Looking for maladaptive communication patterns is a common form of assessment that therapists use (Long & Young, 2007). Based on John Gottman’s theory popularly known as the “Four Horseman of the Apocalypse”, the following subheadings are common communication problems that most couples experience or participate in. They include; criticism and complaint, defensiveness, contempt, and stone […]
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You are co-facilitating a mediation session for Patricia and Jonathan White (a separated couple in their early 40s, with two children). In your first session, Patricia expresses clear opinions regarding residency arrangements for the children. Patricia is also steadfast in her beliefs about the fair division of assets and cash. Jonathan is equally sure in […]
Mediation is fast becoming a commonly accepted alternative form of dispute resolution. For most of us, we have probably heard of mediation as a tool for separating and divorcing couples to settle disputes before going to court or a process used in formal and informal industrial and workplace disputes, but there are elements of mediation […]
Sue and Tom lost their child Jill to leukaemia approximately one year ago. Tom suggested that Sue attend Professional Counselling because she still doesn’t seem to be able to cope with everyday living. For ease of writing the Professional Counsellor is abbreviated to C. A précis of the session is as follows In the first […]
A child’s earliest experiences with emotion most often occurs in the family setting. Consequently, the family plays an important role in the development of emotional understanding, particularly interactions between parents and children. For example, children who possess secure attachments with their parents show greater emotional understanding than those children who do not possess secure attachments […]
Charlotte is 11. She has been brought along to counselling by her mother, Fran. According to Fran, Charlotte has always been a “quiet and shy” girl. Fran remarks that she is not surprised by this as she too was a reserved and anxious child. In recent weeks however, Fran has noticed that Charlotte has become […]
Good relationships don’t just happen. Many people have the attitude that, “If I have to work at it, then it can’t be the right relationship.” This is not a true statement, any more than it’s true that you don’t have to work at good physical health through exercise, eating well, and stress reduction. There are […]
Attachment theory has emerged as a leading tool for understanding the deeper roots of the dynamics in a close relationship. Originally developed to explain attachments of children to their caregivers, this theory has been especially fruitful in couple therapy as it helps to explain how adults come to depend on one another. Attachment is viewed […]
Behaviour couple therapy is concerned about how people learn and unlearn dysfunctional behaviours. The model relies on cognitive behaviour theory whereby the general assumption is that changing the cognitions of an individual is critical to help clients overcome their problematic behaviours and bring about change. The theory also believes that behaviour is maintained by its […]
“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 […]
Becoming a couple is one of the most complex relationships in adulthood. It is also well known that being a couple can contribute to personal growth and self awareness (Long & Young, 2007). Romantic couples are a unique type of relationship that is different from friendships and family bonds because it is based on romantic […]
Intimacy is one of the main ingredients of a successful, ‘ideal’ relationship along with passion and commitment (Hanna, 1991). Intimacy is a journey — it is not a tangible thing. It takes place over time, is ever-changing and is not stagnant. In fact, any kind of stagnation in a relationship may damage intimacy. It is […]
There are hundreds of personality traits and tendencies that make a person acceptable for a successful long-term relationship. But according to relationship expert, Dr. Neil Clark Warren, there is one trait that is more important than all others. “Mastering verbal intimacy is the most important indicator of whether a person is right for you and […]
Strategic therapy involves the therapist designing specific approaches to each of the presenting issues. Symptoms and problems are viewed as a couple’s dysfunctional way of communicating and specific strategies are used to alleviate these problems. The strategic therapist places great emphasis on the sequence of interactions between couples. Sequence of interactions refers to habitual ways […]
Parents can play the key role in initiating and generating behaviour change in their children. Parents have the potential to inspire their children directly (by applying reinforcers and other behaviour modification strategies) and indirectly (by providing a safe, supportive and encouraging environment). As counsellors, working with parents can enhance our potential to promote successful outcomes […]