Get to Know Our Staff Psychologists: Danielle Kaufman

One of the most important things when it comes to seeing a psychologist is building rapport.

While qualifications are essential, without positive rapport children simply won’t benefit from counselling…

So we invite you to get to know a bit more about our staff before you consider engaging their help.

First up, meet Dani Kaufman — a talented and skilled psychologist with a wealth of experience working with kids.

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Distinguishing Behaviours — The Difference Between Shyness, Introversion and Social Anxiety

During the formative years of childhood and adolescence, it can be difficult for a parent to understand what their child is going through.

Particularly when it comes to mental and emotional challenges, the lines between what’s normal and what might need to be addressed can be very blurry.

Depression versus sadness; anxiety versus stresslearning difficulties versus disengagement…

They can all present overlapping signs and symptoms.

That’s why psychologists are constantly researching and analysing these conditions, so that they can be addressed and rectified as early as possible.

Social anxiety, shyness and introversion are three concepts which can be confused for this exact reason — they all lie on the same spectrum.

But while the latter two can be harmless and even positive personality traits, social anxiety can interrupt a sufferer’s ability to function on a day to day basis.

So what’s the difference?

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The Role of Diet in Memory and Mental Health

We all know the effects that a poor diet can have on our physical health.

In the long term, a diet high in fat and sugar can lead to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and a huge range of other physical ailments.

And in the short term, a poor diet lacking in nutrients can make us fatigued, lethargic and interrupt our ability to concentrate.

But doctors and neuropsychologists are increasingly discovering the impact that our diet has on our mental health, as well as our physical health.

And this impact has a significant affect on children and how they perform at school.

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Why We Should Avoid Asking ‘Why?’

When children exhibit behaviour we disapprove of or don’t understand, one thing often comes to mind (and from our mouths)…

Why?

‘Why haven’t you done your homework?’ 

‘Why did you leave your clothes on the floor?’

‘Why aren’t you playing with your friends today?’

The list of curiosities and questions goes on and on, likely on a daily basis.

But there’s a good reason why we should avoid asking why, says our staff psychologist Christina Rigoli, and it’s all about clarity of communication.

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‘Brain Training’ for Happiness

More news on how we can rewire our brains

We recently published a blog post discussing the importance of gratitude, and what it can give back to you.

Research has shown that our sense of gratitude is directly linked with our sense of life satisfaction.

That is, the more gratitude we feel and express, the happier we are.

And the less grateful we are, the more disappointment we feel.

And disappointment gets in the way of our happiness!

It’s a simple formula… and one that to some people may seem too simple to be true.

But now, research is suggesting that this correlation is not just a theoretical one, it’s a neurological one!

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Educational Needs: What Your Child Should be Getting Out of Their Schooling

There’s little question as to how and why teachers are such important and influential figures in our children’s lives.

Not only are they imparting knowledge and skill, they are also having a huge impact on their student’s psychological and emotional development.

And the best teachers can navigate all of your child’s education needs while keeping them motivated and engaged with school life and the study materials.

A recent article in The Conversation has identified what exactly our children’s Educational Needs are, and what we need to look for to ensure they are being met.

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How Therapy Can Rewire Your Brain

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is an approach used by many psychologists to help their patients deal with a variety of mental and emotional challenges.

It’s a problem-focused, action-orientated talking therapy that has proven to be extremely beneficial in the treatment of depression and anxiety. 

And the principle that underlies the therapy is that if we can change the way we think, we can change the way we feel…

By training ourselves to identify negative, dysfunctional and destructive thoughts (a less intuitive task than you may think), we can then begin to work on replacing them with healthy ones. 

And the benefits of CBT have been championed by psychologists for decades.

But now, new research suggests that CBT can not only change our thought patterns, it can literally rewire our brains! 

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Starting the New School Year on the Right Foot

Summer holidays have been and gone, and the beginning of the new school year is upon us.

And the transition from long days and late bed times back to a rigid routine can be a bit of a shock to the system.

But with some effort put into how you and your children will approach the new school year, you can make the change as smooth as possible and help your child get the most out of their schooling.

So with some reflections from our blog posts from over the years, here are some of our top tips for making 2017 your child’s best academic year yet.

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Some Parental “Don’ts” for the First Day of School

Next week will be the first day of school for thousands of new students.

And while the day and the lead up can be scary for the children, it’s often even scarier for the parents!

Worrying about how they’ll handle the new environment, if they’ll make friends, if their teacher will like them and a myriad of other variables can be anxiety inducing for any mum or dad.

But Julia Alexander of The Huffington Post has offered a few practical and helpful tips to try to make the transition a lot easier for you, which will help to make it easier for them.

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How to Become a Better Listener

A concept that comes up a lot on this blog and in our dealings with children and parents is the importance of listening. 

Really listening to your children is an integral way to build or maintain a healthy and mutually respectful relationship.

And especially for adolescents, having someone to talk to openly and honestly about the challenges you are facing can make all the difference…

For parents, actively listening to your children helps you to understand where they’re coming from in all matter of issues, from bullying to problematic behaviour or depression and anxiety

And this can help you to make better choices in your interactions with them going forward.

But how do we know if we’re being good listeners? 

And how can we become better listeners?

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How can we help?

Book your initial parent consultation to get the right advice for your child's needs

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Got any questions before you book? Click here to request a phone call and a psychologist will call you at a convenient time (prospective clients only). Please keep in mind we are often busy with clients but we do our best to respond to all enquiries within one business day. :-)

Why have 2,866* parents chosen us?

(*As of 24th July, 2019.)

  • Private and confidential: We are a private service so you will receive 100% independent and confidential advice.
  • Child and adolescent experts: We only work with school age children, teenagers and parents.
  • Education and school experts: We will help you navigate the school system to get the best possible results for your child.
  • Qualified and experienced: We only employ psychologists with a master degree or higher and experience working in schools.
  • Fast appointments: We don't keep a waiting list and see most new clients within 7 days.
  • Convenient location: We are in Middle Park with easy access from many parts of Melbourne and unrestricted street parking.
  • Trusted methods: We use approaches that are strongly supported by research evidence or clinical experience.
  • Lovely beachside office: You will love our quiet, modern and attractive office, with its beach and ocean-themed rooms.