James’ approach to mental health is about mind-body integration and looking at the “whole person”. Mental health influences how we feel, think and move, how we communicate and relate to the world, and can seriously impact our physical health. James will hep make sense of how this all fits together, to explore unhelpful thoughts and behaviour, and identify different options.
Learn about drug & alcohol addiction
People use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs for many reasons. Some people use these substances to help them to relax, to feel more lively, to feel less inhibited or to feel pleasure. Others find the effects of substances make it easier for them to cope with problems.
Substance use can cause problems for an individual and their families, even when they are not highly dependent or addicted to the substance. If you are taking a substance, you might find it difficult to judge whether the substance use has become a problem. However, if the substance use has started to impact on any aspect of your daily life, including your performance at work, or relationships with a partner, colleagues, family members, or friends, then you should seek the advice of a psychologist.
Some of the more common substances that can be problematic include legal substances (alcohol, benzodiazepines: anti-anxiety drugs, painkillers with codeine in them like Nurofen Plus or Panadeine Extra/Forte and tobacco) and illegal substances including cannabis-marijuana, heroin and amphetamines including dexamphetamine without prescription, and ice. These are all drugs that can bring about high levels of dependence, and can be problematic even when used in low doses.
When we think about substance use problems, we often think of stereotypical ‘addicts’ or ‘druggies’ as the ones who have the ‘real’ concerns. However, if you are taking a substance regularly, you may feel strongly that you do not belong in this category. Most people who with substance use problems are just everyday people who might use substances to ease the stressors and difficult feelings of everyday life. However, often they use these substances in a way that makes their problems worse in the long-run. It is unlikely that you have spontaneously developed a pattern of substance use for no reason. Usually there are underlying issues that prompt it. Stress is highly effective at causing a craving for substances, and are a major cause of relapse to problematic substance use. Other conditions associated with substance use include depression, anxiety disorders, impulsivity and attention problems, and bipolar disorder.
You may feel that you are using a substance a little more than you would like to, or that you are running into problems at work or home because the substance affects you at the wrong time. If substance use is beginning to affect your wellbeing, seek help before the problem escalates and has a more severe impact on your functioning. If you are unsure, the staff at VCPS are happy to provide an assessment of your situation and feedback on what we can do together to manage the concern.
Our psychologists are specialised in assisting in this area in a number of ways, including:
Helping you to acknowledge the concern
Providing emotional support for you to release any concerns or negative thoughts
Educating you on the best practices for reducing the substance use
Identifying the underlying concerns that have led to the substance use
Focusing on the thoughts and feelings you have about using substances, and providing unique ways to address those thoughts and feelings
Providing you with new ways of relating to your thoughts and feelings that can contribute to making better decisions about substance use
Help to build up your own support system and self-care plan, in order to reduce any stress and maintain a positive daily life despite any negative circumstances
Working with you to find a treatment program that will work for you in both the short and long term
Drug & Alcohol Counselling Psychologists
Meet the someone.health psychologists currently available to see new clients for counselling for drug and alcohol addiction.
Tim cringes when thinking about traditional, clinical styles of therapy, so instead he’s committed to treating you as a real person and working together to help you live your best life. Tim has a keen interest in working with people experiencing anxiety, trauma, perfectionism, procrastination, body image concerns, low self-esteem and interpersonal difficulties.
Ari doesn’t just rely on “talk therapy” but also works with the subconscious and body. He utilises a variety of techniques including guided meditation, visualizations, somatic experiencing, brainspotting, and emotion-focused release to let go of trapped negative energy keeping you “blocked” in an unwanted state of consciousness as a result of past trauma. Ari focuses on treating adults and does not see children and adolescents.
Megan is a passionate Clinical Psychologist and Neuroscientist. She has completed additional clinical training in treatments including Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, and other compassion and mindfulness based approaches.
Harkeet has experience working with a diverse range of clients, including children, adolescents and adults struggling with a range of issues such as depression, anxiety, burnout, trauma and low self-worth. Harkeet has a keen interest in working with people experiencing anxiety, low self-esteem, emotional regulation challenges and interpersonal difficulties.
Karen is a clinical psychologist with over 25 years experience. Karen’s approach looks at the person as a whole, taking into consideration mind, body and breath. She has completed in depth training in meditation and breathing techniques. She has also spent a considerable amount of time in India and Bali and developed an appreciation and understanding of other cultures and religions.
Matthew is trained in several evidence-based therapies, including; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Motivational Interviewing. Matthew has a keen interest in working with people experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma related concerns, drug and alcohol misuse, OCD and interpersonal/relationship difficulties.
Teresa’s approach is compassionate, open-minded, and collaborative – she employs various strategies and techniques that will best suit you as an individual. Teresa has broad experience with a range of difficulties including anxiety, OCD, depression, LGBTQ concerns, PTSD, addiction, ADHD, NDIS, eating disorders, grief and loss, stress & anger management, violence or family trauma, personality disorders, career & couples counselling.
Wame has been practising for over 10 years and brings a level of maturity and professionalism to her role as a psychologist. Wame’s key areas of interest include depression, anxiety, trauma, relationships, grief & bereavement, workplace issues, life difficulties & transitions, eating disorders, and anger & conflict.
Kaming is open-minded and enjoys working with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds and sexual orientations. Kaming is trained in several evidence-base approaches, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness, Schema Therapy and EMDR. He is interested to work with people’s addiction issues, interpersonal relationships issues, specific trauma and complex trauma.
Viviana has completed a Bachelor of Psychology, a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology, a Masters in Clinical Psychology and more recently has completed a Bachelor of Law. She has been trained to use evidence based therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Chiara is an experienced clinical psychologist wiith experience working with a diverse range of patients, including adults, migrants, Indigenous population and CALD people. Chiara will help you to disarm your ‘inner critic’ – the self-limiting voice that undermines our true capabilities and potential. Chiara works with you collaboratively and transparently, focusing on your strengths and teaching skills to help you to tackle challenges and work toward valued life goals.
Paulette has trained in a range of evidence based approaches and values assisting with the impact of trauma particularly in the Frontline Services, having volunteered and worked in that sector. Using psychology and supporting day to day, life challenges is one of the keys to assisting people transition through events and she enjoys the satisfaction in helping others.
Sanja’s approach is positive, warm, explorative, and solution-focused. Sanja has worked with adult clients struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, chronic pain, trauma and PTSD, anxiety and depression, stress management, parenting issues, relationship and life transition issues.
Simon is a qualified primary school teacher as well as a registered psychologist. Simon has a keen interest in working with people experiencing anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and behaviour and emotional disorders in children. He has a relaxed, easy going nature and likes to provide people with the skills to manage life’s challenges.
With over 22 years experience as a psychologist and executive leader, Ross has developed a highly professional suite of organisational and clinical skills to provide compassionate, caring and committed evidence-based psychological services to individuals and couples that makes a real difference.
Sue is a trained community psychologist, supervisor and a mother of three teens certificated in delivering parenting training. Sue is committed to assisting people in all walks of life to achieve their full potential. Her areas of interest range from mood disorders, including post natal depression, anxiety disorders, trauma, personality disorders and psychotic illnesses.
Louise has extensive experience with children and adolescents but is very comfortable working with all age groups. Clients with issues in the areas of self esteem, stress, anxiety and depression, substance use issues and body/weight related issues would be assisted by Louise’s experience in these fields.