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 […]
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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 […]
It’s surely happened to all of us, and it will probably turn up at some stage in your therapy rooms, too: a client confides that, just when she was thinking of someone from the past whom she hadn’t seen for many years but who had a huge impact on her life, she runs into that […]
One in six Australians has hearing loss, and the projection is that one in four will have it by 2050, as our population ages (Australian Network on Disability, n.d.). Thus, even if you never have a profoundly deaf client come to your rooms, you are likely to see someone at some stage who is hearing-impaired. […]
Shame, guilt, humiliation, and embarrassment are painful and universal human experiences; the terms are often used interchangeably and do overlap, but are different from one another. Owing to differences in culture, religion, ethics, and personal standards, we experience them differently to even similar others in our social sphere, and certainly to people in other cultures. […]
Have you ever sat in session with a client pouring out their tale of woe about a certain relationship they’re in which is causing them untold amounts of stress and grief? Of course, you undoubtedly took it all in with supreme respectfulness, being able to see how the complained-about person’s behaviour was out-of-line, if not […]
Mazza, James J., Dexter-Mazza, Elizabeth T., Miller, Alec L., Rathus, Jill H., and Murphy, Heather E. (2016) DBT® Skills in schools – Skills training for emotional problem solving for adolescents (DBT STEPS-A). (4th Ed). New York: The Guilford Press. One of the first things that hits you when you browse this book is the detail […]
Morrison, J. (2014). The first interview. (4th Ed). New York: The Guilford Press. The first interview by James Morrison is a step by step guide to the first interview in a therapeutic relationship. James Morrison is Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland and has extensive experience in both the […]