Category Archive: Abstracts, Latest Article

Climate change-related distress within the dominant mental health paradigm: Problems, pitfalls, and a possible way forward

Rana Rose Kökçinar   Abstract Climate change-related distress (CCRD) is a salient discourse, with contemporary resources for addressing CCRD currently dominated by positivist ideology. Such resources are problematic as they instil individualistic notions of behaviour change to combat climate change and CCRD, oversimplifying the problem and shifting focus away from systemic power imbalances and injustices …

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Turning towards our desire to turn away: Climate disavowal in the context of the Australian counselling profession

Nell Azuri   Abstract This article examines disavowal, or half-knowing, of climate change from the standpoint of the Australian counselling profession. It argues that the field in Australia has yet to make climate change a professional duty of care or ethical issue. It also looks at the role of disavowal in the lack of engagement …

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Contemporary gestalt psychotherapy: The tensions between practitioner education and the current cultural context

Patrick (Paddy) O’Regan   Abstract The practice of gestalt therapy and the training of its practitioners have undergone significant change since the early 1950s. The culture they are situated in is also undergoing significant change. The main goal of this paper is to articulate the nature of contemporary gestalt therapy, the practice of gestalt professional …

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Reversing the panopticon: On narrative therapy and its place in the treatment of eating disorders

Megan Buys   Abstract With eating disorder treatment options gaining traction in Australia due to increased government funding for dietician and counselling sessions, psychotherapists and psychologists /are called to position themselves as an authoritative force within the therapeutic space. The current paper rejects this notion and uses personal and professional reflection on eating disorder treatment …

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The adverse effects of burnout and compassion fatigue among mental health practitioners: Self-care strategies for prevention and mitigation

Natalie Salameh   Abstract Over the years, a body of empiricism and conceptual frameworks has burgeoned related to the emotional toll often exacted on mental health practitioners engaged in the helping field—an emotional toll often denoted as burnout and compassion fatigue. This article delineates the concepts of burnout and compassion fatigue and their adverse, often …

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The transition from postgraduate counselling student to working counsellor: A qualitative investigation

Chris Lamb   Abstract With the demand for mental health services in Australia continuing to grow, it is imperative that tertiary trained counsellors continue to enter the profession; yet little is known about the factors that contribute to a successful entry. This qualitative, phenomenological study investigated the transition from postgraduate counselling student to working counsellor …

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Exploring the future social identity of a PhD student dealing with anxiety: A psychotherapy client study

Nicholas Sarantakis   Abstract This psychotherapy case study examines the brief therapeutic journey of a young woman presenting with academic anxiety and the flexible person-centred approach adopted by her therapist, the author. Application during therapy sessions of concepts from humanistic therapy and beyond, such as configurations of self and imagining future possible selves, enabled the …

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Connecting with clients: Building therapeutic alliances with people who are incarcerated

Deborah Denton and Linda Grenade   Abstract Prison counselling is often regarded as involving additional challenges to those generally faced by practitioners working within the community. One of the most critical relates to the worker–client therapeutic alliance and how this can best be established. Drawing on data collected as part of a broader doctoral study, …

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Tree of Life: Acceptability and feasibility with older Bosnian women of refugee background

Nigar G. Khawaja, Kate Murray, and Shaheeda Sadeed Abstract There is a growing awareness that mental health issues of culturally and linguistically diverse individuals from refugee backgrounds can benefit from therapeutic intervention to promote wellbeing. However, there are numerous barriers to services for these populations. There is increasing recognition that culturally sensitive and safe therapeutic …

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Meeting the needs of a culturally diverse nation: An evaluation of a behavioural program adapted to treat Vietnamese Australians experiencing gambling problems

Sue Bertossa, My Phuong Sramek, Kate Fairweather, and Sharon Lawn Abstract Equity is an important principle of health care in Australia, and redesigning health services to meet the needs of culturally marginalised groups has the potential to improve accessibility to psychotherapy. This paper describes the collaborative efforts of an ethno-specific service and a specialist treatment …

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Clarifying a muddy pond: A Pākehā therapist’s account of navigating a critical moment in the integration of narrative therapy and person-centred therapy

Sarah Penwarden   Abstract In this paper, as a Pākehā[1]/non-Māori therapist, I reflect on my desire for integration between two diverse modalities: person-centred therapy and narrative therapy. Drawing on the dissonance experienced in a moment of a conversation where I responded solely with one modality, I question whether integration of diverse approaches is possible. I …

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The challenges faced by university educators in Singapore when referring students to counsellors: An instrumental case study

Steven Ng Poh Yaip and Dr Ada Chung Yee Lin   Abstract This study examines the difficulties faced by two university professors working in a public, autonomous university in Singapore, when referring students to counselling services. Educators typically observe how students interact and behave in class, and may refer students to counselling services. However, there …

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Counselling Skills and Competencies Tool: Scale development and preliminary data

  Jane L. Fowler, John G. O’Gorman, and Mark P. Lynch Abstract This paper reports on the development of the Counselling Skills and Competencies Tool (CSCT) as a practical instrument that can be used in teaching and assessing counselling skills and competencies. Members of an entry-level counselling course, experienced and beginning counsellors, and people not …

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Integrating the transpersonal approach into counselling: A semi-structured phenomenological inquiry

Malini Turner   Abstract This study investigated the benefits of integrating the transpersonal approach in counselling practice. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to examine the data gained through semi-structured interviews with four social worker-counsellors. Results suggested that the transpersonal approach may provide counsellors with the benefit of using spiritual variables to enrich their practice. …

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Tuning-in to clients: The use of semiotics in counselling

Thomas Mark Edwards   Abstract Semiotics is about signs, but more so about meaning-making. It therefore has immediate relevance to counselling. The current paper not only seeks to introduce semiotics to counsellors but also to offer skills and methods to enhance the ways in which practitioners see, hear, and understand their clients via the use …

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