You are asked at the cocktail party what you do. “Well,” you respond with enthusiasm, “I’m so excited right now. I just graduated with my degree in hospitality.” “Oh, a future barista,” says the other guest, swirling his drink. “I guess we can’t all get Ph.D.’s in science like I did.” You run into a […]
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Counsellor to client mandated to come to counselling after an alleged domestic violence incident: “So, did you hit your wife?” Client: (Squirming in chair). “I love my wife. Do you think I would give a black eye to the woman I love? What happened was that there was this jar of honey that couldn’t be […]
“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 […]
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 […]
He’s up at 5:00 a.m. every morning, slipping into jogging shorts despite the single-digit temperatures, cold winds, and darkness. He pounds the pavement faithfully for 90 minutes a day, at least five days a week. He is also chronically tired and complains of frequent joint pain. He has recently been feeling like, “Why bother? Life […]
Have you ever attempted to speak with a gambler about his or her gambling patterns? Chances are that the person overrode any concerns you might have broached about their behaviour by saying that they couldn’t possibly become addicted because they don’t gamble regularly, they don’t lose more than a few hundred dollars at a time, […]
You have been working as a gambling addictions counsellor for Relationships Australia for the past 5 years. You are active in the community and attend regular network meetings in your local area. One evening at a regular meeting you run into a previous client, Kobe. Kobe informs you that he has been in recovery for […]
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 […]
Mike Fox, Lesley Wilson (2011). Jessica Kingsley Publishing. Australia, like other developed countries, has a rapidly ageing population. Over the next 50 years the Australian Bureau of Statistic (2000) predicts that the number of older Australians is expected to increase to 6.5 million, representing approximately 25% of the total population. Whilst the use and abuse […]
Spending too much, too often, goes by several names: “shopping addiction”, “over-shopping” or “overspending”, “compulsive shopping”, and “oniomania”. People even designate themselves as “shopaholics”. Definition Donald Black, a doctor and professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, describes compulsive shopping and spending as “inappropriate, excessive, and out of control. Like other […]
Loss of control in its broader sense encompasses both the relative inability of an addict to terminate consumption once initiated and the inability to refrain from substance use following a period of abstinence (Lyvers, 2000). This has been attributed to impairments in the area of the brain that is responsible for executive functions including behavioural […]
Addictions may manifest in numerous ways, but generally they share three common characteristics – often referred to as the three C’s of compulsive use, loss of control and continued use. In this post we’ll focus on the role compulsive use plays in addictive behaviour. Compulsive use has three elements: reinforcement, craving and habit. Reinforcement refers […]
A Support Group had been advertised on the display board of the local Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centre in the City where the Counsellor had been seeing each of the members for private counselling prior to the start of the programme. Ten clients enrolled in the group but by 7:15pm only 5 of the ten […]
Leah is a 24 year old woman who was recently discharged from the Army on medical grounds. During her four years in the Army, Leah experienced high levels of stress and anxiety which she coped with by drinking heavily. When she presented for counselling, Leah had been sober for 55 days and was seeking strategies […]