ANdrew Pangrazio

Counselling Apps

Technology is a part of our lives and a useful tool in helping us through everyday activities. Self-care, relaxation and mindfulness are no exception to this. A growing part of my practice is the inclusion of mindfulness and relaxation activities.  In the 2017 Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Health of the nation report, Mental health was cited as a top-three issue by 65% of female GPs and 53% of male GPs.  These concerns were predominantly depression, mood disorders and anxiety. Self-care and relaxation exercises are pivotal to assisting people in lowering their overall stress responses and assist in the therapeutic process.

Easy to use applications that are freely available such as smiling mind (https://www.smilingmind.com.au/) , headspace (https://www.headspace.com/), What’s Up (https://au.reachout.com/tools-and-apps/whats-up)  or Mindshift (https://www.anxietybc.com/resources/mindshift-app) are great companions to therapy and assist anybody in maintaining a mindful or relaxation routine.

My current app of choice, however, is a paid app called Calm (https://www.calm.com/). This app has many great features, easy to use and assists with relaxation, mindfulness, sleep, anxiety, depression and stress. Calm also offers master classes in areas of anxiety, depression and other ever-changing topics. For therapist or patient alike this is a useful app that I would recommend to anybody.

Referral

RACGP., (2017). General Practice: Health of the Nation, https://www.racgp.org.au/yourracgp/news/media-releases/mental-health-issues-the-main-reason-australians-see-their-gp-(1)/

Psychologist Misconduct

Psychologist Misconduct

According to a recent study by Kremer, Symmons & Furlonger (2018) between the period of 2008-2013, 42 Psychologists were found guilty of misconduct and malpractice in civil and administrative courts across Australia. Of the offenders 25 were male and 17 female. Transgressions included;

  • Boundary Violation
  • Profesisonal – Incompetence
  • Professional – Poor Communication
  • Poor Business practices
  • False use of Dr/Professor or specialist title
  • Professional – Poor reports
  • Misleading registration claim
  • Impairment (mental illness, addiction)

Kremer, Symmons & Furlonger (2018) found the most common category of transgression resulting in a court‐based guilty verdict for psychologists relates to inappropriate sexual liaisons, followed by professional incompetency, and then poor communication in the provision of services. Reasons for transgressions coalesced into three themes: the externalisation of responsibility for personal actions and behaviours, a lack of objectivity concerning why such behaviours occurred, and an inability to understand how personal circumstance affected the provision of ethical services to clients.

Glass in 2003 developed the guidelines around gray areas of boundary crossings and violations. Glass demonstrated his concept in a Venn diagram below;

Boundary Cross.jpg

 

Undertaking psychotherapy is a personal journey and trust is of the utmost importance to form a therapeutic bond. In this process boundaries can sometimes be crossed, however, it is important to understand that these crossings whilst seemingly harmless can be the start of a slippery slope and regular supervision, client check-ins and objective reasoning is important safeguards against the possibilities of transgressions.  

Reference

Glass, L. L. (2003). The gray areas of boundary crossings and violations. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 57(4), 429-44. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/213131708?accountid=166958

Kremer, Paul & Symmons, Mark & Furlonger, Brett. (2018). Exploring the Why of Psychologist Misconduct and Malpractice: A Thematic Analysis of Court Decision Documents: Exploring the why of misconduct. Australian Psychologist. 10.1111/ap.12343.