WHICH PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACHES HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR PROFESSIONAL / PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?
My philosophical approach to psychology has been influenced by a real-world, everyday approach. Having worked both in private practice and in the corporate sector, I believe in applying psychology that is grounded and practical for people to apply in their everyday lives.
From a personal point of view, working in remote and regional mental health in my early career gave me exposure to the reality that emotional psychological and mental well-being is truly personal and unique. I'm a believer that our physical, emotional and mental well-being are all intrinsically linked.
WHICH PARTICULAR ASPECTS OF HEALTH OR THE HUMAN JOURNEY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN?
I find working with people through their response and coping mechanisms in life transition and change truly interesting. Whether the process relates to love, loss, separation, anger, career change, depression or anxiety, the effect transition and change has on a person's ability to adapt, cope and grow is powerful and inspiring. I take real satisfaction each day in working with people through this process and helping them navigate their way.
WHAT METHOD/S DO YOU USE?
In my work I have been described as having a really practical and supportive approach. I don't believe in bombarding people with uncomfortable questions, directions or psychological jargon. I approach my sessions with plenty of listening and absolutely no judgement. With over twenty years' experience as a Psychologist I draw on CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) mindfulness and acceptance therapy as tools in my sessions. But most importantly, I really try to ensure that our sessions are practical and based in the real-world. I want to ensure our sessions are valuable and relevant so that you feel armed and equipped with skills and techniques that you can apply in your every day life.
WHEN DO YOU THINK THE CLIENT WILL START TO FEEL THAT PROGRESS IS BEING MADE?
This is a question I'm often asked, and unfortunately there's no one simple answer. Sometimes I can work with people over years or at the same time, sometimes people feel like they have made progress in only a handful of sessions. Quite often the process of just being able to 'tell your story' without judgement can make you feel instantly better, but the key is not to look for a 'silver-bullet' to therapy, but to see this is a journey rather than a destination. My goal is to work with you to reach a more comfortable, positive space as soon as we can, but the journey to unpack your story can often open many doors which can change lives profoundly for the better.
HOW HAS THERAPY MADE YOU A BETTER PERSON?
Being a therapist for many years has offered me personal insights, learnings and skills that have been an enormous benefit personally. I have learnt the power of truly listening - hearing beyond the words - of openness and acceptance. Most importantly I have understood that everyone has their own journey - one can never judge for we all are facing battles and walking our own paths. My own journey with therapy has evolved as I've been practising and I think I value the privilege even more that people trust me to help. There is no doubt therapy has given me tools to be a better psychologist, father and husband.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING A THERAPIST?
I take enormous joy and satisfaction in seeing people benefit from therapy and watching 'the cloud' often lift before my eyes - Seeing the look of pride in overcoming what seemed an insurmountable barrier; hearing a mother tell of her delight in 'getting their son back'; getting news of the new promotion, or family BBQ full of laughter; or supporting a couple who manage to reconnect or find each other again. At times the road may feel long for you, but you know with professional support you can be on your way to a new view of the world.
DO YOU EVER HAVE 'BAD HAIR' DAYS?
Being a motorbike rider, I am prone to a little 'helmet hair' on frequent occasion...
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM WE FACE, IN THE WORLD TODAY?
Connectedness. I answer this question quite quickly, as it's a theme I can see recurring through many realms of my work. In this age of social media, digital demands, complex family dynamics and a shifting workplace culture, the ability for people, couples, families to truly connect is under more pressure then ever. When someone feels isolated, disconnected from support networks, family/friends or just that no one 'has your back', the feeling can be tremendously confronting and overwhelming. A real focus of my work is about 'bringing people back from that sense of isolation and being disconnected. Addressing the sense of isolation that Facebook, 24/7 work demands, smart phones, geographical pressures or poor communication can bring. I believe the demands of 21st century careers and technology have added a pressure and weight that is having real consequences and outcomes on relationships.
CAN YOU SHARE THE NAME OF A BOOK, FILM, SONG, EVENT OR WORK OF ART THAT INSPIRES YOU?
London Grammar "Strong". Amazing vocals but even more powerful lyrics.
Excuse me for a while
While I’m wide-eyed
And I’m so down, caught in the middle
WHAT LED YOU TO CHOOSE PSYCHOTHERAPY OR COUNSELLING AS A PROFESSION?
As a Psychologist I am driven by the desire to help individuals navigate their way through complex human challenges. I chose psychology as a profession because of my passion to learn more about the impact of human emotions, listen and guide others with the insights I have gained over the last twenty years. But most importantly, I chose psychology because I wanted to help people to make real, practical and applicable change in their everyday lives.