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Healing Connections Psychology accepts referrals from General Practitioners, Psychiatrists, Allied Health practitioners and self-referrals from individual clients.


We, collectively as human beings, are primed for struggle. We have a biological imperative to feel emotions; the whole spectrum of emotions - joy, sadness, excitement, fear, happiness, shame, and so on. These feelings come and go, some stay longer, some push forth when triggered, some hang back and hide; but they’re there and they’re felt - deeply.

But what do we do when we feel these feelings deeply: the feelings that bring joy are viewed as transient and too fleeting and we wonder why? Why can’t I feel happy for longer?! The feelings that bring discomfort or pain are viewed as bad and we struggle and push back to get rid of or avoid the pain or discomfort. And we think, why? Why can’t I control these uncomfortable feelings and make myself feel ok?

We’re primed for struggle. Struggle makes us feel vulnerable, and vulnerability sometimes brings uncertainty and fear. And for many reasons, some unique to ourselves and some part of the fabric of society, we don’t always know what to do or how to cope during challenging times. We have our own individual response to our inner experience, and the answers are therefore unique to you. Through nurturing a safe, warm, empathic space, Dr Francene Hemingway, Clinical Psychologist, works with you to gently discover your personal experience and openly and supportively design a unique solution to help you with your needs.

#struggling #depression #anxiety #compassion #therapy #empathy #vulnerability #clinicalpsychologist

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT; pronounced like ‘act’ the word, not the single letters) is an evidence-based behavioural therapy, helping people to learn how to live and behave in ways consistent with your most preciously held ideals, while developing psychological flexibility to cope with the inevitable challenges life brings. Within ACT therapy, we help you recognise ways in which your attempts to suppress, manage, and control emotional experiences creates challenges. By recognising and addressing these challenges, you can become better able to make room for values- based actions that support well-being and meaning in your life. ACT means to receive what is there to be experienced, fully and without defence, for what it is, not the stories or words our minds tell us it is, to choose what you would like your life to be about based upon your closely held values, and through engaging in committed actions that embody your values, making room for the distressing personal content as it appears without it preventing you from getting on with life. Strategies, exercises, education, and in-session practice will help guide you towards a more balanced rich, full, meaningful

Emotion Focused Therapy

Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) is an evidence-based humanistic treatment that views emotions as centrally important in human functioning and therapeutic change. EFT involves a therapeutic style that combines both following and guiding the client’s genuine experiences in sessions, emphasizing the importance of both relationships and intervention strategies. Within EFT, we view emotion as the fundamental core of human experience while recognising the importance of meaning making, and how emotion and cognition as inextricably intertwined. EFT proposes that emotions themselves can be naturally adaptive when supportively activated and can help clients change problematic emotional states or unwanted self-experiences. This is based on the biological imperative that emotion at its core is an innate and adaptive system that has evolved to help us survive and thrive. As a result, people receiving EFT treatment become stronger and are more skillful in accessing the important information and meanings about themselves and their world that emotions contain, and become more skillful in using that information to live vitally and adaptively.

Compassion Focused Therapy

Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) is a type of therapy designed to help people who suffer from high levels of self-criticism and shame. It helps you to learn how to feel kinder towards yourself and others, and to feel safe and capable in a world that can seem overwhelming. Of course, compassion is central in all types of therapy, however, within CFT help we aim to create positive emotional responses for people who particularly struggle with a low sense of worth. Compassion- focused therapy puts a greater focus than other approaches on consciously developing your ability to feel and act compassionately and kindly towards yourself and others. Within CFT you will learn skills and strategies to develop a compassionate mind, including compassion-based imagery, development of a compassionate self, and how compassion may be used to manage distress and suffering.

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Mindfulness-based cognitive [behaviour] therapy (MBCT) is a type of therapy combining the techniques, strategies, and skills from both of cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) and mindfulness principles. Cognitive-behaviour therapy aims to help clients grow and find relief from symptoms of psychological struggles through the modification of unhelpful thinking and behaviours. Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions on a continuous basis for brief targeted periods of time. Mindfulness also contributes to an acceptance of the self as it is, without attaching value judgments to our thoughts. The combination of these therapies into MBCT, creates an evidenced-based therapeutic approach that can be successfully applied to depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more.

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a psychotherapy approach designed for working with distressing or traumatic memories that may contribute to anxiety, depression, panic, and more. The theory behind EMDR is that many psychological difficulties are the result of distressing life experiences which have not
been stored in memory properly and are said to be unprocessed or blocked. These traumatic memories may need some help to become processed, and EMDR is one way to do this. EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used during one part of the treatment. Dr Francene Hemingway is available for EMDR treatment, please contact us for more information or click here for more details about EMDR.

Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP)

ISTDP is a brief psychotherapy with the basic theory being that most psychological disorders occur due to the emotional effects of disrupted attachments. Interruptions and trauma to human attachments may cause intense feelings that may become blocked and avoided. Later in life these complex feelings may be triggered and anxiety and defenses may be activated.  These expereinces are considered as unconscious to the person experiencing them, and the result is a range of physical and psychological symptoms, and interpersonal issues. ISTDP is an interactive therapy where both the therapist and client work together to identify the way you might experience your anxiety and the defenses which arise to block painful feelings from surfacing. Learning how to gently experience these feelings results in the decrease of defenses (blocks), where the resolution of avoided feelings often brings symptom improvement, behavioural changes and helps you to develop healthy relationships. Lee Hughes is trained in ISTDP and is currently open for bookings. Lee will work with you to develop a tailored treatment plan, and help you recover and improve your wellbeing.

Clinical Supervision

Francene is an advanced clinical supervisor with over 10-years of experience supervising 4+2, 5+1, registrars, and higher degree students (as well as staff supervision of general and clinical psychologists, social workers, and occupational therapists in mental health settings). At the core of our development as psychologists is ongoing supervision. This isn't specific just to beginner or intermediate psychologists, it's a core component of our ongoing development and commitment to our profession to always strive to be the best we can be. Central to the supervisory relationship is provision of a safe ethical framework to provide emotional support, warm guidance, and open reflection to allow supervisees to develop their own professional identity, enhanced capacity for self-reflection, and ultimately the capacity for professional resilience for the career ahead.

Provisional Psychologists

I keenly remember being a beginner provisional psychologist many years ago, nervously awaiting the commencement of my internship at the University clinic and the anticipation of meeting my new clinical supervisor. Over the course of my provisional registration, I had fortunate exposure to several experienced supervisors. What I remember the most from those supervisory relationships, is their passion for our profession, their openness and warmth in providing a safe space for being a nervous beginner psychologist, and mostly their compassionate guidance around the development of my attitude and values as a psychologist. I thought at that very moment in time, that I wanted to also provide this opportunity to developing psychologists.

Clinical Registrars

The key features of supervising psychologists seeking clinical endorsement tend to be the development of advanced skills in clinical formulation, enhanced self-reflection for effective use in the client-therapist relationship, and professional resiliency. In addition to these core developmental goals of clinical endorsement, are skills in refining clinical reasoning to inform evidence-based assessment and intervention for unique individual complexities.

Advanced Clinical Supervision

Francene has supervised psychology staff (general, clinical, health, counselling), mental health nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, and psychiatric registrars within public and private mental health hospitals, public and private community settings, and in universities. Francene has well-developed knowledge of various roles within mental health service provision across settings, providing unique insight and awareness to various workplace settings assisting clients with mental illness. If you're seeking advanced clinical supervision to develop your own clinical skills, knowledge, and professional role within a supportive collaborative framework, then please enquire now.

#supervision #clinicalsupervision #selfreflection #provisionalpsychologist #professionaldevelopment #psychology

Development of Self as a Psychologist Workshop Series

The ‘Development of Self as a Psychologist’ series aims to facilitate self-reflective practice within a small supportive, warm, and nurturing group setting (maximum 10 participants), to move gently and compassionately towards your own self-understanding as a psychologist for provisional psychologists on any pathway to registration. This is facilitated through three 90-minute group supervision sessions over three weeks. Participants will learn and explore ways in which they can develop reflective practice skills to consolidate their sense of self as a psychologist, whereby the application of reflective practice to personal, ethical and professional issues the development of self as a psychologist is realised. This is achieved through sharing reflections and insights (personal, ethical, and professional) of beginning psychologists, expertly mentored and encouraged by Dr Francene Hemingway’s warm, humorous, and authentic guidance creating a safe space for confidence in self-disclosure and awareness building. Check the Australian Psychological Society’s (APS) Events Calendar for upcoming dates.

#groupsupervision #selfreflection #selfreflectivepractice #provisionalpsychologist