The Clinic offers treatment for a wide range of psychiatric disorders and psychological problems, with the exception of clients who are currently experiencing psychotic symptoms or suicidal ideation and behaviours, or where there are compensation or custodial complications. The majority of referrals are for anxiety and mood disorders. Referrals are accepted from health-care and educational professionals, as well as self-referrals.
A number of programs at the Clinic are designed to assist people who have anxiety disorders. The Mastery of Anxiety and Panic (MAP) Agoraphobia Supplement and Mastery of Anxiety and Worry (MAW) program are used for adult clients with anxiety disorders. People suffering from anxiety symptoms are aided in controlling their anxiety through techniques such as psychoeducation, breathing control training, relaxation, graded exposure, and challenging negative thinking.
For many years the Psychology Clinic has utilised Macquarie University's treatment Cool Kids® group program for children with anxiety. This program is based on a decade of research from Macquarie University, Royal North Shore Hospital and the University of Queensland. Results show that 80% of children who complete the program have great improvements in their levels of anxiety, which are maintained for up to 6 years1. Results are better when parents are included in the program, rather than just the child receiving treatment alone.
The program is designed for primary school-age children in grades 3, 4, 5 and 6. An initial individual assessment is required to determine whether the children are suitable for a group program. There are 5-6 children in each group. Children and parents attend the groups and spend some of the session time together and some separately. The program consists of ten 90-minutes sessions:
Session 1: What, Why and How? An Overview of the Program
Session 2: Learning To Think Realistically
Session 3: Parenting an Anxious Child
Session 4: Fighting Fear by Facing Fear
Session 5: Creative Exposure
Session 6: Identifying Problems and Difficulties
Session 7: Social Skills and Assertiveness
Session 8: Sustaining Progress
Session 9: Reviewing Goals and the Final Push
Session 10: Maintaining Gains and Coping with Setbacks
1Barrett, P. M., Duffy, A. L., Dadds, M. R., & Rapee, R. M. (2001). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of anxiety disorders in children: Long-term (6-year) follow-up.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 69, 135-141.
A range of cognitive and behavioural strategies are used in the treatment of depression. These include identifying negative thought patterns and beliefs, learning techniques for challenging these, and generating alternative ways of thinking. Self-monitoring of behaviour, activity levels and mood states are also carried out.
Menopause Group Program (MMM)
A new 10 session Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) group program called Menopause Made Manageable (MMM) commenced in mid May 2009. The following Cognitive Behavioural strategies are used to improve physical and psychological symptoms of menopause:
Relaxation and Breathing exercises to reduce the intensity of hot flushes
Behaviour Changes - exercise and diet
Change unhelpful thoughts to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms
Stress management (time management)
Memory and concentration
Social support (assertiveness and conflict resolution)
The program was developed in 2008 with the assistance of the following postgraduate students: Danielle Anthony, Cindy Buxton, Michelle Condon, Derek Gilligan, Ben Kelly, Natalie Louie, Toni Lyndsay, Toni Metelerkamp, Amy Oswald and Roslyn Pilgrim. Erin Adams (honours student) assisted with formatting the manual and co-facilitating 2 groups. The following postgraduate students also provided co-therapy Anet Babakhani, Cindy Buxton, Natasha Catalovski, Amanda Fletcher, Emma Gallagher, Bonnie Ip, Roslyn Pilgrim, Emma Prowse, Melanie Stone, Lillian Tang and Samantha Wolfe.
The Clinic has a comprehensive range of specific assessment tools to measure psychological functioning, including cognitive and clinical assessments. The Clinic has access to a wide range of psychometric tests as well as the School of Psychology's Psychometric Test Library.
One of the aims of the clinic is to promote clinical research. The clinic consulting rooms are used to conduct interviews and clinical assessments. The one way screens are useful for behavioural observation and have been used to assess mother and child interactions.
Data from the first 12 Menopause groups is being evaluated by two Professional Doctoral Psychology students (Cindy Buxton and Bonnie Ip). One project is evaluating the weekly method of delivery and the other is comparing the two methods of delivery as well as conducting interviews to gain a more in depth perspective on clients' experience of the program.