The tree is aglow with the presents all wrapped, the holiday baking is done, and Aunt Daisy has promised to be on her best behaviour. Your client is ready for Christmas – or maybe not. As the siren call of “happy holidays” beckons, many people are thrilled to come to the end of the year. […]
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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 […]
If you’ve been a professional helper for a while, you have probably sensed that the fields we work in (counselling/psychotherapy, psychology, social work, etc.) have changed in recent years. As the world we live in becomes increasingly polarised, so too do the beliefs and values of people drawn to radicalisation toward extremism; for many of […]
Maggie, a counsellor, saw a client in the morning who related how his doctor had just given him a diagnosis of cancer, necessitating cutting out some cancerous tissue. Her client, Arnold, was dismayed about the diagnosis. “But at least,” he confided to Maggie, “I don’t have to have that horrible colostomy bag like some people […]
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 […]
As the population ages in nations such as Australia and the United States, increasing numbers of offspring wonder how to help their retired, now lonely, and often depressed parent. Some of these may ask you for advice on how to help their beloved mum or dad. Of course, health problems must be tended to, but […]
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road can take you there.” (Lewis Carroll) You are here on this planet for the duration. What will you do with the time that is allotted to you? Who will you become? What will you have in your life: which people, things, and experiences? What will […]
Suppose someone asked you: “Why are you here? What is the purpose of your existence?” Would you be able to answer that in a meaningful way? Aligned to that question is: “What do you value? What has meaning for you?” In my psychotherapy work, the question of MPV — meaning, purpose, values — often comes […]
Colour pervades our physical environment, from the soft colours of dawn to the bright colours of tropical birds. It also affects our emotional environment, as when we “see red”, “have the blues”, “turn crimson” with embarrassment; or when our bank account should be “in the black”. We are told that colour has huge effects on […]
At a local café yesterday the sign said: “No free Wi-Fi. Talk to each other like before the internet.” What? And be there just for the coffee and conversation? We are more connected today than ever before (Facebook, for example, has more than 1.28 billion active users), but experts warn that we are also lonelier […]
When discussing happiness, one attitude/belief that deserves special mention is the art of accepting ourselves on an “as is, where is” basis. For us to be peacefully in relationship with our own humanness — our own combination of strengths, growing edges and unique quirks — means to have less stress from the source of our […]
Johnson, Rick. (2013). Spirituality in counseling and psychotherapy: An integrative approach that empowers clients. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc. Spirituality in counselling and psychotherapy offers a practical exploration of the understanding and integration of spirituality in contemporary counselling. It is a practical text guiding the reader through an awareness of self and the role […]
Although only recently embraced by Western psychology, mindfulness practices and techniques have been part of many Eastern philosophies, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Tai Chi, Hinduism, and most martial arts, for thousands of years. The various definitions of it revolve around bringing non-judgmental consciousness to the present experience, so it can be considered the art of […]
Have you ever had a counselling or psychotherapy client who did not seem to show much, if any, sense of guiding and directing their own life? Or one who, despite apparent heroic efforts, was stuck in some significant way, unable to move forward? What about those fairly intact clients who come with an agonising loss […]
You can’t beat depression through sheer willpower — it is an illness after all, not a sign of weakness — but you do have some control. Here are some tips for helping yourself to overcome depression. They involve finding things you enjoy (especially some new ones), staying active, and staying connected. Some of the tips […]