I work with a wide variety of clients from diverse backgrounds, but commonly sees adults who present with issues relating to anxiety, depression, stress, self-esteem, anger management, relationships, disordered eating and eating disorders, obesity, and bullying. She specialises in CBT and ACT for the treatment of depression, anxiety, relationships, and disordered eating/eating disorders.
I treats client primarily using two types of therapy; Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). She will draw from one or the other depending on individual client needs.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
CBT teaches you a number of skills and strategies to cope more effectively with your problems. It focuses on identifying and then modifying thoughts and behaviours that are contributing to (or causing) the difficulties. It is typically a short-term therapy (between 5 and 15 sessions), because it teaches you the skills you need to manage your difficulties on an ongoing basis, rather than having to be reliant on a therapist. Also, it is very practical and hands-on, teaching you what you need to know in the here and now to alleviate your symptoms and feel better. Research conclusively identifies CBT as an effective psychological treatment for a wide variety of problems, including stress, depression and anxiety.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT, pronounced as the word)
The basis of ACT is much as the name suggests. It is focused on teaching you skills to accept (or make room for) upsetting feelings and thoughts and situations that can't be changed, whilst showing you how to decisively live a rich and meaningful life according to your values. One of the main skills taught with ACT is mindfulness.
For a useful overview of ACT please go to www.actmindfully.com.au.
Therapy versus Medication
Why would someone invest the time and expense into psychological therapy when there are effective anti-depressant medications easily available? The primary advantage of therapy over medication is that it teaches skills that you will have for the rest of your life; medication only works for as long as you take it. Another clear advantage is that therapy does not have any physical side-effects, which can occur with medication. Research tells us that CBT is equally as effective as anti-depressant medication in the short-term (months), but more effective in the longer term (years) because its effect does not wear off. Combining therapy and medication is often an effective option, and a clinical psychologist can work in conjunction with your GP or psychiatrist for this purpose.It must be noted, however, that for some more severe mental illnesses, medication is a necessity for symptom relief.
Please consult your GP or psychiatrist for further information on medications.