If It Doesn’t Open . . . It’s Not Your Door

A while ago, I was going through my newsfeed on Facebook, when I came across this proclamation: If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door. I thought it was one of the most brilliant pieces of wisdom I’d ever heard—so of course I immediately stole it and shared it on my own Facebook page too. And I’ve been using it—with clients, with friends, and with myself—ever since. How many times …

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Mental Health Struggles in Student Athletes and How To Prevent Them

Depression is a common mental health issue that affects a significant number of the world’s population. In fact, depression is the leading cause of disability around the world and one out of every 13 global citizens suffers from anxiety. Although many of those who suffer from mental health problems are adults, up to 20% of the world’s children under the age of 19 suffer from mental health issues. Suicide remains …

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Addiction and Recovery: What Do Addicts REALLY Need?

Whenever I hear clients repeating themselves in our therapy sessions, I take notice. Their repetition alerts me that something is really important to them. Sometimes they’ll tell me the same story more than once, other times they will ask the same questions a few times. In other cases, they will repeat words—especially when they are striving to let me know how they feel. So when I began receiving emails this …

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Addiction and Codependency: Top 10 Reasons to Stop Enabling the Addict You Love – Part 2

I’m hoping that Part One of this article got you thinking about some of the potential ways you may be enabling the addict in your life, so that you can begin to take the steps necessary to truly help them. It’s understandable if you feel anxious about setting healthy, appropriate boundaries or about making your own self-care a priority. But if you want your addicted loved ones to begin to …

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“I Know I’m Enabling But . . .” Recovery from Addiction in the Family

After working with the loved ones of people struggling with addiction for nearly 30 years, I’m still amazed by how many come to their first session with me and say “I know I’m enabling, but . . .” Do you have an addicted loved one in your life? Are you already aware that you’re doing things you probably shouldn’t be doing, in the guise of ‘helping’ them? And even if …

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Using Psychological Formulation in Inpatient Mental Health Settings – Helping People Make Sense of Their Problems

Inpatient mental health settings are traditionally guided by the medical model, with treatment focusing primarily on psychiatric diagnosis and pharmacological interventions. A drawback of this approach is that people may feel labelled and not fully understood as individuals. To address this, the author advocates greater use of psychological formulation on inpatient mental health units. A psychological formulation may include: Present Problems – Focusing on individual symptoms that are problematic for …

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Compulsory Mental Health Treatment: Know Your Rights, Have Your Say

In Victoria, 10,000 people a year are placed on compulsory mental health treatment orders.  For many, this can feel like their self-determination is lost and their voice is not heard.   In August 2015, Independent Mental Health Advocacy, (IMHA) was established to provide a free independent advocacy and information service to people receiving compulsory mental health treatment in Victoria. IMHA was designed to assist people to retain a degree of choice …

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Therapy Has Different Forms Than Chatting in a Room

Psychologist Maz Miller used to prescribe fresh air and exercise to her patients all the time, until one day she got tired of talking about it. Frustrated with the limitations of her office, she got up mid-session and took her client out for a walk. “I could tell there was something different,” she says. “The client seemed to open up a lot more; the whole session was flowing.” The results …

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How Better Designed Therapy Spaces Could Improve Mental Health Treatment

The buildings we inhabit can change the way we feel. That’s particularly relevant when designing mental health spaces, and yet there are no real guidelines that cover this field. With one in five Australians experiencing a mental illness in any year, a researcher at the Melbourne School of Design says it’s worth considering how to design the spaces in which therapy takes place. Stephanie Liddicoat is nearing the completion of her …

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Harvesting Your Health

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) individuals and communities continue to be a topic of focus in Australia, a nation founded on an identity of immigration. While prevalence of mental illness in these groups mirror those of a white Australian population, those from CALD backgrounds often report higher symptom severity, greater social isolation, a reduction in feelings of community, and are often less likely to be formerly diagnosed. There is a …

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