Counselling involves discussing important issues with a social worker or counsellor (such as a psychologist or clinical psychologist). A counsellor can help you to explore any challenging issues or emotions and work towards positive change. Some services are offered within your home. A session usually runs for an hour. The number of sessions will vary, depending on your goal and the counselling approach.
How can counselling be helpful?
Counselling helps you to express and better understand your thoughts and feelings in a non-judgemental environment. Common emotions experienced by carers of people with dementia include:
- Sadness and grief associated with changes in the person with dementia and your relationship with them
- Loss associated with plans for the future that may no longer be possible
- Frustration, annoyance, and/or anger associated with managing daily interactions
- Resentment towards other family and friends due to feeling unsupported
- Guilt about not being able to meet all of the person with dementia’s needs
- Guilt about experiencing ‘negative’ emotions towards the person with dementia.
Alzheimer’s Australia Counselling
A FREE service for partners, relatives or friends of a person diagnosed with dementia and for people who have early stage dementia.
- It is a confidential service where you are able to develop an ongoing relationship with a fully qualified counsellor.
- You can meet in person, over the phone or via Skype.
Call or email and ask about counselling in your area. A counsellor will call you back to make an appointment.
Carers Australia is the peak body which supports carers through advocacy and delivery of support services. They also offer counselling services via the National Carer Counselling Program which include short term psychological and emotional support services.
Carers Australia on 1800 242 636
Online Counselling Resources
Ecouch is a self-help interactive program with modules for depression, generalised anxiety and worry, social anxiety, relationship breakdown, and loss and grief.
Anxietyonline provides information about anxiety disorders, free automated psychological assessment and self-help treatment programs, plus low cost therapist-assisted programs over 12 weeks.
Mood Gym is an online self-help method of therapy for depression and anxiety using an online, automated format.
This Way Up
ThisWayUp offers guided (clinician-assisted) programs for generalised anxiety disorder depression, panic/agoraphobia, social phobia, and mixed anxiety and depression. These courses are available at a fee and require a referral (from either your GP or a psychologist, medical specialist, mental health nurse or other allied health professional). This Way Up also offers anonymous self-help programs for Shyness, Worry and Sadness and Stress Management and information about common mental disorders, including obsessive/compulsive disorder (OCD) and psychological trauma.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
ACT Training Online was developed by Russ Harris, author of ‘The Happiness Trap’ and promotes acceptance and commitment therapy. It can help you to develop mindfulness skills with exercises from under five-minutes to over half-an-hour.
My Compass is an interactive self-help service that aims to promote resilience and wellbeing. You can track your moods, write about them and view information and tips. You can also choose to do one of the modules designed to help you manage mild to moderate stress, anxiety and depression.