Dr Nicki Ferencz is a clinical psychologist who is the clinical coordinator of the Paediatric Chronic Pain Service at the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia.
In this interview, we discuss the importance of language in the treatment room, the power of peer to peer mentoring for clients and parents, and the intrinsic link between pain and Mental health.
Damien Stewart is a Sport and Exercise Psychologist based on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Damien currently works in private
practice servicing both sport, exercise and mental health clientele.
Damien was a police officer for 20 years and an elite-level softball player. He then received a pain diagnosis that would be life-changing.
In this interview, we discuss the critical importance of a multidisciplinary approach to treating pain, what “successful therapy” might actually mean in the context of managing pain, and the role of active acceptance!
Dr Jacqui Stanford is a health psychologist and a director at Empower Rehab, a clinic which specialises in providing interdisciplinary pain management, as well as working with clients presenting with a range of psychological presentations.
She regularly provides training to health and return to work professionals around Australia about working with clients with persistent pain to help facilitate recovery and optimal function.
Mindfulness is a “hot topic” in Western psychology. It is used as an intervention for everything from anxiety to work stress to developing emotional intelligence. Whilst the popularity of mindfulness practice is positive, there are a number of common myths that are important to know when teaching and learning mindfulness.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a powerful mindfulness-based therapy of which Russ Harris is a world-renowned trainer. In this interview, we discuss the common Mindfulness Myths.
For information on Dr Russ Harris and the links we spoke about check out the show notes.
Dr Sarah Davenport is my colleague and former supervisor. She is one of the most resilient psychologists I know and has a wealth of wisdom she generously shares with anyone in her orbit, particularly the psychologists she mentors. Sarah has overcome many complex challenges in her career and I wanted to share her journey with you all as I know she will inspire you as she does me!
Dr Sarah Davenport is a Clinical Psychologist and supervisor with over 10 years of experience providing specialist psychological services to adolescents and adults in both public and private health care settings. She has held a number of senior positions across private and public mental health services, including as Principal Clinical Psychologist at the headspace Youth Early Psychosis Program (Alfred Health), and Senior Psychologist at Dandenong Hospital's Secure Extended Care Unit. Sarah is currently the Director and principal psychologist at Headstrong Psychology.
For more information on Sarah Davenport check out the show notes.
Shirley Hicks is a somatic psychotherapist and yoga teacher, with a private clinic in Varsity Lakes, QLD. She has a specific interest in how the body carries unresolved life events and how through “talk therapies” the body is often overlooked.
With over 22 years of clinical experience, Shirley has refined the way she supports clients to involve their body in the healing process, drawing on the work of Judith Herman, Babette Rothschild, Peter Levine and Bessel van der Kolk.
Shirley is a clinical member of PACFA (Psychotherapists and Counsellors Federation of Australia), as well as a Mental Health Practitioner and Supervisor with PACFA.
Russ Harris, is a world-renowned trainer of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), and the author of the international best-selling self-help book ‘The Happiness Trap.’ In this episode we chat about the universal human experience of self-doubt and fear of failure. Russ generously shares with us his personal experiences, and his view on why therapists might experience this stuff more than most! Russ also gives us ideas on how to live with self doubt and fear of failure if they're holding you back from living a rich, full and meaningful life!!
Trish Purnell-Webb is an experienced psychologist with 38 years of work experience. She is a certified Gottman Marital Therapist, and is the only certified Gottman Marital Therapy Trainer and Consultant in Australia. Trish is also certified to present the Gottman Art and Science of Love Couples Workshop.
Today we chat Gottman Therapy!
Clark Baim PhD is a psychotherapist and psycho-dramatist with over twenty years’ experience.
In his early 20’s Clark accepted an acting contract with the Geese Theatre Company (US) which involved performing in prisons across the country. An aspiring performer, Clark was convinced this would be the best acting education he could get. Not only were his expectations met, but Clark developed what would become a lifelong passion for changing lives through performance.
Dr David Curnow is a Forensic Psychologist, expert on White Collar Crime and full time member of the Adult Parole Board of Victoria. He is the first Forensic Psychologist to sit on the board which is populated by Lawyers and community members.
Dr Curnow also provides consultancy services and training to corporations on such topics as embezzlement and employee theft. His PhD examined both personality and decision making of incarcerated embezzlers who took from 100k to 25 million dollars from their organisations. Other specialist training programs he presents include Violence Treatment, Forensic Interviewing and Offence Mapping.
Earlier in his career David worked at the Department of Justice as the Regional Manager of Offending Behaviour Programs. Prior to this he was a senior clinician for Corrections Victoria.
David also has a strong interest in Chronic Pain. One of his great loves is group work and he strongly encourages psychologists to consider management roles, enabling them to effect change at a systematic level!
For more information on Dr Curnow check out the show notes!
Dr. Crystal Lee is a licensed psychologist and owner of a private practice called LA Concierge Psychologist, based in Los Angeles, California. Through her unique "house call" therapy model, she's able to join her clients in partnership and transform their lives. Dr. Lee's life’s passion is to help others grow through life, achieve their goals, and become the best version of themselves. In her practice, she uses this passion to support emerging adults (18-29 year olds), who feel stuck, successfully transition to full-fledged adulthood. In her professional endeavours, she channels that passion into supervising and mentoring early career psychologists.
This episode is the fifth and final chapter of the early career psychologist series, showcasing early career psychologists who are either completing their training, or in their early years of working.
These psychologists have come from all different backgrounds and have vastly different life experiences. I love how in this small sample of seven, you get a sense of the diversity of individuals that come to this profession. Each interviewee reminded me of the sheer determination and hard work it takes to become a psychologist, something we should pat ourselves on the back for achieving regularly!
In this episode I chatted to Emily Green, a 27 year old from Brooklyn, New York. Emily graduated with her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in May 2016 from Yeshiva University in the Bronx, NY.
In the US, to obtain a license to practice, you are required to pass the EPPP (Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology) after you've received your degree. Emily completed hers in April 2017. She is currently completing her doctoral training (a years worth of supervised clinical hours) at a community mental health centre. This role involves working with children, adults and families from diverse cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic communities. She described her clients as representing the "whole gamut of pathology" from depression and anxiety, to substance abuse disorders, and psychotic-spectrum disorders.
It was fabulous to chat to an early career psychologist from overseas!
To check out the website head to
This episode is the fourth of a series of five chapters with early career psychologists. They’re either completing their training, or are in their early years of working, and come from all different backgrounds with vastly different life experiences.
I love how in this small sample of seven people, you get a sense of the diversity of individuals that come to this profession. After publishing just 6 of these interviews you’ll see what I mean!
Each person reminds me of the sheer determination and hard work it takes to become a psychologist, something we should pat ourselves on the back for achieving, regularly!
In this episode I chatted to Rose Evans, 51 year old mum of 4 (her kids are aged between 23 and 10), owner of 3 chickens and 2 beagles. I also chat to Anastasia Hronis who is 25, and as well as being a psychologist is a professional pianist!
Rose lives in Northwest Sydney and is in her first year of general registration. She works in a variety of different roles including in private practice at PSYCHmatters in Concord and at a small clinic in West Pennant Hills; director at CAE Psychological Profiling; National Supervising Psychologist for Australian Mensa; and marking for Charles Sturt Uni. Rose also mentors provisional psychologists, which is one of her areas of passion!
Anastasia Hronis was raised and lives in Sydney. She has a Masters of clinical psychology and is in her first year of working as a fully registered psychologist and clinical psychology registrar.
Anastasia studied a Bachelor of Psychology and Honours at the University of Sydney and Master of Clinical Psychology at the University of Technology Sydney. She is currently doing her PhD in the area of adapted CBT mental health interventions for children and adolescents with intellectual disability.
Anastasia currently works in a private practice and at St John of God Hospital where she runs group day programs (anxiety groups, depression groups and DBT).
She also works as a musician, has two music performance degrees and has spent time teaching piano and also working as a concert pianist. This is essentially what got her interested in psychology, as she was very curious as to how the mind worked, and how people and children learnt.
Anastasia was keen to do this interview because she's a huge fan of the podcast and find it inspiring hearing what other people do. She says "I'm constantly amazed by the diversity within the field of psychology."
For more information check out the show notes!
This episode is the third of a series of five chapters with early career psychologists. They’re either completing their training, or are in their early years of working, and come from all different backgrounds with vastly different life experiences.
Each interviewee reminds me of the sheer determination and hard work it takes to become a psychologist, something we should pat ourselves on the back for achieving, regularly!
In this episode I chat to Ceara Rickard, 31 year old resident of Hobart, Tasmania. Ceara completed her honours in psychology in 2006, and has worked in psychology-related roles for 10 years. She is currently halfway through her 4+2 training, and previously completed a Grad Dip of Counselling for Health and Social Care from University of New England.
Ceara is currently working in a youth mental health NGO.
Ceara described where she grew up as a pretty rough area of rural QLD. She is from a *huge* family and says her background had a big influence on how she sees psychology, recovery, social justice, and her work with vulnerable members of the community.
Ceara was keen to do this interview as she sees many new students and graduates who feel anxious and distressed if they don’t follow a linear pathway to their career and hopes sharing her story may provide a different perspective!
This episode is the second of a series of five chapters with early career psychologists. They’re either completing their training, or are in their early years of working, and come from all different backgrounds with vastly different life experiences.
I love how in this small sample of seven people, you get a sense of the diversity of individuals that come to this profession. After publishing just three of these interviews you'll see what I mean!
Each person reminds me of the sheer determination and hard work it takes to become a psychologist, something we should pat ourselves on the back for achieving, regularly!
In this episode I’m chatting to Kieran Martin, 40 year old father of 5 and 27 year old Tanya Muller who lives on a sheep station in rural NSW. So have a listen and see how we all wear it differently with Kieran Martin and Tanya Muller.
This episode is the first of a series of five chapters with early career psychologists. They're either completing their training, or are in their early years of working, and come from all different backgrounds with vastly different life experiences.
I love how in this small sample of seven people, you get a sense of the diversity of individuals that come to this profession. Each person reminded me of the sheer determination and hard work it takes to become a psychologist, something we should pat ourselves on the back for achieving, regularly!
Chatting to this special seven also normalises the up and downs of early career life!!
In this episode I'm chatting to Jim Smith. Jim is 54 years old, lives in Canberra, and is in his first year of the Clinical Master’s Program at the University of Canberra.
Jim was born in Michigan, USA. He met his wife (Jenny) in Munich, Germany and came to Australia in 1987. He has 3 grownup children. Jim has been working since he was 14 years old in some capacity or other, and has had A LOT of different jobs. However he considers Psychology to be his first career.
Jim wanted to do this interview to let people know that becoming who you are meant to be, isn’t always a straight road, and that finding the true you can take time. Jim Says "Be patient." So have a listen and see how we all wear it differently with Jim Smith.
Dr. Janet Hall is a psychologist, hypnotherapist, sex therapist, author, professional speaker, trainer, and media consultant.
Dr Jan founded the Richmond Hill Psychology clinic which provides services to: 1) Adults (Specializing in Success Coaching, Relationships and Sex Therapy) and 2) Children/Families (Specializing in Confidence, Self-esteem and Bedwetting)
Dr Jan consults regularly with print media and is a frequent guest on talk-back radio and current affairs shows. She was a regular for two years on the Sex Life television program in Australia.
In this interview we chat about sex therapy.
Chris Mackey has over 35 years’ clinical experience, including 10 years as a Senior Clinical Psychologist at the Geelong and Heidelberg Repatriation Hospitals. He is the owner of Private Practice Chris Mackey and Associates, and is interested in evaluating the effectiveness of therapy interventions in real-world settings, including that of his own practice.
In this episode we also chat about his interest in Synchronicity from a therapeutic perspective, and his new book Synchronicity: Empower your life with the gift of coincidence.
Professor Peter Norton is an internationally recognised expert in the study and cognitive-behavioural treatment of anxiety disorders. He is also an expert in Transdiagnostic Approaches to mental health treatment.
Dr Norton's research explores transdiagnostic and diagnosis-specific factors across anxiety and other emotional disorders, and translates these factors into efficacious and efficient interventions. This work involves a combination of basic and experimental research to better understand common and unique aspects of affective psychopathology, and clinical outcomes research to develop and evaluate new or modified interventions to target these core features.
Dr Norton's training and career has crossed continents including Canada, the US and Australia. He is currently a Professor of Psychology at Monash University in Melbourne Australia.
Dr. Tirch is the Founder of The Center for Compassion Focused Therapy, the first clinical training centre for Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) in the USA. He is also the President of The Compassionate Mind Foundation USA – the North American wing of the training, research and development community for CFT.
Dr. Tirch has been described as one of the country's foremost experts on CFT and the contextual psychology of compassion. He has dedicated his research and scholarship to bettering our understanding of how therapies like ACT and CBT can be strengthened and further developed by bringing a compassion focus to our work.
Dr Suzanne Barrett and Dr Fiona Zandt are both clinical psychologists with over 30 years experience combined working with children, adolescents, parents and families.
In addition to their clinical work, Suzanne and Fiona run popular Creative Child Therapy Workshops including: 1) Creative Ways to Help Children Manage Emotions & Playful; 2) Practical and Purposeful Approaches to Childhood Anxiety.
More recently they published their first book, Creative Ways to Help Children Manage Big Feelings: A Therapist's Guide to Working with Preschool and Primary Children. The essence of the book is about using play to introduce therapeutic concepts to children and provide a space in which they can explore these ideas.
Dr. Sarah Cotton is an Organisational Psychologist specialising in helping individuals and organisations navigate the challenges of modern work. Sarah co-founded Transitioning Well™ in 2011, which a which focusses on supporting management and employees to navigate Parental-Leave, Work-Life and Mature-Age transitions.
Sarah has over 15 years experience as a coach, trainer and consultant, and her background spans across the university, corporate and not for profit sectors, in addition to private practice. Her academic background includes a PhD in the area of work-stress, and specific training in political and policy related psychology.
In her early career Sarah worked at Psychology Beyond Borders, and as a project Manager at World Vision. She was also an Associate at Issues Deliberation Australia/America for 10 years - (IDA) a not-for-profit, non-partisan political psychology and public policy think tank.
Having both published and presented widely, Sarah’s research experience strengthens her profile and motivates her to get research to where it is needed most – real life!
Dr Anthony Dillon (Phd) is actively involved in research into the areas of mental health and Aboriginal well-being. He is proud of both his Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal ancestry, and is an active social commentator on Aboriginal issues.
Dr Dillon is currently a post doctoral research fellow at the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education, at the Australian Catholic University in Sydney Australia and lectures university students and different community groups on Aboriginal issues.
Anthony believes that Aboriginal affairs is everyone’s business and that for as long as Aboriginal people are diminished, Australia is diminished. He further believes that political correctness is killing Aboriginal people as fast as drugs and alcohol. His writings can be found at www.anthonydillon.com.au
For all the links Anthony spoke about and his self-care tip check out the show notes!
Russ Harris, author of the international best-selling self-help book 'The Happiness Trap', is an world-renowned trainer of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT). Russ's background is in medicine. As a GP he became increasingly interested in the psychological aspects of health and wellbeing, and increasingly disenchanted with writing prescriptions. Ultimately this interest led to a total career change - from medicine to therapy and coaching.
Since 2005, Russ has run over 500 workshops and provided ACT training for over 22,000 health professionals, including therapists, coaches, counselors, doctors, and psychologists. He has authored two ACT textbooks (including ACT Made Simple), and four ACT-based self-help books (including The Reality Slap). The Happiness Trap, is now the most widely-translated ACT book in the world, with over half a million copies sold worldwide, and editions in over 30 languages.
This is Episode 10 of the Q and A series with psychologist Moshe Lang. Moshe is one of Australia’s best known family therapists, a renowned author and teacher. He has been practicing psychotherapy for over 52 years and is insatiably curious, and wonderfully wise.
This week's series of questions are from me, on the topic of using humour in therapy.