What do you say to a client whose presenting issue is deep angst over the question of relationship? Whether the person is in a primary relationship and deeply unhappy, questioning whether to stay or to go, or the person longs for that primary relationship in order to feel happy and fulfilled, the issue is a […]
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At the heart of narrative therapy – and the crucial aspect distinguishing it from more empirically-based therapies (such as CBT) – is the question of how we can know reality. Empiricism tells us that there a single “truth” waiting for us to discover it. Narrative therapists, on the other hand, recognise that the operative word […]
Many people view a new year as a clean slate: a chance to start afresh, including emotionally. For some this includes healing from past hurts which may have kept the person from moving forward in life. If a client comes to you with forgiveness on her mind – and, perhaps, whether she should or should […]
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 […]
“The way my manager looked at me when I turned in the report – I know he’s planning to sack me soon.” “I can by the way she kissed me; my wife is cheating on me for sure!” “That horrid tart dating my dad is just after his money – to cut my brother and […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
What’s your reaction when your client leans forward in her chair and her voice drops to a whisper as she confides, “You know, I just get so sleepy after lunch that I feel I must have a nap, or I can’t function – but then I feel so guilty!”? Do you nod sagely, “getting” what […]
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 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 […]
He’s up at 5:00 a.m. every morning, slipping into jogging shorts despite the single-digit temperatures, cold winds, and darkness. He pounds the pavement faithfully for 90 minutes a day, at least five days a week. He is also chronically tired and complains of frequent joint pain. He has recently been feeling like, “Why bother? Life […]
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 […]