About our counselling style

Our services are provided by experienced Child Psychologists, specialising in Educational Psychology, with an emphasis on evidence-based methods tailored to the individual.

Counselling styles

We use elements drawn from the following counselling styles:

  • Person centred therapy
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
  • Solution focused brief therapy
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Narrative therapy
  • Play therapy for young children
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A variety of approaches may be used depending on the individual needs of the client.

Person-Centered Therapy focuses on the client with genuineness and honesty with real empathy, respect and acceptance. There is unconditional positive regard for the client which allows the client to feel safe and secure within the counselling environment.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) involves recognising distorted thinking and learning to replace thoughts with more realistic substitute ideas.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy focuses on what clients want to achieve through therapy rather than on the problem or problems that made them seek help. The approach does not focus on the past, but instead, focuses on the present and future.  Deborah often uses this approach with a variety of life coaching techniques and worksheets that she had created. This assists clients to achieve their goals and achieve lasting change.

The aim of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is to help clients live a rich and meaningful life while accepting that suffering is an inevitable part of human experience.

Narrative Therapy finds ways of developing insight into the stories of the client’s life. Narrative therapy is sometimes identified as having the client “re-authoring” or “re-storying” their experiences. In Narrative therapy a problem is something you have, not something you are, thus the stories of people’s lives are pivotal to an understanding of the individual.

Play Therapy provides an opportunity for the child to ‘play out’ his or her feelings and problems just as, in certain adult therapy, an individual may ‘talk through’ their difficulties. A child’s self-understanding is one of the major goals in this approach.

Focused Psychological Strategies (FPS)

Under the Medicare System, we emphasise the delivery of approved Focused Psychological Strategies (FPS), which have been specified as:

Psycho-Education — involves giving the client information about the mental health disorder, including its occurrence, symptoms and related difficulties, origins, diagnosis and recommended treatments.

Motivational Interviewing — assists to build the motivation for change in clients who are either hesitant or who are reluctant to change. Discrepancies between a client’s current behaviour and their goals are highlighted as a vehicle to trigger behaviour change.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) — CBT has two aspects: behaviour therapy and cognitive therapy. Behaviour therapy is based on the theory that behaviour is learned and therefore can be changed. Cognitive therapy is based on the theory that distressing emotions and maladaptive behaviours are the result of faulty or irrational patterns of thinking. Therefore, therapeutic interventions are aimed at replacing such dysfunctional thoughts with more rational cognitions, which then leads to an alleviation of problem thoughts, emotions and behaviour. CBT interventions include the following:

Behavioural interventions

  • Behaviour modification (particularly for children, including analysis of behaviour and contingency management)
  • Exposure techniques
  • Activity scheduling

Cognitive interventions

  • Cognitive analysis, challenging and restructuring of thoughts
  • Self-instructional training
  • Attention regulation

Relaxation strategies

  • Guided imagery
  • Deep muscle relaxation
  • Isometric relaxation

Skills training

  • Problem-solving skills training
  • Anger management
  • Stress management
  • Communication training
  • Social skills training
  • Parent management training

Some assessment may form part of the initial consultation with the client in preparation for treatment, but this generally should not extend beyond the initial consultation. ‘Assessment’ refers to clinical interviewing and psychometric testing for the purposes of clarifying and mental health diagnosis.

[Source: APS Website]

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