Creating Healthier Workspaces: How stress leave can foster happier, healthier, and more productive employees

Employee mental health is pivotal to overall workplace wellbeing, impacting individual performance, job satisfaction, and organisational productivity. The global pandemic certainly drew attention to employee mental [...]

February 19, 2024

Tips on How to Stop Eating Junk Food

In today’s world, time efficiency and the desire for immediate satisfaction have become primary considerations for individuals. Junk food can provide this satisfaction because it not only tastes good, but it is convenient and easily acces[...]

March 17, 2023

Mental Health Statistics In Australia

According to the WHO, mental health is defined as a “state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribu[...]

September 6, 2022

Therapist vs Psychologist? Understanding the basic differences between mental health professionals

Mental health has always been a critically important topic. But it’s only recently that a truly conscious effort has been made to openly discuss and raise awareness on the issue. [...]

September 1, 2022

Shocking Binge Drinking Facts For Australia – The Social Cost

At Bayside Psychotherapy in Melbourne, we’ve noticed an increase every year in the number of people we help to stop, or come to terms with the damaging impact of binge drinking. Whilst we help people from all walks of life, facing all kin[...]

August 4, 2022

Physical Signs of Anxiety Infographic

There are times when we don’t always recognise our feelings and it is very easy to forget that anxiety has physical effects too. When we can identify these signs it becomes easier to tell if you are experiencing anxiety and move toward[...]

June 2, 2022

The Link Between Eating Disorders and Mental Health

Have you ever noticed a connection between your eating habits and your emotions? Perhaps you’ve experienced a short burst of energy after binging on sugary foods, or felt irritable and tired after skipping breakfast. Food can certai[...]

May 6, 2022

The Different Types of Mental Health Therapists: Who’s the right fit for you?

Mental health awareness has grown significantly and especially as a result of COVID and the associated lockdowns. [...]

May 6, 2022

10 Harmful Effects of Junk Food on Mental Health

Here’s an interesting fact. Your brain never switches off. Even when you are tucked up in bed at night, sleeping peacefully, your brain is still working away - priming your body for the day ahead. The brain has an incredibly high en[...]

February 14, 2022

Shame and Addiction

Shame is an extremely common experience for individuals who have or have had difficulties with substance use and addiction. In some cases, the shame comes before the substance use, and in some cases, it happens after the substance use. S[...]

June 11, 2020

COVID-19 and managing difficult emotions

Life in the time of COVID-19 is akin to something most of us have never encountered before. On hold for now are day trips, overseas holidays, long afternoon lunches in the sun with groups of friends and family and for many people their prev[...]

April 2, 2020

Loneliness and COVID-19: How online counselling may be part of the puzzle

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed life as we know it across many regions of the world in just a few short months. I could not have fathomed how quickly my life and that of everyone impacted by COVID-19 could be upended. We are all ad[...]

April 1, 2020

Anxiety Stories: Andrew. F. Interview

Anxiety disorders can affect people from any walk of life but often many struggle to recognise that they are experiencing anxiety and it can be common for people to want to keep the issue private. This means that many can find it tough to a[...]

September 11, 2015

Psychoanalytic Obstacles to Meditation

Mindfulness meditation has gained enormous popularity in the last decade and is now being offered as a ‘self help’ or therapy method. It has also been incorporated into mainstream psycho[...]

April 17, 2015

Germ phobias, ebola and human relationships

What is germ phobia? Sometimes articulated as Mysophobia (Germophobia), a germ phobia characterises a disproportionate emotional arousal in response to a thought associated with contamination through contact with germs (whether re[...]

October 22, 2014

Trichotillomania Study: Reneta Slikboer

A little known condition called trichotillomania (otherwise known as compulsive hair pulling) was once thought of as rare. This is no longer the case with estimates ranging from 0.6% to 3.4 % (Christenson, Pyl[...]

October 8, 2014

Anxiety Stories: Ann Santori

Anxiety disorders manifest through many different symptoms, and one of these can be mysophobia (aka germophobia). It is an issue that is more common than you may have realised, one which often leads to disrupt[...]

October 3, 2014

Anxiety Stories: Kayleigh Johnson

Although there are many aspects to anxiety disorders, one of the most debilitating can be panic attacks. We have spoken with Kayleigh Johnson about her experiences with anxiety and panic attacks, and she has g[...]

September 29, 2014

Anxiety Stories: John Cantor Interview

Anxiety disorders are an issue that can affect anyone. Even those who seem to be the most courageous, strong willed and outgoing people that you know can have days when they have trouble leaving the house. Professional adventurer, John Cant[...]

September 19, 2014

How to Take Time Out When You are Feeling Overwhelmed

There are a million and one things to do. You have so many deadlines, you couldn’t meet them if you worked until Christmas. The family need dinner, the house needs tidying, the car has broken down and you wa[...]

September 12, 2014

How To Deal with Rude People

We’ve all done it. You are minding your own business when a co-worker snaps at you for no reason or a customer raises their voice. At some point you will meet one, a rude person, and all too often we walk away from these encounters feelin[...]

September 5, 2014

How much do you know about Anxiety?

Anxiety is an increasingly common presentation seen across Australia, and around the world, today. With 1 in 6 people diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in Australia it is up to us to gain a better understandi[...]

September 3, 2014

Feeling Anxious? You’re not the only one

Anxiety is a syndrome that is becoming increasingly more common around the world, if you're suffering from this mental affliction remember you're not the only one. There are 1 in 6 Australians experiencing depression, anxiety or both at any[...]

August 26, 2014

Draw Your Anxiety

The value of art and art therapy should not be underestimated (although, these are never substitutes for speaking therapies) and the arts of all kinds can be very therapeutic when dealing with anxiety. From id[...]

August 15, 2014

Anxiety Awareness Campaign

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems experienced around the world; yet it is rarely spoken about and often misunderstood. An anxiety disorder is not something you can simply ‘get over’ nor is it something that goes a[...]

July 23, 2014

Post natal OCD

Post natal obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a harrowing experience. While pregnancy and childbirth are natural aspects in the human and animal kingdom, the universality can present a picture of deceptive[...]

April 29, 2014

How and why should I tell my doctor if I think I have a mental health problem?

Mental health problems are widespread in Australian society. While publicity and awareness about their prevalence and understanding of possible causes continues to grow, stigmas around mental illness remain wh[...]

December 21, 2013

How to meditate and why should I?

Meditation is a centuries old experience that can help to generate feelings of inner peace and clarity and promote physical relaxation and optimal health. In recent times meditation has been pushed into the sp[...]

November 24, 2013

Coping with panic attacks

We all experience stress and anxiety from time to time, it’s an unavoidable component of livi[...]

November 24, 2013

What are the symptoms of depression?

Symptoms of Depression Depression is one of the most common mental health problems facing the western world. In Australia, approximately 1 in 5 adults are experiencing depression at any one time. Wh[...]

November 24, 2013

What treatment is there for ocd?

OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder is a crippling and horrific experience. It involves intense anxiety and afflicted individuals often feel ruled by the disorder. OCD includes obsessive or recurrent thoughts[...]

November 23, 2013

Phubbing: Psychological reasons and remedies

Have you been phubbed yet today? Have you phubbed someone without realising it? Phubbing refers to an individual using their mobile electronic device either sporadically or continuously when they are in the company of others. Given socie[...]

August 6, 2013

Emotional Maltreatment: The Abuse That’s Not Easy To See

Lots has been written about the catastrophic effects of physical or sexual abuse during childhood and adolescence. There is no doubt these events often leave an individual traumatised and unable to fully funct[...]

June 2, 2013

Coping with abandonment feelings

Abandonment feelings can be some of the most difficult emotions to bear. The sense of isolation, loneliness, hurt, rage and hopelessness that often present with abandonment feelings make the experience even mo[...]

June 1, 2013

Difficulties Receiving Love In Various Forms

I cant recall how many times I've heard friends, relatives and work colleagues ponder whether their partner, parents or children really love them. Love is such a complex topic but essentially we are all lookin[...]

May 31, 2013

Depression beyond the DSM V

Most people have either experienced depression or know somebody who has. There are two or three subtypes of depression that are well known and represented in the DSM V. They include major depressive disorde[...]

May 30, 2013

Holiday breaks in counselling and psychotherapy

Easter and Passover are around the corner. While families across the world are making plans for reunions and celebrations to honour these important cultural events, [...]

March 15, 2013

Erectile dysfunction effecting gay and straight men

It is expected that as we age, there will be changes in our erection function. The Viagra Web site claims that half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 experience at least occasional [...]

March 7, 2013

Private Health Rebate Campaign For Counselling & Psychotherapy In Australia

Please digitally sign this petition to support a campaign to private health insura[...]

December 2, 2012

Understanding grief and loss

Long before the conceptio[...]

May 8, 2012

Mindfulness Meditation In Buddhist Psychotherapy And Psychoanalysis

Buddhist Psychotherapy is becoming more accepted and desired by people seeking mental health treatment. However it is noteworthy that Buddhist Psychotherapy is not just intended for Buddhists. Even Buddha never referred to himself as a Budd[...]

April 11, 2011

End our love affair with psychological labels

First off. Have you ever wondered, what is the difference between psychology and psychotherapy? The differences are huge. They are miles apart. We need to define what is psychology and psychotherapy. Let us limit our thinking to the clin[...]

March 13, 2011

What is the best method of counselling and psychotherapy?

Given method or approach accounts for barely 10% of clinical efficacy (the psychotherapy relationship accounts for most) this isn’t a very interesting question. But I post it because so many clients to be (and therapists) are understandab[...]

September 19, 2010

Stop Panic Attacks In A Highett Melbourne Clinic

If bouts of anxiety and panic are making you feel out of control, then this may be the most important website you ever find. Here's Why: Fear is a normal and valid feeling. Imagine life without any fear. If y[...]

January 7, 2010

Counselling Case Study, Critique Of Counsellor Processes

The following article is intended as an educational resource for new counselling students and educators of various persuasions. You may link to this article as a resource and share on social media, but in terms of reproducing anythi[...]

December 8, 2009

Making Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Go Away

I saw a client for help with overcoming IBS, let’s call her Kathy. Kathy was in her early 40’s and had received a diagnosis of IBS some years previously. She had oscillating symptoms of diarrhoea and constipation numerous times per day.[...]

November 7, 2009

Overcoming Binge Drinking – don’t wait for an alcohol related crisis

Hypnotherapy, mindfulness and psychotherapy ... used together ... help people overcome binge drinking ... Chronic alcohol abuse can lead to brain and liver functioning damage and contribute to mental health problems and problems w[...]

June 27, 2009

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that aims to change negative patterns of thinking or behaviour. It is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and actions are interconnected and that changing negative thought patterns can lead to changes in feelings and behaviours. CBT helps individuals identify and challenge distorted or unhelpful thinking patterns and beliefs, teaching them to respond to challenging situations more effectively. It is commonly used to treat a wide range of disorders, including depression, anxiety, and phobias. The therapy involves working with a therapist in a structured setting, and the skills learned can be applied to everyday life. With its evidence-based approach, CBT has proven effective for many individuals in managing their psychological challenges.

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Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy, rooted in the theories of psychoanalysis developed by Sigmund Freud, focuses on the unconscious processes as they manifest in a person's present behaviour. The goal is to increase self-awareness and understanding of how past experiences influence current behaviour. It explores unresolved conflicts and traumatic experiences from the past, which may be impacting present-day behaviours and emotions. Therapists often delve into childhood events, dreams, and the relationship between the therapist and client to uncover hidden patterns. By bringing these unconscious feelings and drives to consciousness, individuals can gain insights into their lives, leading to healing and personal growth. While traditionally long-term, many contemporary forms of psychodynamic therapy are shorter-term. It is used to treat a broad range of conditions, including depression, anxiety, and personality disorders.

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Person-Centred Therapy (or Rogerian Therapy)

Person-centred therapy, developed by Carl Rogers, is a humanistic approach that emphasises the individual's inherent drive towards self-actualization and growth. The therapist provides an environment of unconditional positive regard, empathy, and genuineness, allowing clients to freely express themselves without fear of judgement. This nurturing atmosphere facilitates self-exploration and self-acceptance. Central to the approach is the belief that individuals possess an innate ability to find their solutions when given the right conditions. The therapist's role is not to direct or advise, but rather to act as a facilitative companion on the client's journey. The focus is on the here and now, with the aim to enhance the individual's self-awareness, self-worth, and capacity to create positive changes in their lives.

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Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic technique that uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of consciousness or trance. Conducted by certified hypnotherapists, it taps into the subconscious mind, allowing clients to explore suppressed memories, emotions, or negative patterns. The process can facilitate behaviour change by introducing positive affirmations or suggestions. Hypnotherapy is often employed to treat anxieties, phobias, substance addictions, unwanted behaviours, and pain management. It can also be used to uncover and address deeper traumas or past experiences. While many report positive results from hypnotherapy, it requires the individual's willingness and trust in the process. It is crucial to approach it with an open mind and under the guidance of a trained professional.

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Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a time-limited, evidence-based treatment that focuses on interpersonal issues, aiming to improve communication patterns and relational dynamics. Developed primarily for depression, IPT operates on the premise that psychological symptoms are often linked to interpersonal problems. It concentrates on four main areas: unresolved grief, role disputes (conflicts with significant others), role transitions (major life changes), and interpersonal deficits (long-standing difficulties in forming and maintaining healthy relationships). Therapists help clients identify and address current interpersonal issues that may contribute to their emotional distress. By enhancing communication and relational skills, IPT seeks to alleviate symptoms and improve interpersonal functioning. Emphasising the here and now, it offers practical strategies and insights for individuals to better navigate their social environments.

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Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioural treatment developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, primarily for individuals with borderline personality disorder and chronic suicidality. DBT combines standard cognitive-behavioural techniques with concepts from Buddhist meditation, emphasising both acceptance and change. The therapy addresses emotional dysregulation by teaching patients skills in four key areas: mindfulness (staying present in the moment), distress tolerance (managing crises and accepting situations without change), emotion regulation (understanding and managing intense emotions), and interpersonal effectiveness (communicating and setting boundaries). DBT incorporates both individual therapy and group skills training. Its efficacy has expanded beyond its initial focus, showing promise in treating other disorders like eating disorders, substance use disorders, and mood disorders. It aims to balance self-acceptance with the need for change, fostering both emotional stability and interpersonal effectiveness.

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Integrative or Eclectic Therapy

Integrative or Eclectic therapy combines elements from various therapeutic approaches based on a client's individual needs. Instead of adhering to a single therapy model, integrative therapists are flexible, drawing from multiple theories and techniques to create a personalised treatment. This approach recognizes the value of diverse therapeutic methods and believes no one size fits all. By blending elements from different therapies, integrative practitioners aim to enhance treatment efficacy, tailoring it to the specific issues, preferences, and cultural backgrounds of each client. The underlying principle is that different individuals may benefit from different approaches at different times. Thus, an integrative or eclectic approach is holistic, adaptable, and client-centred, aiming to achieve optimal therapeutic outcomes by using a wider range of tools and insights.

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Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy is a therapeutic approach that centres on the stories people construct and hold about their lives. Developed by Michael White and David Epston, it posits that individuals give meaning to their experiences through narrative, often influenced by societal norms and beliefs. In this therapy, problems are externalised, allowing clients to view issues as separate from themselves. Therapists help clients "re-author" these narratives, emphasising strengths, achievements, and overlooked potential. By dissecting and reframing these stories, individuals can perceive challenges differently, identify alternative narratives, and construct more empowered versions of their lives. The approach is non-pathologizing, viewing people as experts of their own lives, with the therapist acting as a collaborative partner in the exploration and rewriting process. Narrative therapy fosters resilience, agency, and personal transformation.

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Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) is a goal-oriented approach that emphasises solutions rather than problems. Developed by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg in the 1980s, SFBT operates on the belief that clients possess inherent strengths and resources to manage difficulties and create desired changes. Instead of delving into the origins of problems, the therapy focuses on envisioning a preferred future and identifying practical steps to achieve it. Sessions often involve questions that help clients recognize successes, however small, and build on them. Questions might explore exceptions (times when the problem was not present) or elicit positive feedback, reinforcing progress. SFBT is typically shorter in duration than other modalities and is applicable across various settings and populations, emphasising resilience, competence, and actionable solutions.

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Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt therapy, developed by Fritz Perls in the mid-20th century, is an experiential and holistic approach focusing on self-awareness and the "here and now." It emphasises personal responsibility and the individual's experience in the present moment, the environment, and the context. The therapy seeks to help clients integrate fragmented aspects of the self, leading to a more unified, authentic whole. Gestalt therapists use creative techniques, including role-playing, dialogue, and experiential exercises, to heighten awareness and resolve unfinished business or "gestalts." Central to the approach is the belief in the innate human capacity for self-regulation and growth when individuals fully experience their feelings and perceptions. Gestalt therapy underscores the importance of the therapist-client relationship, direct engagement, and mutual influence, aiming to foster self-acceptance and personal growth.

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Schema Therapy

Schema therapy, developed by Dr. Jeffrey Young, integrates elements of cognitive-behavioural, psychodynamic, attachment, and gestalt approaches to treat complex disorders, particularly borderline personality disorder. It posits that maladaptive "schemas" or core beliefs form in childhood due to unmet emotional needs. These schemas persist into adulthood, leading to unhealthy life patterns or coping styles. The therapy identifies and addresses these deep-rooted schemas, aiming to replace them with healthier coping mechanisms. Schema therapy uses various techniques like cognitive restructuring, experiential exercises, and behavioural pattern-breaking. Therapists also emphasise a therapeutic relationship marked by "limited reparenting," wherein they provide the support and guidance that clients might have missed in their childhood. By addressing these core beliefs and their origins, schema therapy seeks long-lasting change and healing for individuals with chronic psychological challenges.

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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a therapeutic approach that blends traditional behaviour therapy with mindfulness principles. Developed by Steven C. Hayes in the 1980s, ACT's primary objective is to increase psychological flexibility. It encourages individuals to embrace their thoughts and feelings rather than resisting or feeling guilty for them. The therapy focuses on six core processes: cognitive defusion (distancing from unhelpful thoughts), acceptance (embracing feelings without judgement), present-moment awareness (mindfulness), self-as-context (recognizing a consistent self beyond thoughts), values clarification (identifying what truly matters), and committed action (taking steps aligned with values). ACT posits that pain is a normal part of life and aims to help clients pursue meaningful lives in the presence of pain, rather than avoiding or being dominated by internal distress.

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Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an integrative therapy that combines traditional cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with mindfulness strategies. Developed to prevent the recurrence of depression, MBCT teaches individuals to become more aware of their thoughts and feelings, fostering a different relationship with them rather than trying to eliminate them. This approach aids in recognizing and disrupting automatic cognitive processes, often preventing depressive relapses. Through meditation exercises and awareness techniques, clients learn to focus on the present moment, reducing rumination and negative thought patterns. Research has shown MBCT to be effective in reducing the recurrence of depression, especially for those with a history of recurrent episodes. Beyond depression, it is also applied to various conditions, promoting mental well-being by cultivating mindfulness and a more adaptive relationship with thoughts and emotions.

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Family Systems Therapy

Family systems therapy, rooted in the work of Murray Bowen, views individuals in the context of their family unit, considering familial relationships, dynamics, and patterns. It posits that an individual's behaviours and emotional well-being are inseparable from the family system they belong to. Distress or dysfunction in one member often reflects broader family dynamics. The therapy seeks to identify and address unhealthy patterns within the family, aiming to foster understanding, improve communication, and resolve conflicts. Therapists observe interactions, facilitate dialogues, and guide family members towards healthier ways of relating. They consider generational patterns, roles, and boundaries. The goal is not just to address the concerns of one member but to enhance the well-being and functionality of the entire family system, recognizing its interconnected nature.

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) References

  • Hofmann, S. G., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I. J., Sawyer, A. T., & Fang, A. (2012). The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 36(5), 427-440.
  • Cuijpers, P., Karyotaki, E., Weitz, E., Andersson, G., Hollon, S. D., & van Straten, A. (2017). The effects of psychotherapies for major depression in adults on remission, recovery, and improvement: a meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 202, 511-517.
  • Wiles, N., Thomas, L., Abel, A., Ridgway, N., Turner, N., Campbell, J., ... & Hollinghurst, S. (2013). Cognitive behavioural therapy as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy for primary care based patients with treatment-resistant depression: results of the CoBalT randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 381(9864), 375-384.
  • Johnsen, T. J., & Friborg, O. (2015). The effects of cognitive behavioral therapy as an anti-depressive treatment is falling: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 141(4), 747.
  • Driessen, E., Van, H. L., Don, F. J., Peen, J., Kool, S., Westra, D., ... & Dekker, J. J. (2013). The efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy in the outpatient treatment of major depression: a randomized clinical trial. American Journal of Psychiatry, 170(9), 1041-1050.
  • Cuijpers, P., Cristea, I. A., Karyotaki, E., Reijnders, M., & Huibers, M. J. (2016). How effective are cognitive behavior therapies for major depression and anxiety disorders? A meta-analytic update of the evidence. World Psychiatry, 15(3), 245-258.

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