Home' Aurora : Aurora February 2013 Contents MAKE 2013 YOUR YEAR
Being healthy isn't just about being fit and eating pr
Ensure you look after your emotional and psycholog
If you're stressed at work or home, want guidance o
someone to talk to in a safe and confidential setting
professional counsellors in Newcastle, Maitland* or T
*Maitland offers youth counselling only.
DIOCESE OF MAITLAND-NEWCASTLE
Hunter-Manning Phone 4979 1172 or visit www.catholiccare.org.au
QMy daughter had her heart set
on a particular career path. Her
HSC results were disappointing
and she is devastated as she was not
accepted for her chosen uni course.
How can I encourage new goals and
help her to get back on track?
A: Regardless of age, it can be truly
devastating when you have your heart
set on a particular direction and then
those expectations are not met. It is
understandable that your daughter may
feel a sense of loss and potential grief
for the future she had envisioned as well
as sadness, anger and perhaps a loss
of confidence. These emotions may be
expressed in different ways, and as a
parent, our instinct is to want to help our
children overcome significant barriers in
their lives and make them feel better about
themselves and their problems.
If your daughter is open to discussing how
she feels, you could start by acknowledging
her emotions and the impact this has had
on her. Speaking with empathy involves
expressing an understanding of how she
feels without offering advice on what to do
about the concerns. Then, if she is willing,
you can use problem solving strategies
to assist her to move forward. Of course,
everyone should be allowed to 'wallow' for
a little while but moving towards healthy and
realistic thoughts will help your daughter
move forward and take action.
To set about solving it, it is important that
your daughter lists the specific problem.
She may come up with more than one
problem as a result of your discussion.
Once you have a problem in mind, write
down all available options and solutions.
Include all reasonable and seemingly
silly options as this could lead down a
productive path. For example, if your
daughter's main concern is that she cannot
get into her favoured uni course, she might
consider; applying for entry to a general uni
degree and then changing to her favoured
course later; taking a break from the idea of
uni for a few years and working or travelling;
enquiring about TAFE courses in a similar
field with the idea of applying to uni with
Recognition of Prior Learning. These are
just some suggestions but it is important
the ideas come from your daughter, with
some input from you if she is struggling.
Sometimes, even with good problem
solving, people will still experience
unpleasant emotions and have difficulty
coping. For good mental health, it is
important to engage in activities every day
that give you a sense of achievement as
well as a sense of relaxation. Encourage
your daughter to do these things so
that she maintains a healthy physical,
spiritual and psychological outlook on life.
Sometimes this is all you can do when a
situation becomes stagnant or a problem
cannot be solved for the time being.
If, after trying some of these suggestions,
you, or your daughter, continue to have
concerns, don't hesitate to suggest
professional support. Sometimes it is
easier to talk to a stranger about life's
Have you ever found it difficult to cope
with a situation and felt unsure what to
do? You may have felt flat, sad, irritable
or lonely and yet didn't feel like confiding
in someone close to you? You are not
alone. Millions of Australians experience
difficulties every day and many - of all ages,
stages, social and cultural backgrounds
- choose to seek counselling support.
Counselling can help you achieve improved
emotional and personal functioning and
provide skills for long term wellbeing.
For example, David is 37, married and
works in manufacturing. For some months
he has been having difficulty concentrating
at work, is irritable with his colleagues and
his wife and has not been sleeping well.
David's wife has suggested that he should
talk to someone as she has noticed a
change in his mood and he does not seem
able to open up to her. David took this
advice and through counselling, learned
that he was experiencing symptoms of
depression. David was provided with
information and learned skills to manage
his symptoms effectively and improve his
daily functioning and thought patterns.
The road was not always smooth and
David experienced significant lows; for a
few weeks he felt unable to attend work.
However, counselling support created the
opportunity for David to persist with the
skills he had learned. Although not fully
recovered, David has made significant
gains, feels more confident in facing work
and has renewed hope.
Another example: Leanne and John
have been married for fifteen years and
have three children. Leanne and John
argue often and are close to considering
separation. They decided to seek support
to see if they could save their relationship.
Through counselling, Leanne and John
were able to learn more about the negative
ways they communicate and with guided
support, were able to identify each other's
needs in the relationship and establish ways
to meet those needs. They both wanted
the same from each other but were unable
to express themselves in healthy ways.
Session by session, Leanne and John
started to improve their communication
towards each other and were able to focus
on rebuilding their once loving relationship.
CatholicCare has a team of registered
psychologists experienced in providing
counselling support for a variety of personal
and mental health concerns such as,
but not limited to, depression, bipolar
disorder, anxiety and other mood disorders,
personality disorders, trauma, grief and loss,
relationship issues, concerns about children,
parenting, injury and sleep issues.
There is no pressure or expectation to
engage in long term counselling and every
one's needs are different. CatholicCare
offers affordable counselling options and
won't let financial concerns stand in the
way of providing the support you need.
You can access CatholicCare counselling
• Our government subsidised counselling
service for families and relationships.
• A Medicare referral from your doctor.
• A Workcover/Comcare referral from
• Employee Assistance Program; your
employer may provide counselling
support through CatholicCare/ACCESS
EAP or with another provider. Speak to
your employer about this.
Registered psychologist Tanya Russell is CatholicCare's Counselling Team Leader. Each month Tanya will answer your questions on a variety of life issues. The advice provided is
general in nature and does not replace ongoing support and advice from your health professional. Email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to CareTalk, PO Box 756
Newcastle 2300. From March 2013, CatholicCare will be relocating to new premises at Crebert Street Mayfield (former Mayfield Sports and Recreation Club).
near at hand
BY TANYA RUSSELL
Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle www.mn.catholic.org.au
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