ItemAn Exploration of the Risks and Benefits of Incorporating Physical Activity, Specifically Walk and Talk Therapy, into the Therapy Session(2023-11-24) Macdonald-Bélanger, AngelaAccessing mental health support is not an easy feat for many people. From perceived stigmas, associated costs and lack of access, many barriers can impact the ability to attend psychotherapy. Research indicates many positive correlations between physical activity and positive mental health outcomes. Additionally, much research exists supporting the benefit that time spent in nature has on people experiencing isolation, stress, burnout, depression or other mental health disorders. Incorporating both physical activity and nature into therapy by performing walk and talk therapy has excellent potential to help many different presentations of mental illness, can help eliminate barriers and lead to better outcomes for many. This project reviewed studies on the potential risks and benefits of performing walk and talk therapy with diverse populations presenting with various symptoms of different mental health issues. Studies included both therapist and client perspectives and a variety of variables that come into play during walk and talk sessions. The research revealed that walk and talk therapy elicited many biological responses, including connections to the natural world and positive neurobiological changes. Psychological responses, including improved mood, focus and a lessening of symptoms for many mental disorders, were also reported. Finally, social responses, such as feelings of social connectedness and reduced stigma, were also associated with walk-and-talk therapy. It is recommended that psychologists wanting to incorporate walk and talk therapy into their practice consider possible risks and ensure all ethical guidelines are followed to hopefully reduce barriers and more positive overall outcomes for their clients. ItemMental Illness Stigma Among Chinese Immigrants and Culturally Adapted Psychotherapy Approaches(2023-10) Du, Xiaojun (Celia)The world's largest ethnic group is Chinese. As of 2023, China's population is estimated at 1.45 billion, equivalent to 18.47% of the total world population. According to the Government of Canada (2021), China is an essential source country for both permanent and temporary migration. Approximately 1.8 million Canadians are of Chinese descent, accounting for around 5.1% of Canada’s total population. China is the second-largest source of new Canadian permanent residents. According to the 2021 Canadian census, Chinese Canadians number 512,260, or 19.38%, of the metropolitan Vancouver total population (Government of Canada, 2022). The importance of understanding the mental health perspective of the Chinese population in Canada, especially in Vancouver, and of serving them better is hard to overstate. The Chinese immigrant population, one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in Canada, has been known to hold a bigger stigma toward mental illness than other ethnic groups. Mental illness stigma creates barriers to help-seeking behaviour, limits treatment options and negatively impacts the effectiveness of the treatment. This paper explores the central Chinese beliefs that underlie the stigma, including the influences of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. The paper also traces unique cultural principles and impacts related to this stigma, including the idea of collective harmony, the model minority image, the need to save face at all costs, and widespread fears about the genetic transmission of mental illness within families. Intergenerational differences in stigma about mental illness among Chinese immigrants are also discussed. ItemSugar and Excessive Carbohydrate Consumption: Implications on Mental Health and Addictive Behaviour(2023-10) Bodner, LeticiaThis capstone project explores the intricate relationship between sugar addiction and mental health, specifically anxiety and depression. Through an extensive literature review, this work investigates the addictive properties of sugar, and its physiological and psychological effects on the brain. Furthermore, it explores the potential mechanisms through which sugar addiction may contribute to mental health disorders. It examines the evidence linking excessive sugar consumption to the development and exacerbation of conditions such as depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairments. Additionally, the project investigates the potential bidirectional relationship where poor mental health may also increase susceptibility to sugar addiction. An exploration of the psychological and emotional factors underlying sugar addiction is conducted, focusing on the role of stress, emotional eating, and self-regulation difficulties. The project highlights the potential implications of using sugar as a coping mechanism for emotional distress and the subsequent impact on mental well-being. The capstone project also addresses the challenges faced in diagnosing and treating sugar addiction within the context of mental health. It examines the limitations of current diagnostic criteria and treatment approaches and proposes strategies for integrating a comprehensive approach that considers both sugar addiction and mental health conditions. Finally, recommendations are provided for mental health professionals, policy makers, and individuals seeking to address the interplay between sugar addiction and mental health. These recommendations encompass prevention and early intervention strategies, lifestyle modifications, and the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in treating individuals with co-occurring sugar addiction and mental health disorders. By shedding light on the complex relationship between sugar addiction and mental health, this capstone project aims to enhance awareness and understanding among professionals and the public. The findings contribute to the growing body of knowledge in the field and underscore the importance of addressing both sugar addiction and mental health as part of a holistic approach to well-being. ItemHow Evolutionary Psychology Informs the Treatment of Pathological and Non-Pathological Depression in Clinical Practice(2023-09-22) Tews, WarrenDepression is a terrible and debilitating phenomenon that causes untold suffering in millions worldwide, results in billions of dollars of revenue losses, and is a significant precursor to suicide and self-harm. In the developed world, it appears that levels of depression continue to rise, despite the proliferation of pharmaceuticals and the tireless work of mental health professionals. There are many differences of opinion in both research and clinical practice regarding the causality and best treatment of depression. Evolutionary psychology is a branch of the discipline that has received only cursory attention in the clinical realm of treatment and understanding. Guided by two primary research questions: "Can the concepts of evolutionary psychology be used to inform the causality of pathological and non-pathological depression" and "How can the information from evolutionary psychology be used in the clinical treatment of depression," seven major themes emerged. These themes are as follows: the psychic pain hypothesis of depression, the behavioural shutdown hypothesis of depression, the social risk hypothesis of depression, the analytical rumination hypothesis of depression, behaviour genetics and heredity of depression, lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyles in the modern age, and depression as a mismatched adaptation in the modern environment. The major findings supported the potential for concepts of evolutionary psychology to help inform both the understanding and treatment of depression as an evolved psychological algorithm with definitive and purposeful functioning that has increasingly become pathological in the modern era. By helping practitioners to understand the underlying evolved mechanisms of how depression is meant to serve a human mind, the mismatches and modern pathological phenomenon of such a disorder can potentially be better informed, helping to elucidate and treat both pathological and non-pathological depression in clinical practice. ItemNature Therapy Applied to Existential, Cognitive Behavioural, and Solutions-Focused Brief Therapies(2023-10-13) Tio, CelesteThis capstone examines the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) within the framework of existential therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT), combined with nature therapy (NT) as an adjunct therapy. Using a comprehensive approach and adopting a two-eyed seeing lens, the literature review explores the potential of NT as a supplementary treatment for GAD. The investigation addresses a notable gap in the integration of Eastern and Western research and counselling practices concerning NT's application in GAD treatment, with specific attention on research exploring the impact of these practices on physiology. The capstone identifies recurring themes that combine the mutual strengths and weaknesses of these psychotherapy practices and NT for GAD treatment. This capstone demonstrates the viability and evidence-based nature of NT as an adjunct practice for GAD treatment, particularly among multicultural clients, presenting an important option for counselling providers.