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Psyhology Services

Our main areas of clinical expertise are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Panic Attacks
  • General Anxiety
  • Loss and Grief
  • Drag and alcohol issues
  • Anger Management
  • Eating Disorders
  • Phobic Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Recovery from Road Trauma
  • Extreme Shyness
  • Loneliness

Counselling and Support for Children/Adolescents and Parents

  • Children/Adolescents going through separation/ divorce/ loss and grief
  • Behavioural Problems(e.g., attention seeking and challenging behaviour)
  • Self-esteem low confidence
  • Social Skills
  • Early childhood problems: attachment problems, misbehavioural, developmnet delay, sibling rivarly
  • School years: diffculties with transition, school avoidance, learning difficulties and poor peer relationships
  • Bullying
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Autism and Asperger
  • Selective Mutism
  • Phobias
  • Bed wetting
  • Conflicts between adolescents and parents, peer pressure, self-esteem and anxiety
  • Parents: assistance with parenting techniques and addressing challenging behaviours

Couple Counselling: Clients can attend together or individually and are encouraged to resolve problems in positive and non-blaming environment. Singles can also address difficulties with relationship issues, separation and divorce

Psychological Testing and Educational Assessments

  • Intellectual Testing (IQ)
  • Personality
  • Self Esteem
  • Depression
  • Testing Specific Learning Abilities: Reading, Writing, Spelling, Mathematics, Visual and Auditory Perceptual Skills

Contact us

For more information or to make an appointment contact us at (03) 9495 0102.

Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone often experiences and goes through at some point in their lives. Many people feel anxious or nervous when faced with a problem, be it at work, before taking a test, or even making an important decision. But unlike occasional anxiety, anxiety disorders are entirely different. They can cause distress and create havoc as it interferes with a person’s ability to lead a normal life. An anxiety disorder is a serious mental illness. For people with anxiety disorders, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming and can be pretty crippling.

What Are the Types of Anxiety Disorders?

Panic disorder: People with this condition have feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly out of the blue with no signs of warning. Other panic attack symptoms include perspiration, chest pains, palpitations (irregular heartbeats), and feeling like they are being choked, which may make the person feel like they are having an actual heart attack or is “going crazy.”

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): People with OCD are constantly plagued by thoughts or fears that cause them to perform certain rituals or routines. The disturbing thoughts are called obsessions, and the rituals are called compulsions. An example of such a condition is a person with an unreasonable fear of germs constantly washing and sanitizing their hands.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a condition that can develop following a traumatic and/or terrifying event, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, or a natural disaster. People with PTSD often have lasting and frightening thoughts and memories of the event and tend to be emotionally numb.

Social anxiety disorder: Social anxiety disorder, also referred to as social phobia, involves overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about day-to-day social situations. The worry and concern often revolve around the fear of being judged by others or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or ridicule.

Specific phobias: A specific phobia is an intense fear of a particular object or situation, such as snakes, heights, or flying. The level of anxiety and fear is usually inappropriate to the situation and may cause the person to avoid common, everyday tasks and situations.

Generalized anxiety disorder: This disorder involves excessive, unrealistic worry and tension, even if there is little or nothing to provoke the anxiety.

What Are the Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder?

Symptoms vary depending on the type of anxiety disorder, but general symptoms include:

  • Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
  • Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts
  • Repeated thoughts or flashbacks of traumatic experiences
  • Nightmares
  • Ritualistic behaviors, such as repeated hand washing
  • Problems sleeping
  • Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations
  • Inability to be still and calm
  • Dry mouth
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Nausea
  • Muscle tension
  • Dizziness

What Causes Anxiety Disorders?

Though the exact cause of anxiety disorders is unknown, like all other forms of mental illnesses, one thing is certain; they are not the result of personal weakness, a character flaw, or poor upbringing. As scientists continue their research on mental illness, it is becoming more and more clear by the day that many of these disorders are the result of a combination of factors, including variations in the brain and environmental stress. Similar to certain illnesses, such as diabetes, chemical imbalances in the body may contribute to anxiety disorders. So far, studies have shown the severe or long-lasting effects of stress and how it can change the balance of chemicals in the brain that controls mood. Several other studies have exhibited that people with certain anxiety disorders have changes in certain brain structures that control memory or mood. Additionally, research has shown that anxiety disorders run in families, implying that they can be inherited either from one or both parents, just as in the case of hair or eye color. Moreover, certain environmental factors, such as a trauma or significant event, may trigger an anxiety disorder in people with an inherited susceptibility to developing the disorder.

How Common Are Anxiety Disorders?

Most anxiety disorders begin during childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. They are often seen slightly more in women than men and occur with equal frequency in whites, African-Americans, and Hispanics.

How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed?

If symptoms of an anxiety disorder are present, the doctor will begin an evaluation by asking you questions about your medical history and performing a physical exam. Although there are no lab tests to specifically diagnose anxiety disorders, the doctor may use various tests to look for physical illness as the cause of the symptoms. If no physical illness is found, you may be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist, mental health professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for an anxiety disorder. The doctor bases his or her diagnosis on the patient’s report of the intensity and duration of symptoms — including any problems with daily functioning caused by the symptoms — and the doctor’s observation of the patient’s attitude and behavior. The doctor then determines if the patient’s symptoms and degree of dysfunction indicate a specific anxiety disorder.

How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated?

Fortunately, in the last two decades, much progress has been made in treating people with mental illnesses, including anxiety disorders. Although the exact treatment approach depends on the type of disorder and varies from person to person, one or a combination of the following therapies jotted below may be utilized for most anxiety disorders:

Medication: Drugs used to minimize the symptoms of anxiety disorders include anti-depressants and anxiety-reducing drugs.

Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) addresses the emotional response to mental illness. It is a process in which trained mental health professionals guide people by talking through strategies for understanding and dealing with their disorder.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy: People suffering from anxiety disorders often participate in this type of psychotherapy, where the patient learns to recognize and change thought patterns and behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings.

  • Dietary and lifestyle changes
  • Relaxation therapy

Can Anxiety Disorders Be Prevented?

Anxiety disorders cannot be prevented; however, there are a couple of things you can do to control or lessen the symptoms:

  • Completely stop or reduce the consumption of caffeinated products, such as coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, and chocolate.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter medication or herbal remedies. Many of the ingredients in the medicines contain chemicals that can increase anxiety symptoms.
  • Seek counseling and support after a traumatic or disturbing experience.

Contact us

For more information or to make an appointment contact us at (03) 9495 0102.

Depression

As we embark on the journey of our life, there may arise situations when we could likely experience hostile moods, sadness, depression, or even a sense of emptiness. Nevertheless, it is crucial to understand that if these sentiments or feelings become significantly prominent and prolonged, it is probable you could be suffering from depression and its limiting effects.

A good indicator to determine whether these undesirable feelings are temporary and short-lived or not is to recognize if the symptoms have been present for over two weeks. If this were the case, we recommend you seek professional help promptly to evaluate if you are depressed.

Causes

Several elements should be taken into consideration for causing depression.

Among them, the key elements are:

  • Negative thinking habits, which involve a tendency to dwell on the worst-case scenario, holding a pessimistic view of the future, world, or themselves.
  • Critical events, such as prolonged work stress, loss of a job or long-term unemployment, romantic relationship breakup, intense and lengthy periods of feeling lonely and/or socially isolated, severe illnesses, retirement and adverse events.
  • Genetic predisposition, which can put a person in the 30-40% risk category of developing depression.
  • Early childhood experiences, which include living with parents struggling with depression, abandonment, physical/emotional/sexual abuse, death of near and dear ones, bullying experiences, and others.
  • Drug, alcohol or other addictions.

Symptoms

Symptoms and signs that last for a period of over two weeks and happen almost throughout the day nearly every day comprise:

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Worthlessness
  • Low confidence
  • Guilty feelings
  • Poor concentration/difficulty remembering
  • Anger issues
  • Problems in making decisions
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation/restlessness
  • rritability/Frustration over minor matters
  • Insomnia or sleeping a lot
  • Frequent thoughts of death or suicidal tendencies
  • Tiredness/Being overwhelmed
  • Slow thinking/speaking
  • Loss or change of appetite
  • Isolating from close family members and friends
  • Inability to complete tasks

Therapies

There exist several psychological therapies that can treat depression. However; the most recognized ones among them, thanks to their effectiveness, are:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

This approach can assist people in recognizing and disputing irrational thoughts and behaviors that contribute to depressive symptoms, as well as help, on a long-term basis, develop a protective mindset from depression. This therapy is considered one of the most effective therapies for depression and can be provided to children, adolescents, and adults.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

IPT is based on the understanding that complex and complicated relationships can significantly impact people’s lives, lead them to feel vulnerable, and experience depressive symptoms. This psychological therapy can help you identify specific patterns in the interaction with others that can cause you to feel depressed and equip you with tools to improve and nurture your relationships.

Problem-Solving Therapy

This psychological therapy allows you to increase your level of effectiveness when dealing with your daily problems and stresses that cause you to feel overwhelmed and devastated.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

This group-based therapy can facilitate in increasing your ability to focus on your present moment recognizing physical sensations, feelings, and thoughts without judging these experiences or intending to change them. This therapy combines mindfulness meditation and Cognitive-behavioral strategies to treat and prevent depression effectively.

Contact us

For more information or to make an appointment contact us at (03) 9495 0102.

Anger Management

Anger management seeks to minimize both your emotional feelings as well as the physiological arousal or provocation that are by-products of anger. Domestic abuse, road rage, workplace violence, fits of rage, and irrational outbursts that could lead to divorce, and repressed anger that could have underground roots in addictions are just a couple of instances of what could possibly happen if anger was mismanaged or mishandled.

Anger in itself is a pretty normal and healthy emotion in people.

Anger is a requisite for the purpose of establishing healthy boundaries, to just be able to say “no” when we truly need to do so, protect ourselves as well as our loved ones from harm, and motivate ourselves toward making a positive impact. Nevertheless, anger also has its negative side that can be harmful and destructive when misguided and expressed inappropriately. If you frequently experience anger, it is probably just a display of profound and intense emotions built up over the years before you got to where you are today.

Are Some People Angrier Than Others?

  • That would be a yes. There is evidence to prove that some children are born irritable and that these signs are present from a very early age. Another aspect may be educational/cultural. We’re taught right from day one that it’s wrong to express anger, and as a result, we neither learn nor know how to handle or deal with it!

Questions that could help you identify whether you have Anger issues or not

  • Do you find yourself flying into a fit of rage often?
  • Are you finding it difficult to cope with your relationships because of your anger?
  • Are your children intimidated by your anger?
  • Have you ever been involved in a physical altercation or destroyed/damaged property because you were angry?
  • Do you lose your temper in traffic? Do you have high blood pressure, insomnia, etc.?
   

Learning how to recognize and express anger and finding an outlet to vent out in appropriate ways can help people reach their goals, handle emergencies, and resolve problems. It is not unusual to find other emotions, such as sadness, beneath all that rage and anger.

AAnger that is not befittingly expressed can disrupt relationships, affect thinking and behavior patterns, and create a variety of physical problems. When anger is the primary underlying emotion being felt, we become vulnerable, lack the ability to think and respond rationally, and in some cases, even our senses do not function properly owing to overwhelming anger. Anger is often succeeded by depression. When we feel particularly furious, we tend to fly off the handle and express our suppressed feelings inappropriately verbally or physically, consequently regretting it and feeling depressed afterward when we realize what we have done.

Tactics for Managing your Anger:

  • When you begin to feel anger dawn on you, consider deep breathing exercises, positive self-talk, or stop/ interrupt your angry thoughts.
  • Steer clear of alcohol or drugs that can make you more prone to act out aggressively.
  • Although expressing anger is better than keeping it all in, it should be expressed in an appropriate manner.
  • Sought out the support of others. Talk about your feelings and try to work on changing your behavior and demeanor.
  • Make an attempt to gain a whole new perspective by putting yourself in another’s shoes.
  • Learn how to laugh at yourself and see the humor in the littlest of things and situations.
  • Visualize a relaxing experience either from your memory or your imagination.
  • Calming workouts like yoga can help relax your muscles and make you feel much calmer and zen.
  • Seek professional assistance.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Treatment for Anger Problems

The Cognitive Behavioural treatment aims to help a person boiling with rage recognize the negative thoughts and temper tantrums behind anger. CBT approach can facilitate:

  • Managing difficult life situations better
  • Dealing with grief more effectively
  • Mentally handling emotional stress caused by illness, abuse, or physical trauma
  • Overcoming chronic pain, fatigue, and other physical symptoms

Do You Need Counselling?

If you feel that at any point in time, your anger is really spinning out of control, getting out of hand, and if it is taking a toll on your relationships and other important parts of your life, you might consider counseling to learn how to handle your issues better. Contact us today at (03) 9495 0102.

Couples Counseling

Couples therapy is highly effective and instrumental in bringing couples closer to each other when they hit rock bottom, have no idea how to resolve their problems, and persist in their relationship by addressing and dealing with areas of conflict and rebuilding or reinforcing the connection, spark, intimacy, and partnership. Our team of highly experienced and proficient professional counselors will help you explore and enhance the most important and meaningful relationships in your life.

The key aspect of a solid relationship is a commitment to that relationship, a desire for it to work, openness, willingness to grow, and, if required, making some adjustments and alterations in one’s actions and attitude. Conversing with one of our competent counselors can help you ponder issues from different angles and begin making changes that initially seemed daunting.

Our counselors will guide you towards:

  • Identifying negative patterns that affect the quality of your relationship.
  • Learning how to quit the blame game and point fingers at each other so that you can work through your issues.
  • Recognizing the ’cause and effect’ patterns in your relationship.
  • Figuring out healthy ways to communicate and relate to each other.
  • Coping with stress and getting through the difficult phase when external stressors interfere with romance and connections.

Common Signs of a problematic relationship:

  • Communication breakdown.
  • Trust is eroded or broken.
  • Recurrence of depression or other health problems.
  • Quality or frequency of sex diminishes significantly or causes problems. Constant and never-ending arguments without resolution. Violent and abusive behavior towards your partner.

In the case of such a strained and fragile relationship, a trained marriage counselor can help you learn new and more effective ways to interact and pay attention to each other.

You not only discover how to transform your arguments into opportunities to manage conflict and work as a team but also uncover novel ways to accommodate individual needs.

Furthermore, you will also learn to recognize the triggers that cause things to fall apart, change the old patterns, and build the strong, healthy, and loving relationship you desire.

What is expected from you?

We expect a sincere commitment from your side, be open about what you bring into the relationship, and commit to altering your ineffectual behaviors. If these conditions are met, there is an excellent possibility that we could help you get your relationship back on track and take you to an even stronger place.

Take the First Step

Couple counseling can help develop a new, empowering level of understanding that will eliminate anxiety and fears, build lasting trust, and create a compelling future for your relationship.

Contact us

For more information or to make an appointment contact us at (03) 9495 0102.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological therapy that focuses on what people think and how their thoughts affect their emotions and actions in response to situations or perceived adversities. CBT employs a multitude of techniques that can be used to help address a wide range of problems and disorders, including depression, stress and anxiety, phobias, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to name a few.

It is also applied in the management of alcohol and substance addictions and in the case of more severe mental disorders. CBT therapists focus on all aspects of a person’s experience by exploring their thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations with the aim of understanding the way they relate to one another and how they trigger upset feelings.

CBT is apt for individuals presenting particular mental symptoms but is willing to work towards improving these symptoms. The therapist employs a variety of cognitive and behavioral techniques with the intention of helping the client meet their therapeutic goals.

How effective is CBT?

  • It is one of the most effective and standard treatments for conditions where anxiety and/or depression are the primary concerns.
  • It is considered the most effective psychological treatment for moderate and severe depression. It is as effective as anti-depressants prescribed for alleviating many types of depression.

How CBT is delivered

CBT may be offered by a therapist, either on a one-on-one basis to individuals or as a group therapy session to a group of individuals going through the same phase with similar issues. The number of psychological sessions you require would depend on the nature, depth, and severity of your mental impairments. Often the number of sessions could range anywhere from five to twenty weekly sessions of approximately fifty minutes. After your treatment ends, your therapist will be able to advise you on how to continue using CBT techniques in your daily life.

Contact us

For more information or to make an appointment contact us at (03) 9495 0102.

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