WELCOME TO PENRITH CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
Our practice is based in the Penrith CBD and provides evidence-based psychological treatments. This means that we only use therapies that are based on well-developed psychological theories and have been subject to rigorous scientific study in order to establish their effectiveness. It also means that we only use therapies in which we have had basic and advanced training and experience. These approaches typically are shorter term and address the specific problems that are brought to therapy.
The team at Penrith Clinical Psychology are all highly trained psychologists. This means that we have completed an Honours Degree in Psychology. Most of the team have then undergone further postgraduate clinical training by completing a Masters or Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology. The Masters of Clinical Psychology is a professional programme that provides advanced training in psychological assessment and therapy skills. The course usually specialises in training people in treatments Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and so on. We then complete a further two years registrar programme, meaning that a Clinical Psychologist has at least eight years training.
We are all trained in the treatment of psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, stress, anger, insomnia, worry, alcohol problems, trauma, and loss. In addition each member of our team has specialities, such as complex trauma, relationship problems, workplace stress, self-harm, personality disorders, chronic pain, obesity, chronic fatigue, physical health problems, obsessive compulsive disorder, social phobia, guilt and shame.
We specialise in providing evidence-based treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), and Schema Focused Therapy. All of these approaches are used around the world to treat a wide range of problems, both common and not so common. Importantly, clinical trials have been conducted that have shown them to be effective. (Typically in these trials the treatment’s effectiveness is compared against the results of having no treatment or against other treatments, such as medication).
All these therapies focus on teaching people the skills to help them find solutions to their problems. They are practical, short term, and recognise that people benefit from help that focus on their current problems.
The focus on the present, rather than on childhood experiences, is a common feature of modern psychological therapies. Modern therapies do not involve lying on a couch, dream analysis or other “weird” things. Of course it can be useful to look at how and when unhelpful patterns developed, and sometimes this type of understanding is important, but our focus is much more on what you want your life to be about now, and what is preventing you from achieving that.
Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT) + Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
CBT is the most widely used therapy around the world today, and ACT is a newer version of CBT. Both are very practical approaches that focuses on changing unhelpful patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviour.
CBT and ACT are focused on helping people to:
- Recognise the role that thinking and emotions play in helping or hindering them
- Think and act more flexibly
- Identify alternative thinking that is more realistic, helpful and positive
- Distance themselves from the unhelpful or painful thoughts and emotions
- Learn skills to improve coping, e.g., relaxation, assertive communication, problem-solving, goal-setting skills
- Take action towards living a valued and meaningful life
The Beyondblue website gives further information on these treatments.
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
DBT is a fairly recent therapy aimed at helping people with longer term problems that do not always respond so well to traditional CBT. For more information see our DBT site DBTsydney.com.au. Typical examples include suicidal thoughts and behaviours, self-harm, drug and alcohol problems, eating disorders, problems with sense of self, or unhelpful relationship patterns. DBT is a longer term approach that involves both groups and individual therapy, both of which we offer at Sydney Clinical Psychology. DBT comprises of several stages, these being:
- Dealing with and reducing high risk behaviours
- Developing active coping skills similar to those used in CBT and ACT
- Developing better quality relationships
- Dealing with past psychological trauma
Choice of Therapeutic Approach
The choice between the approaches we offer depends on the nature of the problem and your own preference for one approach over another. For example, in the case of depression all these approaches could be used. However, if the problems are related to relationship issues and you wish to work on them directly, then CBT or ACT may be preferable. On the other hand, if the problems are much broader then DBT may be more suitable.
Length of Therapy
CBT and ACT are short-term therapies. This means that therapy most often takes between six and eighteen sessions. DBT is longer term and may last between six months and several years. However, sometimes even the shorter term therapies can take longer. We recommend setting a small number of realistic goals at the beginning, then working on them for roughly six sessions. After these sessions we can then review both what has and has not been achieved together. The decision about whether to continue is made at this point, and you may decide to add further sessions if necessary. Of course, you can also terminate therapy at any point.
Luke is a Clinical Psychologist with extensive experience within the private and public sector with individuals across a diverse range of ages, backgrounds and psychological concerns. Luke is particularly interested…
Training Dylan has completed his training as a psychologist via the Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) and Master of Psychology (Clinical) pathway. He has undertaken training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)…
Training Mieke completed her Bachelor of Psychology, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Psychology, and Master of Clinical Psychology at Western Sydney University. She holds national registration as a Psychologist and Clinical…
Training Karen holds a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) and a Diploma of Psychological Practice. She has national registration with AHPRA as a psychologist and is a registered provider of…
Dana joined our team as Practice Manager in 2016. Dana has an Advanced Diploma of Business Management and Administration as well as Bachelor Degree of Business. She came to us…
Training Catherine holds a Bachelor of Psychology, a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and a Master of Clinical Psychology. She has undertaken training in a wide range of treatment modalities including…
Training Mrudula holds national registration with AHPRA as a Psychologist and is a registered provider of psychological services with Medicare. She is also a member of Australian Psychological Society. Experience…
How to Find Us
There is quite a bit of local metered parking in the area. You can usually find a park within a five walk of the practice. You can also find free parking within a five to ten minute walk.
We are about ten minutes walk from Penrith Train Station. Penrith is on the Western Line and the Blue Mountains Line. It has a lift and wheelchair accessible toilets. You can find timetables at the Sydney Trains Website.
Alternatively if coming by public transport you can use NSW Transport Trip Planner to work out your trip.