Psychology and Counselling Introduction 1

Psychology and Counselling


The aim of therapy is to improve or stabilize a patient’s normal level of functioning.

How to build a case:

  • Find the cause of patients problems, the root (Aetiology)
  • Set out the original cause of issues and factors that will promote better well-being
  • All biological, psychological and socio-cultural aspects need to be considered as they are what created the patient. These factors can create predispositions as well as precipitating factors (right now they are facing it), Perpetuating factors (makes symptoms or case worse) and of course the saving grace, Protective factors, which protect them – histpry may save them, trigger friends?
  • But as people of the human race, we love our excuses – perhaps not mentally ready to change – look at what is already going on.

Look at the factors

Factors Biological Psychological Socio-cultural


Biological, Psychological, and Socio-Cultural are all contributing to a person’s wellness and behaviour. If one is out of balance that can affect a person’s wellness.


  • Genetic and health related:

1)      Puberty

2)      Brain Maturity

3)      Menopause

4)      Hair loss and wrinkles

5)      Change of cardiovascular function


  • Perceptual
  • Cognitive – thoughts
  • Emotional
  • Personal factors – are they resilient?

The nature of our personality and temperament dictate the way we react to things.


  • Interpersonal
  • Society – influences along side culture
  • Cultural
  • Ethnicity – language and traditions
  • Family Origin (mother, father, brothers and sisters) and extended family interactions and upbringing
  • School – teachers and classmates
  • Social groups – religious, hobbies and sport
  • Workplace
  • Politics

The knowledge and behaviour from this associated with a group of people can stay with persons for a life time.




So how do these forces affect treatment?

I am a diabetic patient/client who comes in for nutritional advice

Biological factors:

  • Age?
  • Genetic predisposition? – do other family members have it or are they overweight or have a bad diet?
  • What type of Diabetes? Type 2 is easier by to work with and is reversible.

Psychological factors:

  • Preconceived idea that ‘treatment is not going to work’?
  • Negative  or positive thoughts are really a big part in healing and treatment
  • Hasn’t accepted that they are sick and need help in the form of a change of diet. Happy to just deal with it.

Socio-cultural Factors:

  • Friends may eat a lot of junk food or eat healthy – majority of people keep up with their friends.
  • The people around us influence us
  • Family diet? – It can be heard to break from the constant fatty foods if you are the only one – temptation.
  • Family thoughts and values towards health?
Factors Biological Psychological Socio-cultural
Predisposing Obese family Doesn’t like cooking All friends eat fried foods


Precipitating Has diabetes I can eat what I want, that is what meds are for Friends encourage fried and junk foods
Perpetuating Still overweight No one else has to eat healthy Friends don’t understand


Protective Junk food makes them feel unwell Scare Factor New friend loves exercise and used to be diabetic


Who am I?

My biological:

  • Family of average weight, a few pound over
  • White Australian with a mixed background
  • Brown Hair, Blue Eyes
  • 20 years of age
  • Moderately active
  • Good nutrition
  • Chronic knee, neck and back pain
  • Knee pain in times of romantic stress (literally my right knee gets fluid on it and the ac ligament plays up when I am in romantic strife – it is very unlucky I think)
  • Predisposition for alcoholism (wish someone had told me before I started drinking – atleast I have something to shift the blame too.)
  • Mental illness (anxiety and depression ( but let’s be honest who doesn’t?))
  • Good immune system
  • Medication is usually too strong
  • Strong fight response

My psychological:

  • Resilient in reaction to illness
  • Good hygiene and health related habits
  • Personality is good
  • Good coping tactics (learned behaviour recently)
  • Unstable stress management is improving


My Socio-cultural:

  • Strong family network with support in both immediate family and extended. Only child – but raised as a big clan.
  • Good health education
  • Ethnic Background – White Australian with a mix of old school religion – belief in the holy grail = raised to have a strong moral framework
  • Exposure to alcohol substance abuse, but not to poverty – school and friends
  • Not active – prefer to drink alcohol – friends
  • Strong moral framework – immediate family – strong ethics
  • Fairly high socio-economic status as a child – family
  • Many strong connections – friends, school and workplace
  • Good medical care – family

Alcoholic 20 year old

Factors Biological Psychological Socio-cultural
Predisposing Alcoholic family members I love to drink


Social Drinking
Precipitating Body can’t function without it I can stop when I want. I just don’t want to All friends drink, to see them I should drink too
Perpetuating Body craves alcohol Withdrawals are too bad, better keep drinking Friends pressure drinking – lack of understanding
Protective Body can’t handle it I have to do things with my life Strong Family Support



It is being healthy not only free from disease but being in a stable state of normalcy in regards to mental, physical and social  (wealth, education and comfort )aspects.

World Health Organisation, 1948, p1“ A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” it feels like such a modern quote.  According to the Jungian Psychology it is to be able to “reach our full potential and contributing to the collective well-being”

Basically, you need to be able to meet these needs:


  • Health
  • A full functioning body and a state of homeostasis


  • Having the means to reach true potential
  • State of good mental health


  • Making connections
  • Having access to community help in the form of  welfare, education and relgion.

Restoring The Body To Normal

Normal is dependent on:

  • Social Norms – culture and attitude
  • Personal Norms – internal beliefs and interpretation

The Patient

One who suffers, in Latin it means “I am suffering” and in Greek, it is “to suffer”.

Patient and Client:

  • Client is a service, makes the person seeking help feel more of an equal, while patient can be interpreted as being weaker by persons.

A client may come and see you for a different reason than they specified. People can come with a whole lot of baggage and may just want to vent and need someone to talk to. It is important to give them time to expel all of this before getting down to the actual reason even if it is unrelated. Once they have gotten it all off their chest then begin to ask questions to narrow it don. Be sure to find out why they need your help. (Sometimes they may not even know themselves)

The Therapist

Works to restore a person to what was their normal, can use different techniques and approaches. A therapist role can be  taken on by:

  • Religious leader – priest or vicar
  • Psychologist
  • Witcherwoman/ Sharman
  • Doctor or someone who has had some training

Therapeutic Components

  • Psychoanalytic – clients overcome past conflicts and unconcious
  • Holistic – help client achieve meaningful existence
  • Behavioural –just look at actions and try and overcome the unhelpful behivours while increasing helpful ones
  • Cognitive Behavioural –helps clients unlearn unhelpful patterns of thinking and increase better patterns of positive thinking

All therapies work towards a common goal to improve and restore a person’s functioning to normal and above.

Generic Model of Therapy


  • Setting, Therapist and Client


  • Requirement for treatment (why is client here)
  • What are the like?
  • What is their background and job?
  • What environment did they grow up in or live in?
  • Be clear in finding out


  • Don’t let personal issues deal with session. NO COUNTER TRANSFERENCE!
  • What is therapist like? Their personality? Professional experience?

The setting:

  • The environment of setting? Where? Layout of room? Distractions? Social Context?


  • What happens in Treatment (tx)


  • What are the goals of client and Therapist?
  • Length of session?
  • Number of tx sessions?
  • Overall length of treatment?
  • Homework?
  • Method of treatment to be used?


  • Clients problem is divulged
  • Therapist diagnoses client
  • Treatment plan is made and implemented
  • Client will follow treatment (or not )


  • Relationship is established
  • Rapport

Therapist evaluation

  • Therapist identifies how they and the client have responded to the situation, openness, self-evaluation of control.


  • Client makes the change and sees progress.


  • Outcome after each session = result in a change to life situation
  • Outcome after conclusion of treatment (tx) = result in a change to a life situation
    • Does client function better?
    • Does client feel better?
    • Does the client seem to becoming more social?
    • Is the client’s behaviour better?
    • Has client improved?

What happened when a client cancels and doesn’t reschedule?

  • In this case I would send an email to find out what happened. Feedback is important for a therapist.
  • I would advise sending a reminder (god knows what people used to do before we sent reminders about appointments) a day or two beforehand.
  • Cancelation Policy, in order for others to appreciate your time you need to as well, this is why having a cancelation policy will help others know that you value your own time. A 50% of the consultation fee is the regular I believe. Each patient should have a copy of the policy; you can attach it to their Consent and Clinical Records paperwork from the first appointment.
  • Dealing with money can be awkward, so it is an idea to look into direct debiting sessions, for example, clients can pay upfront for a number of treatment sessions (a 3 month plan).


Ok so I am a relatively proud person.

I know I stand out now,because I never did from the age of 12-14, I was shy and quiet during that age.

I like to think I’ve made up for lost time.
The awkward age between 12-14 were what I like to think of as my secluded days, I read books everyday and enjoyed my own company. It was also around this time I first started seeing a psychologist for depression and anxiety. go figure huh?

Anyway I like to think I’m now memorable. You see me in the streets and you will remember me. I like to think I make an open, approachable impression.
But after sitting next to someone every day for a year in my last year of high school for modern history and hearing them say that they didn’t remember you was a bit of a cut.

Haha I must admit I was laughing afterwards.
Aside from the realization the world doesn’t revolve around me I remembered how much I had changed.

I was so quiet, I tried so hard to not stick out from the crowed but I could never bring myself to actually change in order to make friends in an all girls shool.

Any other school or situation no problem, and when I say it was no problem I mean I’ve been to 7 Schools and 2 universities and more summer camps than you can poke a stick at.

I can make friends easily in coed but you put me in a room full of girls who wear makeup have extensions and know all the latest gossip I literally become that
Awkward Weird Girl something I had never minded during the age of 12-14.
I just got used to it, the label, but now that I know I don’t have to be alone anymore hearing that someone didn’t remember me was so foreign …

It was only two years ago… But I guess it did take me 3 semesters to recognize her too.

It feels reliving to know and be able to look back on my progress.

From loneliness to having people that love me always around. I’m so great full for the reminder


Introduction to Nutrition 1

Hey guys, I start back at University in a few days .. well technically tomorrow… and since I haven’t put up any pictures of any details from my trip I thought I would shake up the guilt until I have enough time to sit down and do it all in one go. So for the moment here is a little information about  Nutrition in the most basic sense.

Australia, like many countries have a government supported guidelines for health, NHMRC being the Australian one related to nutrition. And yet how many people have heard of it? I for one didn’t know about it until I started studying Nutrition. It is amazing how we have all heard of fads or special diets, the “lemon detox” or “gluten free”, and yet so little people have heard of NHMRC or the equivalent. These “specialty” diets get on average maybe 4 hours of news time during the crazy or the release date. And I am pretty sure there was only a mention NHMRC had announced the estimated dietary requirements. Real health needs a better PR.

Basic natural medicine principles

We need to return the body to focus/balance, the state of homeostasis. Holistically approaching nutrition, there is more of a look at dealing with the cause than just the symptoms.

1.            Natural Cure – if we provide the body with the right envroment and the right foods that it needs to get better/healthier, the idea is that the body should be able to cure it’self naturally, there are in some cases, chronic conditions, where this is very unlikely as it has already gone too far to completely fix the cause.

2.         The presence of disease is the absence of health – each person is a individual, that means different methods will work on different people, while we class symptoms in order to find treatment, it is abundantly clear that one cure is not going to work the same on people with the same disease. Each person is vulnerable to different things and may have different tolerance levels.

3.            Treat the cause where you can, not just cover up the problem with a bandaid.

4.            DO NO HARM- don’t over compensate, trying different diets (can lead to food anxiety or taking a unreliable test to find out you are allergic to anything or reading everything you eat essentially will make you sick) or taking a cocktail of supplements, can leave the body full of toxicity which would cause harm

5.            Treat the body as a whole (Holistically). A person has thoughts, feelings and emotions, all which have to be taken into consideration. Give the patient empowerment, they have probably gone from place to place constantly being given things to take, when all they need is the chance to feel like they can make the change.

6.            Prevention through Education is the best approach

7.            Prevention is much better than just curing – but a lot harder since people don’t seem to want to change until something is wrong.

8.            Exact Intervention.

Digestion, Absorption and Utilization

Digestion: it starts with mastication – breaking down the food and the saliva starts the digestion of carbs making it easier for us to swallow. The chewing helps our body also know what is coming, is it savoury, sweet, salty or spicy? This tells the body so it knows what to secrete. (This is why liquid breakfasts kind of suck. – you cants sense how much you are actually eating – the feeling of full is delayed and the whole “condensed calories ” make it easier to eat more, while when chewing the judgment of how much we are eating is there. Life is now all about being on the go, but what most people don’t realise that without taking the time out to sit down and actually enjoy the food you are eating so the body can utilise the food you consumed, they body will go into sympathetic response, flight or fight leaving foods nutrients unused to their full potential.)

Macro and Micronutrient

•Macro = required in large amounts

•Micro = required in minute amounts

A macronutrient can be:





And a micronutrient are:

• Vitamins, trace elements and minerals


Nutrition: Nutritional needs will change through a life time as the body changes. Balancing the amount of food we eat and the nutritional value of it with an active lifestyle is key. To me nutrition means consciously meeting the bodies needs, taking in food – digesting it – and then utilising it’s nutrients.

Diet: The range of foods a person regularly eats. Diet is from the Greek word Diaita – which is seen more as a way of life, the word Diet has dropped down to mean only a narrow range.

Nutritionists and Dieticians:

To me a dietician is someone who looks at dietary requirements and the macro nutrients, focuses on evidence based work ( so unless there is a lot of examples of something working they wont try it) they work alongside doctors as allied healthcare professionals. All dieticians are nutritionists but have a more science based approach, for example, to me when I see a dietician, I see them handing out basically a set diet for a specific illness.
A Nutritionist on the other hand, well that is a bit more murky, there is no protection around the name. I feel as if they focus more so on the micro nutrients and it is a completely different style of practice.

My understanding of NRV’s[1]

NRV: This stands for Nutrient Reference Values[2]. NRV gives a guidelines to the amount of an essential nutrient to be consumes in order to keep in the clear of deficiencies.  
RDI : 
Recommended Dietary Intake, This is a sort of guideline to follow to help keep persons healthy, although a recommended dietary intake is different for most people because of factors such as age, pregnancy and physical activity.  When the RDI can’t be determined, AI, Adequate Intake, is used. Meets about 80% of the general publics needs
AMDR: Acceptable macronutrient Distribution Range

Therapeutic Range: This therapeutic range is referring to the dosage expected to achieve the desired effect so basically the “Safe Range”. In relation to nutrition we can prescribe above the recommended dose, and use vitamins and minerals like a drug, for example, someone suffering RA, being told to take 10 Fish oil capsules a day is using it like a medication.

What are the general Australian Dietary Guideline recommendations?

  • A variety of Fruits and Vegetables
  • Grains, legumes, nuts and seeds and high fiber foods
  • With a blend of meat, seafood, poultry and dairy products

So basically :

  • 2 serves of Fruit
  • 5 serves of Veg (6 for men)
  • 2.5 serves of meat, seafood or poultry
  • 7 serves of Carbohydrates (like wholegrain, legumes and beans)
  • 3.5 serves of Dairy

BUT WHAT IS A SERVE? It is seen as 1 cup of raw veggies or ½ cups of cooked. I will make my opinion on getting your veggie serves from juices clear – juices lack fiber, if youa re using an expensive cold press juicer, you are still lacking fiber. And tin fruit! It lacks nutrients, don’t even go there.

The government website: has a list of guidelines from infants through teenagers to pregnancy and elderly diet.

Who are the Global and National governing bodies?

The global influence of the World Health Organization and Food Agriculture Organization

While Australia’s national governing bodies for this matter are:

•National Health Medical and Research Council

•Food Standards, Australia and New Zealand

•Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization.

Why is Western society of middle class and above still have nutrient deficiencies?

In my opinion Westerners in general seem to be lacking some nutrition that is brought on by the mindset of junk food. In some poorer areas it may be easier or cheaper to eat take away or not eat vegetables or fruit while in others there is no luxury of eating out. Regardless, lack of education about a balanced diet is a key factor in my opinion, while people are educated via tv adverts that promote eating “5-a-day” (Veggies and fruit) the lack of education comes from how to include them in diet. Looking back at history in the western cultures, it was usually the poor who had a vegetarian diet because meat was expensive, not to say that they were eating enough fiber as in some circumstances of larger families of those who didn’t grown their own food, a stoggy meal was made of starchy vegetables and milled flour to create a filling and un-nutritious meal. Today this is true in my opinion, it is not every often you see people making a hearty, high in nutrients, stew using a range of vegetables and a salad on the side simply because it is not appealing for those who have not been raised on it. Making a large inaccurate generalisation, If you look at the stereotypical American or Australian or British, our diet consists largely of things fried and full of starch, meat, the main part of the meal accompanied by potato (starch) or vegetables lacking in the appearance of leafy and green.

Who is responsible for making decisions about our health?

To me the answer is simple. The decision is ultimately ours. There is no censorship around the knowledge of what a healthy diet basically consists of.  And it is up to each individual to learn and find out more, the governments and organisations try and show us what a healthy lifestyle is based on: Healthy diet and exercise But it is up to the individual to take responsibility. It is like going to a dentist the first time in 50 years and blaming them that your teeth are all ruined if you have never performed any oral hygiene practices. While in Australia it is common knowledge that a healthy diet is balanced with fresh fruit and vegitabels with appropriate quantities of legumes, grains, seeds, nuts and lean meat.



Out With The Old, In With The New

I don’t know if it’s just me, but after a holiday I like to make changes. that link is actually just some groovy music,by Boys Like Girls, to listen to while you read. Anyway, as you know, I finally made the best decision to break up with Dave. Which you can read about  Here.  And with that I decided I didn’t want a boyfriend.

In my experience they are:

  1. a drain on energy
  2. expensive
  3. smelly
  4. con artists (just kidding, but they trick you into thinking they have goals and motivation… and then turn out to be nothing like that)

Then again my track record with guys isn’t that good as you may have read. But my point still stands, you get rid of the old and the new comes into your life.

SO while I have de-clutered my life, in the clothes sense and possessions, I have also freed  myself on the boyfriend field, to which another more charming gentleman has taken his place. ( I am actually a hopeless romantic. I love to fall in love… it’s just once the excitement has worn out I can see that I didnt really love them that much).


But I find when ever I get rid of things, new things just fall into my lap. Generally better.

After my minimalism kick was halted by Dave and his contagiously lazy attitude, I am finally back on track, cutting down and culling, and what happens, a whole heap of new clothes, in much better nick than my own, fall into my lap… well technically I was given them by my mums friend.


I find less stuff, I feel more Free. And I don’t get sick as often. I just have more energy in general. I have realised I do have a hording aspect of my life. Books. I cants get rid of them, It is so hard. I love each and everyone of them like a best friend.

Heart and Head

I’ve been home 48 hours and spend most of that time in bed. Although the most productive thing I did manage was to break up with Dave.

After finding out I failed a subject I decided to look at the problem and remove it so that it doesn’t happen again. Dave was the problem, and I honestly feel like a weigh has been lifted. It wasn’t until I went away did I realize how clingy and needy he was.
A little is ok, but in this situation I was getting abuse for not having Internet – not my fault wifi isn’t in the county side and things along this line of

why haven’t you contacted me? I really am worried

It is ok at first but it’s kind of the reason I left my phone at home.

Portugal WHAT?

How on earth did I end up in Portugal after starting the Camino?

That my friends is easily answered.

Pain, they always say push through the pain, well I followed this advice and I ended up doing more harm than good. In a 3 km distance I went from on to of the world (the tiptop of a mountain) to being in the most pain I have ever been in unable to walk. So lets say that my pilgrimage stopped there, Unable to walk more than a few steps at a time I managed to get to the nearest town Orio and caught the train back to San Sebastian. The price was the main factor in determining where I went, Barcelona or Madrid, Madrid won by  only 20 Euros. But since I wanted to get a train that day I had to buy a ticket in business class since EVERY OTHER TICKET WAS SOLD, I arrived in madrid after a 6 hour train trip on the fast train at 11pm.

Spending 2 nights in a 4 star hotel (at my mothers expense) resting my knees and popping pills like there was no tomorrow. I managed,  in my moments of sanity to book a tour down to the south of Spain on a five day tour. IT WAS TOTALLY AWESOME. the little walking on the long bus ride helped. (more posts to come plus pictures) thinking that I would recommence the camino at a different starting point on the 10th and walk until I have to come back form my plane on the 15th. It was initially achievable. Until I started to put weight on my leg. FAR OUT MAN! Any idea of doing any walking was cut short. It was ruining my holiday, so after a brief cry over spilled milk (my knee being the milk), I booked my flight to Portugal yesterday and arrived this morning.


Keep You Posted.