How Can Family Counselling Help?

Our family influences our very being and moulds us into who we are today. Everything we learn from them affects how we communicate and interact with others, our habits and how we view the world. The thing is, our upbringing affects us for better or for worse. But just because your family experiences difficulties communicating and resolving conflict doesn’t mean it can’t change for the better. This is where family counselling comes in. Coupled with persistent efforts from each member, your family can develop a stronger bond and maintain a healthy relationship. Let’s explore this further below.

What is Family Therapy?

Family therapy or family counselling refers to a type of psychotherapy involving all family members. It’s designed to help family members understand and improve their relationships with one another and aid in resolving any current issues or conflicts within the family. A licensed therapist will moderate sessions for all participants, helping them communicate better and identify what needs to be changed to achieve a healthy relationship. 

Why Would Families Need Family Therapy?

There are many reasons why family therapy may be beneficial for your family. It’s important to know that it isn’t only applicable when there is a problem, as it can be used as a preventative measure too – to ensure that the family members understand what’s expected from each other, what boundaries are there and what behaviour is acceptable.  

What Issues Can Family Counselling Address?

Family therapy can be used to address a wide range of issues, including the following:

Communication Problems

Family counselling can be beneficial if your family is having difficulty communicating correctly. A professional family counsellor will help the family members learn better ways to express themselves and what they need from each other. 


sad young girl with parents arguing in the blurred background

Dealing with a divorce can be difficult, not just for the parents involved but most especially for the children. Family therapy can help all family members learn how to cope with and adjust to the changes in the family structure, which can benefit everyone. 


Suppose one or more family members are struggling with some form of addiction. In that case, family therapy can be beneficial to help all family members understand what’s going on, what needs to be done and what kind of support they all need. 

Changes in Family Dynamics

Are you expecting a new addition to the family? Or are you having trouble adjusting to a stepfamily? Family counselling can help address changes in family dynamics, such as the addition of a new baby or learning how to get along with a new family.

Conflict between Siblings

It’s normal for siblings to disagree from time to time. But if the disagreements get past the point of simple misunderstandings and arguments and move towards more profound resentment and even ugly altercations that cause stress to the family, intervention is needed. With family counselling, siblings can learn effective ways to resolve their conflicts healthily.

Offensive Behaviour

If one family member’s behaviour is causing issues, then family counselling can help them address what needs to be changed to improve the situation. 

Depression in Children

Children experience a myriad of strong emotions as they develop. But just because your child feels sad does not necessarily mean they are depressed. However, if it becomes persistent or starts interfering with normal daily activities, your child may suffer from depression. As a parent, you may not be equipped to handle this type of situation, but family counselling can help you understand what’s going on and how you can support your child.

Inconsistent Parenting

annoyed young girl with nagging mother in the blurred background

Suppose one or both parents have difficulty setting and maintaining boundaries with their children. In that case, family counselling can help them understand what is necessary for healthy family life.

Dealing with Death and Chronic Illness in the Family

Family counselling can help family members cope with the death of a loved one and find healthy ways to continue their lives. It can also help them manage and adjust to the changes that come along when a family member is dealing with a chronic illness. 

Types of Family Counselling 

Functional Family Therapy: This therapy focuses on developing healthy family functioning by addressing communication, problem-solving skills and relationships. 

Systemic Family Therapy: This type of therapy looks at the family as a whole unit rather than focusing on individual members. The aim is to identify patterns of behaviour within the family and understand what needs to be changed to achieve healthy family relationships.  

Narrative Family Therapy: This therapy focuses on identifying how stories and meaning are created within a family and what needs to be changed for these stories to be more helpful.

Transgenerational Therapy: This therapy looks at family relationships across different generations to identify behaviour patterns and what needs to be changed. 

Structural Therapy: This type of therapy focuses on changing family relationships with the goal of creating healthier boundaries and ways of functioning. 

Brief Strategic Family Therapy: This therapy adopts a structural framework of family systems to help improve a child or adolescent’s behavioural problems. It is done by enhancing family interactions that are presumed to affect the person’s symptoms directly.

Multisystemic Therapy: This type of therapy is a family-focused and community-based treatment that looks at the family’s environment and what needs to be changed for the family unit to function more effectively. It is mostly aimed at families with juveniles who have committed serious offences and are possibly abusing substances. 

Benefits of Family Counselling

young happy family visiting female family counsellor

Family counselling can offer so many benefits to all family members involved, including: 

Improve Communication Skills – Counselling can help family members learn better ways to communicate their needs and feelings with each other.

Strengthen Bonds – Through family counselling, family members can regain trust and strengthen the bonds between them. 

Resolving Conflict – Family counselling can help family members find healthy ways to resolve conflicts and disagreements. 

Problem-Solving – By working together, family members can learn to work through problems as a team, which is beneficial for everyone involved. 

Defining Family Roles – Counselling can help family members define what roles each person should play in the family so that everyone knows what’s expected of them.  

Developing Healthy Boundaries – Through counselling, family members learn what kind of behaviour is acceptable and what boundaries are necessary for a healthy family life.

Strengthen Your Family with Family Counselling from Professionals at DIPAC

No family is perfect, as we may all struggle with maintaining healthy relationships at times. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t do better or improve our family ties. Through effective and compassionate family counselling, you and your family can learn how to better understand and develop stronger relationships with each other. Start by taking the first step and contact us to learn more about our family counselling services.

12 Signs You May Need Relationship Counselling

It can be challenging to tell when relationship counselling is necessary. In fact, many people struggle with admitting that they need help, and it’s perfectly understandable. After all, most people believe that they should be able to handle their relationships without any outside assistance. However, this isn’t always the case. 

Relationships go through ups and downs, and sometimes couples need a little help getting through the difficult parts. If you’re wondering whether or not you need to seek counselling, take a look at the signs listed below. If more than one of these signs applies to your relationship, it may be time to seek professional help.

Why is Relationship Counselling Important?

Counselling is necessary because it can help couples get through difficult times in their relationship. It can also help couples prevent future problems by teaching them how to communicate effectively and resolve conflict constructively. In short, counselling can help improve the overall quality of your relationship.

Signs You May Need Relationship Counselling

If you’re thinking, “Do I need counselling?” it might be a good idea to consider it. But if you are looking for more signs that you should start looking for a couples counsellor, read the ones listed below. 

1. Lack of Communication

One of the most common signs that couples counselling is necessary is a lack of communication. And if you leave that problem alone, many other issues can arise from it. When that happens, your relationship can quickly spiral downwards. So if you’ve noticed that you and your partner are no longer communicating that well, it may be time to seek professional help so you can learn to communicate effectively.

With a qualified and experienced counsellor, you can learn how to communicate effectively and work together to resolve conflicts that ultimately improve your relationship. 

2. You Cease to Coexist

man and woman holding smartphones ignoring each other

If you no longer do things together or share common interests, you start spending less time together. When that happens, you begin to lead separate lives and ultimately lose interest in each other. But through counselling, you can reconnect and reignite the spark in your relationship.

3. Considering Infidelity

Being unhappy in a relationship can tempt you to look elsewhere for physical intimacy and affection. But when you reach the point of considering infidelity, this is a serious alarm bell, clearly signalling that something is wrong in your relationship.

Instead of ignoring or stamping down this negative feeling, it’s important to consider where they are coming from. Through relationship counselling, you and your partner can explore the underlying issues that urge you to cheat and work together to find a solution.

4. The Bad Times Outnumber the Good

It’s never a good sign when you have more bad times than good in your relationship. You may think about toughing it out, hoping that something will change, but nothing ever will unless you do something about it. If you find yourself feeling unhappy more often than not, counselling can help you turn things around. A counsellor can help you and your partner identify the problems in your relationship and find ways to solve them.

5. You Keep Fighting over the Same Things

Fighting is a normal part of relationships. But if you keep fighting over the same thing without reaching a compromise, you might need professional help to settle those issues. Find a better solution and reach a compromise with the assistance of a qualified professional so you can finally put those recurring conflicts to rest.

6. Changes in Intimacy

Although it’s normal for changes in intimacy to occur in a relationship, feeling frustrated or unsatisfied with the changes is a bad sign. And if you don’t resolve this problem soon enough, it can damage your connection. With therapy, you and your partner can explore the reasons behind the changes in intimacy and find ways to improve your relationship.

7. A Definite Feeling That Something is Wrong

anxious woman sitting on couch

Do you have a nagging feeling that something is wrong, but you just can’t explain it? Seek help from a counsellor so you can identify problems in your relationship and work towards resolving them. Trust your instincts because it’s highly likely that something is definitely wrong.

8. A Betrayal Has Occurred

Infidelity occurs for several reasons, but it doesn’t change the fact that trust has been broken in your relationship. And getting through this problem without counselling is next to impossible as it’s one of the most difficult challenges a relationship can go through. So, seek professional support to help you and your partner work through the pain and betrayal to rebuild trust and improve your relationship.

9. You Pretend Everything is Fine

If you’re pretending everything is fine when it’s not, it’s a sign that something is wrong in your relationship. If you’re putting on a brave face for your friends and family, but you’re really not happy, couples counselling can help. A counsellor can help you and your partner explore the underlying issues in your relationship and find ways to improve things.

10. You Want Different Things out of Your Relationship

If you and your partner want different things out of your relationship, it’s a sign that you’re not on the same page. A counsellor can help you and your partner communicate about your needs and wants so that you can find a compromise that works for both of you.

11. You Don’t Feel Supported by Your Partner

If you don’t feel supported by your partner, it’s a sign that your relationship is unbalanced. But by seeking help from a counsellor, you and your partner can better communicate about your needs so that you can find a way to feel more supported in your relationship.

12. You Want to Have a Healthy Relationship

Relationship counselling isn’t always about overcoming severe difficulties. If you’re simply looking for ways to have a healthier relationship, counselling can also help. A counsellor can help you and your partner identify the areas in your relationship that need improvement and find healthy ways to communicate and resolve conflict. You don’t have to wait until things get bad to seek couples counselling.

Seek Help from Relationship Counsellors at DIPAC

relationship counsellor talking to a couple

If you’re experiencing any of these signs in your relationship, then consider relationship counselling in Australia. At DIPAC, we offer in-office and online relationship counselling to help you and your partner improve communication, resolve conflict and build a stronger relationship. 

We are a team of highly skilled professionals who are passionate about helping our clients overcome challenges and enjoy the best parts of their relationships. So if you feel the need for professional intervention, don’t hesitate to contact us and begin the journey to a more fulfilling relationship.

Drawing Distinctions: Therapy Vs. Counselling Vs. Mediation

Conflict is a part of life; it can happen in all your relationships, whether with friends, family and significant others. But no matter the level of conflict, how we deal with that conflict determines whether or not we are happy and successful. Some forms of conflict can be mild, while others stem from a deeper unresolved issue. There are many different ways to deal with conflict, but three of the most popular are therapy, counselling, and mediation. So, what’s the difference between these three? “What is the Definition of Mediation in Psychology?” Mediation is a process in which two or more people attempt to reach an agreement on a disputed issue. It’s typically facilitated by a third party, such as a mediator, who remains neutral throughout the process and doesn’t take sides.

Mediators are neither counsellors nor therapists. Although they have quasi-comparable skills, they are not qualified or trained to support parties who wish to reconcile by exploring deep-rooted historical problems or issues. If this type of service is required for conflict resolution, mediators will refer the parties to suitable therapists and counsellors for appropriate support. 

Mediation aims to come to a resolution that everyone can agree on. This type of conflict resolution is often used in cases where the parties involved are willing to negotiate and compromise, more often seen in families amid separation. However, family mediation is also helpful for more common issues, although therapists are often hired for more deep-rooted family problems. They can also get family counselling to resolve recurring issues. “So, What Do Mediators Do?” They empower parties in conflict to remain future-focused. The parties are encouraged to shelf issues that don’t help them or their families instead of staying stuck in the past. For couples intending to divorce, mediators will help them make informed decisions about their separation issues. It mainly covers and explores arrangements for their dependents. 

In family mediation, parties may also explore softer topics, such as communication difficulties and boundary setting to help family members reach mutually acceptable agreements or understandings on critical issues.

wooden puzzle blocks with man, woman, and mediation icon

The Benefits of Mediation

Since mediation is a guided negotiation often needed to reach a compromise and settle disputes. It provides plenty of benefits, such as

    • It’s usually faster than going to court since parties can reach an agreement quicker.
    • It’s less expensive compared to settling matters through court.
    • It provides appropriate support for both parties since mediators act as neutral facilitators.
    • It’s confidential, which means that what is said during mediation cannot be used in court.
    • It allows you to have control over the outcome of the dispute.
    • It can help improve communication and relationships.
    • It can help resolve conflicts peacefully.
    • It’s voluntary since any party can withdraw from the mediation anytime.
    • It’s convenient since the mediation is arranged with the convenience of the parties in mind.

If you’re facing a conflict you can solve with compromise, consider mediation to resolve it. Therapy vs Counselling Therapy and counselling are both forms of psychological treatment. However, there are some critical differences between the two.

Counselling is typically shorter-term than therapy and focuses on resolving a specific issue. While it does have greater breadth than mediation, it’s often more present-focused and will address recurring problems in a relationship. Counselling can also include skill development to help mitigate those regular issues. 

Although there may only be a single problem in a relationship, it is generally the case that the same issue keeps causing problems, undermining the parties’ satisfaction with the connection. Counselling can address such issues without delving into one’s personal history.

On the other hand, therapy is typically longer-term and focuses less on what needs to be resolved and more on the reason behind the conflict. It’s often more future-focused and seeks to prevent conflict from happening again. This type of conflict resolution provides the most significant depth and breadth to addressing relationship issues since it delves into the past. 

By understanding the reason behind the conflict, therapists also encourage parties to explore their history and the possible contributions their past has made to their current relationship. In this case, a change of behaviour is usually expected.

therapist consulting with a clientThe Benefits of Therapy

There are many benefits to therapy for individuals, couples and families, including the following: Individual Therapy

    • It can help you improve your communication skills
    • It can empower you to develop fresh perspectives on your life.
    • It can help you learn how to make healthier choices.
    • It can help you develop coping skills for stress management.
    • It can help you understand the root cause of your conflict.
    • It can help you learn new skills to prevent conflict in the future.
    • It can help you improve relationships with others.
    • It’s often longer-term, which means you can explore issues in depth and make lasting changes.

Family Therapy

    • It can help families evaluate and treat mental health concerns (issues related to substance abuse, trauma and depression).
    • It can help families address relationship issues within the family.
    • It helps family members develop collaboration and individual coping skills.
    • It can help families evaluate and treat emotional disorders.
    • It can help family members improve how they communicate with each other.
    • It helps family members identify ways to find healthy support.

Couples Therapy

    • It can help couples communicate better.
    • It can restore lost trust.
    • It can resolve conflicts more effectively.
    • It can increase shared support.
    • It can restore intimacy.
    • It can help couples form a stronger bond.

If you’re facing a conflict with deep-rooted issues, consider therapy as a way to resolve it. You may be surprised at how effective it can be.

Counselling vs Mediation While counselling and mediation are forms of conflict resolution, the two have some key differences.

Mediation is typically directed at resolving a particular dispute by focusing on the futuristic implications of the issue and reaching a compromise that works for everyone. Meanwhile, counselling tends to focus on the present, addressing recurring problems in the relationship by helping the parties develop skills to mitigate issues.

couple holding hands

The Benefits of Counselling

There are many benefits to counselling, including the following:

    • It can help you understand and resolve your conflict.
    • It stimulates a positive disposition.
    • It can help you relieve unpleasant emotions and move on.
    • It enables you to develop openness and acceptance.
    • It can help improve communication and relationships.
    • It paves the way for new perspectives.
    • It can help you learn new skills to prevent conflict in the future.
    • It provides comfort and security.
    • It nurtures mental wellness.

If you’re facing a recurring conflict, consider counselling as a way to resolve it.

What about Coaching? Coaching is often confused with therapy or counselling. However, coaching is different because it focuses on helping people achieve specific goals. It is a highly individualised and personalised well-being intervention that works for individuals and various relationships. Coaches don’t focus on the past or on resolving conflict. Instead, they work with their clients to help them identify and achieve their goals. 

Coaching should empower individuals to find the answers within themselves. In this case, the coachee is the one who should set goals and determine what success looks like instead of the coach.

The Benefits of Coaching

There are many benefits to coaching, including the following:

    • It can help you achieve specific goals.
    • It can help improve communication and relationships.
    • It can improve self-awareness.
    • It helps develop resilience and increase stress tolerance.
    • It allows people to collaborate better.
    • It improves self-efficacy.
    • It helps build and maintain an excellent work-life balance.
    • It nourishes mental health.

If you need guidance in resolving conflict or achieving a specific goal, consider coaching as a way to help you develop actionable strategies. “How Do I Know Which is Right for Me?” So, which one is right for you? It really depends on your specific situation. If you have a particular dispute that you need to resolve, mediation may be a good option. Counselling may be a better option if you’re dealing with recurring conflicts in your relationship. And if you want to understand the root cause of your conflict and learn how to prevent it in the future, therapy may be the best choice.

The best way to determine which of these conflict resolution methods is right for you is to speak with a qualified professional. They will be able to assess your situation and help you find the best way to move forward.

husband and wife in a therapy sessionGet Therapy, Counselling and Mediation from Qualified Professionals at DIPAC Therapy, counselling, mediation and coaching are all great ways to have a fulfilling and happy life. The best part is that they work for individuals, families and all kinds of relationships. So, if you think you need any of these services, contact DIPAC to get in touch with experienced and licensed professionals who provide assistance with compassion. 

We are Australia’s leading provider of online therapy, counselling, mediation and coaching services. Every client has a special circumstance. As such, we provide a wide range of services to meet every unique case. We provide relationship counselling, family counselling and many other services. Contact us to learn more about our online and face-to-face services.

Stopping the Stigma: The Importance of Counselling and Why You Shouldn’t be Embarrassed to Get It

We often live in a society that perpetuates the stigma of mental health. We are taught from a young age that we should be ashamed of our emotions and never let anyone know when we’re struggling. This is especially true when it comes to seeking help. It’s no wonder many people feel embarrassed to go to counselling, leading to many missing out on the benefits of counselling.

What if someone finds out? What will they think of me? Counselling is one of the most important things you can do for your mental health, yet so many people avoid it because of the stigma attached to it. In this blog post, we will discuss why you should not be ashamed to get counselling and the benefits of doing so.


Why is Counselling Important?

The reason why counselling is important is that it provides a safe and non-judgmental environment for exploring your emotions. It’s a place where you can be open and honest about what you’re going through without feeling like you must put on a brave face. Counselling is also an opportunity to learn new coping mechanisms and skills that can help you in your day-to-day life.  

Counselling Agreement

Have you ever wondered why commitment is required in counselling? It is a mutual agreement between a counsellor and a client that details the outline of the therapeutic working alliance. The agreement highlights the responsibilities of the counsellor and the client to each other. And it ensures that the counselling takes place in a safe and professional environment. 

So, when you decide to get counselling, it’s also important to review this agreement to know the full extent of the benefits you can get.




Signs You Need Counselling

Do I need counselling?” By the time you’ve asked yourself that question, you should seriously consider going to counselling, especially if you are dealing with issues that are hard to explore on your own. Everybody experiences mental and emotional struggles, and seeking help may be what you need. But if you’re still unsure whether you need to go to counselling or not, here are some signs that you could benefit from counselling:

Changes in appetite and physical health – Feeling a lack of appetite or increased hunger may be signs of underlying issues, such as stress or anxiety. Stress can often manifest as physical illnesses. So, if you’re experiencing unexplained headaches, skin irritation, or digestive issues, it could signify that your mental well-being is affecting your physical health. The same is true with disrupted sleeping habits.

General dissatisfaction with life – Do you feel irritable for no reason, or are you losing interest in activities that you usually find rewarding? Perhaps you also feel like your relationship is becoming distant or getting nowhere in your career. At times like these, it’s good to take a step back and re-focus on what matters most to you. 

Counselling is often correlated with serious mental or emotional issues. However, it is just as beneficial when everything seems fine on the outside, but you just can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong or lacking. It works for relationship problems as well. And if you feel that you need help with yours, you may benefit from getting professional online relationship counselling.




Significant mood and behavioural changes – Is your anxiety or depression getting worse? Are you having angry outbursts more often, or you’re withdrawing from friends and family more and more? Significant changes in your mood and behaviour are big signs that you may need professional help. 

At times like this, it’s okay to admit it and say, “I need counselling.” Through counselling, you will have a safe space to talk about your problems and support from a qualified professional. 

Loved ones have suggested counselling to you – It’s natural to feel offended, upset, or defensive when this happens to you. But remember that your loved ones only worry and want the best for you. They know you better than most people around you and may have noticed that you are not your usual self. 

They can also support you while you learn to cope with the issues you are dealing with instead of judging you for choosing to seek counselling.


The Benefits of Counselling

Counselling has many benefits that are often overlooked because of its stigma. But if you get the courage to get yourself the professional help you need, you will experience the following benefits:

Talk to Someone Who’s Listening

Opening up about your problems to your loved ones may feel like you are putting an unnecessary burden on them. But with a therapist, you can talk about yourself and your issues freely without consequence. Your therapist wants to listen to what you have to say, your fears, what worries you, or what upsets you. In fact, the more you say, the more they can help you.

Make Informed Decisions

People go to the gym to build and strengthen their physical health. Likewise, counselling helps you build strength in your mind. And the more mentally strong you are, the better you can confidently make sound decisions.




Learn to Navigate Difficult Times

It’s difficult to find clarity in tough times. But talking to a counsellor can help nourish yourself in a safe environment. Through them, you can gain the skills needed to overcome difficult situations. 

Gain a Sense of Relief

Do you feel like crying it out? Then go ahead and do it. After all, it’s your choice how your session goes. Crying it out or venting all your frustrations can give you an overwhelming sense of relief. Moreover, you can talk to someone who listens attentively and helps you better understand what you need to do. 

Gain New Perspectives You Haven’t Considered

Therapists can help you realise behavioural patterns and recurring issues that are linked together. Doing this will help you understand what you are dealing with and make your issues easier to resolve. 

Nurture Mental Wellness

Engaging in counselling can help individuals better perceive themselves and develop healthier romantic and platonic relationships with loved ones. Moreover, counselling also offers strategies for proper stress management, which is essential to achieving stable well-being and happiness.

Develop Openness and Acceptance

Do you think your past traumas, failures and mistakes define you? If yes, then you are mistaken. Counsellors can help you ponder the reality that you don’t have control over everything in life and are bound to commit mistakes. They can also help you learn how to stand up from the fall when your past trauma holds you back.  

Counselling can help you accept who you are despite your flaws while recognising your strengths. By doing so, you can identify your psychological needs and cater to them better.


Myths Surrounding Therapy

Therapy is deeper than counselling, but its stigma also affects the general public’s perception of counselling. Constant efforts to erase therapy’s stigma are now encouraging individuals to seek professional help. But where did its negative connotations come from? Let’s explore and debunk the top myths surrounding psychotherapy.

Therapy is for Crazy People

Unfortunately, one of the main reasons people who desperately need therapy refuse to get it is they may be labelled “crazy” if they seek treatment. Therapy is for all types of people, those with severe depression, anxiety, trauma, or who need someone to talk to and a support system.




Seeking Help is a Weakness

It’s often thought that talking about your problems is a sign of weakness because it shows that you can’t handle them on your own. But even though we learn to develop independence, we still learn through others. It’s alright to accept that we cannot do everything ourselves. For instance, doctors are there to treat minor to major physical illnesses, so how is therapy any different?

You’re Looking for Attention

Some people go to great lengths to avoid being discovered that they are seeking therapy because of the stigma associated with it. So, why would they seek attention by doing it? Moreover, this often happens in the medical field when someone suffering from a factitious disorder would fake symptoms of an illness to get attention. 

You Can Just Take a Pill

Medication and psychotherapy are both effective for treating specific disorders. However, studies show that therapy is a safer treatment that lasts longer and prevents relapse. On the other hand, medications can have dangerous side effects ranging from vomiting, headaches, seizures, and chest pain to violent behaviour, suicidal thoughts, depression, and the like. As such, therapy and counselling’s benefits outweigh the risks of medical intervention.


counsellor in session with smiling young woman


Talk to Our Counsellors at DIPAC

DIPAC comprises a team of highly skilled professionals that provides counselling, therapy, mediation and life coaching services. We strongly believe that everyone can make positive changes in their lives. As such, we do our utmost to help our clients overcome challenges and reach their full potential by providing them with the support and tools they need to succeed. 

Start your journey to overcome life’s challenges and book a session with our counsellor today. We understand that clients have various privacy preferences. As such, we offer face-to-face sessions in Canberra and online counselling Australia-wide. Feel free to choose the more convenient option for you. Call us for enquiries.

Depression: Learn to manage your moods

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that has many potential root causes and can impact every aspect of your life—from your relationships and social life to your job and interest in activities.

At its core, depression is a cyclical pattern of negative thinking that prevents you from seeing the opportunity or possibility in things—it focuses your thoughts on the potential barriers and negative outcomes. Depression depletes you of hope, which leads to disordered mental and physical health.

What causes depression?

There are nearly as many risk factors and causes of depression as there are suffers of the disorder, so it’s important to recognize that depression is an individual disease. There is rarely only one cause of a person’s depression—it’s often the combination of genetic, social and environmental factors. Because depression affects everyone differently, it must be treated on an individual case-by-case basis.

Potential causes and risk factors of depression:

  • Stressful or traumatic events
  • Unresolved personal history
  • Family history of depression, especially within the same household
  • Low self-esteem and patterns of negative thinking
  • Other mental health disorders such as anxiety or PTSD
  • Gender and/or sexual orientation
  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic illness or other physical health issue
  • Side effects of some prescription medications
  • Poor nutrition or disordered eating

What’s the difference between depressed and non-depressed people?

When you think about people who aren’t depressed, you may wonder how they stay happy all the time. It’s not that they are somehow shielded from depressing situations and it’s not that bad things don’t happen to them (they do). Non-depressed people either naturally possess or have learned skills and techniques to help them navigate difficult situations—they can come out the other side of difficult times without having lost their positive sense of possibility for the future.

The primary difference between depressed and non-depressed people is that non-depressed people are able to pull out their toolkit of coping skills when they face challenging, negative or adverse situations. They battle the situation as it happens, put away their tools and return to their base-level way of thinking—equipped with their toolkit for the next negative situation or thought to present itself.

How can I cure my depression

Although there is no cure for depression, there are methods to help you regulate your moods through medication, therapy or a combination of the two:


Antidepressant medications are designed to balance the chemicals in your brain to help stabilize your mood and boost it out of its negative state. Antidepressants are effective if your primary cause is biological. However, it’s important to recognize that the medication only treats the symptoms of depression and not the root cause. In addition, a treatment of only antidepressants won’t give you the coping skills and techniques you need to be able to manage your depression on a daily basis.


Therapy is an essential component of treating depression because it helps you learn how to cope with the trauma of your past while giving you skills to navigate the present and future. In Australia, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is commonly used to treat depression because it equips people with the tools they need to cope with difficult situations and decisions. Therapy can help depressed people break free from their repetitive pattern of negative thinking and set realistic, achievable goals for treatment and practical use of those skills in everyday life.

Therapy and medication

Used together, therapy and medication is a good option for people who have a combination of different roots causes for their depression. Medication can help balance the biological side of things while therapy can help you develop skills such as how to manage stress, how to think carefully about a situation before making a decision, how to reflect in a constructive and positive way when decisions don’t work out as planned, and also how to build a support network around you of friends, family and doctors.

The best approach for YOU

The best approach in treating your depression is to work with your doctors to find a solution that works for you. Everyone is different and every treatment for depression will be individual. Everyone has their own path into depression and each person has their own path out If you need to talk about how you are feeling and what you can do, please have no hesitation to book an appointment with DIPAC and Associates. 

How to deal with infidelity

How do you define cheating?
Have you set the expectations in your relationship? OR have you assumed your partner knows the boundaries?

Here are a few areas I encounter as hot topics for discussion in my office:

  • Flirting via text with someone outside of your relationship
  • Watching porn (other men and women have sex) on your own or with someone other than your partner
  • Zoom sex with someone other than your partner
  • Sending sex pic’s with someone other than your partner
  • Engaging in sex with a paid sexual worker
  • Goggling someone shopping sexually who is not your partner
  • Holding a close hug longer than socially acceptable “a romantic cuddle”
  • A mouth kiss with someone other than your partner
  • Having a sneaky romantic lunch/drink with someone other than your partner
  • Changing your personality and body language when you are around someone other than your partner to be romantically noticed
  • And of course, you have had sex, foreplay or any other sexual interaction with someone who is not your partner

If you’ve been cheated on, you might be experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. You may feel devastated one moment and angry the next. A broken heart can lead to feelings of shame, doubt, confusion, and anxiety. Understanding and processing your emotions is a healthy way to heal from past hurt. There is not one direct path to follow when recovering from a breakup, some longer than others. Remember that it’s okay to take your time to heal and trust your own process because your feelings are unique to you and your life.

Feel the emotions, grow, and move on. It’s a personal journey of your own. In other words, stop judging yourself. Take the time you need to heal while also allowing yourself to grow and learn from the pain.

As Dr. Rob Weiss explains, “Damaged relationships don’t heal overnight. Moreover, damaged relationships don’t heal simply because one party wants them to.” As hard as it may seem, know that you are in charge of your own process and any closure you may need is entirely your own to give.

Meet the experts

Robert Weiss PhD, LCSW, is a clinical sexologist and the Chief Clinical Officer of Seeking Integrity LLC. He is the author of Out of the Doghouse and Prodependence, and host of the Sex, Love, and Addiction Podcast.

When dealing with the aftermath of infidelity, these six steps can help you cope with what transpired and deal with the emotional roller coaster of betrayal.
1. Work Through Your Feelings
You’ll likely experience different emotions as you process what happened. For instance, it’s common to feel disappointed or betrayed after infidelity, so take a moment to recognize these feelings are normal. “In general, getting over infidelity follows the usual stages of grief: shock/denial; anger/defiance; bargaining; depression, remorse; and acceptance,” explains Weiss. Rather than suppressing your emotions, work through them. Coming to terms with what happened is integral to the healing process.

Maintaining a daily gratitude practice, like keeping a journal, allows one to self-heal over time.

2. Don’t Blame Yourself
It’s all too easy to blame yourself for what happened, but you’re not responsible for your partner’s actions. While some self-reflection can be beneficial to your own personal growth, spiralling into harsh self-criticism and excessive self-blame actually delays the healing process. Rather than finding fault with yourself or obsessing over what might have been, place the blame squarely on the cheater.

3. Don’t Live in the Past
Are you questioning everything about your relationship, replaying conversations in an attempt to discover what went wrong? “There is an initial stage when the betrayed partner wonders what else she or he doesn’t know about,” says Weiss. “It is very difficult to trust anything the cheating partner says or does in this stage.” But obsessing over the past isn’t healthy or productive. Instead of dwelling on hypotheticals, focus on the future rather than negativity, working through all the stages of the healing process and eventually coming to forgive both them and yourself.

4. Think About What You Want
Moving on after infidelity means taking the lead on how you want to live your life. Do you want to break up with your partner or do you want to work on your relationship? Weiss suggests weighing all of the factors: “First of all, has the cheating stopped? Have the lies and secrets stopped? Generally speaking, are there more positive than negatives to the relationship? Is the cheating partner ever going to be able to restore relationship trust? There is no set formula for deciding to stay or go, but these questions can provide clarity.” These are important questions without right or wrong answers.

Regardless of what others say, your greatest concern should be yourself. For instance, if your partner’s actions are a deal-breaker for you, break up with your partner. On the flip side, you may feel hurt and betrayed by your partner but still want them in your life. “Betrayed partners should understand that it is normal to continue to love and care for someone, even after a betrayal,” says Weiss. “Both parties have to want to rebuild trust and intimate connection. The good news is that after an infidelity, if both parties do their work in the process of healing, relationships can end up being stronger than ever—deeper vulnerability, deeper intimacy, and more rather than less support of one another.”

Or, then again, you may also not be sure what you want. That’s okay. The decision is yours alone to make. Regardless of your decision, try to ensure that it’s being made from a place of healthy authenticity or “prodependence” rather than codependence.

5. Take Care of Yourself
When you’re dealing with something as life-changing as infidelity, this type of news can take a toll on you emotionally as well as physically. For instance, you may want to shut out the outside world and not see or talk to anyone. You may notice that you have difficulty concentrating at work or even find it hard to get the energy or desire to take care of yourself. But it’s imperative when faced with hardship and disappointment that you practice self-love and self-care during these difficult moments in your life.

“I am a big fan of gratitude lists, exercise, journaling, and of course therapy and support groups for people in the same or similar situations,” says Weiss.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you want to get over being cheated on, don’t be afraid to lean on those around you for support. Being cheated on by your partner can make you feel isolated and alone. However, it would be best if you weren’t afraid to reach out to friends and family after this has happened and surround yourself with people who care about you and your well-being. “Betrayed partners need support for the trauma they’ve experienced, and that support should not (and really cannot) come from their cheating partner,” explains Weiss. “There is nothing worse than sitting alone after a betrayal with absolutely no one to tur If you need to talk about your relationship and gain positive relationship strategies, please have no hesitation to book an appointment with DIPAC and Associates. 

What to do if you or a loved one lack empathy

Empathy involves the ability to understand what other people are experiencing. It plays an essential role in building social connections and promotes prosocial behaviours. However, not everyone experiences empathy for others in every situation, which can have a variety of individual and societal consequences.

What can you do if you or a loved one lack empathy? First, it’s important to understand what a lack of empathy might look like and then explore some ways to encourage this important emotional skill.

Signs of a lack of empathy

A lack of empathy isn’t always easy to detect, but there are a few signs that can help you determine if you or a loved one might not be empathetic:

  • Being extremely critical of other people
  • Blaming the victim
  • Not forgiving people for making mistakes
  • Feeling like other people are too sensitive
  • Not listening to other people’s perspectives or opinions
  • An inability to cope with emotional situations
  • Lack of patience for other people’s emotional reactions
  • Reacting with impatience or anger when frustrated with other people
  • Feeling baffled by other people’s feelings
  • Believing that negative things won’t happen to you
  • Not thinking about or understanding how your behaviours affects other people

Empathy isn’t an all-or-nothing quality. Think of it as a continuum. Some people are naturally more empathetic, while others are less so. Other factors, including situational variables, can affect how much empathy people feel at any given time.

Factors that can impact how much empathy people feel for others include how well they know the other person, whether they like the individual, what they blame for the other person’s situation, past experiences, and expectations.

How empathetic are you?

Ask yourself the following questions to determine how empathetic you are:

  • Do you have a hard time picking up on the emotions of people around you?
  • Is it hard to imagine how you would feel if you were in someone else’s situation?
  • Are you indifferent when you see other people experiencing hardships?
  • Do you stop listening to other people if you don’t agree with them?
  • Do you avoid helping people who are upset, hurt, or at a disadvantage?

If you answered yes to most of the above questions, there’s a strong chance that you struggle to feel empathy for others. While this can be problematic, there are things you can do to become more empathetic.


The exact causes of a lack of empathy aren’t entirely understood, but it is believed that a number of factors likely play a role. Empathy is believed to be largely influenced by genetics and socialidation.

Genetics play a part in the heritable aspects of personality and temperament. So some people are born with tendencies that make them more empathetic to others. However, experiences throughout life also play an important role. Parents, teachers, peers, society, and culture affect how people feel about kindness, empathy, compassion, and helping behaviours.

There is also some research suggesting that men and women tend to experience and express empathy in different ways. Women generally score higher on measures of empathy.

Some conditions may play a role in a lack of empathy such as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), antisocial personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Effects Lack of empathy can have a number of effects. Some of these include:

  • Problems with relationships: People who lack empathy are more likely to have problems in their relationships with other people. It can lead to arguments when other people feel that their feelings and needs are not understood. It can also make it more difficult to form bonds and decrease the likelihood that people receive meaningful help.
  • Poor communication: Not being able to understand where other people are coming from can make communication much more difficult. A lack of empathy can also cause people to misinterpret what other people are trying to say, which can ultimately lead to miscommunication, conflict, and damaged relationships.
  • Lack of helping behaviours: When people don’t feel empathy for others, they are less likely to engage in prosocial actions that might help people who need assistance. This can affect people on an individual level, but it can also have more systemic effects when groups, governments, or societies fail to show empathy toward people who need support.

Lack of empathy can also have consequences in healthcare settings. Research suggests that healthcare workers’ empathy declines as a result of medical training.2 This can result in uncompassionate care, worse health outcomes, and poor patient experiences.

A lack of empathy can create a wide variety of problems. It’s also a quality that varies depending on the situation, so even naturally empathetic people may experience a lack of empathy from time to time.

Being aware of situations where you feel emotionally uninvolved and disconnected may help you better consider some of the factors you might be missing. But if a lack of empathy is a deeper, more lasting problem that affects your communication and relationships, consider talking to a therapist.

A mental health professional can help you explore the cause of the problem and learn strategies that may help you better understand and empathize with what other people are going through.

Note: Personality disorders are very rarely treated with mediation unless there is a comorbidly diagnoses. Eg; Depression which is a mood disorder and can require short term medication.

Personality disorders are just that “Personality” which over time with help from a therapist can be changed resulting in a happier more fulfilling view of yourself, your relationship and the world.

Medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD on September 26, 2021 If you believe you or a loved one might benefit from therapy, please have no hesitation to book an appointment with DIPAC and Associates.

Five rules for effective communication

Love is not just a feeling. It is an activity that involves skill-building. You can work at cultivating your love for another. You can get better (or worse) at loving someone – this is a choice. It is also possible to measure how well you are doing at loving someone by taking an “Acts of Love” inventory that will help you to determine just how you are doing and focus on improving your personal best weekly.

Conflict in intimate relationships is not only normal, but inevitable and even valuable at times.

Tip: set boundaries for communication when talking about an uncomfortable subject matter

While conflict might make you uneasy, it can also invite you to reflect on your situation from a new perspective. You have a choice. You can act in ways that keep the conflict going. Or, you can turn the conflict into creative tension, which gives birth to new insights and talents. In fact, conflict is growth trying to happen.

If you find yourself working up into anger or crying at the start and end of every sentence, ask yourself, “Where does this emotion come from?” Seek to find reason for your reaction.

8 out of 10 couples tell me communication is their biggest issue, yet they very rarely ask “How can I learn to communicate better?” We are all individuals; we will all communicate differently and words hold different meanings for each of us. Get real! By getting grounded, receptive, and non-judgmental, we enhance our ability to see through our partners lens and experience their’ “emotional life” and perhaps see their world as they do.
We spend about 85 percent of each day communicating, so it’s in our best interests to be good at it. “Do unto others as they would like to be done unto” reframes communication.

So what are the five rules?

  1.       Ask
  2.       Reframe (optional)
  3.       Observe
  4.       Confirm
  5.       Accept responsibility, never blame the recipient

Determine how best your partner will understand the communication: ask how your partner likes to receive information, observe, and/or try different methods and modes. Check-in for understanding.

Tip: Flex your style to meet the needs of the one your love
Communication 101: If you can’t get them on the merry-go-round, get them on the swings!

If you need to talk about your relationship and gain positive relationship strategies, please have no hesitation to book an appointment with DIPAC and Associates.