What is Psychology


What can you expect when you see a Clinical Psychologist?

All sorts of people of varying ages come to see me about many issues that are affecting them in their everyday life, issues a t home, at work, in their relationships.  They may have mood issues that lead to anxiety or depressed mood, difficult mood swings, fears, phobias and panic reactions, work stress, anger issues, grief and loss, family concerns or conflict, relationship issues, sexual concerns, or other issues.

Using therapeutic, evidence-based clinical approaches can be very effective and are commonly used to resolve work, life or personal issues.  Because most people will experience these emotional difficulties at some point in their lives, the opportunity to share your feelings and thoughts in a confidential, safe and therapeutic relationship with someone who is both objective and empathic can be very suppportive as you attempt to gain a greater understanding of yourself and the particular patterns of behaviour that lead to life distress.

Once you have this understanding, working with a Clinical Pscyhologist can be supportive in helping you find creative solutions to your difficulties.  This process can be very empowering in that it supports you to adopt more constructive and satisfying patterns of behaviour and make better lifestyle choices that are more in line with who you really are.  Because psycholoigsts understand human behaviour, they are able to taylor individual methods of treatment to particular issues for individuals, couples and families.  Clinical Psychologists can also assist clients in the treatment of a range of disorders such as anxiety, panic, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar moods.

What happens when I come to see you?

People often wonder and are very curious about what will happen to them when they come to see me. The therapy process is about self discovery, insight and clarification of thoughts and patterns of thinking, beliefs, values, strengths, weakness, needs…….

As part of this theraputic process I will ask you a number of important questions to explore your experience and get a thorough understanding of your needs and goals.  These questions will be about your personal and family history; your lifestyle and work; any stresses in your life; your particular personality;  your relationships; your health and any bodily symptoms;  your strengths and values; your beliefs, including the exploration of deeply held negative core beliefs; and your current ways of coping.

The Australian Psychological Society (A.P.S.) provides a charter to which all clinicians are required to commit. (See A.P.S. Charter)

What approach/therapy do you use?

My approach is informed by the following evidence based psychological therapies; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT); Schema Therapy and Positive Psychology.

 Coginitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – aims to help you identify and become more aware of and act to change particular negative patterns of thinking and behaviours that lead to psychological distress and mood changes.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) – gives you the psychological skills and flexibility needed to be able to accept the things that are out of  your personal control and in spite of these to be able to commit to the actions that will improve your life.  This is done in two ways; firstly this therapy seeks to help you lessen the impact of negative and painful thougths and feelings through  the acquiring of skills to be more mindful and aware; and secondly, ACT helps you to become clear about what is really important to you using the process of exploration of your values and strengths and using this information to motivate you towards constructive and positive life change.

Schema Therapy – Schemas or negative core beliefs are scripts, or beliefs about the way life is, that we learn and adopt, often at an early age, to cope and respond to things that happen to us in our lives.  The goal of Schema Therapies is to recognise these negative patterns and how they are triggered in everyday life and to help you learn more healthy beliefs.  This enables youto get in touch with your core feelings, and be more in touch with and responsive to the present moment so that your natural emotional needs can be identified and responded to in a more helpful and healthy way.

Are our sessions confidential? – All personal information gathered during the provision of psychological services will remain strictly confidential and secure, except in the following circumstances where I may have legal obligations.  These exceptions are; a) Information is subpoenaed by a court of law; or  b) where failure to disclose the information would place you or another person at risk of harm; or c) when your prior written approval has been obtained to provide information to another professional or agency; or d) where in order to provide the best possible care to you, your case is discussed with another psychologist in a confidential supervision process, you will never be personally identified in a supervision process. Further information regarding confidentiality is provided at initial consultation.