Clinical psychologists aim to reduce distress and improve the well-being of their clients using a range of evidence based assessment and therapy methods. Two common forms of psychological therapy that I practice are:
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT aims to maximise our potential for a full and meaningful life by encouraging acceptance of what is out of our control and committing to actions that are personally important. ACT uses mindfulness to foster the psychological skills needed to effectively deal with painful thoughts and feelings.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a form of therapy that is concerned with how our behaviour can be shaped by our interpretation and perception of our experiences. CBT therefore focuses on teaching new strategies to manage problems by changing the way we think and behave when we are experiencing uncomfortable emotions in situations that we might find challenging.
I have worked with people across most age ranges and have provided a brief description below as to how therapy can be flexibly tailored to those unique needs. Common complaints that I have experience assisting with include:
Anxiety disorders and worry
Depression and low mood
Living well with physical illness, pain, and injuries
Sleep and fatigue problems
Performance and motivation in sport, education, and work
Work and school related stress
Substance abuse and addictions
Grief, loss, and adjustment
Post traumatic stress
Issues associated with mild Autistic Spectrum Disorder/Asperger's
Cognitive issues associated with traumatic head injury, neurological disorders and dementia
Similarly to adults, children and adolescents can experience emotional, behavioural, and psychological issues that disrupt their day-to-day functioning. Without appropriate intervention these issues can lead to to greater distress in the future. Common problems that can present during this age span include: school difficulties; management of exam stress; peer and family conflicts; challenging behaviour; substance misuse; and the emergence of common mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression.
I have experience providing a range of therapeutic interventions to older children, adolescents, and families to help clients understand and manage these specific concerns.
Many people's first experience of psychological distress is during the early adult years when the pressures associated university, employment, career, and relationships unfold. In addition, adulthood is characterised by regular changes over time that require us to be flexible and adapt to stressful situations as needed. Issues such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and substance misuse often stem from the difficulties we have in managing this stress effectively.
My knowledge and experience of working with adults from a wide range of social, economic, and cultural backgrounds can assist you to learn about why you might be having trouble managing your emotional distress, as well as what needs to happen for you to get life back on track.
Older adulthood presents people with unique and varied opportunities and challenges. While most older people enjoy many aspects of retirement, it can also be a time of significant stress and worry. This period is when we are most likely to experience chronic health issues, physical disability, reduced independence, loss of significant others, and cognitive concerns associated with memory and concentration. Many of the factors associated with these difficulties are beyond our control. This is why therapy interventions that focus on understanding and living well with these issues have proven to be effective in reducing depression and anxiety in older adults.
Throughout my career I have worked extensively with older adults in both the public and private sector. I recognise that the wide range of ages, experiences, and co-morbid physical health difficulties that older adults can present with will require a therapy approach that is specifically tailored to their individual needs.
Neuropsychology is a sub-specialty of clinical psychology that focuses on the unique relationships that different parts of the brain have on psychological processes. A neuropsychology assessment attempts to understand difficulties that people might be experiencing in areas such as memory, language, concentration, visuospatial functioning, planning, problem solving, and mood. Neuropsychological assessments are useful in answering specific questions about cognitive functioning. The results can then provide diagnostic clarity and recommendations for rehabilitation.
Common issues that I have experience assessing include: the impact on cognitive functioning following stroke, cancer treatment, or traumatic head injury; the assessment of developmental issues such as specific learning difficulties (e.g., dyslexia) and autism; the diagnosis of suspected neurological conditions such as dementia; and working therapeutically with the functional and emotional consequences of changes to the brain.