Call 03 9939 2111 or Email info@positivewellbeingpsychology.com.au
Services
Our registered psychologists work with adolescents and adults presenting with a broad range of mental health issues. We endeavour to establish a strong therapeutic alliance early in therapy, by exploring goals, personal strengths and life experiences, to create a safe and supportive environment fostering trust. Our dedicated team of registered psychologists adopt a range of evidence-based approaches to improve mental health and wellbeing including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT and CBT-E for eating disorders), Brief Solution-Focused Therapy, Mindfulness, Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Telehealth is delivered via video conference or phone consultation in the comfort of your home, office, hotel or hired space. Appointments are available during business hours, after-hours and weekends.
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MINI-MENTAL STATUS SCREENER

What brings you here today?

A few responses we so very commonly hear from individuals reaching out for our services – other than specifying the main concern (e.g., depressed mood, anxiety, low-self-esteem, binge eating) is:

 

  • “Oh, I have been putting it off for some time now”
  • “I thought it would get better”
  • “the [main concern] comes and goes”
  • “I thought I could do it on my own”

 

Putting off reaching out for support?

Research indicates that most people will experience a mental health condition at some stage in their life, be it symptoms of anxiety, low mood, insomnia, excessive worry or even persistent fear of failure. As an ever so frequent result of hearing individuals commonly delaying psychological treatment for some time, at Positive Wellbeing Psychology we have introduced a completely separate service that allows the individual to complete a preliminary assessment process in the comfort of their own home and device.

 

Mini-Mental State Screener 

This mini mental state screener will provide you with a summary of presenting symptoms that may be impacting your daily activities. Once you have completed the process, a registered psychologist will interpret your scores and provide recommendations on seeking support or strategies that may be useful, based on the level of severity of your health condition.

 

How can this help me?

At Positive Wellbeing Psychology, we have introduced this service because our aim is to provide a stepping stone for individuals who may be on the fence and feeling uncertain as to if and when they should seek support from a qualified professional and what this support may actually represent based on evidence-based findings.

 

What the mini mental state screener includes?

  1. Carefully selected valid and reliable screening tools (1-2 screening tools) send via email to be completed from the comfort and confidential setting of your own home and device.
  2. Interpretation of the result read by a psychologist.
  3. Confirmation on the presenting difficulties and consequences of leaving this untreated.
  4. Recommendations on next steps in terms of evidence-based treatment approach based on decades of clinical research.

 

What happens if my presenting concern requires more than a brief screener?

If by the chance, the individual’s presenting concern does not allow our psychologist to measure the result using a valid and reliable brief screening tool (e.g., relationship difficulties) then our recommendations will be based on the information the individual has provided (200-300 words required).

 

Research has indicated the following findings:

  • Almost half (45%) Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009).
  • 54% of people with mental illness do not access any treatment (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2014).
  • The proportion of people with mental illness accessing treatment is half that of people with physical disorders (Commonwealth of Australia, 2010).
  • The onset of mental illness is typically around mid-to-late adolescence.
  • Australian youth aged 18-24 years old have the highest prevalence of mental illness than any other age group.
  • Around one in five (21.2%) of young people aged 15-19 years old met the criteria for a probable serious mental illness shown by the data from the 2014 Mission Australia’s Youth Survey (Ivancic, Perrens, Fildes, Perry, & Christensen, 2014)
  • Anxiety disorders (14%) depressive disorders (6%) and substance use disorders (5%) are common mental illnesses in Australians (Kitchener & Jorm, 2009).
  • Depression has high lifetime prevalence – one in seven Australians will experience depression in their lifetime (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009).
  • The World Health Organisation estimates that depression will be the number one health concern in both the developed and developing nations by 2030 (World Health Organisation, 2008).
  • Mood disorders are overall more prevalent among males in the 35-44 age group, while for women they are more prevalent in the 25-34 age group than for other age groups (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009).
  • Women (7.1%) are more likely to report experiencing mood disorders, compared to men (5.3%) (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009)

 

Facts and Figures about Mental Health can be found on Black Dog Institute Handout (click here to read more)

 

How Can Positive Wellbeing Psychology Help?

You may from our mini-mental health screener designed to assist you in understanding the benefits of seeking professional assistance and/or psychological support for certain difficulties and concerns. Complete the below Expression of Interest in our mini-mental health screener to get started.

 

To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

Need more immediate help?

If you need immediate help, or your life is in danger, please call ‘triple zero’ (000). If you are thinking of harming yourself, it is important to reach out for immediate support. If someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please also call ‘triple zero’ (000) as a matter of urgency.

 

For more information on immediate supports, please click here.

ANXIETY

Did you know that anxiety is actually a normal and healthy human emotion experienced by everyone at some stage in their life?

 

Anxiety can often be experienced above the recommended threshold and therefore cause the individual to experience difficulty functioning day-to-day. It is important to know that everyone feels anxious from time to time – this certainly does not mean there is something wrong with you!

 

Individuals are wired to scan their environments (e.g., work, home, etc) for perceived threats as a survival mechanism. However, sometimes we experience “false alarms” and actually respond to certain situations (e.g., starting a new gym class, going to a party, relationships, starting a new job, breaking up with a loved one) as a perceived threat and experience panic or increased anxiety.

 

At Positive Wellbeing Psychology, we work with you to understand the function of anxiety and explore evidence-based strategies and tools that are proven to reduce your baseline level of anxiety. Individuals who experience high-levels of anxiety due to prolonged stress or burn out, often benefit from psychological support.

 

Prolonged symptoms of anxiety are often classified as one of the below:

  • Generalised anxiety
  • Social anxiety
  • Phobias and fears
  • Stress and burnout
  • Health anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Obsessions and compulsions
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Separation anxiety (in children)

 

Perhaps you have started to experience, or a loved one has displayed the following symptoms:

  • Irritability
  • Uncertainty
  • Lack of tolerance
  • Uncontrollable worry
  • Unhelpful and ruminating thoughts
  • Excessive fear
  • Assuming the worst
  • Catastrophising
  • Mindreading what other may be thinking of you
  • Jumping to conclusions

 

How can Positive Wellbeing Psychology help?

You may benefit from talking to a Psychologist at Positive Wellbeing Psychology, to learn a little more about what lifestyle factors may be maintaining your cycle of anxiety, as well as to explore some proven techniques shown to effectively reduce anxiety symptoms including irritability, restlessness, sleep disturbance, excessive worry – among other emotional, cognitive, behavioural and physical changes.

 

To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

Need more immediate help?

If you need immediate help, or your life is in danger, please call ‘triple zero’ (000). If you are thinking of harming yourself, it is important to reach out for immediate support. If someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please also call ‘triple zero’ (000) as a matter of urgency.

 

For more information on immediate supports, please click here.

DEPRESSION

You may be reading this because you’re feeling sad, blue, down, depressed or irritable, but not 100% sure about talking to a Psychologist. It can be tricky to differentiate between depression and a ‘bad patch’. Often it starts off by noticing constant depressed mood and feeling down in the dumps most days of the week. You may also notice a significant loss of interest or enjoyment in most things in life. 

 

What is Depression?

Depression is a persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. It may lead to withdrawing from friends or family, resulting in feeling disconnected or alone. You may experience a significant loss of motivation in your usual activities or obligations.

 

Do you identify with the following most days of the week?

  • Sad or down in the dumps
  • Discouraged or hopeless
  • Low self-esteem, inferiority, worthlessness
  • Loss of motivation to do things
  • Loss of pleasure or satisfaction in life
  • Irritability in younger ones

 

If you identify with one or more of the above symptoms, you may benefit from reading on.

 

In what ways does Depression disrupt your daily functioning?

  • Changes in our sleep– you may have trouble getting to sleep or disrupted sleep.
  • Increased or reduced appetite– you may find you are not eating as much anymore or skipping meals. On the flip side, you may find that you are eating more due to feeling alone and flat.
  • Reduced energy levels– you can notice feelings of fatigue, reduced energy, as well as lack of motivation to maintain your usual routine.
  • Difficulties with concentration– you may find it hard to concentrate at school, work or uni, resulting in feelings of failure and feeling even worse about yourself.
  • Low self-esteem– you could find yourself seeing everything you do in a negative light. We describe this as ‘the negative lens’. This is often one of the most common experiences for individuals suffering from depression.
  • Irritable and restlessness– in children or teenagers, you may notice increased irritability. You may find your loved one often loses his/her temper, yells or act out displaying a disproportionate emotional response in relation to the context of the event. Your teen may also describe feeling a little more irritable, on edge or keyed up. You could ask your teen if he/she is feeling this way or perhaps finding it hard to ‘wind down’ after school.
  • Unhelpful thoughts (about yourself)– you may find yourself feeling ‘hopeless’ and believe that nothing is going to change. You may often find yourself thinking you are a ‘burden’ or ‘hindrance’ to your friends or family, resulting in withdrawal behaviour or social isolation. You may experience a constant battle with your ‘inner-critic’ and view yourself and everything you do through ‘the negative lens’.
  • Disqualifying all positives– you may find compliments make you feel uncomfortable. For example, if a friend said – “oh, you look nice today” or a teacher said – “good job”, your natural instinct is to not believe this is true. Alternatively, you could find yourself thinking “oh, they don’t mean it, they’re just feeling sorry for me, as I am such a failure”.
  • Social isolation and withdrawal– you may feel everything is such a big effort. You could more often than not want to ‘curl up’ in bed and shut everyone out. This can often result in feeling even flatter and sleepier during the day. Alternatively, you may find hard to get out of bed at all or stop making plans to see friends, family, having a shower or cooking.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide– you could have lost purpose or ‘the light at end of the tunnel’. Another common symptom of persistent or chronic depression may be suicidal thoughts such as “it would just be easier if I wasn’t here anymore”.

 

Treatment for Depression: 

There is a range of evidence-based treatments of depression including talk therapy with a Psychologist. You may also benefit from a combination of talk therapy adjunct to medication for more persistent and severe depression. We recommend talking to your Psychologist about the best treatment approach for you based on your symptoms. A good Psychologist will tend to make you feel supported by exploring the severity of your symptom early on in treatment and recommend suitable treatment options.

 

A few proven techniques to help with Depression may include: 

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy– aimed to significantly improve your mood, self-esteem, motivation and day-to-day interest in usual activities once again.
  • Behavioural activation – aimed to help you engage more often in enjoyable activities and improve your motivation.
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy– aimed to improve the quality of your relationships and social functioning to help reduce overall distress levels.
  • Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy– shown to be effective in preventing future periods of depression.

 

You can read more on evidence-based strategies for treatment of depression on the Australian Psychological Society website (click here).

 

How can Positive Wellbeing Psychology help?

At Positive Wellbeing Psychology, we are experienced in a range of proven techniques to help reduce depression. We will explore factors that may be maintaining your persistently low mood. Once identifying possible factors, you will start to explore a range of proven strategies to improve mood, self-esteem and relationships.

 

To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

Need more immediate help?

If you need immediate help, or your life is in danger, please call ‘triple zero’ (000). If you are thinking of harming yourself, it is important to reach out for immediate support. If someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please also call ‘triple zero’ (000) as a matter of urgency.

 

For more information on immediate supports, please click here.

STRESS

Everyone feels stressed from time to time, but what is stress? How does it affect your overall health? And what can you do to manage your stress?

 

What is stress?

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body’s defences kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction or the “stress response.” The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you.

 

Does stress affect everyone?

Yes – stress does affect everyone, and everyone will experience stress from time to time. There are different types of stress—all of which carry physical and mental health risks. A stressor may be a one-time or short-term occurrence, or it can happen repeatedly over a long time. Some people may cope with stress more effectively and recover from stressful events quicker than others.

 

Examples of stress include:

  • Routine stress related to the pressures of school, work, family, and other daily responsibilities.
  • Stress brought about by a sudden negative change, such as losing a job, divorce, or illness.
  • Traumatic stress experienced during an event such as a major accident, war, assault, or natural disaster where people may be in danger of being seriously hurt or killed. People who experience traumatic stress may have very distressing temporary emotional and physical symptoms, but most recover naturally soon after.

 

There are some signs which indicate our stress levels are affecting us in a negative way:

  • Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
  • Feeling ‘on edge’ or unable to stop worrying
  • Difficulty sleeping, fatigue and exhaustion
  • Changes in appetite
  • Physical reactions such as headaches, muscle tension, upset stomach, and difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in mood and irritability
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Reliance on alcohol or other substances to cope

 

You can try a few of these more ‘practical’ strategies for managing stress when feeling overwhelmed and finding it difficult to cope:

  • Set goals and priorities– you may decide what must get done now and what can wait. Learn to say “no” to new tasks if you start to feel like you’re taking on too much. Try to be mindful of what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do.
  • Stay connected– yes, this means not withdrawing as you are not alone. Keep in touch with friends or others who can provide emotional support and practical help. To reduce stress, ask for help from friends, family and community or religious organizations.

 

How can Positive Wellbeing Psychology help?

You may benefit from talking to a warm and nurturing Psychologist to help understand what is causing stress and maintaining the cycle. At Positive Wellbeing Psychology, we are experienced in a range of proven techniques to help reduce stress.

 

To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

Need more immediate help?

If you need immediate help, or your life is in danger, please call ‘triple zero’ (000). If you are thinking of harming yourself, it is important to reach out for immediate support. If someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please also call ‘triple zero’ (000) as a matter of urgency.

 

For more information on immediate supports, please click here.

SLEEP PROBLEMS

Sleep is a natural process with remarkable benefits for the human body.

 

A few benefits of sleep include muscle restoration, consolidating new learnings and memories, as well as helping to better manage stress and emotions. Good quality sleep is important for optimal function, as well as for a number of added benefits in your academic, athletic or professional performance. One tip right now is to make ‘good-quality’ sleep a priority in your busy daily schedule.

 

What are some common sleep problems?

  • Difficulty getting to sleep– you may have significant trouble getting to sleep, causing you to be awake until the very ‘wee-hours’ of the morning. This can cause anxiety and worry because you know you have to go to work or school the next day.
  • Restless sleep – you may find yourself tossing and turning in the bed due to an active mind. You may find yourself overthinking about past or upcoming events. This may result in feeling upset and stressed. You may spiral into a space of worrying about the consequences of not having a sufficient night’s sleep, yet again!
  • Disrupted sleep– you may find yourself waking up multiple times throughout the night. This may result in feelings of restlessness and frustration, as you are unable to fall back into a restful sleep.
  • Feeling fatigued (during the day)– you may experience fatigue, loss of energy, lack of motivation and irritability the next day. You may find yourself further worrying about your decreased levels of productivity and subsequent inability to concentrate, problem-solve or remember important tasks. Research has also found slower reaction times associated with ‘inadequate’ sleep. This may result in more mistakes or more significantly increase the risk of harm in certain situations for the individual and their loved ones. For example, slower response time when changing lanes on a busy road may just result in a motor vehicle accident.
  • Nap (during the day)– you may find yourself feeling the need to nap during the day or pressing snooze well over 3 times before rolling out of bed and into the shower.
  • Snoring (at night time)– you may have been told by your partner that you are snoring. This may interfere with his/her restful night sleep. It may also mean you are waking yourself up throughout the night due to the pauses in your breathing, which may end with a gasping or choking noise. The next day you may feel tired and fatigued with reduced energy levels.

 

There are a number of other sleep problems, but we included a select few of the more common sleep problems.

 

A few common factors causing sleeping difficulties include:

  • Psychological conditions– symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, overstimulation, or overload in your life.
  • Sleep disorders– obstructive sleep apnoea, periodic limb movement disorder and restless legs syndrome.
  • Medical illnesses– research indicates a number of medical diagnosis impact sleep such as gastroesophageal reflux, chronic obstructive lung disease and asthma, congestive heart failure, hot flashes, arthritis and other causes of chronic pain, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), urinary conditions, an overactive thyroid among a range of other illnesses.
  • Neurological disorders– these may include Parkinson’s disease, strokes, and dementia.
  • Stimulants– caffeine, nicotine, among others.
  • Medications– you may not be aware of the side effects of some medications you are taking, therefore checking with your GP is recommended. Some medications with side effects include decongestants, bronchodilators, certain antidepressants, steroids, beta blockers and diuretics. Research has also indicated that improper use of sleeping pills can result in rebound insomnia.

 

There are multiple causes of sleep problems but one thing for sure is that difficulty getting to sleep and disrupted sleep throughout the night may leave you feeling frustrated, stressed, and worried about your sleep problems, which can make it even harder to fall to sleep. For some individuals, this is how the sleep-worry cycle starts.

 

Treatment for sleep problems:

Treatment delivered by your Psychologist usually involves a combination of the cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and proven sleep-hygiene techniques tailored towards the individual. Other techniques may include:

  • Relaxation training– you may be introduced to deep breathing activities, progressive muscular relaxation or meditation. Research has found relaxing your mind at bedtime will help you drift off to sleep.
  • Stimulus control therapy– such as going to bed only when you are sleepy. This may include no reading, watching TV, snacking, or eating 2 hours before sleep or listening to music in bed. You may need to explore getting up at the same time every day, no matter how little you have slept and avoid daytime napping where possible.
  • Sleep restriction therapy– you may need to reduce your time in bed to the estimated total time you are actually asleep in an average night.
  • Cognitive therapy– you will be introduced to proven techniques that allow you to replace negative thoughts about sleep to more positive compassionate thoughts such as “If I relax peacefully in bed, my body will take care of itself”.

 

What can I expect from seeing a Psychologist?

You can expect your Psychologist to ask a few questions to develop an understanding on the factors influencing your sleep. You might also be asked to keep a sleep monitoring diary to help provide a little more insight into your current bedtimes, wake-times, quality of sleep and other issues. With this information, the psychologist can determine the best course of action for your individual circumstances.

 

How can Positive Wellbeing Psychology help?

At Positive Wellbeing Psychology, we have a special interest in sleep hygiene and find it extremely rewarding to be working with you to improve your sleep and to achieve optimal functioning. We will explore evidence-based approaches to manage the factors that are contributing to your sleep difficulties.

 

To start, your Psychologist will set a nurturing and comforting environment to explore current stressors and worries as well as significant life events and changes to work or routine. As mentioned above, a sleep-diary will usually be incorporated into the therapy sessions for more chronic sleep difficulties.

 

To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

What else can I do?  

We also recommend you consult with your GP to obtain a referral to Positive Wellbeing Psychology, as a medical check-up allows for thorough assessment of all other possible health issue that may be affecting your sleep. Some people with sleep problems may also benefit from a combination of medication adjunct to seeing a Psychologist.

LOW SELF-ESTEEM

While everyone lacks confidence occasionally, people with low self-esteem feel unhappy or unsatisfied with themselves most of the time.

 

What is self-esteem?

Let’s take a quick look at what self-esteem actually is. Okay, so self-esteem has been defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as the “belief and confidence in your own ability and value”.

 

Common signs and characteristics of low self-esteem: 

  • Extremely critical of yourself.
  • Downplaying or ignoring your positive qualities.
  • Judging yourself to be inferior to your friends and family.
  • Using negative words to describe yourself such as “stupid”, “fat”, “ugly” or “unlovable”.
  • Having discussions with yourself that is always negative, critical, and self-blaming. This we refer to as the ‘inner-critic’ (also called ‘self-talk’).
  • Assuming that luck plays a large role in all your achievements, rather than taking the credit for your achievements.
  • Blaming yourself when things go wrong instead of considering all other contributing factors outside of your control such as the actions of other people.
  • Not believing compliments and actually feeling a little uncomfortable or not sure what to say when receiving a compliment.

 

How does low self-esteem impact my day-to-day life?

  • Negative feelings– your ‘inner-critic’ will result in persistent feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, anger, shame, or guilt.
  • Relationship problems– you may find yourself tolerating all sorts of unreasonable behaviour from partners or friends. Perhaps you believe you need to earn love and friendship, cannot be loved or are not loveable. On the flip side, an individual with low self-esteem may feel angry and therefore bully other people.
  • Fear of trying– you may doubt your abilities, level of competencies or self-worth and therefore avoid trying certain challenges. For example, you may not apply for a dream job, talk to a new group of people at social gathering or simply not put up your hand in class when you know the correct answer. You may find yourself avoiding certain activities out of fear of potential judgement. This may result in you putting up an ‘invisible shield’ to protect yourself from that fear of trying or judgement.
  • Perfectionism– you may push yourself so hard to achieve high or unattainable standards. Perhaps you become an over-achiever to ‘atone’ for what you see as your own inferiority.
  • Fear of judgement– as mentioned above, you may avoid activities that involve other people, like sports or social events because you’re super afraid you’ll be negatively judged. Perhaps you feel self-conscious and stressed around others and constantly looks for ‘signs’ that people don’t like you. You may assume others are thinking all sorts of judgemental things about you. For example, you may find yourself thinking – “I look so awkward”, “I look like such a loser”, “I look so boring, why would anyone want to talk to me?”, “I look so ugly in this outfit and maybe I should go home”. Pssstt…. this is the ‘inner-critic’ that we mentioned earlier and yes, this is one factor that will maintain your cycle of low self-esteem.
  • Low resilience– you may find it hard to cope with a challenging life event because you already believe you will be ‘hopeless’.
  • Lack of self-care– you may find yourself caring so little that you neglect or abuse yourself. A few common examples that come to mind include drinking too much alcohol, not showering for a few days, lack finding the purpose to brush your teeth, delay medical checks or putting off talking to a Psychologist.
  • Self-harming behaviours– low self-esteem puts you at an increased risk of self-harm. For example: disordered eating, drug abuse or suicide.

 

How can Positive Wellbeing Psychology help?

At Positive Wellbeing Psychology, we are trained in a range of proven techniques to help improve your self-esteem, confidence, interpersonal relationships, and overall life satisfaction. You may benefit from talking to a warm and caring psychologist at Positive Wellbeing Psychology and to explore the causes of an individual’s low self-esteem.

 

To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

Need more immediate help?

If you need immediate help, or your life is in danger, please call ‘triple zero’ (000). If you are thinking of harming yourself, it is important to reach out for immediate support. If someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please also call ‘triple zero’ (000) as a matter of urgency.

 

For more information on immediate supports, please click here.

Disproportionate Emotional Responses

Disproportionate Emotional Responses

Emotional problems can impact our self perception, interpersonal relationships and cause overall disruption to the most important parts of our life. Positive Wellbeing Psychology is here to support you in managing these symptoms so that you can focus on the most important parts of your life.

 

Emotional symptoms may include:

  • anger
  • anxiety
  • disgust
  • excitement
  • fear
  • happiness
  • joy
  • sadness

…to name a few.

 

How do disproportionate emotional responses impact my day-to-day life?

Emotional symptoms may be positive or not so positive. The symptoms may be triggered and come from within or be a reaction to your environment.

 

Emotional changes can be very normal, temporary responses to a range of events or triggers. This is experienced by all individuals and therefore is a normal human response. We all need this function to protect ourselves from time to time. To shift our mood and therefore result in setting boundaries with certain people or provoke anxiety to consider making a change or getting things done.

 

How to identify when emotional symptoms are causing problems and disruptions in my life? 

It usually raises concern when your emotional response is disproportionate, extreme, persistent or unstable. At these times, our emotional responses can cause problems in our life and interpersonal relationships.

 

Emotional symptoms can cause legal or financial problems, relationship difficulties and problems at home, school or work. They can be associated with aggression, agitation, feelings of emptiness, guilt, helplessness and hopelessness as well as loss of pleasure.

 

Not all emotional responses result in a negative nature. Individuals also experience feelings of enthusiasm, grandiosity and hopefulness. These disproportionate emotional symptoms may also be excessive and therefore lead to inappropriate behaviours, increased risk, impulsivity, accidents, poor judgment, self-harm, violence, and suicide.

 

Mental Health Difficulties and Emotional Symptoms

Whilst emotions can serve as a normal and protective function, abnormal emotional symptoms can be associated with several psychiatric conditions including:

  • anxiety disorders
  • bipolar disorder
  • dysthymic disorder
  • major depression
  • postpartum depression
  • personality disorders
  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

 

Why does it take so long to reach out for support? 

It is absolutely normal to experience a little bit of reluctance to seek help for emotional difficulties. This is understandable as it can be difficult to discuss personal and disproportionate emotional responses and/or the impact of these in our personal life. Most individuals with emotional symptoms do not seek assistance from a psychologist, but continue to visit their GP. This is a great starting point as your GP can assess your eligibility for a Mental Health Treatment Plan. Medicare can provide a rebate for up to 10 sessions per calendar year to start with exploring useful strategies.

 

How Can Positive Wellbeing Psychology Help?

At Positive Wellbeing Psychology, we are trained in a range of proven techniques to help improve, understand and manage disproportionate emotional responses, thereby improving your confidence, interpersonal relationships, and overall life satisfaction. You may benefit from talking to a warm and caring psychologist at Positive Wellbeing Psychology to explore the predisposing factors and maintaining factors of emotional problems.

 

Our Melbourne-based psychologists in clinical practice are available online Australia wide. By working through these challenges, you will feel empowered and in control as well as start to improve your interpersonal relationships and life satisfaction.

 

To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

Need more immediate help?

If you need immediate help, or your life is in danger, please call ‘triple zero’ (000). If you are thinking of harming yourself, it is important to reach out for immediate support. If someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please also call ‘triple zero’ (000) as a matter of urgency.

 

For more information on immediate supports, please click here.

POOR BODY IMAGE

Poor Body Image

Your body image is how you perceive, think, and feel about your body. This can include your body size, weight, shape, or your appearance more generally. A positive body image can improve self-esteem, self-acceptance, and a healthy relationship with food and physical activity.

 

On the flip-side, a poor body image can result in low self-esteem, feeling insecure, poor self-worth (usually rating ones worth primarily on weight, shape and appearances), a very loud ‘inner-critic’ (i.e., the negative ‘self-talk’ that you may be ever so familiar with!) and not finding much self-acceptance at all really…and we must not forget, the unhealthy relationship with food and often with exercise. You may just benefit from reading on if you find yourself identify with any of the above.

 

Based on years, in fact decades of research, we have so far we have established that individuals with negative body image have a greater likelihood of developing an eating disorder, and are more likely to suffer from feelings of depression, isolation, low self-esteem, and obsessions with weight loss. The more recent research suggests that 80% of Australian women are dissatisfied with their bodies to some degree. A negative body image can lead to dieting and disordered eating behaviours (Read Better Health Info Here).

 

Poor body image and diets?

A poor body image more often than not results in dieting behaviour, which is a strong risk factor for developing an eating disorder. Research shows that even ‘moderate’ dieting increases the risk of developing an eating disorder especially in teenage girls.

 

Do I have a body image problem?

  • Do you spend a great deal of time focussed on a particular aspect of your appearance?
  • Do you view a particular part of your body as being flawed or defective in some way?
  • Do you go to great lengths to improve or conceal the area of concern on your body?
  • Have you noticed that your efforts to improve or conceal your perceived flaw are impacting on your life in a negative way?
  • Do you often find yourself checking in the mirror or reflective surface, only to find it triggers that inner critic who starts to case negative judgements such as “that is disgusting” “you’re so fat” or “you really did not need that [referring to food]”?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be experiencing a body image problem or perhaps disordered eating patterns. If your bodily concerns are primarily weight/shape related and you have changed your eating patterns because of this, you should speak with your doctor about the possibility of having an eating disorder as you may be eligible for a referral to a psychologist that specialises in evidence-based treatments for an eating disorder.

 

Some common signs symptoms of poor body image may include:

  • Checking behaviours: obsessive self-scrutiny in mirrors and other ‘checking behaviours’ such as touching collar bone, stomach or thighs, perhaps looking at yourself whilst walking past a reflective surface, weighing self on the bathroom scales quiet excessively, or looking at old photographs and comparing yourself, among a few other checking behaviours our Psychologist will go through with you in session.
  • Comparisons, comparison, and more comparison (only in the negative way of course!): thinking disparaging comments about your body and frequent comparison of your own shape and size to other people.
  • Perceiving an ideal body image: Ideal envy of a friend’s body, or just as commonly the body of a celebrity or someone else in the media.
  • Avoidance due to shame: Feeling self-conscious or uncomfortable with appearance or body size or shape therefore leading to avoiding physical activity.
  • Excessive exercise as method to control weight: In contrast to the above, over exercising or engaging in an excessive amount of physical activity with an objective to lose weight or change your body shape. This means you are focusing on physical activity as a means of weight control and to change your body size or shape.
  • Long history of dieting: Trying to lose weight through dieting, however finding the weight that was lost is gained back over time.

 

Is there a relationship between an eating disorder and poor body image?

That is generally the case. We find body image concerns and eating disorders go hand in hand. Often, it is the early dissatisfaction with a young person’s appearance that leads them to conclude that losing weight would enhance their appearance and make them feel better about themselves and their bodies. As method to control weight, shape, and appearance we often find restrictive eating and over exercising come next in line. This frequently leads to patterns of disordered eating and weight obsession that can develop into anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, compulsive overeating, or binge eating disorder.

 

What does support with a focus on poor body image target?

  • Self-esteem – we find that our self-esteem improves with a more positive body image, which dictates how a person feels about themselves and can infiltrate every aspect of life and contribute to happiness and wellbeing.
  • Self-acceptance – our self-acceptance is found to improve with a more positive body image, making an individual more likely to feel comfortable and happy with the way they look. The individual is less likely to feel impacted by unrealistic images via social media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), magazines, TV, and societal pressures to look a certain way.
  • Healthy outlook and behaviours – also improves with a more positive body image as it is easier to lead a balanced lifestyle with healthier attitudes and practices relating to food and exercise when you are in tune with, and respond to the needs of your body.
  • Healthy relationship with food: Often the clients therapy goals include “finding a healthy relationship with food” and of course, not to be thinking constantly about food. Being able to do everyday and day-to-day tasks without thinking about the next meal and how many calories may be in the meal.

 

A few factors have been found to influence the risk of developing a negative body image including:

  • Age – body image is frequently shaped during late childhood and adolescence, but body dissatisfaction can affect people of all ages and is as prevalent in midlife as young adulthood in women
  • Gender – adolescent girls are more prone to body dissatisfaction than adolescent boys; however, the rate of body dissatisfaction in males is rapidly approaching that of females
  • Low self-esteem and/or depression
  • Personality traits – individuals with perfectionist tendencies, high achievers, ‘black and white’ thinkers, those who internalise beauty ideals, and those who often compare themselves to others, are at higher risk of developing body dissatisfaction
  • Teasing – those who are teased about appearance/weight, regardless of actual body type, have an increased risk of developing body dissatisfaction
  • Friends and family who diet and express body image concerns – role models expressing body image concerns and modelling weight loss behaviours, can increase the likelihood of an individual developing body dissatisfaction regardless of actual body type
  • Body size – in our weight conscious society, larger body size increases risk of body dissatisfaction
  • Competitive sports in younger years –we have found a correlation with competitive type sports or dance in earlier years with poor body dissatisfaction, dieting behaviours, preoccupation with weight and shape. The patterns of disordered eating and weight obsession that can develop into eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, compulsive overeating, or binge eating disorder.

 

What do I do if I identify with poor body image and low self-esteem?

If you feel dissatisfied or unhappy with your body, feel like your body image gets in the way of being able to live your life or do the things you would like to, or you are engaging in restrictive eating or other unhealthy eating or exercise behaviours, then seeking professional help is important. Psychologists, dietitians, and other health professionals trained in body image and eating disorders can assist you to improve your body image and relationship with food and physical activity.

 

Is body image different to body dysmorphic disorder?

Many people can experience a poor body image, seeing their general physical appearance in a negative light (e.g., “I hate my body”). However, the term Body Dysmorphic Disorder, or BDD, is used to describe a more specific type of body image problem. BDD is marked by an intense preoccupation with a perceived flaw in one’s physical appearance. Individuals with BDD often spend significant periods of time worrying about and evaluating a particular aspect of their appearance. Large amounts of time may be spent ‘checking’ their appearance in the mirror, ‘comparing’ their appearance with others, and engaging in behaviours designed to try to hide or conceal the area of concern.

 

The individual usually experiences a significant disruption to their daily activities such as work, school, study, social activities, hobbies, everything! This is because they are facing excessive pre-occupation of this particular aspect of their appearance, thus resulting in frequent disproportionate emotional responses and withdrawal behaviours.

 

How about finding a psychologist that works with poor body image or eating disorders?

At Positive Wellbeing Psychology, we specialise in eating disorder treatment and poor body image. A psychologist will help by establishing a wraparound support with the treating individual, their GP, Psychiatrist and Dietician. We understand it can be a long journey and stressful for the individual and their family supports.

 

How Can Positive Wellbeing Psychology Help?

At Positive Wellbeing Psychology, we are here to walk through through the eligibility to access up to 40 session per calendar year with a psychologist and 20 sessions with a dietician. It is important to be kind to yourself and patient. Your body image develops over the course of your life, so changing a negative body image can take time and effort. If you are not satisfied with your body or are developing unhealthy eating or exercise habits, you can talk to a Psychologist at Positive Wellbeing Psychology. We have a special interest in poor self-esteem and poor body image, which often comes hand in hand with disordered eating. We guide you and adopt a range of evidence-based techniques and strategies to help shifting years of negative beliefs and unhelpful behaviours.

 

To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

Need more immediate help?

If you need immediate help, or your life is in danger, please call ‘triple zero’ (000). If you are thinking of harming yourself, it is important to reach out for immediate support. If someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please also call ‘triple zero’ (000) as a matter of urgency.

 

For more information on immediate supports, please click here.

ADJUSTMENT DIFFICULTIES

To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

Need more immediate help?

If you need immediate help, or your life is in danger, please call ‘triple zero’ (000). If you are thinking of harming yourself, it is important to reach out for immediate support. If someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please also call ‘triple zero’ (000) as a matter of urgency.

 

For more information on immediate supports, please click here.

COMMUNICATION DIFFICULTIES

Communication Difficulties

Communication is found to rapidly transform conflict and misunderstanding into trust and in some instance intimacy, improving mood, self-esteem, and even interpersonal functioning. You may be able to suddenly change the direction of your life and career by understanding effective communication strategies with a Melbourne-based psychologist at Positive Wellbeing Psychology.

 

How would this help with my interpersonal relationships?

Most of us can recall one time within our life where we recall struggling to feel connected to another person – perhaps with a friend, colleague, client, or customer, or even a family member. Perhaps you found it a little bit challenging to communicate certain feelings or needs resulting in feelings of frustration or anxiety. You may even recall feeling the person was a little critical of you, complained frequently, avoided expressing his/her feelings, displayed the need to be right all the time, seems to never listens to you, dismiss your feelings – resulting in discomfort.

 

> Read our blog on disarming intense conflict with a loved one here.

 

To begin, you may find it helpful to explore:

  • why communication issues may occur
  • working through any distress
  • explore difficulty that occurs because of frequent communication issues

 

How can a psychologist help?

A psychologist can help individuals examine communication strategies to determine whether one’s communication style adequately conveys one’s thoughts, needs, and goals. In therapy, individuals who find themselves often engaged in misunderstandings can explore what causes them to misinterpret the viewpoints of others or inaccurately convey their own ideas. Therapy can facilitate the improvement of interpersonal skills by helping individuals to improve the quality, nature, and frequency of their communications.

 

How can Positive Wellbeing Psychology help?

A dedicated psychologist at Positive Wellbeing Psychology can provide professional recommendations on the type of support beneficial to your goals and needs – ranging from family therapy, couples counselling, or individual therapy.

 

Our warm and caring psychologists in clinical practice are experienced in a range of proven techniques to help improve social and communication challenges and to explore best approach to improve and maintain interpersonal relationships. To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

Need more immediate help?

If you need immediate help, or your life is in danger, please call ‘triple zero’ (000). If you are thinking of harming yourself, it is important to reach out for immediate support. If someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please also call ‘triple zero’ (000) as a matter of urgency.

 

For more information on immediate supports, please click here.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION WITHIN THE WORKPLACE

Effective Communication within the Workplace

Most of us can think of one person in our life that seems to be able to easily and clearly express themselves, communicate their needs, and sometimes even disagree with the opinions of others, without upsetting the other person or being met with undue resistance. Read on if you identify with a little of this communication envy and find yourself wondering “why not me!?”

 

Perhaps you find yourself envying others who seem to action all the above and so well. At the same time, perhaps feel that you just could not express your own needs assertively and with confidence? You may even feel you are not worthy enough for your needs to be considered or met within the workplace, whether it be applying for a promotion or requesting a salary increase.

 

A few signs that you may have struggled with effective communication of your needs within the workplace:

  • Experiencing that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when there is uncertainty within the workplace.
  • Dread speaking to your line manager about your feelings or needs in relation to work matters.
  • Whatever you do seems to never be good enough.
  • Always having the negatives pointed out but not the positives.
  • Feel you are micromanaged and tend to feel suffocated often.
  • Avoid going into work or find yourself feeling anxious and worrying the night before.
  • Feeling overwhelmed and losing your sense of self on the weekends.
  • Experiencing a significant lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy doing.
  • Avoid certain areas within the workplace or people at work due to fear of failure or judgement.
  • Making excuses to not attend a social work event or withdrawal from the team.
  • Unsure how you are preforming within your role.
  • Feeling frustrated because you require additional support and resources within the business to meet your job requirements
  • Feel that you do not understand, or have not been provided clear and specific goals, objectives, and measurable outcomes
  • Thinking – “damned if I do, damned if I don’t”.

 

Uncertainty and anxiety can result in pushing certain needs under the rug, resulting in feeling even more deflated and frustrated. You may find yourself simply avoiding communication in the hope that something might change without saying anything at all.

 

Tools of communicating effectively and with confidence:

The tools of effective communication can be extremely valuable to managers and employees alike and enhance performance in work and business dealings as well as the quality of relationships at home with family and friends. Read more about effective communication here

 

What about poor communication within the workplace?

On the flip side, the deficiency in effective communication or poor communication within the workplace will inevitably lead to unmotivated staff that may begin to question their own worth in the business and their confidence in their abilities. Most of us have experienced complete demotivation in a past role at some stage in our working life.

 

To get started, organisations can improve and enhance effective communication between their teams by adopting the following big five strategies:

  1. Define goals and expectations – think measurable outcomes. So, for managers this means providing clear communication (verbal and written) on the expected key performance indicators. These would need to be achievable goals and outline exactly what is required on any given project. The goals would need to consider the resources and supports available to help the individual achieve this goal. Ensure staff members have a clear and concise understanding of the objectives of their role or particular project and how this contributes to the organisation as a whole.
  2. Clearly deliver your message – Ensure your message is clear and accessible to your intended audience. To do this it is essential that your choice of words is understood by your addressees and is communicated in a polite and respectful manner. You may have a higher level of understanding based on your years in the role, but do not assume or expect this level of understanding to be exhibited by individuals starting off in the role. Getting your message across clearly without causing confusion or offensive.
  3. Choose your medium carefully – Once you have created your message you need to ensure it is delivered in the best possible format. While face-to-face communication is by far the best way to build trust with employees, it is not always be the best option, especially during COVID-19 or work from home set ups. Take time to decide whether information delivered in a printed copy would work better than an email or if a general memo will suffice. Often the combination of written and verbal communication is most effective. Also keep in mind that staff members may respect receiving an email or text asking if they have a suitable time to discuss project XYZ, then sending an invite to discuss either over the phone, Zoom or in-person; as this collaborative approach builds trust rather than instil fear.
  4. Keep everyone involved – Ensure that lines of communication are always kept open and transparent. Actively seek and encourage progress reports and project updates. Checking in with staff or being available via phone at a set time each week can be comforting to staff members. Perhaps a team meeting in the morning to start the day and provide a brief with updates and to provide a forum space for staff to ask or verify any questions to prevent the bottle neck at the end of the project. This is particularly important when dealing with staff working remotely.
  5. Listen and show empathy – This means putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Trying to understand what they may be feeling, their needs, reasons for not actively showing up and predicting their measurable deliveries. Asking yourself – what might this be. If unsure, asking the individual why this might be. Is there relevant support and resources available? What are the barriers? How can you support them in achieving the goal? Communication really is a two-way process and no company or individual will survive long if it does not listen and encourage dialogue with the other party. Listening shows respect and allows you to learn about any outstanding issues you may need to address as an employer.

 

How can Positive Wellbeing Psychology help?

A registered Psychologist with experience in workplace communications can help improve communication within the workplace, resulting in an increase in workplace morale, productivity and overall a sense of achievement.

 

An experienced psychologist in the field of effective communication and workplace relationships works to assist the individual first by exploring a range of important factors that can both influence their delivery of communication and how the individual may interpret and/or receive the communication at hand. Some of these factors may include both parties’ needs and expectations, beliefs, assumptions, personality, level of support and most suited management style.

 

At Positive Wellbeing Psychology, we can provide support in effectively delivering communication to staff and/or at a management level. Arranging individual counselling with a registered psychologist under the Employment Assistance Program (EAP) or separately, would mean your business communications are effectively delivered to your staff. It also ensures staff members have a confidential and safe space to explore any difficulty within the workplace, thereby improving the individual’s level of satisfaction, mood and self-esteem, adjunct to reducing business turn over and increasing staff retention.

 

To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

Need more immediate help?

If you need immediate help, or your life is in danger, please call ‘triple zero’ (000). If you are thinking of harming yourself, it is important to reach out for immediate support. If someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please also call ‘triple zero’ (000) as a matter of urgency.

 

For more information on immediate supports, please click here.

RELATIONSHIPS DIFFICULTIES

Couples seek relationship counselling for a range of issues. Issues that are commonly addressed in therapy include:

  • Communication challenges
  • Frequent conflict
  • Emotional separation
  • Sexual challenges
  • Infidelity
  • Financial concerns
  • Parenting challenges

 

At Positive Wellbeing Psychology, we have use a range of therapy approaches and strategies including the Gottman’s Method of Relationship Therapy to help you feel more satisfied in your relationship.

 

Goals and Principles of the Gottman Method

The goals of Gottman Method Couples Therapy are to disarm conflicting verbal communication, increase intimacy, respect and affection, remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy in conflicting situations and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.

 

Common factors that affect intimacy

For some, achieving intimacy in their relationships can feel quite difficult. There are many things that can get in the way so we have outlined a few areas that may impact intimacy in relationships:

  • Communication – Poor communication in relationships is the root of many problems. For a more connected relationship learning to communicate in a healthy, loving, and non-judgmental way is critical.
  • Unresolved issues – Past hurts, anger, resentment, lack of trust or a sense of feeling unappreciated can be major roadblocks to intimacy.
  • External stressors – Money worries, stressful work situations, family drama or simply not having the time to focus on your relationship can cause tension that will get in the way of your feelings of connection and closeness.
  • Childhood trauma – Traumatic events from one’s childhood can shape the way one forms relationship as adults. There is a myriad of ways that these experiences can affect us. For example, if someone has been abused as a child, they may find it hard to trust and be close to others.

 

How to make a relationship or marriage last against the test of time?

Dr John and Julie Gottman developed nine components of healthy relationships known as ‘The Sound Relationship House Theory’. This theory is the foundation of the Gottman Method and counselling sessions work to meet each of the principles listed in theory. They came up with a diagram of a house which represents the relationship and it has seven different levels in it. The principle included important factors to be considered to maintain a close relationship.

 

Couples who want a closer relationship are encouraged to:

  • Build love maps – Each partner draws a map of everything their significant other loves, likes, hates and dive into their world. This helps each other think about their partner’s deepest desires and needs.
  • Share fondness and admiration – Look at each other as a bank account and make regular emotional deposits into each other. This means making a point to give your partner compliments, gifts, respect and anything else your partner will appreciate.
  • Turn towards instead of away – Always accept your partner’s “bids” for an emotional connection or special moment. Even if these bids are for something very small and seemingly insignificant, they do matter in the long run.
  • The positive perspective – This principle ties back to the importance of the foundation of deep friendship. Develop your friendship with each other and do enjoyable activities or spend time together.
  • Manage conflict – Be open to compromise with your partner and discuss your problems. Dr Gottman saw in his research that stonewalling is a large predictor of divorce, so it is important to talk things through rather than push them to the side.
  • Make life dreams come true – Support your partner’s goals and aspirations with all aspects of life.
  • Create shared meaning – Have a sense of purpose in your relationship and strive towards building a legacy. This can be very motivating especially during difficult times with your relationship.
  • Increase trust – it is vital that couples know their partner has their back.
  • Develop commitment – couples must act on the belief that their relationship is a lifelong journey for better or worse. If the relationship becomes worse, both partners must be willing to work to improve it.

 

Four communication styles that are reliable predictors of divorce:

During Dr John Gottman studies in relationship science, he identified four communication styles that are reliable predictors of divorce. He referred to these negative communication styles as the “four horsemen.” They include:

  1. Criticism – a personal attack on your partner’s character. It is different from a complaint, which is usually directed at a specific mistake.
  2. Contempt – the feeling that your partner is worthless and beneath your consideration. It is fuelled by prolonged negative thinking about your partner.
  3. Defensiveness – a typical response to criticism where the accused partner makes excuses for an error, tries to shift the blame, and refuses to take responsibility.
  4. Stonewalling – a typical response to contempt where one partner shuts down and refuses to respond or interact with the other.

 

Gottman’s research indicated that how couples argue as well as how they make up after a disagreement are important factors in determining the health of the relationship. He discovered that 83% of marriages that are impacted by the four horsemen become stable over time if both partners learn how to reconcile successfully after an argument.

 

How can the Gottman Method help my relationship?

The Gottman Method is a unique, science-based approach to couples counselling. It is based on the Sound Relationship House theory developed by John Gottman, Ph.D., and his wife Julie Gottman, Ph.D. The Gottman’s drew upon four decades of scientific research with more than 3,000 couples to deepen our understanding of relationships, marriage, and couples therapy. Their approach highlights the importance of assessment and skill development in managing conflict, overcoming barriers, increasing understanding, repairing past hurts, and improving connections in relationships.

 

The Gottman Method encourages couples to build love maps so each partner can learn about the other’s stresses, worries, hopes, joys and history. Admiration and love are strengthened via expressions of respect and appreciation. The Gottman Method emphasizes conflict management rather than conflict resolution. Marriage mates learn how to speak honestly about their convictions and aspirations, and this helps to build trust and commitment to a long-term relationship.

 

Where to start the journey of improving my relationship?

At Positive Wellbeing Psychology, we are here to listen and provide guidance using theories that have shown/proven to be effective in disarming conflicting verbal communication, increase intimacy, respect and affection, remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy in conflicting situations and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.

 

To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

ADHD

Almost everyone experiences some symptoms similar to ADHD at some point in their lives. However, ADHD is diagnosed only when symptoms are severe enough to cause ongoing problems in more than one area of your life. These persistent and disruptive symptoms have been shown to be traced back to early childhood years.

 

Defining Attention Deficit–Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):

According to ‘The New England Journal of Medicine’ (2020), ADHD is characterized by hyperactivity and impulsivity, by inattention or by a combination of hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention that is inconsistent with developmental level and impairs daily function (Cortese, 2020).

 

Symptom onset of ADHD:

ADHD is usually identified and diagnosed in children. In up to 70% of childhood cases, the symptoms persist into adulthood. In some cases, ADHD is not recognized or diagnosed until adulthood. Adult ADHD symptoms may not be as clear as ADHD symptoms in children. In adults, hyperactivity may decrease, but struggles with impulsiveness, restlessness and difficulty paying attention may continue.

 

The diagnosis of ADHD in adults has also been shown to be a little more difficult because certain symptoms of ADHD are similar to symptoms caused by other conditions such as anxiety or mood disorders. Many adults with ADHD have also been found to present with anxiety and/or depression.

 

Adult ADHD symptoms may include:

  • Impulsiveness
  • Disorganization and problems prioritizing
  • Poor time management skills
  • Problems focusing on a task
  • Trouble multitasking
  • Excessive activity or restlessness
  • Poor planning
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Problems following through and completing tasks
  • Hot temper
  • Trouble coping with stress

 

If any of the symptoms listed above continually disrupt your life, we recommend talking to your doctor about whether you might benefit from a referral for further assessment, diagnosis, and evidence-based intervention to manage symptoms of ADHD. It is important to highlight different types of health care professionals may diagnose and supervise treatment for ADHD. Seek a provider who has training and experience in caring for adults with ADHD.

 

How does ADHD impact daily life?

ADHD in adulthood often leads to unstable relationships, poor work or school performance, low self-esteem, among other difficulties in daily life. ADHD has been found to impact a range of emotional and behavioural difficulties in individuals. These challenges may present in the following ways:

  • Poor school or work performance
  • Unemployment
  • Financial problems
  • Trouble with the law
  • Alcohol or other substance misuse
  • Frequent car accidents or other accidents
  • Unstable relationships
  • Poor physical and mental health
  • Poor self-image
  • Suicide attempts
  • Risk taking behaviours

 

ADHD Treatment:

For children, young people, and adults the first-line treatment is pharmacological treatment. In the instance that psychological treatment is preferred, or where pharmacotherapy has proven to be only partially effective, or ineffective, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy should be offered as the psychotherapy approach (Read Full Article: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence, 2018).

 

Treatment for adult ADHD is somewhat similar to treatment for childhood ADHD. Treatment can include a combination of: (1) pharmacological treatment; (2) psychotherapy; (3) education and/or training and; (4) treatment for any mental health conditions that occurs along with ADHD.

 

We recommended discussing your individual assessment, diagnosis and treatment needs with your trusted general practitioner as a first point of call. Should you need additional guidance you can request an appointment with one of our psychologists at Positive Wellbeing Psychology, as we can provide guidance on accessing necessary and holistic supports. This is important as effective treatment usually adopts a combination of medication and psychotherapy with a registered psychologist.

 

Pharmacological Treatment:

The New England Journal of Medicine (2020) provided insightful findings on the pharmacological treatment for ADHD. Research shows medication helps by decreasing the severity of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. This study indicated that within periods during which individuals diagnosed with ADHD were receiving medication, a significant improvement in academic functioning and decrease in the following negative outcomes:

  • Unintentional physical injuries
  • Motor vehicle accidents (among male patients)
  • Substance use disorder
  • Criminal acts

 

On another interesting note, a review of literature also indicated little evidence that ADHD medication improved ones’ academic or work performance for use by a person without ADHD or use in a way that was not prescribed.

 

How can Positive Wellbeing Psychology Help?

At Positive Wellbeing Psychology, we are trained in evidence-based treatment approaches for ADHD. You can feel comfortable working together to help improve, understand, and manage symptoms of attention and hyperactivity. To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

Need more immediate help?
If you need immediate help or your life is in danger, please call ‘triple zero’ (000). If you are thinking of harming yourself, it is important to reach out for immediate support. If someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please also call ‘triple zero’ (000) as a matter of urgency.

 

For more information on immediate supports, please click here.

PANIC ATTACKS

To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

Need more immediate help?

If you need immediate help, or your life is in danger, please call ‘triple zero’ (000). If you are thinking of harming yourself, it is important to reach out for immediate support. If someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please also call ‘triple zero’ (000) as a matter of urgency.

 

For more information on immediate supports, please click here.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE WORKPLACE

Professional Development Within The Workplace 

 

Professional development within the workplace involves education and learning to achieve or maintain a professional credential.

 

Often adapting to new knowledge within the workplace and taking on additional responsibilities, results in an increased level of stress for most individuals – especially when starting a new role. Learning skills to manage your stress in a more effective way is fundamental, especially when feeling overwhelmed.

 

It can be hard to wind down at the end of the day. It is not uncommon to find the mind overthinking and worrying excessively about workplace difficulties or jumping to conclusions. Individuals in this overwhelmed and anxious state often find their mind thinking up ways to get out of the role – avoiding tasks and procrastination. Perhaps the ‘inner-critic’ is activated – sounding a lot like the “not good enough story”.

 

Excessive stress occurs when you perceive a lack of your own ability, resources and/or support to cope with the stress and demands in your life. This can impact on a number of other areas in life including sleep, leisure time, interpersonal relationships as well as mood, just to name a few.

 

You may benefit from additional support in the following areas:

  • Professional- and self-development needs
  • Improving wellbeing and self-care
  • Difficulty within the workplace
  • Doubting skills or level of competency or perhaps worth within your internship role impacting your experience
  • Perfectionism and setting unattainable standards resulting in increased stress and anxiety among other symptoms
  • Job or study dissatisfaction
  • Feeling of being trapped and feeling increased uncertainty on how to make a change
  • Stress, burn-out or inability to switch off
  • Struggling from an overactive mind at night due to finishing late with clients or work in general
  • Life transitions and adjustment difficulties in a new role
  • Emotional difficulties and feeling exhausted in your role
  • Difficulty getting to sleep or disrupted sleep
  • Panic attacks and anxiety within the workplace

 

How Can Positive Wellbeing Psychology Help?

 

Positive Wellbeing Psychology has a niche reputation for working with professionals/workers to improve confidence in their abilities and explore performance goals as well as strengthen workplace relationships with the objective being to establish a sense of achievement, meaning, and life satisfaction. You can feel reassured knowing you are speaking with warm and caring psychologists who understand.

 

To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

Need more immediate help?

If you need immediate help, or your life is in danger, please call ‘triple zero’ (000). If you are thinking of harming yourself, it is important to reach out for immediate support. If someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please also call ‘triple zero’ (000) as a matter of urgency.

 

For more information on immediate supports, please click here.

PERFORMANCE IN ATHLETES

Stress is one of the worst enemies for individuals who practice sports at a competitive or amateur level. Not only the stress that accumulates during physical activity, for example in the pre-race or in the most intense periods of training, but also everything that invests us during the day.

 

Our psychologists adopt a range of evidence-based practices grounded in neuroscience, cognitive-behavioural theories (CBT), acceptance and mindfulness-based sciences.

 

We enjoy adopting mindfulness-based practice, which is a type of meditation that allows for the reduction of cortisol, the stress hormone. By practicing mindfulness routinely and consistently, we allow our body to learn to relax and manage stressful moment in a healthier way. Research has shown competing under stress to have a negative impact on athletic performance (read full article here).

 

We work with the individual to establish goals and strengths to improve performance and life achievements.

 

Helping athletes across all sports

  • Reduce stress and burnout (strengthening the immune system)
  • Increase tolerance to pain (improve pain management in injured athletes)
  • Improve concentration, memory, and focus
  • Improve sleep (sleep hygiene) and recovery times
  • Improve endurance
  • Become more aware of yourself and your body
  • Manage work and life transitions
  • Achieve valued life goal

 

How can Positive Wellbeing Psychology help?

You may benefit from talking to a Psychologist to explore proven techniques to improve your mood, performance, and concentration. To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

Need more immediate help?
If you need immediate help, or your life is in danger, please call ‘triple zero’ (000). If you are thinking of harming yourself, it is important to reach out for immediate support. If someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please also call ‘triple zero’ (000) as a matter of urgency.

 

For more information on immediate supports, please click here.

EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Our Employment Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential service offered by employers to their employees.

Our registered psychologists work with employees to help overcome work-related and personal issues that may affect workplace attitudes, performance, productivity, and personal wellbeing. Our psychologists provide solution-focused counselling and coaching for employees with personal and work-related issues. Conveniently our services are delivered via video conference with afterhours and weekends sessions available

 

How can Positive Wellbeing Psychology help?
You may benefit from talking to a psychologist at Positive Wellbeing Psychology to explore some proven techniques to help overcome work-related and personal issues and to performance, productivity, and personal wellbeing.
To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions. Alternatively, your workplace may already have a EAP package set up with Positive Wellbeing Psychology. You can always check with them directly, or request to use our services under the EAP.

 

Our details to provide to your Employer:

Practice Name: Positive Wellbeing Psychology
Location: Telehealth via phone or video, Australia-Wide
Email: info@positivewellbeingpsychology.com.au
Phone: 03 9939 2111
Fax: 03 9015 6429

SUPPORT FOR PROVISIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST

A common question we hear is “do Psychologists see Psychologists?”

 

Our answer is – yes, of course! We believe the early stages of registration as a Psychologist in Australia can be anxiety provoking and increase anxiety and stress levels.

 

The typical psychologists journey requires a lot of new learnings, as well as being assessed and graded by their Board-Approved Supervisor and AHPRA. You will be exposed to a range of new presenting problems and referral reasons, mental health challenges and your client’s experiences may involve traumatic events, resulting in leaving work with a heavy load of stress on your shoulders.

 

You may benefit from additional support in the following areas: 

You may benefit from additional support in the following areas:

  • Professional- and self-development needs
  • Improving wellbeing and self-care
  • Difficulty within the workplace
  • Doubting skills or level of competency or perhaps worth within your internship role impacting your experience
  • Perfectionism and setting unattainable standards resulting in increased stress and anxiety among other symptoms
  • Job or study dissatisfaction
  • Feeling of being trapped and feeling increased uncertainty on how to make a change
  • Stress, burn-out or inability to switch off
  • Struggling from an overactive mind at night due to finishing late with clients or work in general
  • Life transitions and adjustment difficulties in a new role
  • Emotional difficulties and feeling exhausted in your role
  • Difficulty getting to sleep or disrupted sleep
  • Panic attacks and anxiety within the workplace

 

How can Positive Wellbeing Psychology help?

Positive Wellbeing Psychology has a niche reputation of working with early career psychologists and other health professional, to improve their confidence in their abilities, explore performance goals and strengthen workplace relationships to establish higher levels of life satisfaction. You can feel reassured knowing you are talking to Psychologists who understand and have experience in a range of settings.

 

Our Principal Psychologist, Emily Burton is familiar with the 4+2 and 5+1 Internship Pathway and Board requirements to becoming a registered Psychologist in Australia. With a GP referral you can access a Medicare rebate (click here for more information on rebates).

 

To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions.

 

NDIS - CAPACITY BUILDING & IMPROVING DAILY ACTIVITIES

Our registered psychologists have a wealth of experience in supporting you to manage your NDIS goals.

 

What to expect?

Early on in therapy, we discuss your goals to form the basis of our work together. Our goals are a great way to measure progress but can always be adjusted along the way to suit your needs and circumstances should they change during our time together.

 

What we provide:

Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, you may be able to access Capacity Building, Daily Activities – Improved Daily Living Skills – Therapeutic Supports, which includes Assessment, Recommendation, Therapy and/or Training (including AT) by a Psychologist (Support Item Reference Number: 15_054_0128_1_3).

 

Our skilled NDIS psychologists can help you:

  • Identify and work towards new goals
  • Find relief from negative feelings
  • Feel more independent
  • Reduce the impact of anxiety and depression in your life
  • Find new tools and techniques for coping with challenges
  • Improve your social skills to develop and enhance your relationships

 

What can you expect from your NDIS psychologist?

We focus on your individual needs and goals which we explore together in our first session. We understand you are leading the way in your journey and you are also the expert in your life experiences. We are here to listen and provide strategies that can be used day-to-day to empower you.

 

In our first session, we usually begin to explore what it is that you would like to achieve in our time together. We identify your strengths, interests, and goals. We find this early discussion allows us to provide you with the support and skills you are looking for in our time together.

 

Please let us know once you are registered with the NDIS and when you have allocated funds for Capacity Building within your plan. You can arrange an appointment if your NDIS plan is being managed by yourself or ‘plan managed’ by a third-party agency. You will also need to provide your participant number and your NDIS plan dates.

 

How can Positive Wellbeing Psychology help?

You may benefit from talking to a Psychologist and to share your story, explore goals collaboratively, learn how to apply a range of proven strategies to get the most out of life; yet strategies that are tailored to your needs.

 

To enquire about an appointment with Positive Wellbeing Psychology, please complete our Online Contact Form for new clients (click here). We’ll be in touch shortly to answer any of your questions. Alternatively, your support coordinator may like to send us an email – just pass on our details info@positivewellbeingpsychology.com.au.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

A client-centered approach to facilitate positive change and to improve overall life satisfaction, health and wellbeing.

Positive Wellbeing Psychology are trained in a range of evidence-based treatment approaches to help improve mental health and wellbeing. A few proven therapy approaches that may be adopted in treatment may include Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT and CBT-E for eating disorders), Brief Solution-Focused Therapy, Mindfulness, Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and The Gottman Method to Relationship Therapy.

WE BELIEVE IN HOLISTIC SUPPORT.

Positive Wellbeing Psychology collaborate with a number of warm and nurturing professionals who create a ‘wrap around support’ for our clients. Our professional network includes General Practitioners, Psychiatrists, Schools and other Allied Health Professions (incl. Dietitians, Nutritionists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, and Speech and Language Therapists). If you are reading this and hold similar values to support your clients, please reach out today.

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