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Psychotherapy and spirituality – inviting clients to a deeper journey.

Psychotherapy and spirituality – inviting clients to a deeper journey.

There is a spiritual awakening within all countries and cultures. Australia is no exception within the area of this spiritual awakening. The emergence or inclusion of an holistic model into the framework of modern society would greatly facilitate the ability to integrate spirituality and life within the individual’s narrative story. By this means, a greater degree of meaningful experience and dialogue would narrow the gap between spiritual belief and everyday life. Each person is driven by a range of hierarchical meaningful needs – survival, security, self-esteem, love, self-expression, intellectual and spiritual fulfillment. Spirituality encompasses the values, beliefs and guiding principles by which we live. Wellbeing and health must embrace the whole person.

 Embracing the client (the whole person) requires the psychotherapist to use both their training and their personal resources in purposeful and effective ways. Hearing the story of the client is paramount. Validating their story – hearing their words and engaging with the words of their heart – offers the psychotherapist the opportunity to create abstract conceptualisations of that story. In essence, this process enables the therapist to witness the story. By being deeply attentive to the client, the whole story of the whole person is shared. This presentation Explores the practical implications of the integration of spirituality and psychotherapy. It considers the ethical implications of such integration, and provides experiential strategies to support more holistic outcomes.

Speakers: Philip Henry
Areas of Interest / Categories: Religion and Spirituality, WCP 2011

WCP 2011

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

"There is no such thing as marriage - merely two scapegoats sent out by their families to perpetuate themselves". Whittaker & Keith 1981. This presentation will explore the experience of Anxiety and Depression for both men and women, in the perinatal period. The perinatal period offers a unique opportunity to provide comprehensive care for parents diagnosed with perinatal Anxiety and/or Depression. There is significant evidence that the partner's risk for developing a related Anxiety or Depression, is increased from 4.8% to 36% at 6 weeks postnatally. 

The universality of infant-parent psychotherapy - a South African model

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.

Complex trauma: voices of healing

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.

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

Clinical dream incubation and body

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

The Light In Darkness - Art-therapy, a powerful tool in Palliative Care!

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. 

Effects of childhood sexual abuse on marital functioning: implications for couples therapy

The goal of this workshop is to sensitize marital and family therapists to the unique issues involved in treating couples with history of childhood sexual trauma in one or both partners, and to prepare them to successfully meet the challenges inherent in working with this population. Individual therapists working with adults abused as children can also benefit from the workshop. First, is reviewed existing literature and research on gender-specific impact of childhood sexual trauma on adult functioning in the area of sexuality and intimate relationships. Second, a familiarization with existing models of treating couples with history of childhood sexual trauma such as psychoeducation, sex therapy, Susan Johnson's Emotionally Focused Therapy, and integrative model of Basham and Miehls. Third, a focus on practical implications: challenges for the therapists and common pitfalls and risk factors in working with such couples, including issues of vicarious traumatization, countertransference, complex dynamics of projective identification, and role of cultural factors.