LIFESTYLE SUPPORT (OFF THE COUCH)
Sharon strongly believes that the role of a clinical psychologist is so much more than treating diagnosed mental health disorders. Sharon is passionate about empowering clients to improve health and mental wellbeing through directed lifestyle and nutritional changes.
Areas of support include but are not limited to: Weight management, managing disordered eating, self-esteem, adjustment, personal development, age related changes, infertility, pregnancy and perinatal (during pregnancy and post).
Food and Mood
Food, we all need to eat. However, what, when and how much we eat plays a major role upon our lives. So much of our time is consumed with food, either thinking about it, preparing it, shopping for it, socialising with it, avoiding, over indulging or celebrating with it. From the moment we were born we have been innately invested in our relationship with food.
So what does food have to do with psychology. Nutritional psychology is focused on assisting clients with some very common issues that face many people in todays society; weight, eating habits, and body image. Nutritional Psychology recognises that there is a strong connection between our physical health and our mental health. The food that we eat and our behaviours around food play a pivotal role in our ability to manage our overall health and physical and mental well-being. Our food choices not only strongly influence our bodies capacity to function but also has the ability to influence how we think and feel. Our digestive system and related bodily systems are integrated.
Sharon combines her skills and knowledge of neuro-psychotherapy with nutritional psychology to assist her clients to understand the link between nutrition and mental health. Knowledge enables change and change can alter lives.
Sharon is able to help facilitate change through varied psychological therapies to best suit the individuals needs in order to meet life's demands. Sharon is focused on lifestyle changes rather than temporary fixes and encourages and supports clients to make choices based on improving overall health psychological wellbeing.
Nutrition and Mental Health
Research into the field of nutrition and mental health is rapidly revealing that our mental health is not just in our heads. There is a very strong connection between our mind and body and particularly the research being undertaken into the role that nutrition plays in enabling our bodies to acquire essential nutrients and amino acids etc.
Most importantly research is now gaining a better understanding into the fascinating world of our microbiome and its link with depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions. Pre and probiotic foods can greatly help to support a culture of healthy microbiome within your digestive system. Sharon can utilise her knowledge of nutritional psychology to address your nutritional needs through tools to help regulate the autonomic nervous system, emotional regulation, understand emotional eating patterns, and relearning more helpful nutritional beliefs. It is important to start creating a healthy relationship with food and turn our unhelpful lifestyles into have more fulfilling and healthier lives.
Sharon has attended many workshops and seminars in nutrition and health. Sharon is currently undertaking comprehensive training in Nutritional Therapy. Sharon is a Gold member of ACFED (The Australian Centre for Eating Disorders).
Why Psychological Testing?
Psychological tests are widely used to measure aspects of an individual in relation to their traits, feelings, beliefs and abilities. Tests can vary in their usage and in the settings that they are utilized including clinical, health, counselling, occupational, and educational.
A clinical psychologist may administer varied psychometric tests to assess the presence of certain conditions relating to specific mental health conditions, for example, depression, anxiety, trauma, obsessive compulsive traits, perinatal mental health, eating behaviours, and susceptibility to stress. Psychologists have spent numerous years of their studies training in the application and interpretation of statistics to enable them to confidently score and interpret the data.
Which Tests will be Used?
A wide variety of psychological tests are available and may be selected by Sharon for you to complete. Tests may be used to assist with diagnoses, guide clinical decision making, assist with treatment planning, and gain insight into personality types. Sharon will select the most appropriate psychological test for you and may make further recommendations during your treatment.
How Long Does Testing Take?
The time to administer, score and interpret the results can vary depending on the type of test being used. Some assessments may require a further comprehensive report to be written.
Selecting a Test
Please speak with Sharon or reception if you would like to explore the additional use of a psychological test to gain insight into aspects of your life, personality or psychological well-being. Many of the tests will require that your first seek an appointment with Sharon to ensure that the right test has been selected for your needs. However, Sharon is also able to offer some selected tests via the internet without you having to come into the clinic and see her.
You may be preparing for a family, facing delays in conceiving, experiencing menopause, refocusing your life after the children have left home, preparing for retirement or exploring concepts of self interest to develop a more fulfilling life.
Dealing with Challenges?
Whatever obstacle in life you may face, Sharon can assist in exploring this facet of your life to help you understand this dynamic better and promote cognitive, emotional and behavioural change.
Support in Infertility and Pregnancy
It is wonderful when individuals and couples are able to conceive naturally and give birth to a healthy baby. Unfortunately some people experience complications either trying to conceive or during pregnancy. Sharon provides psychological support to individuals and couples experiencing infertility or facing pregnancy complications. Sharon also assists those who may be seeking or involved in assisted reproductive treatment (ART).
Donor Gamete Counselling
Sharon provides counselling to couples who wish to access donor gametes. Donor counselling is a mandatory requirement requested by specialist medical services providing treatment to access donor gametes.
Research and Memberships
The doctoral research conducted by Sharon explored infertility status (male/female, fertile/infertile), psychological distress, coping, cognitive distortions and quality of life. Sharon is a member of the Fertility Society of Australia (FSA) and the Australian and New Zealand Infertility Counsellors Association (ANZICA).
Support During and After Pregnancy
Sharon is able to further support the emotional needs of the mother and/or father through perinatal mental health support during and after pregnancy.
Pregnancy and birth is a time of great physical and mental change and Sharon can provide coping strategies to assist with lifestyle changes and managing fluctuations in mood.
Sharon is a provider through Medicare (Pregnancy Supportive Counselling), and Medicare Primary Health Network (Perinatal Mental Health).
Click here to access a free postnatal depression self assessment.