It is not what it seems. Heart break leads to mental health difficulties in higher education

Peel, Raquel and Buckby, Beryl and McBain, Kerry and Caltabiano, Nerina (2018) It is not what it seems. Heart break leads to mental health difficulties in higher education. In: 2nd Australasian Mental Health and Higher Education Conference , 6-7 July 2018, Townsville, Australia.

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Abstract

The issue a client brings through the door is often not the issue counsellors and psychologists end up working on. Relationship break-ups are at the core of why most people seek counselling. The same is possibly true in the context of higher education. Students and staff members who seek counselling for common mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression could be in fact heart broken. A series of 15 semi-structured interviews with psychologists around Australia revealed that although relationship difficulties are one of the main reasons clients seek counselling, that is not the issue they report in the first session. The most common issues presented by clients are anxiety, depression, substance abuse, adjustment disorder, and personality disorder. Yet, a major gap in the literature exists regarding the effect of romantic relationship break-ups on the mental health of individuals. A recent meta-analysis provides evidence that both negative relationship quality and relationship break-ups are strongly associated with poor mental health outcomes. Also, it is known that one of the main obstacles in maintaining relationships is risk regulation and balance between relationship stressors and conflicting goals. It is possible that divergent academic and relationship goals might be leading to mental health difficulties in students and staff in higher education. Therefore, it is the role of counsellors and psychologists to explore the core issues a client might be experiencing underneath their initial presentation and work with them to find a balance between study, work, and love.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Speech)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Abstract only.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 -)
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2019 02:29
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2019 02:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: romantic relationships; mental health; relationship counselling
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/37132

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