others. “Timeouts” are much more effective.


Explain your rules and decisions


Good parents have expectations for their child to live up to, but those may not be obvious to the child – or even teenager – with their lesser life experience and different priorities. While parents tend to over-explain to young children and under-explain to adolescents, it is still worth noting that explanations help to engender cooperation. When children know why a parent needs or wants something done, they are more likely to cooperate (note Principle 7 on consistency here; rules based on wisdom are more likely to be cooperated with).


Treat your child with respect


If parents wish to get respectful treatment from their child, they must extend respect to them. Children should be extended the same courtesies as anyone else, including our friends, parents, and bosses. Parents should speak politely, pay attention when the child is speaking to them, and treat him or her kindly. Parents should try to please children when that is possible. Children will treat others the way their parents treat them and their relationship with their child is that child’s foundation for relationships with others (Steinberg, 200S; Davis, 2005; Slideshare, n.d.).






Davis, J.L. (2005). 10 Commandments of good parenting. WebMD. Retrieved on 16 January, 2017, from: hyperlink.


Slideshare. (n.d.). Ten basic principles of good parenting: There is a science to raising children. Retrieved on 16 January, 2017, from: hyperlink.


Steinberg, L. (2005). The 10 basic principles of good parenting. New York: Simon & Schuster. Retrieved on 9 January, 2017, from: hyperlink. ISBN-10 0743251164 ISBN-13 9780743251167.


Course information:


Diploma of Counselling

Diploma of Community Services (Case Management)

Diploma of Youth Work

Bachelor of Counselling

Graduate Diploma of Counselling

Master of Counselling


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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 DSM-5). MBCT employs traditional CBT methods and adds in mindfulness and mindfulness meditation strategies. In this article, we explore the mechanisms behind MBCT’s effectiveness in helping prevent relapse of depression.


Click here to continue reading this article.



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 have a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset and they enjoy significantly more success than their fixed-minded peers. In this article, we define and compare these two kinds of mindsets, and outline the benefits of developing a growth mindset.


Click here to continue reading this article.


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Mental Health Academy – First to Knowledge in Mental Health


Get unrestricted access to over 300 hours of professional development education in mental health, including specialist courses and on-demand videos.


Mental Health Academy is Australia’s leading provider of professional development for mental health practitioners. MHA’s all-inclusive memberships give you instant access to over 300 hours of learning – including videos presented by internationally-renowned experts in counselling, psychology and mental health.


Topics explored include: Evidence-based therapies, mindfulness, CBT, focused psychological strategies, children & adolescents, relationship counselling, motivational interviewing, depression & anxiety, addictions, trauma, e-therapy, supervision, ethics, plus much more.


Benefits of becoming a premium member:

  • Over 110 specialist courses to choose from
  • Over 100 hours of video learning on-demand
  • CPD endorsed by leading industry associations
  • Videos presented by international experts
  • New programs released every month
  • Huge range of topics and modalities
  • Online, 24/7 access

Learn more and join today:



Have you visited Counselling Connection yet? There are hundreds of interesting posts including case studies, profiles, success stories, videos and much more. Make sure you too get connected (and thank you for those who have already submitted comments and suggestions).


Practical Prioritising: Important, Urgent, or Just Demanded?


How many times have you looked back on periods of your life and wondered, “How was it that I ever thought that was a priority?” Whether it was a hobby you no longer engage, an unworkable relationship you sacrificed healthy ones for, or a compulsion you no longer regard as urgent, most of us have to admit that at times we have made decisions about what to prioritise which defy logic.


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"In framing an ideal we may assume what we wish, but should avoid impossibilities."


~ Aristotle



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.


Seminar topics include:

  • The Counselling Process
  • Communication Skills I
  • Communication Skills II
  • Counselling Therapies I
  • Counselling Therapies II
  • Legal & Ethical Framework
  • Family Therapy
  • Case Management

Click here to access all seminar timetables online.


To register for a seminar, please contact your Student Support Centre.


Course information:


Diploma of Counselling

Diploma of Community Services (Case Management)

Diploma of Youth Work

Bachelor of Counselling

Graduate Diploma of Counselling

Master of Counselling


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