“You should always believe your clients,” said the counselling-training professor to the trainees, “and you should always disbelieve them” It’s possible that that advice – confusing and impossible as it seems to be – is useful not only for therapists listening to clients, but to any of us listening to a fellow human being. Even […]
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Johnny sings a song to his mum and asks her how well she thought he sang. In reality, Mum likens Johnny’s voice to, as Simon Cowell once said of a talent show participant, “the sound a cat makes after it falls off the roof before it hits the ground”. Does Mum say this to Johnny, […]
Do any of these statements apply to you? How about to anyone you know, including any clients? “I gain enormous attention by sharing my selfies on social media.” “Taking different selfie poses helps increase my social status.” “Taking more selfies improves my mood and makes me feel happy.” “I become a strong member of my […]
On January 15, 2009, Chesley Burnett “Sully” Sullenberger and his co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles landed U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in New York’s Hudson River after both engines were disabled by a bird strike. All 155 people on board survived. While some of that successful outcome was later attributed to good fortune, much commendation rightly went to […]
Your 39-year-old female client seats herself and looks at you with frustration. It’s been many months now since she was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative condition, but she just can’t accept it; life is becoming impossible. Your 20-something male client suffered a relational breakup seven months ago; this was his “love of my life” and he […]
You know the feeling. The person seems to be making a reasonable request, or advising you to do something “for your own good”, but inside your guts are completely churned up! What’s going on? The chances are that you are experiencing an attempt to manipulate you. Sadly, manipulation is rife in the real world and […]
Dementia Australia estimates that in 2019 there are 447,115 Australians living with dementia, a number expected to rise to nearly 600,000 by 2028 and over a million by 2058. Currently in Australia, 250 people join the population with dementia every day. There are about 5.4 million Americans with it (Godman, 2016; Mercola, 2017) and the […]
Have you ever sat in session, listening to your client explain why they were angsty over some issue, only to find that you experienced a rising panic and sense of helplessness – because you, too, were dealing with the same issue? Have you ever finished a session with a deeply depressed client, only to find […]
What are your expectations about what will happen in your clinical supervision, and what you will get from it? Are you able to identify your greatest needs to meet in the process? How do you name the short-, medium-, and long-range goals that you will attempt to achieve in supervision? These questions are important to […]
“U R ugly, fat, and stupid.” “The world is too good a place for U – ur pathetic.” “Why don’t you just kill ur self and make us all happier?” These hurtful, horrible messages and many others like them are well-known to kids and teens who have been cyberbullied. Parents, teachers, counsellors, and school authorities, […]
INTIMACY! Ok, now that we have your attention . . . let’s try another cue: SPIRITUALITY! And now, we’d like to know: what was the difference in your reaction to the two words? For many, intimacy conjures up juicy images of sexual trysts with the mythically perfect lover: one who attends to our every need […]
You hand your friend the beautifully wrapped gift. In delight, your dear one excitedly strips off the bow and wrapping, lifts the box, and then says in a crestfallen voice, “I can’t wear wool; it makes me itch. Here, you can have it back.” Can you imagine how deflated and hurt you would feel if […]
What do you say to a client whose presenting issue is deep angst over the question of relationship? Whether the person is in a primary relationship and deeply unhappy, questioning whether to stay or to go, or the person longs for that primary relationship in order to feel happy and fulfilled, the issue is a […]
At the heart of narrative therapy – and the crucial aspect distinguishing it from more empirically-based therapies (such as CBT) – is the question of how we can know reality. Empiricism tells us that there a single “truth” waiting for us to discover it. Narrative therapists, on the other hand, recognise that the operative word […]
Many people view a new year as a clean slate: a chance to start afresh, including emotionally. For some this includes healing from past hurts which may have kept the person from moving forward in life. If a client comes to you with forgiveness on her mind – and, perhaps, whether she should or should […]