Mental Health Topics

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How Lack of Sleep Affects your Relationship

Posted on April 22, 2019 in Sleep -

We all know how it feels when you’ve not had enough sleep- tired, cranky, irritable, unproductive and overwrought. Even the simplest task can seem overwhelming and this is largely due to the fact that your brain and cognitive function is not operating at optimal levels.

So, it’s not surprising that when it comes to navigating a relationship, sleep deprivation can cause major problems. Clinical Psychologist and Towards Better Sleep Facilitator, Kathryn Smith, says; “The part of your brain that monitors mood and emotions, called the amygdala, is affected when you are sleep deprived, causing you to overreact to situations that normally wouldn’t bother you.”

Research suggests, and anecdotally I can concur, that lack of sleep can also lead to increased stress, as well as anxiety and depression, all of which put pressure on relationships” Smith says. Often people think there are problems with their relationships when in reality, the stressors and irritations are a result of not enough sleep or other lifestyle choices.

Lack of sleep can also lead to a decline in overall health, with your body deprived of the downtime it needs to restore and replenish cells. Enter the relationship triple threat- stressed, tired and sick. An unhealthy you can often lead to an unhealthy relationship and some very testing times.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, evidence suggests that people with insomnia have a ten-fold risk of developing depression and an increased risk of other co-morbid conditions.

Another key consideration when it comes to relationships is the importance of giving each other enough time. It can be challenging to feed your relationship when life pulls you from pillar to post, and with Mr Sandman beckoning, date night can fall to the wayside. Setting aside time and committing to quality time together can make a real difference.

However, the underlying sleep problems or other health concerns that are affecting a relationship need to be addressed and it’s important to encourage your significant other to seek professional help.

Clinical Psychologist Kathryn Smith and Psychiatrist Dr Curt Gray have been effectively treating insomnia with cognitive behavioural therapy through their long-standing group programme, Towards Better Sleep. Unlike sleep medication, CBT is not a quick fix and takes time to work, which is why the programme spans across 6 weeks, focusing on education, behavioural techniques, correcting faulty thinking and relaxation strategies.

A group setting has proven an effective setting to treat people with sleep problems, allowing participants to share their experiences and learn from one another in a more cost-effective way. If you think you could benefit from group therapy, talk to your GP about your suitability for the Towards Better Sleep programme. Or, if you would like to speak to a Psychologists about improving your relationship, visit our website for the list of Clinical Psychologist based at Morningside and Newmarket.




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Road rage:why normal people become harmful on the roads

Posted on August 8, 2016 in Health & Wellbeing -

By Dr Stan Steindl & Dr James Kirby, Clinical Psychologists

Published by The Conversation August 5, 2016

Anger can be very quick, powerful, reactive, and can make us do things we typically wouldn’t do. There is nothing inherently wrong with anger as an emotion, but nowhere is anger less helpful, more common, and potentially more dangerous than when we are behind the wheel of a car.

Most of us are familiar with “road rage”. There are, of course, extreme examples of violence and assaults on the roads that end up in the courts, hospitals, and the media. But every day, drivers get angry and aggressive, and the evidence is mounting that this can put themselves and others at great risk.

The science of road rage

Usually road rage is triggered by a specific event. These events will often involve the actions of another driver, such as a slow driver, a driver changing lanes without indicating, or other behaviours that we interpret as a threat or an obstacle.

Our response to these specific triggers are influenced by a range of factors, including:

  • person-related factors such as age, gender, beliefs, or mood
  • contextual stressors such as heavy traffic, time pressures, road works, or hot temperatures
  • our interpretations of the incident: for example, personalising (“they cut me off on purpose!”), catastrophising (“you could have killed me!”), overgeneralising (“people are hopeless drivers!”), and standard violations (“people should watch where they’re going”)
  • other factors such as the anonymity we feel in the car, or the inability to communicate in another way.

In fact, a range of behaviours stem from driving when angry, including everything from honking the horn, yelling abuse and demonstrating hostile gestures, through to tailgating or dangerous manoeuvres on the road, and ultimately getting out of the car to carry out verbal attacks or physical violence.

A recent study confirmed the link between “driving anger” and certain aggressive and risky behaviours when it found anger while driving significantly predicted aggressive driving, risky driving, driving errors, as well as number of accidents.

And it’s not a new phenomenon. The idea that generally decent people become full of anger and rage when they hop into a car has been with us since the advent of cars themselves. Remember the 1950 Disney cartoon, “Motor Mania!”, starring Goofy. At first a mild-mannered everyman, he turns into a monster the moment he gets behind the wheel.

I’m a great driver, what’s wrong with everyone else?

Worryingly, an Australian study of 220 licensed drivers found that along with driving anger, the driver’s bias towards their own illusion of control predicted aggressive behaviour. Drivers who believed (perhaps falsely) they were in greater control of their situation, due to superior driving ability or skill, were more likely to drive in risky and aggressive ways.

Driving anger and the illusion of control are a dangerous combination. On the one hand, a person who is angry and holds the belief they are in control of the situation is more likely to drive in a risky and aggressive fashion. On the other, research has demonstrated our various cognitive functions, such as attention, reasoning, judgement and decision-making, can be impaired by anger. The result is a perception of lower risk, a greater willingness to take risks, and cognitive effects that actually increase the risks.

Road rage impacts everybody on the road. So there is a strong public health rationale for the development and promotion of interventions to reduce driving anger and incidents of road rage.

Fortunately, there is emerging evidence that psychological interventions hold hope for angry drivers. A recent review found evidence supporting cognitive and behavioural interventions to reduce and manage driving anger.

This includes changing anger-evoking cognitive patterns or faulty thinking (such as those interpretations listed above), learning relaxation coping skills for when anger is aroused, and finding strategies to solve difficult situations on the road and de-escalating anger so our choices are less aggressive and more safe.

How to not be swept up in driving anger

  • Watch out for the illusion of control. Remember the old saying, 80% of drivers believe their driving skills are above average – a statistical impossibility
  • remember our common humanity – everyone on the road, ourselves included, are merely human beings with good bits and not so good bits trying to do the best they can. We are all in this traffic together and it can be frustrating for us all
  • consider other drivers might not be malicious – we often jump to conclusions about other drivers and assume they do things on the road to affect us personally. Usually, the person’s actions are caused by benign motivations
  • avoid blame and punishment, and be forgiving – we can accept that negative events happen and that as human beings we all make mistakes. Maybe they were distracted in that moment, maybe they are in a hurry, maybe it was just a case of human error, which we’re all guilty of
  • let go of the struggle – red lights, traffic, delays, inconsiderate drivers – struggling with any of it will only make matters worse for you. We can accept and tolerate the inevitable frustration and provocation
  • breathe – slow it down, find a way to breathe that soothes you such as finding a slow, controlled rhythm, and reduce the physiological arousal associated with anger
  • speak to yourself in a friendly voice, with reassurance and validation. “Oh, that was a close call. You’re safe and all is OK. That person made a mistake, and we all make mistakes.”
  • focus your attention on safe, calm driving, ensuring you get yourself to your destination safely and without incident.

To read more about the authors, visit the Brisbane Psychologists page of our website.

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How to leave stress at the front door

Posted on August 5, 2016 in Health & Wellbeing -

For most Australian’s, our daily lives operate at a frantic pace and thanks to new technology, smart phones and lightening speed internet, the expectation to respond to communication, anywhere, anytime, means finding the perfect work life balance can be a real challenge.

So it’s little wonder that as a nation, our stress levels are increasing and with that comes a raft of mental and physical health impacts. According to the 2013 Stress and Wellbeing Survey conducted by Australian Psychological Society, Australian’s had significantly lower levels of wellbeing and significantly higher levels of stress and distress, and depressive and anxiety symptoms than in previous years.

But rather than sit back and accept these statistics, let’s take charge, make a change and start reducing daily stress levels. Here are 5 practical ways to regain work life balance and improve your health and wellbeing.

1. Set boundaries around work time and location

Making a rule around not bringing work into the home can be difficult, especially with the expectation that we must be accessible 24/7. But by leaving the laptop at work you may also be more likely to leave the stress of work there too. If you work from home or it is simply not feasible to do this in your position, allocating set times that you work and areas of the house that you work from, may help you ‘shut off’ and stop work stress seeping into your home life.
2. Put the Smart Phone Down!

According to a Roy Morgan Research study, 45% of Australian smart phone owners (14+ years) say they can’t live without their mobiles. Our obsession and absolute dependence on our smart phones is making it even more difficult to walk away from work with emails accessible at a swipe. Forming some healthy habits around when and where you use your smart phone may help you switch off, allowing you to relax, be present and enjoy home life. Research also shows that the blue/green light omitted from smart phones impacts negatively on sleep, so keeping phones and laptops away from the bedroom is a must.
3. Share and commit to the plan

Sharing your plan to ‘leave work at the office’ with loved ones or friends will help make your commitment real. Give them the power to call you on it, if you are sneaking in one more email before bed or taking calls when you should be relaxing with the kids. Sharing your ‘de-stress plan’ and forming a good support network will also help share the burden of stress or help manage the symptoms.
4. Form an End of Work Ritual

Making a cue or signal that works has finished for the day may help your brain switch off. Whether it is going for a run, hitting the pilates studio or listening to music on the way home, these are simple ways to say to yourself and others, ‘I am done for the day’!
5. Exercise

There really is no better de-stressor than exercise. This can be time just for you to unwind, work on your fitness and have a bit of “me time”.  Exercise has been clinically proven to increase serotonin levels in the brain and is a natural mood enhancer. It can also help you think things through, decompress and work through any baggage you may have taken on for the day.

Achieving the right work life balance can be a challenge in our fast pace society but by learning how to manage stress; you can significantly improve your health and wellbeing. If you are struggling with stress, talking to a professional can help. Psychology Consultants have a team of Clinical Psychologists based at Morningside and Newmarket, who are experienced in stress management. Visit the Brisbane Psychologists page of our website to view the team and their areas of specialisation.


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Three four check the door….Nine, ten and again…

Posted on July 28, 2016 in Anxiety & Depression -

By Kathryn Smith, Clinical Psychologist

Many of us from time to time have turned back to our house or car to check if we have locked or have wondered if we have left the iron on only to find later that these concerns were unwarranted. We also from a young age play out some superstitious beliefs by not walking on the cracks in the pavement, not walking under ladders or taking our lucky pen to our exam.

For most of us, these thoughts about something bad happening if we do or don’t do something are not given too much credence. We are able to push that element of doubt from our mind about something bad happening and be able to move on with our day.

Unfortunately, a small percentage of the population (estimated 1-2%) experience significant difficulties in tolerating uncertainty. Locking the door and leaving the house in the morning for example can create significant distress and anxiety that it feels impossible to leave as they think they cannot be 100% certain and if something bad happens they will be blamed. This type of behaviour that generates significant distress and anxiety, which then goes on to interfere with a person’s day to day functioning, is often diagnosed as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder otherwise abbreviated to the acronym of OCD.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder refers to a cluster of symptoms such as anxiety, negative and intrusive thoughts which are the obsessions and compulsions frequently demonstrated in behaviour or some type of undoing ritual. For example, someone with OCD may have the thought that they have touched something that can lead to contamination. In an effort to reduce this distressing thought, they will compulsively wash their hands. The problem is, the more they wash their hands, the more they reinforce the thought that something bad may happen to them as they never collect any other evidence to the contrary. To put it in simpler terms, despite having red raw hands, they often don’t get sick which they attribute to the hand washing ritual rather than a normal experience. When they do get sick, this will often increase the hand washing ritual.

Paul Salkovskis, a well-known psychologist in the field of OCD often refers to the sufferer as having an exaggerated sense of uncertainty and an emphasis on the concept of responsibility. Performing a ritual will then go to reduce their level of distress but it is only temporary until the next negative thought occurs. Sufferers also commonly think that if they have a thought about something then this can possibly be true. Another researcher in the field of OCD (Rachman) referred to this concept as ‘thought-action fusion’. So for example, if I think that I have run someone over on my way home despite no external evidence, this may then be true. I then will feel compelled to check. OCD can happen in all shapes and forms. It doesn’t discriminate by age, social status, gender or education. Some individuals have such distressing thoughts often expressed in sexual, religious or violent forms, that they believe they are capable of committing some heinous act and they are too afraid to speak of these thoughts. Others may get stuck for hours performing one ritual. Families and relationships will often suffer. Jobs are sometimes lost. There is often a sense of intense shame experienced by the sufferer and many suffer in silence.
There is help for OCD and you don’t need to suffer in silence.

Many people with OCD respond to psychological therapy with the occasional assistance of some medication that may be prescribed by their GP or a psychiatrist. Therapy basically consists of reinforcing a healthy way to think and gradually decreasing compulsions which allows the individual to understand that often something bad does not happen if at all. If you think that you may be suffering from OCD or anxiety, maybe it is time to speak to your family and GP and raise your hand for some assistance. Remember…just because you think it, doesn’t mean it’s true.

Kathryn Smith is an experienced Clinical Psychologist and co-director of Psychology Consultants Brisbane. To read Kathryn’s bio and view our full team of Clinical Psychologists, visit the Brisbane Psychologists page of our website:

For further information on OCD the Beyond Blue website contains many useful resources, visit

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“You’re too sensitive!”

Posted on April 1, 2016 in Health & Wellbeing, Mental Health Topics -

by Cherie Dalton, Clinical Psychologist

“My biggest weakness is my sensitivity” . That’s how Mike Tyson described himself. Winona Ryder also said of herself, “You go through spells where you feel that maybe you’re too sensitive for this world”.  I’ve thought a lot about sensitivity in my life. “You’re too sensitive” was a childhood catch-cry. In a world that prizes corporate pressure and competitiveness, ‘handling it all’, constant drive, stimulation and being busy, tough decision-making and keeping emotions ‘under control’; let’s face it, sensitive people are often mistakenly labelled as weaker and more vulnerable and sensitivity can be viewed more as a burden than a gift.

If you’re still reading this article, it may be because you can identify with being a sensitive person or know someone who is. Research suggests that 15-20% of the population identify as highly sensitive. The trait was first researched by Elaine Aron, author of ‘The Highly Sensitive Person’. She believes having a sensitive nervous system is less common yet very normal and if you’re a sensitive person, you might:

  • Be extra aware of subtleties in life
  • Be particularly understanding and empathetic
  • Feel the need to withdraw on busy and demanding days
  • Be deeply moved by the arts, music or kindness
  • Get rattled and exhausted by loud music, bright lights, strong smells or sirens
  • Be easily startled
  • Be conscientious
  • Be a responsible person

People vary broadly as to how much their nervous system responds to situations. Sensitive people tend to notice, reflect-on and process information unobserved by others, absorbing their environment. This can be overwhelming at times yet also incredibly helpful and positive. Like all personality traits, sensitivity has its advantages and disadvantages. Positively, experiencing sensitivity allows for compassion and deep experiences of appreciation of beauty and life. According to Aron (1999), sensitive people do well in a huge range of life situations as they are better at detecting errors and avoiding mistakes, they are especially good at activities that rely on vigilance, accuracy, speed and detection of differences. They reflect on their own thinking and feeling, are intuitive and particularly empathic. They are affected by others and therefore, connect well and tune- in to others easily. They are often considerate, enthusiastic and supportive people. They learn intuitively and without being aware of learning and they process information thoroughly so they are often cautious, wise and insightful. They consider consequences and simple things often mean the most to them. To quote John Haltiwanger (2015), “The world needs more people with sensitive souls, as they’re innately self-aware and empathetic. Individuals with these qualities are natural leaders…They understand both themselves and others, which is a product of their own sensitivity”.

The tricky part of sensitivity can be its impact on ones energy and peace. When overstimulated, a sensitive person can become overwhelmed and frazzled and at times, less understanding and caring as a result. There may be a need to withdraw to recover and a heightened need to pace themselves and factor in quiet time to reduce the risk of feeling stressed and anxious. As Aron points out, human’s function best when their nervous systems are neither too underaroused nor too overaroused and finding this balance and understanding it, is key. Humans function optimally when they realise their strengths, yet detect and manage any over-use of these strengths.

Anthropologically, societies need two groups to succeed and survive – a type of warrior group and the advisors. Warriors subscribe to ideas of expansion, freedom, extroversion, risk-taking, and boldness which have enormous value. On the flip-side, a society requires balance with an advisor group providing calm and stability to the impulses of warriors. Sensitive people naturally fall into this advisor group and are often drawn to respected professions where they are considered caring and responsible, diligent and insightful, concerned with the wellbeing of society and its people. Sensitive people are often among the advisors and planners, the spiritual and moral compass of society where sensitivity is something to be utilised and be proud of (Aron, 1999).

Sensitive people can:

  • Embrace the strengths possessed by this trait
  • Acknowledge the enormous contribution being sensitive makes to life and society
  • Focus on developing a kind and acknowledging understanding to support themselves in a world of people who may not share or understand sensitivity
  • Lead a balanced life, with awareness and self-care
  • Nurture the nervous system and notice and manage overcommittment or overinvestment in people or things
  • Ensure opportunity for quiet and still periods with time to nurture close relationships
  • Pay attention to maintaining appropriate boundaries and assertiveness
  • Learn skills to manage avoidance and withdrawal from situations that may be desired
  • Run their own race and acknowledge the strength of sensitivity and the rich life this offers
  • Practice self compassion to support oneself.

Overall, use sensitivity to guide a full appreciation of the world while also embracing a gentle awareness of when it can also overwhelm.

Acknowledgements –Aron, E.N., The Highly Sensitive Person, Element, London, 2003.Haltiwanger, J., Editor and Senior Politics Writer for Elite Daily.

Click here to read more about Clinical Psychologist Cherie Dalton.

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Music, Tune Into Your Emotions

Posted on May 27, 2014 in Mental Health Topics -

By Clinical Psychology Registrar, Dr James Kirby 

There will be days when I am driving home from work feeling pretty exhausted, tired, stressed, and also anxious about some of the work I still have not completed but was supposed to have done. Typically, when I am driving my car I have the radio playing in the background, but I often don’t give it that much attention. But yesterday a song was played that really got my attention, it was a song by Australian artist Dan Sultan called ‘The Same Man’. I don’t really remember the lyrics, but the beat and rhythm of the song really ‘picked me up’. Whilst listening to the song, I noticed it really improved my mood, for some reason I was nodding my head, it made me feel a lot more upbeat, positive, and less stressed. It is only a 4-minute song, but listening to that song was in many ways transformational for my mood.

This scenario is not uncommon, indeed, we can all relate to the power of a song to influence mood. Movies exploit the power of music constantly, the soundtracks of movies can really enhance the emotional tone the director is trying to convey in a scene. One of my favourite directors, Quentin Tarantino does it to glorious effect in the movie Pulp Fiction, and Stephen Spielberg was a master employing the music theme song to the movie Jaws. That music used when the shark is circling the boat in Jaws is simply chilling and builds suspense wonderfully. The question is, would the suspense in that scene in Jaws still be provoked to such a high level without the music? Try watching that scene from Jaws on mute, it just doesn’t have the same emotional impact.

What is encouraging for us is that we can use music to help regulate our emotions. What I mean is, at different times of the day, in different circumstances, we can use music to alter how we are feeling. This might mean you want to use music to fully explore the emotional state you are currently in, you might want to use music to get you out of a sad place, you might want to use music to bring on a sense of relaxation, or you can use music to give you the extra energy you need to get to the gym and do a work out.

Dr Genevieve Dingle from the University of Queensland is doing some cutting edge research examining how music can be used to help regulate our emotions with teenagers. The program is called, Tuned In Teens, and it was designed to help young people identify, name, tolerate and modify their emotions strategically, using music as the tool. When examining the Tuned In Teens program, it is more than just listening to a song to make you happy. Music is explored in terms of the effect it can have on our bodily sensations, the visual imagery it can bring, and how we make sense of the lyrics. The program is currently being evaluated with teenagers, however, the program was found to be helpful in a previous study by Dingle and her colleague Carly Fay with young adults aged 18-25 years. Music can be a very helpful way to help regulate mood, as some people find it hard verbalise how they are feeling and what they are thinking. Therefore, music can be a way to break through that verbal barrier. That is the hope of Dr Dingle and colleagues with helping teenagers regulate their moods in their current study at The University of Queensland.

The knowledge that music can influence our mood is of course not new, but it is surprising how little we use music strategically to help us with mood. In many ways, the benefits we can derive from music is under utilised and often can be left to chance. However, below are some simple ways you can use music to help regulate how you are feeling.

  1. When you notice a song playing that impacts your emotional state, try to identify what emotional state you were experiencing before the song and where the song took your emotional state. Also write down the song so you can use it later.
  2.  Create multiple playlists to help regulate your mood for different emotional states. For example create a playlist to help improve your mood from being stressed to happy. Create a playlist to help you relax when you are feeling anxious. Create a playlist for when you feel like you have no energy but need to get up and move.
  3. When listening to a piece of music try and notice what body sensations you are experiencing, does it give you a sense of calmness, a ‘chill’ or does it make you want to move?
  4. When listening to music try and think about what visual images come to mind?

Music is a wonderful and powerful tool. However, in order to derive its benefits the key is to use it. Make that playlist on your smart phone, create a CD for your car, or put some songs on your computer. The more you make it easily accessible, the more likely it is you will use it. Right now I am feeling pretty happy that I have finished writing this blog, so to help fully explore and enjoy this feeling I am going to start listening to ‘In your light” by Gotye. It’s one song that always makes me feel happy.


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Work Stress

Posted on September 6, 2013 in Mental Health Topics -

Workplace bullying

Workplace Bullying Awareness Month-June 2013.

Clinical Psychologist Helen Perry shares her story. Matthew* a 37 year old project manager sits across from me, sleep deprived, anxious and jobless- a broken man.

The Working Mother

Juggling Act

By Psychologist Kylie Layton

Today it seems that parents and particularly mothers are expected to be super heroes, their superpower is multi-tasking. The question is what is a working mother’s kryptonite and how do we sustain the juggling act?

The decision to go back to work after having a baby can be a difficult one for many women, provoking a complex web of emotions, from liberation and pleasure to guilt and anxiety.

Case Study

The stress of modern technology

Gerard, a sales executive in an international IT company, first came to Psychology Consultants because he felt stressed. After discussing his current situation, we quickly became perplexed. He had a good relationship with his wife, a busy, fulfilling job, he exercised regularly, found time for hobbies on the weekends, and his diet was impeccable. Why was he stressed?


Assisting employees through programs

By Dr Stan Steindl, BA PGDipPsych MClinPsych PhD(Clin) MAPS

In any one year, one in four Australians experience psychological symptoms that would meet criteria for clinical diagnosis.


Stages experienced by employees facing redundancy Change is a central issue for all organisations today. And sometimes the difficult decision to “let people go” has to be made.

Coaching at Work

Enhancing Your Work and Personal Performance

By Dr Stan Steindl, BA PGDipPsych MClinPsych PhD(Clin) MAPS
People in business often refer to work difficulties:

“How can I get through to my staff?”
“What should I do when staff don’t get along?”
“Are the ideas I’m having worth pursuing?”
“How do I plan ahead for my business?”

Case Study

Major mental illness in the workplace

Jacob is 37 years old. He has worked for the public sector for 12 years and performs his tasks well. He is quiet at work, but is pleasant and unassuming. He lives with his wife in a rented house and has one daughter who is 8 years old. The family usually walks their dog before Jacob goes to work of a morning. On the weekend they enjoy indoor bowling. Jacob has a bookshelf full of bowling trophies.

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Stress and Trauma

Posted on September 6, 2013 in Mental Health Topics -

Stress and Trauma


Life-shattering events: The debriefing debate

Recent debate over the effectiveness of psychological debriefing following trauma has sparked some interesting opinions, discusses Dr Stan Steindl, director of Psychology Consultants.


Responding to people’s trauma

Trauma regularly touches our community. Events like car accidents, assaults, hold ups, and natural and man made disasters seem to happen all too often. Experiencing a traumatic event can have a marked impact on people’s lives.

Case Study

A case of complex posttraumatic stress disorder

Probably one of the more challenging cases a psychologist can face is treating “complex posttraumatic stress disorder”. This usually involves clients who have an already established, yet often unidentified, personality disorder when they face a traumatic event.


Managing Anger

by Dr Stan Steindl, BA PGDipPsych MClinPsych PhD(Clin) MAPS Simon is a 45 year-old happily married man with two daughters. A litigation lawyer, he seems successful and has many friends.


Beat Bullying

Teasing, threats, verbal abuse, harassment, hitting or pushing. Research suggests one in six children are bullied at least once a week. Here are some facts and hints to help beat the bullying.

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Posted on September 6, 2013 in Mental Health Topics -


Insomnia case study

Can’t Sleep?

by Kathryn Smith, BA GradDipPsychEd MPsych(Clin) MAPS
Everyone likes to have a good night’s sleep, but not everyone sleeps well all the time. John is 43 and divorced from his wife five years ago. He came to Psychology Consultants indicating he had been chronically unable to fall and stay asleep since he divorced his wife.

Sleep advice

What can I do to get to sleep?

By Dr Stan Steindl BA PGDipPsych MClinPsych PhD(Clin) MAPS.This is one of the questions we are most frequently asked. Irrespective of a client’s other problems, sleeping difficulties are usually also present, either as a part of their primary condition or as a disorder in its own right.

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Posted on September 6, 2013 in Mental Health Topics -

Separation and Divorce

Kids Needs after parental separation

Psychologists can provide practical advice to parents going through separation. Recent research published in the APS’s latest InPsych magazine indicates that the reactions of children and adolescents to their parents’ separation differ with age and is thought to be due to cognitive maturity, as older children may be more capable of understanding the reasons behind a marital separation than younger children.


Want a long and happy relationship?

Research indicates that marital satisfaction decreases within the first two to three years of marriage.


Improving Couple’s hurt feelings

Psychology Consultants’ Dr Jennifer Fitzgerald has completed her Clinical PhD in the area of relationship therapy, particularly couples and family relationships.

Case Study

Marriage difficulties affect work

John worked as a warehouse manager for 17 years. His supervisor noticed that John wasn’t himself when he asked for some time off to deal with some “problems at home”. As a part of their Employee Assistance Program, John’s supervisor referred him to Psychology Consultants.

A Case Study

Parent-Child Relationships

Relationship problems can often be the cause of other emotional and behavioural problems.

Family Relations

Tips to becoming a Step-Family

Statistics indicate that around a third of all families include step children. Consequently, there is a growing need for support to help step families create a positive experience for all family members. Following are some tips. You may also find the book Step-Parent Survival Guide by Leila Henderson a useful resource.

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