A client comes to you with a common problem: he cannot find anything positive in his life. “My friends and family complain that my glass is always half empty. My negativity is getting me down. How can I get out of this negative space that seems to occupy my thought, my language and my attitude […]
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Anna is a 17 year old student in Year 12 who has come to counselling because she is not coping with the stress of her final year. Anna is from a culture where academic success is highly important and she is under intense pressure from her parents to get good grades and go to university. […]
Rothschild, B. (2006). Help for the helper. The psychophysiology of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. New York. W. W. Norton & Company. Burnout, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma are risks that, as therapist we are aware of however whilst many of us have a toolbox full of techniques to assist our clients, we often fall […]
When we experience a threatening event, our bodies automatically respond in a way that allows us to protect ourselves or escape from the situation. This fight or flight involves an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and breathing rate. All these changes help us to physically deal with danger or leave the situation […]
Over time, the distinction between the three terms, stress, traumatic stress, and crisis, have become blurred, thus numerous professionals started using these terms synonymously. Some authors specifically indicate that they deal with both stress and developmental crisis, but do not make distinctions between these terms/concepts. Others define their work as dealing with crisis, but take […]
Anxiety is most often considered a problem if it occurs when there is no real threat or when the anxiety response is disproportionate to the threat being faced. However, when there is a real situation or stressor to deal with, the anxiety level might actually be appropriate. Appropriate levels of anxiety activate the organism to […]
Taking up further study can be a very exciting time as we take a step forward in our personal and professional lives. As we challenge ourselves to develop new skills and knowledge, a new framework to work from, and a new field to master, many of us embrace the role of student with both enthusiasm […]
Below is a list of descriptions that cognitive-behavioural counsellors can use to categorise automatic thoughts. These are descriptions of the common types of faulty thinking. All-or-nothing thinking: You see things in black and white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure. Overgeneralisation: You see a single negative […]
Struggling to find time in your daily life? Consider the following proven time management principles and techniques. The 80/20 rule The 80/20 principle is also known as the Pareto principle. It is based on the ideas of an Italian economist called Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto was a French—Italian economist and philosopher who lived between 1848 and […]
Cognitive restructuring, straight thinking or logical reanalysis is based on the belief that the way we feel, behave and respond to situations is based on the way we think. This approach attempts to modify unhelpful thought patterns and beliefs. Cognitive restructuring, also known as cognitive reframing, is a technique drawn from cognitive therapy that can […]
Anxiety that is produced as a result of an actual situation (e.g. being in the dentist’s chair getting a tooth drilled) can become associated to events that surround the incident even when the component that originally activated the fear (a noisy drill that results in pain) is no longer present. For example, just sitting in […]
Generalised anxiety disorder is a common chronic anxiety disorder that affects twice as many women as men (Brawman-Mintzer, & Lydiard, 1997). As the name implies, it is characterised by worry that is excessive and unrealistic and lasts more than six months. Long-lasting anxiety is not focused solely on one specific object or situation, however in […]
People with panic disorder suffer severe attacks of anxiety which can make them feel as though they are having a heart attack or are going crazy. Symptoms include heart palpitations, chest pain or discomfort, sweating, trembling, dizziness, difficulty breathing and feelings of losing control. Panic disorder involves at least one of these attacks followed by […]
Anxiety is an adaptive reaction that everyone experiences from time to time, including animals. Anxiety alarms us of situations and circumstances that involve some threat of danger, and it enables our body to respond in ways that help keep us safe. This response is a useful survival mechanism, helping us to avoid or even prevent […]
General adaptation syndrome describes the body’s short-term and long-term reaction to stress. Originally described by Hans De Solye in the 1920s, the general adaptation syndrome describes a three stage reaction to stress covering our initial reaction to the stressor, our resistance and adaptation to coping with the stressor and our eventual exhaustion after dealing with […]