Your 39-year-old female client seats herself and looks at you with frustration. It’s been many months now since she was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative condition, but she just can’t accept it; life is becoming impossible. Your 20-something male client suffered a relational breakup seven months ago; this was his “love of my life” and he […]
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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. […]
There are no two ways about it: rejection is a universal experience and we will all face it multiple times over the course of our lives. But it still hurts! So what might it be helpful to keep in mind when you face that poor client that has been rejected (perhaps again)? This article offers […]
In recent years, many disaster response experts and mental health researchers have switched their focus from looking exclusively at at-risk populations in the aftermath of an emergency to asking, “What are the protective factors?” “What situations, experiences, or personal traits help people to come through a traumatic incident with greater resilience?” First, let’s clear what […]
You are working with a 65-year-old female client, Mary, who has been coming to see you for six months as she had grief and loss issues around having lost her only sibling, her brother and her husband in a space of a month apart (a year ago). She has a daughter and son who are […]
Suicide is a significant public health problem, and properly supporting those left behind – the survivors – is a challenging but significant contribution to the wellbeing of the whole community. If a suicide-bereaved person wound up in your therapy room, what counselling tasks would need to be worked through with them? In this post we […]
There are perhaps few human events which generate as many emotions and as intense a set of reactions as someone ending their own life. We can divide the reactions into two categories: those which tend to occur early in the grieving, and those which are ongoing. In this post we explore the early reactions of […]
If you have a friend, family member, or other acquaintance struggling with bereavement of suicide, how can you best offer support? What attitudes, translated into caring actions, can best facilitate the bereaved person’s coping in the immediate and short term, and their healing in the longer term? Because of the remaining societal stigma and also […]
Disasters and mass disruptive events can be extremely unpredictable and chaotic. Even though that is a valid characterisation of catastrophe, disaster experts have discerned a general pattern or cycle of phases that a community and the individuals in it go through from the time of impact of a disaster to establishing a newly reconstructed life. […]
In the first video of this two-part series (Principles of Psychological First Aid), Richard Hill looked at the five principles that are the basis for all Psychological First Aid: that is, promoting safety, calmness, self-efficacy, connectedness, and hope. In this talk, Richard will be putting you into the field: that is, the explorations will take […]
Psychological First Aid is a means of providing psychosocial support to individuals and families immediately after a disaster, terrorist or traumatic event, or other emergency. It consists of a set of helping actions which are systematically undertaken in order to reduce initial post-trauma distress and to support short- and long-term adaptive functioning. Based on the […]
Lindemann (1944), Lazare (1979) and Worden (2005) have identified numerous symptoms and behaviours that indicate unresolved / complicated grief. While many of the symptoms identified can be considered ordinary during the more acute earlier phase of grief, they are considered major signs of unresolved / complicated grief if they remain for unusually prolonged periods of […]
Below are examples of some useful techniques in grief counselling that stem from a range of different theoretical frames. Cognitive restructuring The underlying assumption with this approach is that our thoughts influence our feelings; particularly the secret self scripts that are constant in our minds. It is not unusual for the grieving person to experience […]
In this post we explore psychological and social factors that may contribute to unresolved/complicated grief. Click here for a list of symptoms and behaviours of unresolved/complicated grief. Psychological factors Anger and guilt can often be a key source of adjustment difficulties in the process of grief. Guilt can inhibit the grief process if mourners are unable […]
With a number of people undergoing grief, it is important to understand signs of normal grief. Worden (2005) identified four categories that demonstrate normal grief. This includes feelings, cognitions, physical sensations and behaviours. It is also important to remember that these signs of grief will vary from individual to individual. Feelings Sadness is a common […]