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Mental Health Canberra

Public Service is a Sacrifice: Mental Health Problems in the Workplace When joining the workforce in Canberra, there is usually one major decision, public service or private sector? While there are pros and cons to both, it seems that mental health concerns may be a large con to taking a public service job. There are [...]

Impact of Vicarious Exposure to Traumatic Events on Mental Health

Girl watching the television with TV remote in her hand Limit your Exposure: Traumatic Events in the News is Bad for your Mental Health Have you ever stopped and thought about how often you expose yourself to traumatic images and stories? Most of us don’t even think about the exposure because it is so entrenched [...]

Common Traits of Adult AD/HD

Do I have Adult ADHD? It is no secret that Attention Deficit- Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has become a common discussion point amongst school aged children. The rate of diagnosis has been steadily increasing 3% a year since 2003 (adhd.org.au) and there seems to nothing slowing this number down. So what is the deal with this [...]

Positive Psychology 101

Positive Psychology is a branch of psychology is often summarized by the phrase “Oh, you think happy thoughts!”… While that description isn’t necessarily wrong, it oversimplifies a powerful form of psychology that can be a powerful tool in improving your overall happiness. Let’ s unpack what positive psychology has to offer and how we can [...]

What exactly is Borderline Personality Disorder?

There are so many misconceptions about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It is often used in everyday conversation in reference to individuals who appear to have split personalities or intense mood swings. Sadly, it is typically used as a joke or in passing, but this casual jargon can be incredibly confusing for anyone questioning whether or [...]

When “Thinking Positive” is Not Enough

We have all heard the advice of “Hey, just think positive!” or seen those cheesy little posters that say “If you dream it, you can do it!”. Positive psychology is rooted in the fact that thinking optimistically can be used as a tool to improve your wellbeing. There are tons of antidotal stories that explain [...]

Can the Media Interfere with our Expectations and Skills in Relationships?

Relationship expectations are the values and ideals people hold about relationships, as well as the behaviours people expect their partners to exhibit. Relationships are complex, and so it is natural for people (particularly those with limited relationship experience) to look to examples of how to behave. Given the prevalence of the media in modern life, [...]

Five Tips for Getting Through a Relationship Breakup

The breakup of a romantic relationship is one of the most emotionally difficult experiences a person will go through. It is associated with very high levels of emotional distress and, from a biological perspective, is followed by the overflow of stress chemicals released by the brain. These chemical changes are so strong that they often lead to [...]

Caring for Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

Does your partner struggle to trust you? Do you feel as though your loved one is constantly testing your relationship? Does your relationship feel like a rollercoaster? These are common struggles within relationships, but they may be an indication of a personality disorder called Borderline Personality Disorder. What exactly is Borderline Personality Disorder? Borderline Personality [...]

Guidelines for setting effective rules

Do you find that your children are constantly pushing the boundaries? Do you find yourself exhausted after trying to get your child to cooperate? While it is normal for children to test the boundaries set by parents and other authority figures, it is important for children to learn that boundaries are set for a reason. [...]

Stress: How to Manage (or even Benefit from) It

To find out more about what actually stress is and how it can affect our body, check-out our previous blog post “What is Stress and how does it Affect our Body?”. Some of our body’s reaction to stress (i.e. faster heart rate and breathing, and higher blood oxygen and sugar levels), is often referred to [...]

What is stress and how can it affect our body?

“I’m feeling stressed out” or “I’m a bit stressed at the moment with …” are phrases we often hear. Though what really is stress and how does it affect us? It is important to acknowledge that stress is a normal and natural part of living a full and meaningful life. We all encounter some level [...]

Going from Good to Great in Your Relationship

Having a good relationship can help you feel anchored, secure and focused. But having a great relationship can be truly inspirational. For those wanting to achieve a greater depth of connection, vision and expression, couples counselling can offer the support you need to get there. Identifying the strengths in your relationship and finding ways to [...]

Top Reasons for Divorce – How to Prevent it From Happening to You

Lack of intimacy, poor communication, disagreements on issues such as money, politics, religion and raising children. These are all factors that, if not addressed, may lead to marriage breakdown. Seeking marriage counselling for help before these issues get out of hand could not only save your marriage but also make it happier than ever before. [...]

The Little Things Happy Couples Do Every Day

Once you have established a committed relationship, there are certain things you can do to support growth, happiness and longevity. Do not be concerned if these things don’t spring instantly to mind. It is perfectly natural for relationship maintenance to take some thought and a little effort. It can be easy to forget or overlook [...]

Qualities of a Soul Mate

The universe has changed, and so have people. Technology is everywhere, and many of us live freer, more individualised lives. But with freedom comes responsibility – and the need to make choices which are integral to our true happiness, and the happiness of our relationships. While the world around us has altered enormously, one thing [...]

Making the Most of Couples Counselling

For many of us, the idea of seeking help in the form of relationship counselling may be met with resistance. This is natural. As humans, the feeling of not being in control makes us uncomfortable. Society generally teaches us to keep our feelings to ourselves and solve our own problems. But times have changed, and [...]

Self-Compassion: How to be Kind to Yourself

Compassion is defined as sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress along with the desire to alleviate it. Self-compassion is the same idea, but applied to ourselves. If a friend or loved one came to you and said ‘I just made a big mistake at work’, would you be critical and respond by calling them an ‘idiot’? No?  If [...]

Interview: Introducing Strategic Psychology’s Counselling Services

Read an interview given by Strategic Psychology's principal and managing director, Nesh Nikolic, who speaks with Wayne Bucklar about the counselling services offered at the Canberra-based clinic. Strategic Psychology focuses on helping patients of all ages to achieve a rich and meaningful life by employing a range of evidence-based therapies. In 2015, the practice introduced [...]

Interview: Supporting Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

Read an interview given by Strategic Psychology clinical manager, Gregg Chapman, who talks to Wayne Bucklar about his work with schools and adolescents. Gregg discusses the prevalence of behavioral disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Gregg also talks about the clinic’s therapy of choice (acceptance [...]

What Do Children Worry About?

A survey conducted by ABC’s Behind the News asked children what worries them, and what makes them feel happy and sad. 20,000 Australian children aged between 6 and 16 years of age participated in the survey. What do children worry about? According to the survey children feel most worried about their future, with 43% of [...]

Effects of Parental Anxiety on Children

The terms ‘bubble-wrap parents’ and ‘helicopter parenting’ are being used more and more in our society. The media appears to be constantly reporting crimes, natural disasters, terrorist attacks and health epidemics, which can create the illusion that the world is becoming a more and more dangerous place. This, along with a general increase in the [...]

Conversing with Parents of Children with Autism – What Not to Say

Despite good intentions, it’s easy to accidentally say the wrong thing when talking to parents of a child with autism. Like all parents, those with autistic children feel protective over their child and also want to feel like they’re doing the right thing by them. Autism is a sensitive subject, and saying something inappropriate can [...]

Bereaved By Suicide

Losing someone you love is devastating in any circumstance, but when we lose someone to suicide, there is often an added layer of complexity. Common experiences/thoughts experienced by those bereaved by suicide: Shock (didn’t expect this, didn’t know the person wasn’t happy, no time to prepare for it, or if you were aware they were depressed, [...]

Modern Ways to Raise a Happy Family

Finding balance in modern families can sometimes be difficult. Easy access to the internet has brought with it a sea of information – and conflicting opinions – about every parenting issue under the sun. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the veritable ocean of parenting advice that comes your way, but there are ways [...]

Creative Ways to Help Children with Learning Disorders

Dealing with learning disorders can be difficult for children and parents. While the causes of learning disorders are still under investigation by neuroscientists worldwide, what we do know is that learning disorders – sometimes called learning disabilities – affect a child’s ability to process and store information. On an everyday level, this commonly translates as [...]

Is ADHD Real?

ADHD, the short form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a term that is used often today. It is used to describe a disorder that occurs in around 5-10% of children in Australia, but is also thrown around quite often when describing undiagnosed children who appear hyperactive or inattentive. The looseness of the terms’ use [...]

Infographic: Exam Stress & How To Conquer It

When it comes to our children at school, is exam stress a growing and worrying concern? View a great infographic by Study Medicine Europe* on exam stress and its impact on student health as well as nutritional and organisational tips to beat these stressful times. "Children with severe cases of text anxiety may have physical symptoms like stomach aches [...]

Preparing for the Death of a Loved One

A profound result of medical advancements is that death has become less of a sudden and unexpected event and more of a prolonged process that begins with a diagnosis, proceeds through a period of treatment, and ends eventually in death. This process means that both terminally ill individuals, and their support network, increasingly must "live with [...]

How to Manage the Most Challenging Autism Behaviours

Parenting children who display challenging behaviours is always tricky, but parenting children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) presents a new challenge. Because children with autism can have difficulty coping with many situations, they often experience feelings of confusion, frustration, lack of control or anxiety. >> Here's a great video from The Huffington Post on what [...]

Ways to Boost a Child’s Confidence

Part of being a child is having the confidence to explore, discover and play. To do this, it is very important for children to feel a sense of worth and belonging in the family. Environmental settings and social situations are a huge factor for children with low confidence. Causes of low self esteem Child psychologists [...]

Understanding the Different Levels of ASD

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong disorder that affects up to one in 100 Australians. If you’ve noticed anything different about the way your child interacts, communicates or behaves, it could be time to seek a professional assessment from a child psychologist. By following diagnostic criteria, psychologists can diagnose ASD children and equip them [...]

Bonding with Children with Autism

It’s normal for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to have difficulty communicating and forging relationships. Depending on the severity level of ASD, this difficulty can range from not responding to social overtures to severe deficits in communication skills and can result in social anxiety. For parents of children with autism, it can be extremely [...]

Dyslexia: Steps to Help Your Child at Home

Learning difficulties like dyslexia can be tough on both kids and parents. Your child may find it hard to read, write, have trouble spelling, sounding out words, identifying syllables and so on. In a school setting, dyslexia can be very challenging for kids and can lead to feelings of frustration, inadequacy and being “left behind” [...]

Parenting Strategies to Manage Children with ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – or ADHD – is increasingly common in Australia. This disorder affects up to one in 20 children in Australia and an unknown number of adults. It manifests in a number of ways: some signs of ADHD include above average restlessness, inability to focus, being easily distracted, inattentive and fidgety and [...]

Sexual Dysfunction: Causes and Effects

Sexual dysfunction refers to any difficulty experienced at any phase of the sexual response cycle (excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution) that prevents the experience of satisfaction as a result of sexual activity. Research suggests that 43% of women and 31% of men report some sexual difficulties, however, many are hesitant to discuss it. Because treatment [...]

How Do I Know if my Child has Learning Difficulties?

Because many kids experience learning difficulties, it can be hard for parents and teachers to determine when a child is really struggling to keep up. Problems that most children experience across the board – including difficulty concentrating and remembering complex information – can go unnoticed in a classroom or a busy home environment. But taking [...]

Effects of Technology Addiction on Children and Adolescents

Do you find that your child or teenager spends the majority of their down time glued to a screen? Do they appear to find it difficult to direct their attention to a lengthy task for an extended period of time without flicking across to Facebook or glancing down at their text messages? Do you find [...]

From Pre-School to Primary School: Benefits of a School Entry Assessment

If you’re unsure whether your son or daughter is ready to move on from pre-school and take the big step into primary education, an educational assessment from a child psychologist can help you make an informed decision. An educational assessment helps psychologists to more accurately understand the child’s intellectual development and achievements in order to [...]

How To Choose A Child Psychologist

There are many things to consider when finding a psychologist suitable for your child. It is essential to choose a child psychologist who will be able to meet your requirements and provide you with the best possible service to assist with the difficulties you’re facing. This article explores some of the key factors to consider [...]

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a pattern of behaviour that reduces a person’s level of performance and functioning in many settings, such as school, home and work. ADHD symptoms occur in most cultures in about 5% of children and 2.5% of adults. General ADHD Symptoms ADHD symptoms generally fall into two categories: Inattention – lack of attention [...]

Oppositional Defiant Disorder – Some Thoughts on Tips for Management

Opposition and defiance are behaviours that all young people will engage in. They select the behaviour they feel might be best or quickest to get what they want, to meet their needs. Those who engage in these behaviours more often or longer are designated as having a “disorder”. I’ve always been somewhat bemused by such [...]

The Psychological Effects of Kindness

Many psychological therapies focus on reducing negative thoughts, and engaging in pleasant and healthy behaviours in order to enhance wellbeing. Modern Western society generally focuses on encouraging people to find answers to the questions ‘what makes you happy?’ and ‘how can you get your needs met?’ A broad survey of the media would indicate that [...]

Substance Abuse Tip Sheet

1. Make a Change For most people who engage in substance abuse, the most difficult decision to make is whether or not to give up. They may have a sense that they cannot cope without the substance, so it is understandable that it can be very difficult to consider giving up substance use at first. [...]

When Does Substance Use Become Substance Abuse?

Substance use can mean using any substance ranging from prescription drugs or painkillers, to illicit or recreational drugs. Substance abuse is when a substance is used in unhealthy amounts on a regular basis. It can lead to a wide variety of problems if it becomes an ongoing behaviour. It can affect a person’s home life, [...]

Post-Traumatic Stress Tip Sheet

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD) occurs when a person finds a traumatic event difficult to overcome because the distressing memories, sensations and emotions associated with the event continue to intrude in their day-to-day life. Often people who experience PTSD will consciously or unconsciously decide to avoid certain people, objects, sensations (e.g. sounds, smells) or environments that [...]

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Nearly every person will experience some sort of traumatic event, after which it is normal to feel sad, hurt, lost or disconnected. Generally over time people are able to process the events and move on with life after some time, however, for a small percentage of people, they may develop problems with what psychologists call [...]

Grief and Loss Tip Sheet

It is normal for a person to feel a sense of grief after a loved one has passed away, or some other major loss has occurred. Often a significant loss is followed by an influx of different emotions, possibly at a level never previously experienced. People who are grieving may have the thought that the [...]