May 7, 2014

Will Your Relationship Last? Find Out How!

Negative communication can be destructive to relationships. Conflicts escalate not because of the issue at hand, but rather because of the way couples talk to each other. At times, we end up fighting over what is being said or how things are said and the initial problem does not get resolved. John Gottman, a well-known relationship researcher, author and clinician calls these kinds of negativity the “Four horsemen of the Apocalypse” because they are so harmful to a relationship. According to Gottman, arguments do not predict relationship breakup but the way you argue does. The four negative interactions are: criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling (withdrawing). The following is taken from Gottman and Silver’s book “The seven principles for making marriage work” (2000). Criticism You will always […]
April 25, 2014

5 Tips for Mindful Parenting

“Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered” Dr Suess In the ideal world how do you want your child to remember you; what you have been to them in their life and what you have stood for as a person? Parenting mindfully helps you to slow down and experience being with your child. It involves bringing your purposeful awareness to the present moment with your child with an attitude of openness and curiosity. When being fully present with your child you are more able to appreciate them for the unique person they are, even in their worst moments. Mindful parenting assists you in letting go of unhelpful thoughts about your child or worries about what other people may think […]
March 11, 2014

Suicide – The Warning Signs and Seeking Help

Many individuals and families are affected by suicide, with 2, 132 deaths by suicide in Australia alone in 2009 (ABS , 2011). Suicidal thoughts can be a common response to a crisis, particularly when people feel trapped and unable to see a way out. Being given the opportunity to discuss these thoughts can be the key to exploring alternatives to suicide and keeping safe. This article outlines the risk factors and warning signs that someone may be about to attempt suicide and where help can be sought. Risk Factors The following factors have been associated with increased risk that someone may attempt suicide: Risk Factors Individual Social Contextual Previous suicidal behaviour Abuse/physical violence Unemployment Male gender Isolation Financial problems Mental health concerns Family relationship conflict Neighbourhood […]
February 4, 2014

Top 10 Tips for Parent Self-Care

Children are like the barometer of family tension. If your kids are irritable and frustrated, no doubt you have been irritable and frustrated. If your kids have been speaking rudely, sure as eggs you’ve been stressed and shouting. Parents set the mood of the household, and for this reason, I believe it’s paramount that as a parent, you are taking care of yourself. Here are my top 10 tips for parents on how to take care of yourself so that you’re least likely to “flip your lid”. 1. Eat Regularly – hunger is certainly a trigger to “flip your lid”. Try to ensure eating six small meals per day, and don’t go longer than 3 hours without eating something. 2. Eat the Right Foods – the […]
January 31, 2014

Improving Couple’s Communication – Using Time-Out

Time-Out Using a “time-out”, just as a sports coach would – signalling a “T” with their hands and taking time out of the game to re-think and re-structure a game plan – can be an effective communication strategy to manage couple’s escalating communications. The 6 steps to taking a “time-out” 1. Recognise that you are experiencing an internal build-up of intense emotion (i.e., anger). Pay attention to the physical indicators your body is sending you. 2. Say to the person you are dealing with “I am beginning to feel………………….” and “I need to take some time-out. I’ll be back to talk about this when I have calmed down”. If you find your level of anger is beyond being able to communicate this message effectively, simply signal time-out with […]
December 14, 2013

The 7 C’s of Resilience

Dr Ginsburg, child paediatrician and human development expert, proposes that there are 7 integral and interrelated components that make up being resilient – competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping and control. Each of these 7 C’s are explained briefly here and in our child and youth resilience group program, our sessions have been crafted carefully in order to include content and group processes that will enhance each and every one of the 7 C’s. 1. Competence – is the ability to know how to handle stressful situations effectively. It requires having the skills to face challenges, and having had the opportunity to practice using these skills so that one feels competent in dealing with situations. Our groups offer stress-reduction and social skills training and by learning these […]



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