Switching between academic research and working with clients is an interesting experience. Words and language from one area keep leaking into the other. It’s like auto-correct on a whole different level!

I keep a list of academic definitions of words for my research work. Here is a selected version of that list in everyday language.


AgencyThe ability to actively direct your life and strive to maximise your potential.
Compassionately detachedA state of holding someone as worthy and worthwhile, being concerned about alleviating their distress, and helping them to find their own unique way through their distress.
Creative confidenceThe knowledge that you can come up with novel responses to change.
Design ThinkingA creative problem-solving method that focuses on collaboration and human-centred solutions.
Integrative PsychotherapyA flexible psychotherapy/counselling approach that adapts various techniques to suit each individual client.
InterpersonalThe stuff that happens between people, like communications and behaviours.
IntrapersonalThe psychological stuff that happens inside you, like thoughts, beliefs, and emotions.
ResilienceThe ability to bounce back from set-backs in a healthy way.
Self-efficacyThe confidence that you are able to meet any challenge that may come your way.
Tame problemsProblems that have clear solution paths
Wicked problemsDynamic, messy problems with practical and psychological aspects and no apparent solution paths.