Welcome to Issue 293 of Institute Inbrief
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Issue 293 // Institute Inbrief
Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to Edition 293 of Institute Inbrief! It’s becoming increasingly “official”. More and more, we human beings are using our furry, feathered, and finned fellow beings to help us heal. It’s called animal-assisted therapy, or AAT. In this edition of Inbrief, we introduce you to this therapy, looking at some of the benefits for clients. 
Also in this edition:
  1. Mental Health Super Summit 2018
  2. Working with the Highly Sensitive Client
  3. Balance and Stress Management
  4. Keeping Your Introvert Clients from Overextending
  5. Quotations, Seminar Timetables & More!
Enjoy your reading!

AIPC Team. 
Diploma of Counselling
It’s time to start loving what you do!

We’ve been training qualified Counsellors for over 25 years. Overwhelmingly, the number one reason people cite as why they became a Counsellor – to start loving what they do. They were stuck in a rut doing something they had no passion for, and it was dragging them down.

If you want a deeper understanding of yourself, and to use that knowledge to assist others overcome their challenges and start enjoying life again – then counselling is likely for you.

Too often we get drawn into a career that offers little personal satisfaction. Counsellors are passionate about the important work they do. They’re often someone that friends and family naturally come to for assistance. And they get immense personal reward helping others.
  1. If that sounds like you, then it’s time to start pursuing your passion:
  2. Learn about yourself and help others lead better lives
  3. Be employed in one of the fastest industry growth sectors in the nation
  4. Self-paced training, so you can fit learning around your life
  5. Flexible and supported training with quality learning materials

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! 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% (www.lmip.gov.au, 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!

Registration OPEN: Mental Health Super Summit
The Mental Health Super Summit is back... and it’s bigger and better than ever. AIPC is proud to support this event again.
Over the past 3 years, 6,500 mental health professionals have attended the Summit, raising $365,219.00 for the Act for Kids charity.
This year the event's target is to raise an inspiring $250,000.00 for charity.

Register now for the 2018 Mental Health Super Summit and you’ll learn directly from an international who’s who of renowned experts, including:
  1. Prof. Daniel J. Siegel (UCLA)
  2. Dr. Judith S. Beck (Beck Institute for CBT)
  3. Prof. Henry Brodaty AO (UNSW)
  4. Prof. Lea Waters (University of Melbourne)
  5. Prof. Isaac Prilleltensky (University of Miami)
  6. Dr. Justin Coulson (Happy Families)
  7. Dr. Michelle Segar (University of Michigan)
  8. Prof. Barry L. Jackson (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania)
  9. Dr. Reena Kotecha (Wisdom Labs)
  10. Dr. Peter Parry (University of Queensland)
Remember, just like all the Summits, you choose what you pay to attend with all money raised going to charity.

If you’re a mental health practitioner or student, this event is not to be missed.
Learn more and register here: www.mentalhealthacademy.com.au/summit/2018
Got a question? Please contact the Mental Health Academy - the Summit's co-host & organiser - on help@mentalhealthacademy.com.au.
Introducing Animal-assisted Therapy
It’s becoming increasingly “official”.  More and more, we human beings are using our furry, feathered, and finned fellow beings to help us heal.  It’s called animal-assisted therapy, or AAT, and the purpose of this article is to introduce you to it, a therapy adjunct since the 1990s.  
We look into what it is, how we differentiate it from other programs in which animals help human beings, what issues it has tended to be used with, and what its observed benefits are.

Definitions and differentiations

Two standard definitions (Animaltherapy.net, n.d.) will get us off to a clear start:

Animal-assisted activities (AAA) consist of opportunities to motivate, educate, or provide therapeutic or recreational benefits to enhance quality of life. AAA are delivered in a variety of environments by specially trained professionals, paraprofessionals and/or volunteers in association with animals which meet specific criteria. AAA often takes the form of a pet owner/volunteer visiting a hospital or nursing home with their trained pet for short, meet-and-greet visits; this activity is sometimes called “visitations”. The same activity (say, a dog going into different rooms and being cuddled by the patients in each room) could be repeated over and over again with different people. There are not specific treatment goals for each visit. The visits are spontaneous and as long or short as necessary.

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a goal-directed intervention in which an animal is a central part of the treatment process. It is delivered or directed by a professional health or human service provider who demonstrates skill and expertise regarding the clinical applications of human-animal interactions. People undergoing AAT have an individualised treatment plan, and their progress through it is documented and evaluated; as with most therapy, sessions have a fixed length (Animaltherapy.net, n.d.).

Pet therapy is claimed by some to be the old name for both AAA and AAT (Animaltherapy.net, n.d.) or alternatively, a current name for AAT alone (Giorgi, 2016). Others (Alo House Recovery Centers, n.d.) use the term to describe AAA: specifically, visitations from trained animals, with their owners, to facilities such as hospitals and treatment centres. To avoid confusion, we will not refer to any of the animal-assisted programs as “pet therapy”.

Service or assistance animals are different from therapy animals. Assistance animals are registered to provide a service to a person with a disability or illness, like a guide dog for the blind; they live with the person they serve. Assistant dogs are often granted public access to public buildings and transport, such as hospitals, shopping centres, and restaurants. Such animals, especially dogs, are in increasing demand, as some are trained in lifesaving skills: for example, detecting changes in blood sugar or early signs of seizures and then alerting their owners. Others help their owners cross the road safely, open doors, and pick up objects. 

Assistance dogs can be registered in most Australian states because of their important functional and lifesaving roles. Conversely, therapy animals, such as dogs, receive training and registration or certification for reasons of insurance or legal aspects, but don’t perform lifesaving tasks. Thus, they aren’t generally allowed public access. They work with professionals and clients. Registration ensures a basic standard of training and reliability for the animals and their handlers (AIFC, 2018).

What animals are used?

People first tend to think of dogs, (canine-assisted therapy), cats, or horses (equine-assisted therapy) when asking which animals may be used. In fact, donkeys, llamas, rabbits, dolphins, birds, and wolves are also used – and even fish (Oxford Treatment Center, 2018)!

The issues AAT can help with

AAT has been observed to successfully treat the following conditions:
  1. Autism spectrum disorders
  2. Addiction
  3. Cancer
  4. Heat disease
  5. Dementia
  6. Developmental disorders
  7. Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia
  8. Emotional and behavioural disorders
  9. Chronic pain (Alo Recovery Center, n.d.; CRC Health, 2015)
Additionally, a meta-analysis of 69 studies on AAT found that, along with increased levels of the cuddle hormone oxytocin, interaction with animals also had a positive effect on:
  1. Mood
  2. Interpersonal relations
  3. Blood pressure and stress
  4. Fear and anxiety
  5. Cardiovascular diseases (Alo Recovery Center, n.d.)
What benefits can we expect from AAT?

Interestingly, AAT can help with both physical and mental/emotional challenges. Of greatest concern to mental health helpers, it can result in:
  1. Improved mood and more positive emotions and outlook; reduced anxiety; less fear of the future
  2. Reduced feelings associated with low mood, such as loneliness, insecurity, sadness, social isolation, and anger
  3. Less regret, resentment, and guilt
  4. Improved willingness to be involved in a therapeutic program or group activity
  5. Better interaction, social, and communication skills
  6. Increased trust, empathy and teamwork
  7. Enhanced confidence
  8. Greater self-control
  9. Enhanced problem-solving skills
  10. Reduced need for medication
  11. Greater capacity to be present in the moment (Oxford Treatment Center, 2018; CRC Health, 2015)
There are many physical benefits as well, including those to do with improved fine motor skills and balance, reduced blood pressure and risk of heart attack or stroke, and increased capacity for focus and attention (CRC Health, 2015).


Animal-assisted therapy is on the rise as health providers observe the wide-ranging benefits which interaction with animals confers on people struggling with health issues. If your client confesses that her dog is a fantastic therapist, you might just want to believe her!

Alo House Recovery Centers. (n.d.). Animal-assisted therapy:  What it is, who it’s for, and why it works. Alo House Recovery Centers. Retrieved on 24 July, 2018, from: Hyperlink.

Animaltherapy.net.(n.d.). The truth about animal-assisted therapy. What is AAT/AAA? Animaltherapy.net. Retrieved on 24 July, 2018, from: Hyperlink

AIFC (Australian Institute of Family Counselling). (2018). What is animal assisted therapy used by some counsellors? AIFC. Retrieved on 24 July, 2018, from: Hyperlink.    

CRC Health. (2015). What is animal-assisted therapy? CRC Health. Retrieved on 24 July, 2018, from: Hyperlink.    

Giorgi, A.Z. (2016). Pet therapy. Healthline. Retrieved on 24 July, 2018, from: Hyperlink.    

Oxford Treatment Center. (2018). What is animal-assisted therapy and how does it work? Oxford Treatment Center. Retrieved on 24 July, 2018, from: Hyperlink.
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 three different parties on a single day, totalling 13 hours!” She admits that her fiancé is more extraverted than she is. “But that’s not it,” she insists. “I like people. It’s just that the thought of a whole day of noise and small talk – help! But when I suggest that I take my own car so I can go home early, I get accused of being a fussy party pooper! What do I do?”

Balance and Stress Management
The world’s religions, most scientific literature (Treadway, 1998), and most cultures’ traditions of common sense and wisdom agree: as human beings, we need balance. That is, we most capably give ourselves an antidote to the stresses of life if we have balanced, nurturing connections with ourselves, between ourselves and significant others, and between ourselves and a higher power (however we conceive it: “the universe,” “God,” “the transcendent,” or our “higher self”). Balance is essential for tending to our core needs and concerns, on all the levels of body, mind, and spirit. It is not a static thing.


More articles: www.aipc.net.au/articles

Learn from Global Mental Health Experts
Mental Health Academy puts quality learning by global experts at your fingertips, 24/7. Accessing cutting-edge evidence and practice-based knowledge has never been more convenient.

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

Join MHA now to enjoy:
  1. Access to on-demand, video learning (100+ hours)
  2. Access to self-paced, text courses (120+ courses)
  3. Invitations to select events and Masterclasses
  4. Earn professional development points/hours
  5. Online, 24/7 access to courses - from anywhere
  6. Personalised online classroom to facilitate learning
By learning with MHA, you’ll also make a real, measurable contribution to some of the world’s poorest communities (through MHA’s local and global social impact initiatives).

Have you visited Counselling Connection yet? Our official blog has over 500 interesting posts counselling, psychology, self-growth, and more! Make sure you too get connected. Below is a link to a recent post.

Keeping Your Introvert Clients from Overextending
We live in a noisy, overstimulated, fast-paced world: conditions in which extraverts thrive, but for the roughly half of the population who are introverted, those same conditions are cause for dismay, if not worse. At some stage, you may be asked to help a frazzled, introverted client regain balance. What are the signs and symptoms of an overstimulated introvert who’s struggling not to go over the edge: do you know? Does your client recognise the situation for what it is? What will you advise the client to do?


More posts: www.counsellingconnection.com
“Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park… It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies and discover meanings no other brain ever managed to encounter. Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself… That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.”

~ Albert Camus
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:
  1. The Counselling Process
  2. Communication Skills I
  3. Communication Skills II
  4. Counselling Therapies I
  5. Counselling Therapies II
  6. Legal & Ethical Frameworks
  7. Brief Interventions and Loss & Grief Support
  8. Individualised Support and Working with Mental Health
  9. Advanced Counselling Techniques
Click here to access all seminar timetables online.
To register for a seminar, please contact your Student Support Centre.
For more information, visit:
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