BACKGROUND & HISTORY
- ZOOLOGICAL ORIGINS: My original degree was a Bachelor of Science majoring in Zoology & Comparative Physiology from Monash University completed in 1965. I worked as a zoologist for a while. I still incorporate my knowledge of animal behaviour, ecology and physiology in my current practice.
- CLINICAL AND COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGY: I graduated from the University of Queensland in 1971 with a Master of Science degree in clinical studies looking at the effects of drugs on learning. Since that time I have had extensive experience working as a psychologist working in various clinical settings including a period as Senior Psychologist with the Queensland Health Department Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Unit for many years.
- TEACHING: I was a secondary school teacher in the 1970’s.
- PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN: I managed to find time to be a professional entertainer, musician and singer. I had my own traditional jazz band in the late 1960’s called the “Red Belly Stompers”.
- SINGING GROUPS: From 1994 to 2004 I conducted “Singing for Fun and Healing” workshops both nationally and internationally. In these workshops, participants learned how to become more confident with their voice. Our learning included learning how to balance the energy systems of the body and to overcome energy blockages.
- MY BOOK: I have written the book “Holistic Singing and Toning” (also known as “Singing for Fun and Healing”) and I have also produced several Self Help CDs.
- CURRENT PSYCHOLOGY PRACTICE: I am in full time private practice involved in clinical, counselling, and consulting work. I have been full time since since 1988.
the beautiful view from our therapy room
Therapeutic techniques & interventions
I draw on many different and varied psychological theories and techniques in my clinical and counselling practice, including:
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: CBT is fundamental to the service that provide clients to help their understanding of psychological process and how to change their thoughts and behaviour. I use this technique, in its many forms, to treat a wide range of conditions. However, some deeply held belief systems and habits are difficult to reach with CBT and require additional techniques such as Voice Dialogue and EFT (discussed below).
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy: DBT, with it’s concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness is used for a wide variety of conditions.
- Meditation and mindfulness: I teach the basics of meditation and mindfulness.
- Relaxation and stress reduction: I teach relaxation through body awareness and breathing. I use Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction techniques. These techniques are particularly effective in working with a wide variety of anxiety disorders. I have also produced a commercial CD entitled “Body & Mind Relaxation” to provide clients with “self-help” routines that they can use at home.
- Understanding illness: I help clients explore the connection between stress, anxiety and physical dysfunction such as illness.
- Anger management: I use a variety of approaches including self talk and relaxation techniques.
- Systematic desensitization: This is a well established and effective technique for the treatment of phobias & other fear related issues.
- NLP swish technique: This is also a well established and effective technique for the treatment of phobias & other fear related issues.
- Affirmations and visualization: I use these techniques to help clients with depression and catastrophic thinking in particular. Clients with low self-esteem benefit from regular affirmations and positive visualization practice.
- Motivation techniques: Clients with long-standing depression and those lacking self-confidence benefit from learning how to increase their motivation and the ability to carry out decisive actions. Most of these techniques fall within the CBT model.
- Psychological and social awareness: I use a set of awareness techniques to help clients develop self awareness & insight into their own process and the psychology of other people. These techniques are particularly useful for clients who have had a long history of avoiding looking at psychological process.
- Communication training: I utilize various techniques that help people improve their communication skills. These techniques include; role-plays, empathy training, the KISS (keeping it simple) principle and reflective note taking. This is particularly relevant when working with couples. It is fundamental to the recovery from most conditions that clients develop a better understanding of their feelings and how to communicate them to others.
- Role play: I use this technique in a wide range of settings to help improve communication and psychological awareness. It is an effective technique to demonstrate how to begin communicating “outside the square”. It helps clients who have developed stereotypical ways of responding, to work more creatively.
- Conflict resolution training: this vital skill is important in the recovery from many conditions. It is particularly important for clients suffering from depression, anxiety states and adjustment disorder in association with low self-esteem. I use role play empathy and active listening training.
- Teaching the maintenance of personal boundaries: I help people to develop these skills for using appropriate assertion of their boundaries. It can be particularly useful in resolving the consequences of childhood trauma.
- Teaching assertion skills: This is a fundamental intervention in a number of conditions. Low self esteem is often co-morbid with a number of conditions such as mood disorders, anxiety, adjustment disorder and partner relational problems. Teaching assertion skills and how to put one’s needs out clearly without aggression is very important.
- Voice dialogue: VD is one of my fundamental work tools in treating a wide range of clinical conditions. Clients can learn to communicate with an internalized belief system and change that belief system. Most people relate well to the concepts of the “Inner Critic” and the “Frightened Child”. It can be used by clients at home.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): Even though this technique is fairly new, I have found it to be extremely effective in helping achieve a deeper change in belief systems. I use EFT as a intervention as an alternative to hypnosis. EFT is a technique that people can use at home in the same way they can use breathing and relaxation. EFT is one of the most effective and safe interventions. I have found it particularly effective in the treatment of PTSD and anxiety conditions such as phobias and GAD.
- Energy balancing: I use a wide variety of energy balancing techniques to help clients feel more integrated, balanced and grounded. I produced the CD “Toning the Chakras” to help with this.
- Sleep induction techniques: I help people with various sleep issues. I produced the CD “Help with Getting to Sleep” for clients to use at home.
- Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP): I use some of these techniques on occasions (such as the Swish Technique mentioned above). NLP can be applicable to a wide range of clinical conditions.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): ACT is particularly useful in helping people with high anxiety who have lost their ability to “be in the present”. I also use this as a technique to help depressed people reconnect with their passion and thereby develop motivation.
- Crisis management counselling: I use this approach to help clients manage crises more effectively.
- Social adjustment counselling: I use this approach to help clients adjust to changes in their life that seem overwhelming.
- Gestalt & psychodrama: I have used these techniques extensively in the past, but I rarely use them in my current treatment regime.
- Couples therapy: I use cognitive behavioural marital therapy in treating marital distress. Emotionally-focused couples therapy and insight oriented marital therapy are also useful. I focus on the need for anxiety and anger reduction to facilitate active listening and empathy in conflict resolution. I find this area of work particularly satisfying and rewarding.
- Rehabilitation issues: It is an intrinsic part of working with many conditions to have a rehabilitation model. For example, clients with adjustment disorder resulting from traumatic experience in the work place would need a rehabilitation program to allow them to return to work without re-experiencing trauma. If a condition is co-morbid with a medical condition, rehabilitation needs to take account of physical as well as psychological needs.
Common issues that come up in therapy
I am able to help people with a wide variety of psychological and communication issues. I work with both clinical and non clinical problems.
These issues include:
anxiety & related states
overcoming phobias and other unjustified fears
management of anxiety or panic attacks
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
management of depression using a combination of techniques – treatment can be without drugs
health & somatic issues
health problems where psychological and energy healing assist in recovery
teaching how to have more control over things that go wrong with your body
crisis & trauma
recovery from trauma including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, abuse and torture
recovery from systemic abuse including family of origin abuse
crisis counselling including grief and loss including dealing with Bereavement disorder
working through grieving in a healthy way including recovery from a relationship break up
I deal with coping and life skills for clients with either acute or chronic mild psychotic disturbances including schizophrenics and bipolar disorder clients
management of mild dissociation’s (changes in reality)
management of Dissociative (conversion) Identity Disorder
addictions & compulsions
management of weight and eating issues; both over weight and under weight conditions
management of substance dependency issues including alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana or prescribed medications
overcoming other addictions such as; workaholism, love addiction, internet addiction, gambling addiction and codependency
anger management and mood control
overcoming obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour
Please note: I DO NOT treat people who are on narcotics
adolescent and childhood behavioural problems
Attention Deficit Disorder and hyperactivity in children and adults
managing Adjustment Disorder
Managing Conduct Disorder
management of sexual problems, disorders or dysfunction
helping clients manage their pain and discomfort
relationship & communication
communications skills (this is an important one)
relationship & marriage issues including difficulties with partners, children and others
life style improvements
building self confidence
developing self awareness
setting good boundaries and sticking to them
guidance in life management skills including decision making
motivation, concentration & energy
issues of getting motivated
how to initiate action and take the initiative
problems with concentrating on work or study
stress & sleep management
stress management and relaxation techniques
skill teaching for individuals and couples
I teach the skills of effective communication through non defensive communication, active listening, understanding and expressing empathy, sharing feelings as well as the sharing of personal awareness.
personal growth & development
Some people reach a stage in life where they feel that they need to change direction, but don’t know how. Personal growth includes learning how to be in control of your life and moving forward while learning how to remove blocks and fears that get in the road.
Other Practice Issues
I am a registered Medicare Provider (number 2669481A) with Clinical endorsement. My clients can claim a rebate under certain circumstances. They are entitled to the higher rebate for a Clinical Psychologist.
In order for you to be eligible for the Medicare rebate, you must be referred to a psychologist by a GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician. Your doctor must complete a Mental Health Care Plan (2710 Medicare assessment form). For treatment with a Clinical Psychologists, the item number for a one hour consultation is 80010
For you to be eligible for your Mental Health Care Plan rebate, Medicare requires that:
- You bring the doctor’s letter of referral to our first session.
- The letter of referral needs to be made out to either me specifically or generically to “the psychologist”.
Once you have this referral, you are entitled to 6 sessions, with the option of a further 4 sessions subject to your referring doctor’s review of the case. Medicare will only rebate on a maximum of only 10 sessions in a calendar year.
Medicare – more information
- Download of “medicare information” brochure PDF is at the top of this page
- I can post or email you an information sheet
- or contact Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing: www.health.gov.au
fees & rebates
Please refer to my home page for details.
If you are not using the Mental Health Care Plan or your MHCP has expired, you may be eligible for a partial rebate of fees if you have private medical insurance that covers psychological services
length of session
Normally my sessions are of one hour duration (allowing me a 3 minute break between sessions)
Master card, Visa card & EFTPOS facilities are available.
appointments & times
My consultation days are normally Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday. I schedule daytime and evening appointments. Appointments can be made outside of these times when the need arises.
The waiting time to get an appointment will vary. Wherever possible, I try and make time for an emergency session.
how long does therapy take?
Most therapy takes only a few sessions to get things sorted out. Sometimes when we fix one problem, more underlying issue will come up. You decide when to finish therapy at the point where things are working well enough for your satisfaction.
My focus is on helping people overcome problems which prevent them from reaching their full potential in life.
If you give notification of a cancelled appointment with less than 24 hours notice you may be charged a cancellation fee.
Cancellation with less than 2 hours notification may attract the payment of the full fee.
Non attendance at an appointment may also attract the payment of the full fee.
change of information
If any of your personal details should change during the course of your professional contact with me, could you please let me know.
As your psychologist, I am committed to providing an excellent standard of care in every respect. My aim is to maintain client information in the strictest of confidence, to protect your well being and establish a secure and trustworthy relationship.
My practice complies with the Commonwealth Privacy Act in relation to the management of personal information. Only details relevant to the provision of psychological care will be collected. These details can be wide ranging as I am committed to act in your best interests by obtaining a thorough assessment of your condition and all contributing factors. Records are stored in a secure and confidential manner.
Your personal information will normally be available only to myself, except when:
1. it is subpoenaed by a court; or
2. failure to disclose the information could place you or another person at risk; or
3. your prior approval has been obtained to:
(a) provide a written report to another professional or agency. eg. a Doctor or a Lawyer; or
(b) discuss the material with another person. eg. your Doctor or another Psychologist.
In addition, information which in no way identifies you may be discussed with another psychologist for the purposes of peer supervision, to ensure that the highest quality treatment is being provided to assist you.
You also have the right to access your mental health data at any time, subject to the exceptions in National Privacy Principle 6.