The Home Therapist: A practical, self-help guide for everyday psychological problems

Dr John Barletta and Jan Bond

Private Practice

This unique and easy-to-read book is a practical guide to over 130 psychological issues that you may face across a lifetime. It is both a self-help manual and an educational resource, featuring expert opinion from a range of experienced professionals. A must-have for the family bookshelf, it provides a wealth of information and helpful tips that can be used for self-care, as an addition to therapy, or in the support of others. It can also be used by doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, counsellors, and life-coaches for their own continuing development, or recommended to patients and clients to enhance their treatment and recovery. 


FOREWORD to The Home Therapist
by Professor Patrick McGorry AO, Psychiatrist
Australian of the Year 2010 Executive Director, Orygen Youth Health, Australia

Mental health, along with the economy and climate change, is among the top three concerns of Australians as reflected in a global survey in 2010. Yet it was Thomas Jefferson who, on the eve of American independence, enshrined life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as no less than basic human rights of a civil society. Conversely, the greatest threat to happiness, fulfilment, produc­tivity and a strong society is mental ill-health. Mental ill-health is also one of the top three contributors to the burden of disease, just behind cancer and car­diovascular disease. Moreover, when we focus on people in the prime pro­ductive years of life, rather than towards the end, we find that mental ill-health completely overshadows all physical illnesses, making up 36% of the disease burden in 15- to 44-year olds, and over 50% in emerging adults. How should we respond to this serious threat?

We certainly need to reengineer and scale-up our system of mental health care so that Australians of all ages have equal access to quality health and social care for mental ill-health as they do for physical ill-health. We made a first step towards this in 2011, and fortunately all sides of politics are now committed to this reform which must continue over the next decade. We are still only halfway there. Complementing this effort, every Australian needs to learn more about what constitutes mental ill-health and how to respond to it in themselves and those close to them. This means better mental health literacy and acquiring the competency to practice mental health first aid. Everyone can also strengthen their own mental health, improve their resilience and learn to cope effectively with the challenges and crises that life and the process of human development places in our path.

The Home Therapist, assembled by an amazing array of experienced profes­sionals, is a comprehensive attempt to better equip all of us to meet so many of these challenges, to reduce the risks of mental ill-health, to guide help-seeking, and to set us on a path where we and those around us might actually flourish. The book reflects a faith in the human spirit and the inherent resilience of all people given the right conditions. Happiness is an elusive goal, however, as Thomas Jefferson asserted, its pursuit is noble and essential. Every journey requires careful preparation, skills, luck and social scaffolding. This book will be an invaluable guidebook for the pursuit of mental health and happiness no matter at what stage in life the journey is commenced.


About the Author

Dr John Barletta and Jan Bond are both colleagues and longtime friends who share a passion for a mentally healthy life. 

John has been a teacher, school counsellor, and relationship educator and runs his own private practice in Brisbane. 

Jan has over 35 years counselling experience with children and adults and runs her own private practice on the Gold Coast.


Praise for The Home Therapist

The Home Therapist is great title for a very special self-help book. Families, couples, singles, and elderly people could read a page of it at breakfast or before going to sleep and learn about themselves and their most precious relationships. Following the wisdom and the richness of this book written by many hands (90 Australian experts!) and beautifully assembled by Barletta and Bond, the reader can reflect on lifecycle critical events and cope with the adversities of life with more hope and resilience. Counselling is a very useful experience when families or individuals have to face serious psychological problems, but a book like The Home Therapist can help people to prevent them and to believe in their own professional and relational resources.
Prof. Maurizio Andolfi, Psychiatrist and Founder, Accademia di Psicoterapia della Famiglia, Rome

Since throwing myself back into the world of acting, my mental strength is one of my best assets. Sometimes we know what we need to do to fix ourselves, but we are not equipped with the right tools to do so; this book is my roaming toolbox. When dilemmas come across your path, big or small, it's nice to have something to draw on and written in a way we can all take in. Do yourself a favour and keep a copy on hand.
Kelly Atkinson, Actress, Sydney

The Home Therapist offers a wonderful collection of practical and useful concepts and suggestions for leading a more healthy and fulfilled life. Clinicians and laypeople will find that this book will serve as a useful tool for everyday living. As I read from the many talented scholars in this book, I was reminded of what I often tell my graduate students in Counseling; you don't have to be sick to get better. The Home Therapist is just the tool to aid so many in taking control of their own lives as they help themselves to a better life.
Prof. Thomas Davis, Counselor Education, Ohio University, Ohio

I like the KISS principle, Keep It Simple Stupid, and this book is so easy to read because of the layperson terms, and these days it's so hard to find information when you are in need that is so easy to read and understand. I strongly recommend it, even though I dislike reading.
Joe D'Ercole, Managing Director, Hercules Properties, Brisbane

This book is a timely response to an ever increasing need for distilled wisdom that a collective of professionals present. I suspect it's almost a pocket version of a Wikipedia for busy people used to getting all their information in one place. It would be hard to imagine a reader who would not find something of great value in this book.
Jelenko Dragisic, CEO, Volunteering Queensland, Brisbane

A go-to guidebook for navigating the most important journey ever: Your life. Highly recommended.
Dr Leah Giarratano, Author and Clinical Psychologist, Sydney

A concise, yet thorough, source of information for many of the issues that arise in schools today. As educators, our roles include many incidental counselling situations. This book is an excellent resource to equip us with what we need to know and how to deal with such issues.
Ursula Jamieson, Educator and Administrator, Canberra

We face many difficult challenges throughout our lives, the majority of which are covered in The Home Therapist. This book is unique in its comprehensive yet user-friendly design, and I believe it will be a valuable addition to the bookshelves of families, therapists and GPs.
Dr Tania Jardine, General Practitioner, Brisbane

The Home Therapist demystifies and educates people about mental health and provides a wealth of practical skills, tips and strategies to understand and manage this often complex area of health. Everyone will find this book informative and useful and it will stimulate conversations at home as well as providing an invaluable resource for challenging times.
Petrea King, Author, Your Life Matters, Sydney

This wonderfully practical book offers a wealth of solid information for anyone who is interested in improving quality of life, personally and in relationships. Numerous insightful tips are presented in a clear and concise way, and classified into sections so people can easily select and apply them. Written by recognised experts, Barletta and Bond absolutely found a way to bridge the gap between science and everyday life in this era of information.
Dr Liz Pluut-van Dingstee, Child Psychologist and Family Therapist, Amsterdam

Some say that a little bit of information is dangerous, but I say a little bit of information leads to us to question and seek answers. This book, The Home Therapist, is a welcome resource as it empowers everyone of us as it gives us simple and basic knowledge. This knowledge will open us up to new possibilities and understanding.
Fr Chris Riley, CEO and Founder, Youth Off The Streets, Sydney

About time! Quality, well-researched professional information, brought together in an easy enlightening approach, across a wide range of common concerns-a triumphant first aid manual that will improve the wellbeing of all who use it.
Santo Russo, Psychologist, Brisbane

The Home Therapist is a very useful guide in providing basic information on a wide range of psychological issues. It is easy to read and should provide a very accessible tool for many people who work in the care and health professions. Like the authors, the book is practical, relevant and geared for a diverse audience.
Andrew J See, Barrister at Law, Kilkenny Chambers, Brisbane