The Home Therapist
This unique and easy-to-read book is a practical guide to over 130 psychological issues that you may face across a lifetime. It is both a self-help manual and an educational resource, featuring expert opinion from a range of experienced professionals.
A must-have for the family bookshelf, it provides a wealth of information and helpful tips that can be used for self-care, as an addition to therapy, or in the support of others. It can also be used by doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, counsellors, and lifecoaches for their own continuing development, or recommended to patients and clients to enhance their treatment and recovery.Dr John Barletta and Jan Bond
are both colleagues and longtime friends who share a passion for a healthy life. John has been a teacher, school counsellor, and relationship educator and runs his own clinical psychology practice in Brisbane. Jan has over 35 years counselling experience with children and adults and runs her own private practice on the Gold Coast. The Home Therapist: A practical, self-help guide for everyday psychological problems
Australian Academic Press
Editors: Dr John Barletta and Jan Bond
Contributors: Over 90 experienced professionals have contributed to this book.
Interview with Dr John Barletta and Jan BondQuestion:
Can you talk about how you compiled The Home Therapist?Dr John Barletta and Jan Bond
: Compilation of The Home Therapist was a two-year collaborative effort of colleagues and friends, Dr John Barletta and Jan Bond. We researched common psychological issues individuals and families might typically experience throughout a life-span and brainstormed headings for chapters, adding relevant tip-sheets for each topic. There are about 140 topics covered. Australian professionals were invited to write a brief practical tip-sheet applicable to their area of expertise. We were grateful to have over 90 contributors, all experts in their respective fields.Question:
Who did you compiled The Home Therapist for?Dr John Barletta and Jan Bond
: The Home Therapist was written for individuals, families, and professionals including, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, social workers, mental health nurses, teachers, life-coaches, and occupational therapists
and anyone else who works with others going through some challenges or those wanting more from their life. This is a great book to give as a gift to those we care about.Question:
What impact does stress have on the body?Dr John Barletta and Jan Bond
: Tolerance for stress differs widely between individuals. When the nervous system perceives a threat, either real or imagined, it responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, particularly, adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones automatically prepare the body for action in a process known as the fight or flight response. To live a rich, full life it is inevitable that we will all, at sometime, experience pain, loss, fear, anger, frustration and great joy. Not all stress is bad. Whilst it can energise us to finish a worthwhile project and achieve goals, prolonged stress may have negative effects. Research suggests a link between long working hours and stress, and life-style illnesses such as obesity, alcoholism and cardiovascular disease.Question:
How does stress relate to common psychological issues? Dr John Barletta and Jan Bond
: Although stress can be motivating to achieve our goals, it can also be debilitating if it is experienced in extremely intense ways for prolonged periods of time. It decreases our life-satisfaction, increases our vulnerability for low mood and anxiety, and may precipitate some significant mental health symptoms. Question:
Is there a correlation between stress and anxiety or stress and OCD?Dr John Barletta and Jan Bond
: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is just one of the anxiety disorders which is characterised by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, apprehension, fear, or worry, by repetitive behaviours aimed at reducing the associated anxiety, or by a combination of such obsessions and compulsions. Multiple psychological and biological factors are involved in causing obsessive-compulsive syndromes and anxiety, and stress is simply one psychological factor that may be implicated. Question:
How can we all learn to deal with stressful situations better? What are your top tips for stress management?Dr John Barletta and Jan Bond
: Take care of Number One
; if you are not healthy you are not able to care for anyone else. Mental Health or Personal Days
are recognised within progressive organisations. People work faster and more effectively when they are physically and mentally in good shape. If your stress levels are not managed it is a waste of your time, your employer's money, and has a negative impact on your health. Learn About Your Stressors
by listing, in order of importance, the main causes of stress in your life. Then consider making small changes to reduce their impact on you. Wellness Weekends
can be achieved by booking into a retreat to relax, unwind, and eat well. Have a couple of days by the beach or in the country, or stay home, schedule a massage and take time out and do nurturing self-care. Self-Soothing Activities
can be tried in a group or class environment, or alone; e.g., Yoga, Meditation, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Visualisation and Guided Imagery. There are numerous books/CDs/DVDs available at bookshops or your library to help guide you. Learning and Practising Mindfulness
is a gentle way to calm your racing thoughts and focus your concentration on the present moment. This assists by reducing worrying thoughts about the past or the future. Daily practice may decrease the influence of difficult and painful experiences by lowering your reactivity to them. Take 10 Breaths
and discover a simple yet effective way to slow things down. Reduce the Negative Influences
in your life. These can be friends, family or colleagues at work. It may also be unhelpful habits that have developed over time such as too much TV or computer time, or eating junk food. If spending time with certain people leaves you feeling drained, limit time spent with them. De-Clutter your Life
by organising or cleaning out your office/home/schedules. Home can be a sanctuary and by de-cluttering you create a peaceful space. Create a Garden or Grow Plants in Pots
to have a tranquil place where you can meditate, read, have a cup of tea or just enjoy the feeling of watching nature at work. Quiet times away from constant stimuli (including TV) gives our nervous system a rest. Exercise
is a great stress buster. Join a gym and have an age/fitness appropriate program designed. If you don't like gyms, walk, swim or cycle. Set reasonable, achievable goals and consult with your GP first about any medical issues. Exercise and Socialise
by playing golf, tennis, netball or touch football. Join a hiking group. Attend dancing lessons or put on your favourite music and dance at home; excellent for increasing fitness and releasing the feel-good endorphins! Keep a Journal
and write down your feelings and thoughts on a regular basis, and make it detailed. Getting things out may be a release valve and allow you to reflect. It may also highlight patterns of behaviour or events that increase your stress levels; include positive and negative experiences. Eat
natural foods such as vegetables, fruit and lean meat or fish. Cutting down on caffeine and sweet drinks is helpful. Strict dieting is not healthy and may cause cravings, so allow yourself a treat sometimes. Family Meal Times
can be difficult to achieve in this busy world and can be noisy and chaotic. They can also be special events that allow you to reconnect, discuss events, make plans and achieve that human interaction that is vital for wellbeing. Alcohol Free Days
are recommended for two consecutive days per week. Reliance on any drugs, alcohol or prescription medication may leave you drained, tired, dehydrated and feeling down. Time Management, Prioritising and Delegating
may help people who are time poor and struggling to fit everything in. Effective results may be achieved by designing a realistic schedule, identifying urgent issues, and tackling one task at a time in order of priority. Delegate work to people with fewer responsibilities. Saying No and the 24 Hour Rule
are ways to reduce spur of the moment decisions that lead to increased workloads. 24 hours gives you time to consider your present commitments and whether you can comfortably take on any more. Practise saying No in a firm but pleasant manner. Be Kind to Yourself
and strive for excellence, not perfection! Question:
The book provides information around bullying. Why was it important that you included bullying in the book?Dr John Barletta and Jan Bond
: Research suggests that a quarter of young people experience conventional bullying, with about 15% being a victim of cyber-bullying. The Home Therapist provides two tip-sheets, Bullying and Cyber-bullying with both offering helpful strategies that may be the 'first port of call' for families and victims.Question:
What resources do you provide for dealing with bullying?Dr John Barletta and Jan Bond
: People might want to consider the following ideas;
How to talk to your child: First make sure your child is indeed a victim of bullying and is not actually fighting with another child. While bullying is aggression it is a special kind of aggression where there is a power imbalance, that is, your child cannot easily defend himself or herself and it is repeated. Because of this it is important to encourage your child to tell you what is happening but for you to remain calm, to model how to listen and solve problems.
Tell your child that you are pleased that you are having this conversation and he/she is very brave for telling you as you realise how scared he/she must be.
Tell him/her it is not her fault - he/she doesn't have to change anything, whether it is the colour of his/her hair or his/her demeanour. Especially don't encourage him/her to stand up to the bully because if he/she could easily have done that he/she would have. Remember the bully has power over your child.
Ask him/her how he/she would like to be helped. Don't take over, however much you want to. A victim by definition feels powerless to stop the bullying. We don't want to add to that by disempowering him/her further. Let him/her be part of the problem solving process.
Make a plan: What does your child want to do? Does he/she want to learn how to remain calm? How to use humour? How to enlist his/her friends?
What does he/she want you to do? - Does he/she want you to go the school? Or the bully's parents? Or the sporting club?
In your plan discuss with your child expected reactions and realistically what you would like others to do.Question:
If bullying is not dealt with, can it lead to deeper psychological issues?Dr John Barletta and Jan Bond
: There is evidence to suggest that bullying, for some, can result in long-term psychological issues such as anxiety, low mood and self-esteem challenges. These issues require referral to a GP, mental health or education professional for a thorough assessment and treatment.Question:
How can we build our resilience to these common issues?Dr John Barletta and Jan Bond
: Although building resilience is a life-long and idiosyncratic process, the basics are shared by everyone. People need to attend to developing in children, and themselves, good thinking skills, positive relationships, fun and pleasure in their lives, a sense of personal meaning and purpose, challenging and engaging activities, experiences of accomplishment, contribution to the lives of others, and hope and optimism about the future.
Interview by Brooke HunterBuy it now at