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“Your meals are disgusting!” she shouted. A look of deep hurt flashed across his face before anger kicked in. “You don’t need to be cooked for anyway,” he retorted. “Your bottom’s gone way beyond cute!” Does anything familiar echo here? What about in the following exchange? “Darling,” he said, repeating his familiar compliment, “You’re beautiful.” The mirror reflected dark bags under her eyes from sleep deprivation, a face pale from stress, and a head of dirty hair. Beautiful? They both knew that this was far from her most beautiful moment. Why did he tell her this when it was so obviously false ... Read More

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

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