I assist clients to make positive change, gain clarity, focus and insight, develop emotional resilience and overcome personal challenges through the integrated use of complementary techniques suited specifically to individual requirements.
I work with individuals to help them undertake their journey towards achieving balanced and integrated cognitive and emotional states, including assistance with:
- Mood disorders
- Depression and anxiety
- Relationship Issues
- Sexual abuse assessment and treatment
- Pain management
- Workplace issues and conflict dynamics
- Life path and career issues
- Stress, emotional health and well-being
- Rehabilitation Services providing a range of therapies focused on pain management, return to work, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and assisting people’s rehabilitation
Adolescents & FamiliesAdolescence can be a challenging and confusing time, for both a teenager and their family/whanau. With guidance and support from a psychologist, adolescents can feel empowered to make positive decisions, overcome personal challenges, improve communication, create alternative narratives and address problematic behaviour.
I work collaboratively with couples to enrich and strengthen their relationship, acknowledge challenges and establish deepened communication. When frustration or dissatisfaction are replaced with understanding and respect, you can focus on developing a happy and sustainable relationship.
Common issues include:
- Lifestyle difference
- Disconnection or loss of intimacy
- Conflict, anger or violence
- Family concerns & merged families
ACC: Sensitive Claims; and claims for Mental Injury Resulting From Physical Injury
ACC now fully funds therapy for Sexual Abuse. We have clinics in Ponsonby, Northshore, and Hibiscus Coast. As a supplier to ACC, I have a team of experienced providers ensuring focus is on the individual. Our team of Clinical Psychologists includes a specialist Clinical Psychologist working with Children and Adolescents.
ACC also funds Psychological Services for a Mental injury resulting from a physical injury.
Students and Study Stress
Most of us spend a decade at school, and often we follow that up with other forms of education; so study is a big part of our life. Some of it is compulsory; but often it’s by choice. Whatever the situation, however, we all know that studying can be pressurising, and it can be stressful. At times it can feel quite overwhelming.
That’s hardly surprising. There’s the challenge of fitting it in with everything else, understanding the subject matter, memorizing it, learning how to apply it, getting the assignments in on time, keeping on the good side of the teacher. There’s exam stress – until we hear those bitter-sweet words, “Pens down!” There’s the wait for the results. And then there’s the next semester. Away we go again!
As students we have our own hopes and dreams, the competitive pressures of our peers, and the expectations of our loved ones. Of course it’s stressful. We can feel exposed, and scrutinised, and inadequate, and quite vulnerable.
Stress is both psychological and physical: it happens in body, mind and spirit, and it can leave you feeling chronically exhausted and disempowered and distracted – unless it is recognised, and then released.
We won’t perform to our own satisfaction without being under some pressure. The secret lies in seeing the bad stresses of life for what they are, and lazily brushing them away whenever they turn up to annoy and distract us. Our hopes and dreams are in our own hands, and we need to manage our feelings, and our choices, like everyone else. The good news is that managing stress is something you can learn. Our clients have found that it takes only three or four sessions for the ‘stressed-out’ student to:
- Differentiate between good stress and distracting anxiety
- Understand anxiety and its on-set
- See that it’s possible to over-ride anxiety
- Identify the underlying influences
- Cross-check your lifestyle for balance
- Begin to de-escalate distress
- Separate fear and anxiety
- Learn Mindfulness skills
- Feel calmer and back in charge.
Sometimes, of course, study stress is just the presenting symptom, and there are other significant life events or mental health issues to consider. If there are, we deal with them as they arise. In general, however, short term interventions are very effective in alleviating exam stress and study anxiety.
Parenting for Resilience in a Social Media World
Is your adolescent showing signs of low mood or even depression? Are they anxious and having difficulty sleeping, and talking a lot about “what other people think about them”? Are they self-harming? Research shows that depression, anxiety and self-harm have increased phenomenally for children aged 10 to 14.
Terms such as Helicopter parents, Snow flaking, anti-fragility, resilience, emotional dysregulation and emotional regulation are becoming colloquial.
This is a call to parents to make some changes. Yes, protecting your children will always be important, and that is why you are reading this. Social media infiltrates your child’s world, and when they don’t feel confident in who they are, when they don’t have the inner strength to stand alone if friends’ actions go against them, then they may well fall into low mood, nervous anxiety and self-harming. We all want to be liked and approved of, but when one’s self-worth depends on external validation the outcome will be low self-worth and confidence.
The best way to protect your children is to teach them how to make healthy, wise decisions and choices. If you do this they will be resilient individuals who believe in themselves.
So, if you want to raise strong people with independent minds, whose well-being comes from an internal sense of worth, who do not need to be validated by 5,000 ‘likes’ on social media you may need to re-consider how you protect your children. What happens when the young person’s parents lead them to believe they are the best, but they see this not true. They don’t have all the “right friends”, don’t get top marks, don’t win all the races, don’t get picked as the team captain. Low mood or, worse depression or anxiety, creep in. Self-worth plummets, and not knowing how to manage these feelings can lead to self-harm.
Child protection includes teaching sound Values and how to make safe, wise choices. It is important to teach empathy, caring about how one’s words and actions impact the other whilst holding onto one’s sense of self. Let your child make mistakes, and have safe adventures; and trust that as their parents you have taught them how to care for self as well as for others.
Building resilience into our children has never been easy; but the advent of social media has really turned up the heat, and in ways of which you may not be aware. You might appreciate some guidance in what to look for, and how to help your youngsters use the circumstances of daily life to build inner strength.
“I’m a late-forties male, married with two kids and working in a professional role. I guess I’m viewed by many as successful and not the type to need a psychologist. However I felt I needed to talk to someone and was referred to Lisa by my GP. I can’t speak to Lisa’s methodologies or the technical side of her approach, but what I can say is that she has helped me a great deal. With Lisa’s help I have been able to gain a whole new perspective on my life and personal relationships. After our initial sessions I still see Lisa on a less frequent but regular basis. I’m a better person as a result.”
Testimonial – Ross
“I was in a dark space when I came to see Lisa, and what an interesting journey. Lisa is amazing and always professional and caring. She has warmth and a great sense of humour, is empathetic and practical. Lisa is adept at getting me to think, and together we work through my fears and anxiety which can be hard work. During this time my anxiety has lessened, I feel happy and have gained confidence and a sense of worth.
I look forward to my sessions with Lisa, love the chats and always the laughter, a healer.
See Lisa and feel the support and growth along the way.”
Testimonial – Julie