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How to open a can of worms: enquiry about past abuse – how and why

How to open a can of worms: enquiry about past abuse – how and why

Past trauma, especially childhood abuse and neglect, is emerging as a key source of vulnerability for most emotional and mental disorders, even the most severe. All of which have become regarded as entirely biological or behavioural in recent years. Little regard has been paid to providing skills for assessing or responding to past adversities in clinical training programmes. Research findings will be presented about clinician responses to the discussion of client’s past abuse which indicates high levels of clinician discomfort, and identifies that there are significant barriers in doing so. Evidence about the effects of a range of adverse experiences, their neurological and affective sequal will be presented and the possible clinical presentations of these effects in adults, along with differential diagnoses.

The key strategies for identifying and responding to past trauma to be discussed are: ‘These adverse experiences are far more common among patients than the general population and have often had a significant negative effect on their mental health’. ‘Patients are often waiting to be asked about past abuse, so as to have a chance to disclose and receive an empathic response. ‘ Often an empathic response is the only response required at the time. ‘ These processes can be summed up as attempting to provide normalisation and validation of the patient’s experience. Simple strategies for approaching this subject with patients, examples of disclosures and possible treatment responses will be given.

Speakers: Philip Benjamin

WCP 2011

Defining the concept of spirituality among Filipino counselors and clients.

The individual and the couple in the context of the perinatal experience. A dream or a nightmare?

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The birth of the democratic South Africa opened up the possibility of meeting with fellow citizens who had previously been kept apart.  Since 1995 a model of  infant-parent psychotherapy has been developed resulting in a mental health service which has come to be valued within the community.

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Within the context of the recent natural disasters occurring around the world, attention has been focussed on trauma's psychological consequences. The trauma spotlighted here is on that of childhood maltreatment and the effects on subsequent adult life. Described in this paper are experiences of recovery from patient perspectives, and an examination of how these are different from, and interact with, representations of therapy derived from published expert theoristpractitioner experience. It is based on a phenomenological study of reports from seven women with histories of chronic childhood maltreatment. These women have since been through significant recovery from dissociative symptoms, and it is this part of their journey that was the focus of this research. From the data, two models are proposed.

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For 1000 years during the beginning of Western medicine (500 B.C. - 500 A.D.,) of the hundreds of medical treatments offered at the time, only dream-based medicine was ubiquitously practiced throughout

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Over the years, we as health care providers have proven that a good perinatal preparation, a good birthing process and a good postnatal care ensures the physical and mental well being of the newborn and his mother. A similar opportunity for quality outcome should be afforded at life`s final phase - preparation and a good 'gateway' for the dying person, as well as a good follow - up period of those left behind. A good death needs guidance to settle outstanding issues, to articulate values, beliefs and doubts and to live the remaining period of life in the fullest and most meaningful way. Early contact is pivotal to learn about our client and his life history. This time is needed to build our client`s trust, to endorse our commitment, and to collect the tools needed to guide him through the gateway and when taking his last breath. It is equally important to meet the immediate needs of his family and to develop the crucial trusting partnership that will ensure a good dying process for their loved one in setting of his choice, and a better acceptance of their loss. It is realistic to assume that people in the future will invest in their final time. 

Lateral violence and Indigenous peoples.

Lateral violence occurs when the violence associated with oppression is internalised by those who are oppressed, and redirected between the members of the oppressed group. Among Aboriginal and Torres