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Q. I am a non-Indigenous practitioner counselling Indigenous clients. Can I really do this effectively and what is the best way for a non-Indigenous therapist to counsel Indigenous clients? A. Many non-Indigenous practitioners "genuinely struggle" when working with Aboriginal people. They may lack the degree of cultural competence necessary to effectively counsel Indigenous clients (i.e. issues of cultural competence may not be clearly defined) or they may be unsure how cultural issues may be applied in a therapeutic context. There are some things that a non-Indigenous person can do, however, to be more culturally-aware in order to effectively counsel Indigenous clients: Focus ... Read More

Reconnecting by disconnecting

At a local café yesterday the sign said: “No free Wi-Fi. Talk to each other like before the internet.” What? And be there just for the coffee and conversation? We are more connected today than ever before (Facebook, for example, has more than 1.28 billion active users), but experts warn that we are also lonelier and more disconnected in our unplugged lives: hence the launch of Social September in 2012. It encourages us all to “press pause in September - disconnect from our digital lives and reconnect with each other, and ourselves. The aim is to create spaces for ... Read More

Q. What is the most effective way to address problem behaviour in students? A. There are several things we can do to try to understand why problem behaviour occurs, or is maintained. It is important to make the effort to look deeper into the root cause of the behaviours, rather than just trying to address the behaviour directly. This is true of children, youth and adults with problematic behaviours. Understanding must precede addressing the issues, either as part of school counselling or therapy. Building the relationship with the person also needs to precede any intervention, if changes are to be maintained. ... Read More

It’s 10:00 pm on December 24th, and you’re just beginning your Christmas shopping. You lost $1000 in extra taxes because you didn’t prepare or file your documents properly, on time. Your boss is upset because of all your missed deadlines, and your partner is truly “over” all your undone domestic work. If this resonates, you are one of the 20% who chronically procrastinate, and you are undoubtedly paying a high price. Definition and characteristics Procrastination has been called a self-defeating behaviour pattern marked by short-term benefits and long-term costs in which less urgent tasks are carried out in preference to more urgent ... Read More

Robert has been referred to you for counselling. He has recently started a new role as an executive for a large international company. The role involves some travel and this was made very clear to Robert when he accepted the position. Robert has a fear of flying but really wanted to work for the company and hoped he would be able to overcome his fear for the right role. However, he is now 3 months into the new job and so far has been trying to hide his fear from his colleagues, rescheduling site visits for later in the year ... Read More

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