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Hard-to-Help Clients Possible barriers to helping clients include their history, beliefs, behaviour and social relationships – including resistance to change or to engage in therapy. Sometimes, the therapist may inadvertently contribute to this situation. It’s important to be up-front about what is achievable, and to be willing to explore with prospective clients whether counselling really…

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Brain Plasticity and Trauma Fourth Force in Psychology The first force in psychology was psychoanalysis, brought to us by Sigmund Freud. Then, in the 1940s and 1950s, came the second force, behaviourism (courtesy of people like Skinner and Watson). Later, in the 1960s, Rogers and Maslow introduced humanism, the third force in psychology. The fourth…

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Working with Children and Young People Importance of Personal Therapy Working with young people is very different from working with adults. While having your own therapy is important regardless of client group, it’s even more so if you’re thinking of working with children. Think about why you are drawn to work with children – for…

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Transference, Countertransference and Projection Origin of the Concept of Transference Viennese psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud first identified the phenomenon of transference in 1901, when he worked with a client called Dora. In hindsight, he realised that the reason she had not completed treatment with him was that he had failed to recognise that she saw him…

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Stockholm Syndrome What It Is Stockholm syndrome is also known as trauma bonding. Joseph Goebbels, a member of the Nazi party, said: ‘If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.’ The Nazi regime manipulated a whole society into believing a lie; as a consequence, millions…

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Sexual Abuse Preparing Yourself Sexual abuse is a very heavy and difficult topic to hear about from a client. To cope with this, we need to be resilient, and to protect ourselves from being damaged by what we hear. In its Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions, the BACP (2018: 11) defines resilience as ‘the capacity…

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Working with Clients Who Self-Harm Intervention for Self Harm In order to start working with clients who self-harm, and to present interventions for self harm, we first need to understand what self harm is. The NHS defines self-harm as follows: ‘Self-harm is when someone intentionally damages or injures their body. It’s usually a way of…

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Models of Mental Health The World Health Organization defines ‘mental health’ as: ‘a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.’ There are various different…

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Meeting Course Criteria What Criteria Are The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘criterion’ (the singular form of ‘criteria’) as ‘a principle or standard by which something may be judged or decided’. This is accurate in the context of counselling courses, as your work is judged (marked), and a decision made about whether you’ve passed. What Tutors Are…

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Loss and Bereavement Important Elements In working with loss and bereavement, it is important to be aware of: your own experience of grief, ensuring that you have processed this (perhaps with the help of personal counselling) before trying to help clients to do so the sociological and religious context of loss and grief for the…

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