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 […]
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When a person has experienced anxiety in a certain place or situation previously, they are more likely to anticipate the anxiety recurring under similar circumstances. This can lead to avoidance, which further reinforces the anxiety and its association with the particular place or situation where the anxiety initially occurred. The decrease in anxiety, when the […]
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 […]
Cognitive restructuring, straight thinking or logical reanalysis is based on the belief that the way we feel, behave and respond to situations is based on the way we think. This approach attempts to modify unhelpful thought patterns and beliefs. Cognitive restructuring, also known as cognitive reframing, is a technique drawn from cognitive therapy that can […]
The Beck Depression Inventory is copyrighted by the Psychological Corporation. Material here presented is only for educational purpose because the BDI should be used only by registered professionals. The original version of the BDI was introduced by Beck, Ward, Mendelson, Mock and Erbaugh in 1961 (cited in Victims’ Web, 2007). The BDI was revised in […]
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 […]
Generalised anxiety disorder is a common chronic anxiety disorder that affects twice as many women as men (Brawman-Mintzer, & Lydiard, 1997). As the name implies, it is characterised by worry that is excessive and unrealistic and lasts more than six months. Long-lasting anxiety is not focused solely on one specific object or situation, however in […]
People with panic disorder suffer severe attacks of anxiety which can make them feel as though they are having a heart attack or are going crazy. Symptoms include heart palpitations, chest pain or discomfort, sweating, trembling, dizziness, difficulty breathing and feelings of losing control. Panic disorder involves at least one of these attacks followed by […]
Anxiety is an adaptive reaction that everyone experiences from time to time, including animals. Anxiety alarms us of situations and circumstances that involve some threat of danger, and it enables our body to respond in ways that help keep us safe. This response is a useful survival mechanism, helping us to avoid or even prevent […]
Historically, researchers have argued that complicated grief is an expression of a major depressive disorder or an anxiety-based disorder that has been triggered by a specific loss.?More recently, researchers have concluded that grief symptoms only partially overlap with symptoms of depression and other DSM-IV-TR categories, such as anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, and that […]
Motivational enhancement is a style of person-centred counselling developed to facilitate change in health-related behaviours. The core principle of the approach is negotiation rather than conflict. It aims to help people explore and resolve their ambivalence about behaviour change. It combines warmth and empathy with focused reflective listening and the development of discrepancy between where […]
Obsessive compulsive disorder is a type of anxiety disorder primarily characterised by obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are distressing, repetitive, intrusive thoughts or images that the person realises are irrational. Compulsions are repetitive behaviours that the person feels forced or compelled into doing in order to relieve the anxiety brought about by obsessions. In other words, […]
Prevention is defined as “interventions that occur before the initial onset of a disorder to prevent the development of disorder” (Mrazek & Haggerty, 1994, p. 23). The prevention of depression relies on reducing the risk factors for mental disorder, as well as enhancing the protective factors that promote mental health. The level of risk of […]
There are many forms of disabilities that can affect the child’s normal developmental process. Some disabilities can be more severe than others. A common type of disability hindering a child’s development is a learning disorder. Having such a disorder can be painful for children as they have to deal the disconnections they may be experiencing […]
In the previous post we explored some aspects of both loneliness and depression. The causes of each often have their basic roots in the way that modern life has progressed, particularly where ways of protecting oneself against being alone, feeling down and worthless and so on have been eroded. Isolation from others (geographic, social, emotional), […]