Barry is happy to see adults, adolescents and children from around 5 years of age for:
Dealing with studies and how to cope with or accomplish different tasks given by teachers. This can include helping students to study, remember facts and being able to communicate ideas back via assignments. Many students also need assistance to cope with anxiety and or stress related to exams.
Adjustment issues can be described as a psychological response(s) to an identifiable stressor(s) such as the result of a natural disaster, relationship breakup, medical condition or accident that is severe enough to cause significant impairment. These responses can be complicated or pro-longed by other influences such as chronic pain or unemployment.
Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion and when it is managed properly it is not a problem. Everyone gets angry, and mild anger can sometimes be useful to express strong feelings and deal with situations. However, if anger is expressed in harmful ways, or persists over a long period of time, then it can lead to problems in relationships at home and work; and can affect the overall quality of your life.
Anger can result from misunderstandings or poor communication between people. However it is more often associated with frustration, for example, when things don’t go the way we want or people don’t always behave the way we think that they should. It is usually linked to or is a response to other negative emotions. You may be feeling hurt, frightened, disappointed, worried, embarrassed or frustrated, but may express these feelings as anger.
Anxiety & Phobias
Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by cognitive, somatic, emotional, and behavioral components. These components can combine to create an unpleasant feeling that is typically associated with uneasiness, fear, or worry. A phobia is an irrational, intense and persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, animals, or people.The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive and unreasonable desire to avoid the feared stimulus. When the fear is beyond one’s control, and if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders could be made.
Bullying and harassment occur when people use and abuse power to trouble, annoy or oppress a person. It is thought that up to 20% of students in Australian schools have experienced bullying and harassment. This figure may be even higher, because many problems are not reported. Bullying and harassment can often be based on perceptions about differences in culture, body size, gender, physical appearance, ability or disability.
It may come in many forms: physical (e.g. being hit, tripped, kicked, or pinched), verbal (e.g. being called names, teased or put down), psychological (e.g. being threatened, stalked or gestures) and social (e.g. being ignored, having rumors spread about you or excluding someone).
Depression is a very common illness, which can affect up to 20% of Australians at some stage in their lives. As a sufferer or as a supporter of someone with this illness, you are not alone. We do understand and want to help. Depression can be experienced in many different ways. It can occur suddenly or gradually, and can vary in severity and symptoms. Some people may be able to do everything they usually do but feel less energy, pleasure or concentration. While others may experience a severe and prolonged condition, with persistent sadness, negativity and difficulty coping with problems in life.
Difficult Life Events (DLE)
The term DLE refers to ordinary, but very painful or complicated experiences of our adult lives, such as change of any kind (e.g. age-related, geography, culture related or work-related), adapting to new situations, coping with relational problems and many other events.
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) gives employees a confidential source of counselling for any issue. EAP works for both employers and employees. Employees get the benefits of counselling for themselves, their partners and families. Employers get happier, less stressed employees who are more likely to feel that they can cope with works issues. Companies should feel free to contact us about establishing a program and rates for their employees.
Grief & Loss
Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss. It includes the emotion numbness, disbelief, separation, anxiety, despair, sadness, and loneliness that accompany the loss of someone or something loved. Although conventionally treatment is focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and philosophical dimensions.
Therapy in this area aims to promote positive health behaviors and reduce harmful health behaviors such as poor dietary habits, smoking, alcohol and other drug abuse, and physical inactivity; and in turn reduce risk factors associated with chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer and injuries.
We can investigate how disease affects individuals’ psychological well-being, and how psychological issues can contribute to the development of physical illness. But the real challenge lays in changing your attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that have contributed to the ill health.
Acute pain is mostly physical in nature, chronic pain, on the other hand, refers to the continuation of pain for greater than three months despite treatment and coping efforts by the individual. It has no protective role and is not necessarily associated with tissue damage. Chronic pain can impact all areas of a person’s life and is often associated with functional, psychological and social problems. In addition, chronic pain can have a significant impact on a person’s family and friends. Thus the treatment of chronic pain should include both medical and psychological interventions.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
A critical incident is any event or series of events that is sudden or unexpected (at least on that day), powerful (in loss, challenge or threat) overwhelming, or protracted but may not necessarily be outside of the range of the usual duties expected of personnel. Four conditions that can develop as a result of exposure to critical incidents are: Critical Incident Stress, Critical Incident Crisis, Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
When a critical incident results in stress to personnel it is not unusual for a range of cognitive, physical emotional and behavioral symptoms to be experienced for a period of about two weeks. Critical incident crisis can also develop and this is associated with a temporary state of psychological disequilibrium linked with emotional and physical distress; disruption of one’s usual effective coping abilities; and fear that one is losing control at times. Crisis resolves itself as homeostasis is restored with increased positive adaptive coping and decreased maladaptive coping within 4-6 weeks. Neither of these two conditions (critical incident stress or crisis) are classified as being illnesses or pathological states, but rather as a period of self-righting when people are most amenable for help.
When a person presents with symptoms of anxiety following an event that included actual or threatened death or serious injury or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others with a response that involves intense fear, helplessness or horror, with dissociative symptoms lasting between two days and four weeks of the traumatic event an ASD diagnosis may be applied. If the duration of symptoms that cause significant distress or impairment is greater than one month, in the presence of re-experiencing the event, avoidance of stimuli associated with the event and increased arousal then a diagnosis of PTSD may be applied.
No relationship is perfect and it is not uncommon for couples to drift apart after the honeymoon period is over. However, it is important to address these problems and unhelpful patterns as they arise. Because ignoring them and failing to create an understanding can cause damage to the relationship and reduce the self esteem, mood and performance of the individuals in the relationship.
We are all subjected to different amounts of stress, anger and anxiety in our lives, to which we respond, in individual ways. I consider exercise and relaxation to be the foundation for the treatment of most conditions and use a number of different methods to help clients relax.
Self-esteem is the opinions, feelings and thoughts that you have about yourself. If you have good self-esteem it means that you like yourself and you believe that you are as OK as everyone else.
If you have poor self-esteem it means that you believe that you are not OK, or that you are inferior to others. Those with poor self-esteem tend to focus on or magnify their perceived shortcomings, and ignore their strengths and achievements.
Low self-esteem can influence the way you behave with other people. You might find yourself being unassertive (not saying what you think, feel or want) or doing things you don’t want to do in an effort to please others. Having low self-esteem may allow others to walk all over you because you think that your needs don’t matter. Being treated badly by other people can reinforce the belief that you are not good enough, and can lower your self-esteem even more.
Childhood experiences play a large role in establishing your self-esteem, but it can evolve and change in reaction to life events and experiences.
Research has found that few of us remain completely satisfied with our sex lives over our life span. However, not all sexual difficulties can be cured by (or even need) a nasal spray (or Viagra) as suggested by some billboards, that are only focused on a portion of the male population. While there are few billboards attempting to address any of the problems that can be faced by women.
Many people suffer in silence or are too embarrassed to talk about their sexual problems. However sexual difficulties such as: mismatched libidos, pornography, masturbation, infidelity, and fantasies may lead to relationship break-ups or the failure to form relationships in the first place.
I am not going to be embarrassed discussing your sexual difficulties and options with you (regardless of your age, gender or sexual orientation), and you should not be embarrassed broaching the subject with me.
Shyness & Social Skills
For a shy person, facing up to their problem and taking action can be daunting. The best approach is to take things one step at a time. This way confidence and self esteem can grow gradually through experience and the shy person is then better prepared to move on to the next steps.
For the shy person that finds it awkward to interact with other people, but wishes to make more friends and possible romantic encounters, then developing social skills would be the perfect place to start. If shy people do not take action to overcome their shyness they can miss out on all sorts of exciting opportunities that many of us take for granted. Experts believe that the majority of communication between people is non verbal. The shy person usually needs to work on their body language in order to project a friendly and approachable image, make eye contact, smile and learn to initiate conversations.
Stress is a fact of nature, forces from the outside world affecting the individual. The individual responds to stress in ways that affect the individual as well as their environment. Hence, all living creatures are in a constant interchange with their surroundings, both physically and behaviorally. We usually think of stress as a negative experience, but stress can be a neutral, negative, or a positive experience. In general, stress is related to both external and internal factors.
External factors include the physical environment such as your job, relationshipswith others, or home, and all the situations, challenges, difficulties, and expectations you’re confronted with on a daily basis. Internal factors determine your body’s ability to respond to, and deal with, the external stress-inducing factors.
Internal factors which influence your ability to handle stress include your nutritional status, overall health and fitness levels, emotional well-being, and the amount of sleep and rest you get. Excess stress can manifest itself in a variety of emotional, behavioral, and even physical symptoms, and the symptoms of stress vary enormously among different individuals. Common physical symptoms often reported by those experiencing excess stress include sleep disturbances, muscle tension, headache, gastrointestinal disturbances, and fatigue. Emotional and behavioral symptoms that can accompany excess stress include nervousness, anxiety, changes in eating habits including overeating, loss of enthusiasm or energy, and mood changes. None of these signs or symptoms means for certain that there is an elevated stress level since all of these symptoms can be caused by other medical and/or psychological conditions.
It is also known that people under stress have a greater tendency to engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as excessive use or abuse of alcohol, drugs, cigarette smoking, and making poorer nutritional choices, than their less-stressed counterparts. These unhealthy behaviors can further increase the severity of symptoms related to stress, often leading to a “vicious cycle” of symptoms and unhealthy behaviors.
Although the experience of stress is highly individualized, what constitutes overwhelming stress for one person may not be perceived as stress by another. Likewise, the symptoms and signs of poorly managed stress will be different for each person.
Suicidal thoughts are troubling, especially when accompanied by depression, other psychological conditions, alcohol, substance abuse, or plans for suicide. This situation demands immediate evaluation. When doctors hear that someone wants to die, they refer to these thoughts as suicidal ideation and divide them into two categories: a) active and involve a current desire and plan to die; or b) passive, involving a desire to die but without a plan to bring about one’s death.
If you presently have suicidal thoughts and a plan for suicide you should seek immediate help by contacting the ambulance (Phone 000), community organizations such as life line’s 24 Hour Crisis Support Service (Phone 13 11 14) or the Emergency department of your nearest public hospital. A popular misconception is that you have to actually hurt yourself in order to get help; this is far from the truth.
Please note, our email system is only monitored during
office hours, Monday to Friday. If you need to make an
appointment or have an inquiry, please phone
(07) 3818 1356.