Mindfulness (learn more about mindfulness here) interventions have been shown to be beneficial for a wide range of psychological and physical conditions such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, personality disorders, and addictions. Controlled trials of normal populations have also demonstrated positive changes in brain function and immune response, self-awareness, perceived stress, and increase in self-compassion […]
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The World Health Organization estimates that about million people die by suicide each year (World Health Organization, 2004). Understanding what drives people to take their own life is not easy for those who are not enmeshed in intolerable pain themselves; thus, myths and misconceptions tend to proliferate about this very final act. It is important […]
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) are said to affect two to three percent of the population for OCD (that is: more than 500,000 Australians) and one percent for OCPD, although three to ten percent of the psychiatric population is said to have it (Long, 2011). Many cases probably go untreated. Definitions If […]
Chronic pain affects 29 percent of Australians, which means that at any given time nearly three out of ten people are suffering in some way (Stollznow Research for Pfizer Australia, 2010). When we add the emotional, physical, and financial challenges of the people who care for them, the percentage of lives touched by chronic pain […]
During the week of pre-wedding festivities and at the wedding itself, Clifford — the groom — was the life and soul of the party. He had agreed that the wedding could be held in the native country of his fiancé, Carlotta. His few family members and friends flew in for the week of gatherings. With […]
Treatments for depression or anxiety, also called “interventions”, fall into one of three categories, and often several are recommended to be taken up at once. These main groupings are: Medical interventions; Psychological interventions; and Lifestyle interventions. In this post we overview a range of lifestyle interventions therapists can suggest when treating depression. Bibliotherapy What is […]
Successful treatment of schizophrenia depends on a regimen of both drug and psychosocial support therapies. While antipsychotic medication can help control the symptoms of psychosis associated with schizophrenia, it cannot help the person find and maintain a job, establish effective social relationships, increase their coping skills, or teach them to communicate well with others. Poverty, […]
Chantelle is 14 and in foster care. Chantelle was removed from her parents’ care at the age of seven and has since had several foster placements. Her last care arrangement ended, one month ago, when her foster family relocated interstate. Child protection workers have found a new foster placement for Chantelle and you have been […]
Eifert, Georg H. Ph. D., and Forsyth, John P. Ph. D. 2005. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications Inc. There are literally hundreds of publications available, both to the counselling practitioner and lay person regarding the understanding and treatment of anxiety. Many focus on behavioural and cognitive behavioural approaches to assist in dealing with anxiety, ‘Acceptance […]
Anxiety is most often considered a problem if it occurs when there is no real threat or when the anxiety response is disproportionate to the threat being faced. However, when there is a real situation or stressor to deal with, the anxiety level might actually be appropriate. Appropriate levels of anxiety activate the organism to […]
Personality disorders are thought to result from a difficult temperament (as well as biological and social factors). Personality traits and temperaments are dimensional characteristics that are heritable and manifest early in life. These characteristics underlie or influence cognitive processes, interpersonal and social functions, emotional and affective states and biological stress systems (Howland, 2007; Shiner, 2005). […]
Everyone has personality traits that characterise them as unique individuals. Such traits refer to the usual way in which a person thinks, feels and behaves. Specifically, personality refers to the pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviours, consistently exhibited by an individual over a long period of time. Personality is a complex combination of traits and […]
“When the wine goes in, strange things come out.” ~ Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, The Piccolomini, 1799 Alcohol consumption is part of our daily lives. It is used and enjoyed in most developed and developing countries around the world. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant even though it is commonly mistaken to be […]
There is a difference between substance use, abuse and dependence. Substance use, as the name implies, refers to the use of substances in low to moderate amounts and does not interfere with social, occupational or educational functioning. Substance abuse on the other hand refers to regular use and it is defined in terms of how […]
Almost all substance use affects the “reward mechanism” in the brain. The main chemical messenger involved in the brain’s reward mechanism is dopamine. Each time the person uses a substance they will tend to feel ‘good’, which makes them want to use the substance again. Over time, changes in the brain occur (e.g. less dopamine […]