Adolescent Anxiety and Early Intervention

With ever increasing access to the world through social media our children are more exposed to the ugly side of the world than ever before.

The Guardian in the UK reports that a major British children’s charity has released research stating that an increasing number of our children are concerned over world events and this is their primary cause of anxiety.

Recent figures show a 35% uplift in contacts by children and teenagers to counselling services in the past 12 months alone.

At Adelaide Psychological we believe in Early Intervention Psychology, and our psychologists are experienced in working with teenagers who are showing the early signs of anxiety.

We believe that prevention is far better than cure when it comes to mental health.

World events can be upsetting, frightening and overwhelming to teenagers and we need to help our kids build a better resilience to cope with this new world.

If you or your child is struggling to find healthy coping strategies or want to make sure you have these in place, then we can help.

Ask us about Early Intervention Psychology.



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Welcome David Ahmed to the team


Adelaide Psychological Services would like to welcome David Ahmed to the team.

David works across a range of age groups from adolescent to late adulthood and emphasises client centered skills that include relapse prevention.  David is dedicated to providing quality service that encompass the client’s input. David bases his therapy on building rapport with clients.

David’s therapeutic approach is eclectic and includes treatments from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).  David has experience in neuropsychological assessment including basic and complex tests of memory and intellectual functioning from a ‘gold standard’ clinical rehabilitation hospital over several years.

David has a strong interest in neurology and has significant experience in clinical rehabilitation.  David has undertaken a wide variety of projects involving people with chronic illness both assessing and treating psychological and psychosocial problems and David has published some of this work.

If you would like information on the services we provide, please call our receptionist today on 8295 4150.

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Behavioural Change in Children

As parents we are always needing to guide our children’s behaviour.

From little things to big things, it can be quite a challenge sometimes teach our children the important life skills we know they need.

Small changes may occur simply because we ask.

But larger changes are more fundamental and require more effort from both our children and ourselves.

But where do you start?

At Adelaide Psychological we recommend a structure 5 step program to behavioural change.

  • What are you struggling with? What are you trying to change? Is it age appropriate?
  • Consider your child temperament. How does it affect the changes you are trying to make?
  • Consider your own parenting style? Yes we all have a different parenting style and it needs to adapt over time as our children grow older.
  • Tryout a set of interventions. Our intervention programs run over a 1 month period and are tailored to your needs by our psychologists.
  • Review your plan with our psychologists and ensure you are getting a positive outcome, and achieve great mental wellbeing in your family.

If you need help putting together your plan, understanding your child’s temperament or your own parenting style speak to one of our psychologists for more info.

PH 08 82954150

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Is my Stress Healthy Stress??

Our psychologists are skilled at treating clients who suffer from anxiety, depression, grief and loss.

There are many causes of stress and stress affects each person differently, depending on how we handle a situation. Chronic stress can hinder healthy and happy lifestyles and may cause further issues or symptoms of anxiety and or depression.

When you are in a stressful situation, your body launches a physical response. Your nervous system springs into action, releasing hormones that prepare you to either fight or take off. It’s called the “fight or flight” response, and it’s why, when you’re in a stressful situation, you may notice that your heartbeat speeds up, your muscles tense up, your breathing gets faster and you start to sweat. This kind is short-term (acute stress) and your body usually recovers quickly from it.

However if your stress system stays activated over long periods of time (chronic stress), it can lead to serious health problems. The constant rush of hormones can put a lot of wear and tear on your body, causing it to age more quickly and making it more prone to illness.

If you feel you can’t remain calm or relaxed in certain situations, we are here to help. We have psychologists who are able to address and treat many concerns and issues.

Call us today on 8295 4150 for more information or to make an appointment.

Visit Beyond Blue for fact sheets.



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Do you feel “stuck” in life?

If you have had a deeply distressing or disturbing experience you could be facing the aftermath of a trauma.  Bad things can happen to any of us and it can feel like a negative downward cycle.  Your resilience may be depleted and you may start to feel overwhelmed.  It is normal to need someone to come along side of you to support you through these difficult times.

Common signs include:

  • Unwanted or distressing thoughts
  • Avoiding places or events
  • Being easily startled
  • Feeling out of control
  • Feeling detached
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Changes in your appetite
  • Problems with concentration
  • Decreased energy levels
  • Loss of interest in things you use to enjoy
  • Irritable behaviour or angry outbursts
  • Behavioural changes that are unhelpful or self-destructive

The first step is recognising that something is not quite right.  It’s like an iceberg, most of the feelings are under the surface and come up at unexpected times.  This is your body telling you it is time to do something about it.

We can help you to

  • Understand more about what is going on in your body
  • Manage your thoughts
  • Develop some relaxation strategies
  • Learn to accept uncomfortable feelings as they pass
  • Reengage or start to enjoy life again

If you would like to discuss making an appointment to see one of our psychologists, call our receptionist today on 8295 4150.

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World Mental Health Day 10th October 2016

World Mental Health Day (WMHD) October 10th

World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy.  An initiative of the world federation for mental health, WMHD is an annual program to raise public awareness of mental health issues worldwide.

As many as one in five Australians may develop a mental illness at some stage in their lives. Everyone is vulnerable to mental health problems. It affects people regardless of age, culture, education or income.

This year’s theme ‘Dignity in Mental Health-Psychological & Mental Health First Aid for All’ will enable us to contribute to the goal of taking mental health out of the shadows so that people in general feel more confident in tackling the stigma, isolation and discrimination that continues to plague people with mental health conditions, their families and carers.

This year, the focus is on what keeps us mentally fit. How do we build resilience, practice mindfulness and foster good thoughts and feelings? Let’s strike up the conversation. –

At Adelaide Psychological Services, our psychologists are skilled in providing evidence based therapy for a wide range of psychological issues. Our psychologists have expertise in mental illness associated with workplace issues, parenting to minimise mental health issues in children, woman’s issues and a wide range of other conditions.   On our website find a psychologist that would suit your needs and start the conversation today.

If you would like to discuss making an appointment call our receptionist on 8295 4150.

See more at:

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EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing

Lady head

The 7:30 report on the ABC produced this segment on EMDR as the calls for EMDR treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder to be made more widely available to emergency services workers.

Please click on the link below to watch the segment.

Clinicians have also successfully used EMDR as a treatment component in the management of:
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Panic attacks
• Personality disorders
• Complicated grief
• Dissociative disorders
• Pain disorders
• Body dysmorphic disorders
• Eating disorders
• Sexual or Physical abuse
• Performance anxiety
• Stress reduction
• Disturbing memories
• Phobias
• Addictions

If you know someone who would benefit from EMDR treatment our psychologist Gemma Johnson provides EMDR and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to clients. For more information or to make an appointment, please call our office on 8295 4150.


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National Pain Week 25th – 31st July 2016

National Pain Week is from 25th– 31st July 2016 led by Chronic Pain Australia and promotes four core aims:

  1. To de-stigmatise the experience of chronic pain;
  2. Promote current thinking to explain chronic pain to the wider Australian community;
  3. Create healing relationships between the person in pain and their pain clinician;
  4. Reduce the isolation and suffering of people in pain.

At Adelaide Psychological Services, we see clients who suffer from chronic pain and many other issues.

Our psychologists provide evidence based approaches to sufferers of chronic pain. It is beneficial for people with pain to understand the causes and processes associated with chronic pain and our psychologists will provide therapy and explain these processes.

View our Pain Brochure

man with back pain small

GP’s can refer using a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan. Rebates are available from Medicare and some private health funds.  We also accept referrals from Work cover / Allianz, lawyers and other insurance providers. Talk to your GP about getting a referral to see one of our psychologists, or ring our office today on 8295 4150.

To promote the week, Healthdirect Australia, the national health information on pain funded by the Australian Government has put together some key information on pain and how sufferers can receive help, please follow the link or you can visit their website for reliable, up-to-date information to help Australians manage their health.

Health direct

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Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing – EMDR
About Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing – EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing – EMDR is a powerful psychological treatment that is proven to be effective in the treatment of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as well as many other psychological conditions and has been extensively researched.


Often disturbing events happen in our lives that stay with us and sometimes our brain cannot process information as it ordinarily does. One moment can become ‘frozen in time’ and remembering the trauma may feel as bad as going through it for the first time. This is because the images, sounds, smells and feelings still seem to be there – they haven’t changed.


Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way that they relate to other people.


Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing has a positive effect on how the brain processes information. Following an EMDR session, the person no longer relives the trauma. They still recall that an incident happened, but it no longer feels upsetting and traumatic. EMDR is beneficial for those who feel restricted by past events and traumas.


Making an appointment

Our psychologist Gemma Johnson provides EMDR and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to clients. For more information or to make an appointment, please call our office on 8295 4150.


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Adelaide Psychological Services supports the initiatives by the SA Government to improve psychological rehabilitation services for workers with a mental health injury by amending the WorkCover Act and by re-organising the responsible agency to form ReturnToWorkSA.  The public was informed that the old WorkCover Corporation had faced financial troubles because of both the increasing number of claims for mental health injuries and the long periods workers remained on income support.  This is clearly an area where skilled rehabilitation psychologists can make a contribution to the community.


After a year of planning and 6 months of implementation, it is timely to review how well the new system is operating.


Adelaide Psychological Services is disappointed by the limited leadership shown by senior staff of the new ReturnToWorkSA.  As many psychologists have moved into private practice following the introduction of Medicare funding for psychological therapy in 2007, it is possible to widen the group of skilled therapists who assist workers with a mental health injury, and to move away from reliance solely on a small group of therapists who operated with WorkCover while the  troubles were developing.  It is appropriate for ReturnToWorkSA to introduce new practice guidelines to coordinate the efforts of multi-disciplinary professionals who operate within the Workers system, and to move away from the old system that did not work.


New practice guidelines could recognise not all workers have the same issues or the same level of difficulty, to introduce a system that provides a sequence of services that are delivered in phases for workers at each phase of recovery.  It is not sensible to continue with a system that dichotomises workers into those whose problems are simple and can be resolved within a few weeks, and those who are permanently impaired.  Many workers have serious injuries and require carefully coordinate inter-disciplinary support for a period of many months before they return to work, and these are the workers who should benefit from a revised system.


One senior staff of the old WorkCover informed the writer that WorkCover did not plan to introduce guidelines for dealing with complex cases, saying complex issues could wait until the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Tribunal made rulings.  This approach leads to litigation that is unnecessary and that increases psychological trauma for workers who are already injured.


Many cases have predictable complexities that would benefit from administrative guidelines provided in advance.  Workers who do not quickly return to work due to a mental health injury commonly have a medical treatment team (including a GP, physiotherapist, surgeon and psychologist), a return to work or rehabilitation coordinator, and a case manager.  But there are no guidelines about how these three sets of professionals will communicate or coordinate their efforts.


The powers of case managers have been increased, but the public has no precise information about how case managers use their new powers.  The new system continues the considerable confusion that bedevilled the old system, leaving workers still exposed to frustrations arising from dysfunctional communication within the rehabilitation system.  The new system appears to be diverting workers with a mental health injury away from effective therapy that is provided promptly.  The current system continues to exacerbate mental health distress for workers who begin with a mild and treatable case of anxiety or depression.


Adelaide Psychological Services also has concerns about the limited role being played by the national association presenting psychologists, the Australian Psychological Society.  These concerns were accentuated during the recent AGM of the state branch in December 2015.  Representatives of the national society meet regularly with ReturnToWorkSA.  But questions are being asked about whether the current committee is supporting the interests of the few psychologists who have always liaised with the WorkCover Corporation and who contributed to the troubles emerging, or whether the committee represents the interests of its wider membership.


The involvement of the state government in changing legislation reflects the high level of public interest in this important topic of how best to provide rehabilitation for workers with a psychological or mental health injury they incurred in their workplace.  There is a need for ongoing open discussion until the public is confident that changes have been made and a new system is functioning well.


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