We have previously talked about preventative measures such as scheduling family meetings, formulating rules and rituals, and how to discipline and communicate with our children and step-children. But what happens when we have done all these things, and problems still occur? Sometimes the route of all evil can be jealousy. There are many players in […]
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One of the most common reasons for not-so-good step-family relationships is lack of communication. It is important to include the children in family processes such as formulating rules and new rituals. This is a great start! The next thing to do is to encourage communication. Talking is the best way to strengthen relationships, understand emotions […]
As a step-parent, sooner or later you will be reminded by your step-child that you are not their parent. One very important item to discuss between your partner and yourself is “who disciplines who?” In coming to a decision on discipline it is helpful to look at nuclear families who equally share this role. In […]
Journalling is a way of tracking the development of our thoughts and feelings. It enables us to not only record our journey but also to write down our goals and our plans on how to reach those goals. The journal is a very powerful tool which assists us in recording our perceptions. The Journal, as […]
Humour can be a powerful and effective mechanism for coping with stress, especially when combined with other means of stress reduction. The real power of humour and laughter shows up when you learn to use it in stressful situations. It keeps things in perspective, helps dispel negative emotions, and puts you in a frame of […]
Supervision generally fall into two main types: structured and unstructured. Structured supervision interventions are supervisor-directed and resemble those of a training session. Unstructured supervision can be either supervisor or supervisee directed and can be more difficult to implement as the supervisor has to facilitate learning without actually directing the session. Both structured and unstructured supervision are beneficial […]
Communication is vital in any relationship. Understanding can be created and perhaps any hurt can be healed provided people can be kept in communication with each other. Therefore communication and problem solving are key areas to be considered when dealing with couples counselling. The counsellor’s aim here should be twofold: To help clients acquire skills […]
Focusing enables a counsellor to direct client’s conversational flow into certain areas. It is a microskill that is relevant to all stages of a counselling interview. This skill however should be used sparingly. Example: After noticing that a client has mentioned very little about his family, the counsellor, (believing the family is relevant) directs the […]
Communication has several key aspects which are all the more pertinent to people whose lives are entwined with each other and who need to maintain high levels of understanding. First of all, when speaking there are certain principles that come into play. Words have different meanings to different people and what we intend to say […]
A counsellor can encourage a client to continue to talk, open up more freely and explore issues in greater depth by providing accurate responses through encouraging, paraphrasing and summarising. Responding in this way informs the client that the counsellor has accurately heard what they have been saying. Encouragers, paraphrases and summaries are basic to helping […]
In this post, we look at how Motivational Enhancement Therapy can be applied to a practical situation. More specifically, we’ll discuss how counsellors can utilise this model to assist clients suffering from eating disorders. To start, consider the Four Fundamental Principles (Lacey & Lister, unpublished) outlined below: The client’s drive towards thinness is ego-syntonic — […]
Questions during the counselling session can help to open up new areas for discussion. They can assist to pinpoint an issue and they can assist to clarify information that at first may seem ambiguous to the counsellor. Questions that invite clients to think or recall information can aid in a client’s journey of self-exploration. Counsellors […]
As children travel through the journey of life they are faced with many different developmental challenges. Early in life, babies learn to pay attention and be part of a relationship. As they grow they learn to use their imagination and think logically. Greenspan and Salmon (1995) developed a road map outlining the emotional milestones children […]
Disclosure is a controversial issue when examining therapeutic boundaries. There are two issues to consider regarding disclosure. The first is counsellor disclosure and confidentiality. The second is counsellor disclosure (ie. how much does a client disclose about their own lives to a client?). Some counsellors would argue whatever is appropriate (but this is ambiguous). Other […]
The treatment contract is an element that distinguishes transactional analysis from other therapeutic approaches. It is a specific agreement between a therapist and a client to accomplish clearly stated goals. Berne (quoted by Stewart and Joines, 1987) defined a contract as an explicit bilateral commitment to a well-defined course of action. James and Jongeward’s (1973, […]