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How to overcome anxiety

The CEO of the fast-expanding organisation looked at me, despair seeping through a veneer of confidence. With three growing children, a loving husband, and work at the top of the corporate ladder, her life ticked all the boxes. “I’m coping OK,” she confided, “but I’ve been better.” “Better” was before she came to be afflicted with one of the most common mental conditions in Australia and worldwide: anxiety. What is anxiety? Anxiety means feeling distress or uneasiness about what might happen. Some feelings of apprehension – like when we psyche up for a test, competition or job interview – can be helpful, ... Read More

Most of us would have heard the saying, “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” While the optimist in us will hope this saying holds true, it now seems there is some more veracity to this claim. Since the 1990s, there has been huge interest in the question of whether, after a trauma, we must succumb to post-traumatic stress, or whether we are able to instead experience post-traumatic growth. The question isn’t new, as all of the world’s major religions have told us about the transformative power of suffering. But the new emphasis is more scientific, so we need to ... Read More

Q. We have a fourteen year old daughter (Tammy) with Aspergers’ Syndrome. She has difficulty relating to her peers and is awkward in most social situations. She has narrow, often obsessive, interests in a particular thing or person. She wants to make friends and have a boyfriend like her peers, but she often misinterprets important social cues. She speaks too loudly, gets too close, is very direct (sometimes far too direct/insulting) and says things that make her peers feel uncomfortable. How can we help our daughter? A. Young people like Tammy often talk incessantly and don't know when to stop or ... Read More

Whether you love it or hate it, most people will agree that the mother-child relationship is one of the most significant relationships in a person’s life, affecting your wellbeing throughout your life. At the same time, many of us will not have the perfect relationship with our parents. In fact, one psychologist estimates that 85% of families are dysfunctional. More optimistic estimates say that about half of mothers are “good enough” (not perfect, but adequate). Either way, there are many of us whose maternal interactions were not the intimate safe haven idealised by Hallmark. Let’s look at some of the ways things ... Read More

Mark, 36 years of age, is directed to counselling by his doctor after Mark decides he wants to transition from male to female, undergo sex reassignment surgery, and change his name to Sonia. Mark reports he has suffered for a long time trying to live as a man when he in fact feels like a woman. Mark is currently experiencing feelings of sadness, anxiety, stress and anger about the way he has been treated by his family and certain friends because of his gender identity. He has started drinking alcohol on daily basis as a way to numb his emotions and fall ... Read More

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