Psychology for life’s traumas

Therapies & Treatments

Our team of mental health practitioners use a variety of therapies to support our clients.

EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is an evidence-based psychological therapy recommended for the treatment of trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in children, adolescents and adults. It focuses on supporting the mind to heal itself naturally in the same way as the body does and echoes the natural coping that occurs during sleep, particularly during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

Clinicians have also successfully used EMDR as a treatment component in the management of depression, anxiety, panic attacks, personality disorders, dissociative disorders, grief, pain disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, sexual or physical abuse, performance anxiety, stress reduction, disturbing memories, and phobias.

EMDR incorporates an eight phase approach:

  • Phase 1, 2, 3: Client history, treatment planning, preparation and assessment
  • Phase 4, 5: Desensitisation and Installation
  • Phase 8: Re-evaluation

Therapies addressing Structural Dissociation

Therapies used to address Dissociation assist parts of the person that have become compartmentalised or frozen during times of heightened stress, leaving the person feeling confused, with a sense of inner conflict, replaying traumatic events, difficulty controlling their behaviour, or disconnected with the world and/or themselves.

The therapies used draw on psychodynamic approaches that seeks to understand the purpose and nature of the compartmentalisation to assist in integrating the disconnected parts of self to a whole sense of inner harmony.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

How do you speak to yourself? CBT explores how helpful (or otherwise!) your thoughts are in the context of your behaviour and your emotions. It focuses on shifting from negative thoughts to those that are realistic and optimistic.

The basic premise of CBT works of the basis that thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and behaviours are interconnected. It works to identify and modify unhelpful thoughts, beliefs or schemes that are thought to be at the heart of psychological distress or pathology.

CBT is an evidence-based psychological approach that refers to a number of therapeutic modalities that unite through common principals including therapies such as: cognitive therapy (CT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), schema therapy, rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT), and problem solving therapy (PST).

    Therapies addressing Structural Dissociation

    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or ACT is a different form of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with a focus on mindfulness and management of uncomfortable thoughts and feelings to minimise their impact.

    In ACT the focus moves away focusing on the problem or solutions rather to change the way we interact with our thoughts. In ACT the focus is on accepting feelings as normal and appropriate responses by learning how to stop avoiding, denying and struggling with the thoughts and emotions. Understanding this helps to accept the challenges life brings and the issues they face with a commitment to making changes as required in their behaviour to live a more meaningful and value guided life.

    For more information, click here

    Internal Family System Therapy (IFS)

    Internal Family System Therapy is an evidence-based psychotherapy that works off the premise that trauma produces wounds that are held in exiled parts of us, which results in protective parts working hard to keep the pain away because the internal system has lost its connection with the self.

    Each part has a very important role to play in the system; to protect or hold wounds. They interact with each other and the world in ways that can seem dysfunctional. Therapy is aimed helping the person understand their internal family system, how their parts relate to one another and at healing wounded parts to restore inner balance and harmony.

    For more information, click here.

      Schema Therapy

      Schemas are important beliefs and feelings about oneself and the environment that are developed in childhood or adolescence and are elaborated upon throughout an individual’s life. Schemas are formed when needs are not met during childhood and then the schema develops into unhealthy life patterns.

      We view the world through schemas and they are an extremely stable, enduring negative pattern that is self-perpetuating, and are very resistant to change, often requiring therapy to change.

      Schema therapy was developed by Dr Jeffrey Young and is a version of CBT, however also incorporates psychodynamic therapy, attachment theory and other therapies.

      Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

      Dialectical Behaviour Therapy it is a modification of the standard CBT approach. It includes elements of acceptance and mindfulness and is an evidence-based treatment for suicidal behaviours, borderline personality disorder and other severe and complex mental health disorders.

      Developed by Professor of Psychology, Dr Marcia Lienhan, the goal of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is to learn techniques across four core groups of skills: mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness.

      For more information, click here.

        Telehealth or Online Therapy Sessions

        Our telehealth or online therapy sessions are fully compliant with health regulations for in-person appointments and is a successful option for people continuing treatment without physically coming into the clinic such as those who require self-isolation. For more information about online services read our Therapy Online Form fact sheet. Our Telehealth Consent Form outlines further considerations in the delivery of psychological treatment via telehealth and is required to be completed prior to treatment commencement.

        Covid-19 Information

        If you or someone you know are struggling as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic please speak with your GP, support person or discuss with your psychologist.

        The Australian Psychological Society has a variety of resources available including Covid19 Fact sheets.

        The Shellharbour Clinic delivers tailored, personalised treatment. The first step of exploring which of the above treatment approaches best suit your specific needs is a conversation with our therapists. For more information about our services, the people we work with or to simply start the process of treatment, please contact us.

        Please note – the above information about different treatments is general in nature and is for information only. Your psychologist or treating professional will provide more detailed information that is relevant and tailored to your specific circumstances.