Counselling Connection and its Directors are active in community and academic research.
Burnout and Self-care Practices for DBT Therapists
Counselling Connection is currently conducting research in the area of DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy). The current research is specific to burnout and self-care in therapists providing DBT services. The study will aim to further explore the relationship between DBT work and burnout, the self-care practices utilized by DBT therapists and therapists’ thoughts with regard to the usefulness of self-care in DBT work. Although there is some research exploring these topics with regard to DBT specifically, there is much more to be explored; this study aims to contribute to the progression of research in the field.
Check back for updates and results
Toward a Reconceptualization of Youth Relationship Custody from an Adlerian Framework
The Ministry of Children and Youth Services has recently recommended the use of relationship custody in youth custody facilities in Ontario. There is no clear definition of relationship custody or recognition of the theory that underlies it. A thorough analysis of the available material on relationship custody indicates that a strengths perspective as well as a positive psychology approach underlie the relationship custody model. This paper connects relationship custody, strengths perspective and positive psychology to Adlerian theory and posits that greater consistency to Adlerian theory would strengthen the relationship custody model. A new definition of relationship custody is presented.
Assessing the effects of meditation on dream imagery, depression and anxiety
This study utilized both quantitative and qualitative statistical methods to examine dreams in 22 University students and the effects of meditation on waking day depression levels (BDI), trait anxiety levels (BAI-T) and dream imagery. Results are consistent with previous research in that mood levels changed over the course of the meditation period, specifically, moods benefit from meditation. Specific dream imagery correlated with both depression and anxiety scores, such as scene changes and animals in dreams. There were multiple significant correlations found between dream con-tent and discoveries before and after meditation. This research illustrates that meditation has positive effects on mood and discoveries can be made from dream imagery relevant to waking day. Implications for future research are discussed as well as applications of dream work and meditation in applied practice.
Marital Satisfaction Throughout the Journey of Weight-Loss Surgery
A mixed-methods’ approach was designed to explore the marital impacts following weight-loss surgery (WLS). In Phase 1, ten individual interviews with spouses of five couples were conducted; two of the couples had the wives preparing for WLS, two of the couples consisted of wives who had WLS, and one couple had both received the surgery. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using a combination of interpretive phenomenological and grounded theory techniques. Findings demonstrated that WLS does have impacts on marriage regardless of where couples are in their journey. All couples discussed food as a possible source of conflict in their relationship. Interviews also revealed that self-esteem is a major factor contributing to their relationship and support is necessary throughout. In Phase 2 an online survey was developed to quantitatively explore the important constructs deemed important from the participants in Phase 1. Relationships between relationship satisfaction, sexual conflict, self-esteem, depression and body image were examined in 54 participants. Results demonstrate that higher levels of support and self-esteem and lower sexual conflict relate to a more satisfactory relationship in individuals post- WLS.
Evaluating Anxiety, Depression and Dream Imagery in Men Recovering from Substance Abuse.
Addiction can lead to a plethora of health, social and economical problems. Substances are used for mood regulation, and therefore, waking day mood is extremely important during recovery of alcohol and drug addiction. The current study examined the effects of meditation on anxiety and depression levels. All participants were male, and currently in treatment programs or early stages of recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Participants were tested for anxiety and depression and were asked to provide a recent dream, prior and post to participating in the intervention. Dreams were scored using Hall and Van de Castle guidelines for scoring imagery. Results are consistent with previous research in that anxiety and depression levels changed over the course of the meditation period. Implications for future research are discussed as well as applications of meditation in clinical and applied practice.
Assessing the Effects of Brief Interventions on Mood and Dream Imagery in Recovering Alcohol and Drug Addicts
The current study examined the effects of Meditation and Sleep Mentation Therapy on mood levels. All participants were male, and currently in treatment programs or early stages of recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Participants were tested for anxiety and depression symptoms and were asked to provide a recent dream, prior and post to participating in the intervention. Dreams were scored using Hall and Van de Castle guidelines for scoring imagery. Results are consistent with previous research in that mood levels changed over the course of the meditation period. Implications for future research are discussed as well as applications of Sleep Mentation Therapy and Meditation in clinical and applied practice.
Youth Justice in Canada: Just Ice?
Strategies to reduce youth crime have been extensively researched and custody is not found to be effective. In the past, custody was a frequently used sentence, and while under the YOA the number of youth in custody was four times higher than that of adults in Canada. The use of custody sentences in Ontario has decreased in recent years, however; it remains above the Canadian average. Currently, alternatives to custody are also being implemented. This study aimed to gather lived experiences of those with firsthand experience in the youth justice system (offenders and staff). These individuals have working knowledge of effective practices for reducing recidivism. Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted. Interviews were coded and analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. A number of themes emerged, including various views on the benefits of custody, the importance of relationships, challenges of the job and the need for increased focus on prevention.