Would you know what to say or do in order to de-escalate from a client – or anyone – threatening to harm you if they don’t get what they want? Would you know – if all else fails – how to keep yourself safe in a violent situation? In this article, we share with you a set of responses for dealing with an angry person – safely – at each of seven levels of anger.
Because it is so multi-faceted, misperceptions about anger abound, and the question arises: how shall we regard anger? How do we advise the client to think about it? Folk wisdom often would say that the best thing to do is just let it all out, but is it? Clients complain that they cannot control it, that the tendency to be easily angered is inherited, but again, is there evidence for that? This article expores common myths people tend to hold about anger, and factual statements following them that you can use to clarify for the client why learning to deal with problem anger is time well spent.
For months, prior to this writing, the daily news feeds have been rife with grim updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet it appears that there is a parallel pandemic occurring: that of racial discrimination unleashed because of COVID-19. Researchers at the Australian National University are inviting people to record their experiences of racism following on […]
What would be your reaction if someone you knew and respected called you a racist? Would you be gobsmacked? Bewildered as to what you could have said or done that made you seem racist? Or perhaps infuriated that someone could think that you, in all probability a staunch promoter of social justice ideals, could actually […]
The purpose of counselling is generally to help people learn to live in happier, more effective ways, which more often than not means helping them learn how to come together better with other people. In these pandemic-permeated times, however, we are told by authorities that the most effective means of being with others is to […]
Please consider these two scenarios for a moment. Scenario 1. The new client comes in and makes solid eye contact as she seats herself. You feel a surge of warmth toward her and are immediately interested. As the session progresses, you notice she is similar to you in certain unusual ways, and her passing remarks […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
The holidays are finished, the relatives have gone home, and your clients are trickling back in, many of them armed with an awesome set of resolutions for what they plan to accomplish. A brand new year is like a clean slate: hopeful, invigorating and full of promise. But the road to realisation of goals is […]
Your new boss shifts the goal posts, demanding a much higher volume of work from you than the high level that was expected before. You take one look at all the new tasks you must do, throw up your hands in despair, and angrily write out your resignation letter. Did you give up or did […]
How do you respond when your client asks in distress: “Why am I having all these wild dreams?”? Do you know what purpose the client’s dreams may be serving? If your honest answer is “no”, you are not alone. While theories on why we dream abound, it’s hard to get at dreams directly. The main […]
It’s becoming increasingly “official”. More and more, we human beings are using our furry, feathered, and finned fellow beings to help us heal. It’s called animal-assisted therapy, or AAT, and the purpose of this post is to introduce you to it, a therapy adjunct since the 1990s. We look into what it is, how we […]
We live in a noisy, overstimulated, fast-paced world: conditions in which extraverts thrive, but for the roughly half of the population who are introverted, those same conditions are cause for dismay, if not worse. At some stage, you may be asked to help a frazzled, introverted client regain balance. What are the signs and symptoms […]
Your client’s voice gets very low. In the hushed tones of deep shame, he confides, “I was so depressed yesterday, like never before. This was my marriage; it was so important to me, and I failed at it.” You are suddenly on high alert. You want to rush in and assure him that you know […]