The National University System Repository exists to increase public access to research and other materials created by students and faculty of the affiliate institutions of National University System. Most items in the repository are open access, freely available to everyone.

Recent Submissions

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    Stress Management for Counsellors and the Different Interventions to Manage Stress
    (2024-03) Skeik, Basel
    The importance of developing stress management and self-care techniques is important for counsellors and health practitioners alike. We must learn to find balance in both our personal and professional lives and tune into our emotions in order to continue working long into our careers as therapists. My intent with this capstone project is to explore the root of stress and the different interventions that could be used to understand and treat it. Different theories and models will be explored to understand the root of stress and how to approach it effectively. This capstone will offer a proactive approach to stress management. My research focuses on the following subject areas; 1. The symptoms and signs of burnout to spot it before it’s too late; 2. Self-care practices and techniques; 3. The contributors to increased stress levels both professionally and personally; 4. Current tools counsellors can learn and use to navigate their burnout or stress. I will work towards those goals by researching a variety of theoretical perspectives, their benefits, and limitations, and comparing them to current strategies. By critiquing those theories and their interventions, I aim to create a set of recommendations for counsellors dealing with the stressors of their work environment.
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    Emotionally Focused Therapy With Couples Impacted by Relationship Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
    (2024-04) Tillyer, Justin
    Relationship Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (ROCD) is a relatively-novel and unknown theme of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) marked by obsessions and compulsions focused upon important figures in sufferers' lives as well as their relationships with them. Despite the documented impacts of this condition on sufferers, their romantic partners, and their relationships with one another, recommendations for its treatment have focused almost exclusively on the mitigation of the former’s symptoms. Accordingly, this capstone research project aims to improve therapists' awarenesses and understandings of ROCD and, thus, their abilities to treat this condition by reviewing the literature on its symptoms, epidemiology, etiology, impacts, and treatment. Additionally, it attempts to enhance couples therapists' abilities to support clients impacted by ROCD by providing an overview of the literature on Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) as well as recommendations for how this modality might best be conducted with this population. Such recommendations include the use of EFT as an adjunct to individual ROCD treatment and specific ways in which practitioners might leverage knowledge of this disorder as they conduct assessment, establish the therapeutic alliance, and consult on process with clients, as well as mitigate potential issues of symptom contagion and accommodation.
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    Psychotherapy Through an Attachment-Informed Lens: How to Work with Individuals to Move Towards Secure Attachment
    (2023-06-14) Ketch, Kyla
    Attachment theory proposes that human patterns of attachment develop as a result of caregiver attentiveness during childhood. Depending on the quality of parental care during the formative years, a child may develop a secure or insecure attachment style, which subsequently informs and influences relationships, both interpersonal and to the self. The impacts of an insecure attachment style can have long-term and even intergenerational negative effects on relational and general well-being and can be predictive of addiction, depression, externalizing problems, psychological dysregulation, chronic pain, neuroticism, and suicidal thoughts. This capstone evaluates existing literature to determine to what extent psychotherapy may be utilized to help adult clients move towards more secure attachment. This capstone concludes that attachment style can be altered consciously and subconsciously throughout the lifespan and that secure attachment can be increased through therapy using approaches that lend themselves to self reflection, self-compassion, and secure attachment priming techniques.
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    Therapeutic Sound: Establishing Safety, Regulation, and Attachment in Adults With Developmental Trauma
    (2024-04-16) Fox-Smith, Melanie
    This comprehensive research analysis explores the intricate relationship between developmental trauma (DT), psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), attachment theory, and the application of therapeutic sound to address the outcomes of early life adversity. Highlighting trauma’s impact on the nervous system, it traces the evolution of our understanding of psychological trauma as neurobiological injuries that profoundly affect physical and mental health. It highlights the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) study, emphasizing the pathophysiological adaptations from early ongoing and unresolvable stress. Advocating a holistic approach to counselling, this paper highlights innovative therapeutic interventions that include the nervous system in treatment planning, while working to support the client’s sense of safety, security, and capacity for healthy relationships. Informed by research in PNI and social neurobiology, theory on therapeutic sound guides how to support nervous system regulation and promote healing of neurophysiological injuries resulting from trauma. This capstone research project broadens the scope of interventions available to counsellors and psychotherapists working with DT and opens avenues for future research in social neurobiology and the therapeutic potentials of sound. It calls for a paradigm shift towards a more integrative, client-oriented approach that centers on the biological underpinnings of trauma, with a focus on fostering resilience and well-being for adults who have experienced early life adversity.
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    Barriers to Accessing Mental Healthcare in Canada
    (2024-04-18) Kraychy, Jenna
    This paper investigates the complex and multifaceted barriers that impede Canadians from accessing mental healthcare services. In consideration of the rising burden of mental health challenges, most recently considering the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial that we understand these barriers to develop effective and equitable interventions and solutions. Interconnected physical, social, and economic impacts of untreated mental illness are well-documented and have been persistent throughout Canada over at least two decades. Despite this knowledge, many individuals face various barriers when attempting to access mental healthcare in Canada. This capstone will highlight various cultural and geographic barriers that exacerbate these barriers, hindering access to timely care for individuals who need it. Gaps in the literature suggest there is a lack of specialized care for various populations, such as those living with chronic illness. Further research and recommendation are needed to address these gaps and implement tailored interventions that consider the nuanced needs of these populations. The implications of the findings found within this capstone underscore the urgent need for interventions and policies to address these barriers, promoting equitable access to mental healthcare services for all Canadians.

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