For further explanations of the above treatments, please see below.
PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT IN AREAS OF:
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Trauma and Abuse
Couples and Relationship Distress
Loss and bereavement
WHAT IS A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST? A clinical psychologist undertakes specialist training to assist people with psychological difficulties such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship and parenting difficulties, grief, work strain and adjustment to adverse life events, such as change and loss. Broadly, clinical psychologists assist people by providing assessment, diagnosis and treatment which is supported by research, known as evidence-based interventions. Evidence-based interventions commonly used are Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
Clinical psychologists are frequently part of a health care team that collaborates to achieve the best outcome for the person and his/her significant others. When individuals are referred to a clinical psychologist under a Mental Health Care Plan, clients are eligible for a Medicare rebate. The clinical psychologist then liaises with the referring general practitioner, psychiatrist or paediatrician at regular intervals.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy is an active, directive style of therapy that assists individuals to deal with symptoms and distress including depression, anxiety, panic and post-traumatic stress. There is an extensive body of psychological and psychiatric research that demonstrates the benefits of CBT. Intervention includes a range of different strategies; for example, assisting clients develop communication, problem-solving and relaxation skills, encouragement to engage in rewarding activities, and assistance to think realistically, rather than pessimistically, about themselves and their situation. CBT helps individuals to identify and challenge their unhelpful thoughts which maintain distressing symptoms. The goal of CBT is for individuals to overcome their difficulties and manage their lives independently.
INTERPERSONAL THERAPY Interpersonal therapy, as the name suggests, addresses the interpersonal nature of many psychological difficulties. Also supported by extensive research, IPT identifies areas of interpersonal difficulty and works with the individual to resolve these problems. Usually, IPT focuses on an issue such as unresolved grief, role transitions (e.g., to parenthood, retirement), role conflicts and social isolation. IPT assists individuals and families to deal with interpersonal difficulties and achieve more effective communication and social well-being.
ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) aims to increase psychological flexibility when dealing with feared thoughts or feelings. This type of therapy teaches clients to identify the costs of avoiding psychologically painful memories and physical sensations. ACT takes the view that trying to fix or control disturbing thoughts or problems, often creates more emotional turmoil. ACT is about teaching clients how to be aware of and accept unwelcome thoughts and sensations in a non judgemental way (mindfulness). ACT supports clients as they learn to defuse emotionally disturbing material . This approach assists clients clarify what they value in life, reduce psychological rigidity and commit to develop patterns of behavior which will take them toward their goals. ACT is an effective treatment for a number of psychological conditions including general anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder and has been well supported by research.
MEDIATION Mediation can be used to address an impasse in a range of contexts, including workplaces, communities or within families. With the support of a mediator, participants identify issues, develop options, consider alternatives and make decisions about future actions and outcomes.