Therapies: Individuals, Couples and Families

With head, heart and hand!

Individuals and their families who are involved, for example, with stressful situations, including natural disasters and jobs, and who work in emergency services, the military, justice or the health fields can benefit from psychosocial therapeutic (“therapies”). Pre-marital counselling and preparation are also offered. Such services are not always readily available, and may only be accessible in the form of short-term interventions. During therapy service recipients (“recipients”) often communicate with trained and caring therapists. These professionals could help them to identify and address stressors that could be triggering their dis-eases.

Individuals, couples and families could require assistance from therapists before their problems reach damaging proportions. Recipients through therapeutic sessions may have opportunities to re-write their life stories in a holistic manner. Teenagers, parents and couples, through their communications with therapists, may have opportunities, to limit their resentments and de-escalate their anger and self-destructive acts. Recipients through therapeutic sessions might develop contingency plans to limit their own or others’ violent behaviours. Sometimes individuals, couples and families, just need to be heard and to be respected. Therapy can assist, including with emotional problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and work-related trauma.

The field of literature about work-related trauma is mostly from mental health, including the discipline of psychology (Saakvitne & Pearlman 1996; Pearlman & Saakvitne, 1995). Another profession that has contributed to the literature about work-related trauma is counseling (Trippany, Kress & Wilcoxon, 2004). Kirmayer, Lemelson and Barad (2007a) attempt to bring together interlocking biological, clinical and cultural perspectives about trauma. Notwithstanding this, Stamm (1999a, p. xxiv) states, “The complete spectrum of traumatic stress continues to elude our best efforts to understand it as a holistic phenomenon”. There is much more to know about work- related trauma. Nonetheless, for employees to optimise performance and job satisfaction, and to realise their professional and personal goals, customised therapies can be useful for them.

Individuals, families and groups may have opportunities through therapies to gain insight and outsight into their problematic behaviours, feelings, and cognitions that could contribute to their problems. They can learn how to change in meaningful and productive ways. Recipients may experience sad and even traumatic events such as illnesses, deaths and disabilities, job losses and relationship breakdowns. For recipients to move on from these kinds of circumstances it can be important to understand and address factors that they can change in their lives to cope with their losses and misfortunes. Recipients may then be able to develop a sense of self- efficacy, to see the beauty and pleasure in the world around them. Individuals, couples and families through therapies can strengthen their coping and problem-solving strategies.

Citations to the literature are available on request.

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