With 18 years of experience working with adolescents (from 12years+) and adults across the lifespan, I have obtained experience ranging from neurological and mental health problems, adjustment difficulties at school and work, coping with life changes such parental separation, migration; and dealing with social problems e.g. cyber bullying, body image and discrimination in the workplace.
Areas of Specialty:
Christina has self-authored a 10 session program called “Adolescent Wellbeing” which addresses issues of the self and family, identifies values and strengths, and reprocesses underlying problematic beliefs and behaviours. Mental health, neurological and physiological issues are also individually addressed, for example:
attention difficulties, learning plan, stress, anxiety, body image problems and social and relationship problems
The program is suited for ages 12 – 25 years and can be offered in group format. The program adopts theories from the most current neuroscience research and attachment theories, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Positive Psychology.
Christina has also trained in Complex Event Trauma, Panic, Social Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Agoraphobia, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (worrying), Performance Anxiety, Sexual Dysfunction, Postnatal Depression, Grief, Low Self-Esteem, Mild-moderate Depression, Stress, Perfectionism, Workplace Burnout and Bullying, Life crisis related stress.
A description of offered interventions is described below:
CBT focuses on the current symptoms without exploring in depth the history of the client. It predicts that your current thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected and trapped in a negative cycle. CBT aims to break down or stop the cycle by changing the negative thoughts and behaviours to improve the way you feel. For example, gradual exposure to a feared situation can help you feel more desensitised to the fear.
Schema therapy is more psychodynamic in nature and explores the origins of the underlying negative beliefs, and the history of the client is explored more deeply. The metaphor of a tree is often used to explain Schema Therapy: the leaves and branches are the current experiences, while the roots are the origin and the history of the client’s life. Current symptoms and experiences are related to “modes” for example the “Vulnerable Child” mode or the “Overcompensator” mode which were learned over the lifespan. The “Healthy Adult” mode is also established to inform the unhelpful modes and heal. More information on this therapy is available here: https://www.schematherapy.com/
Similar to Schema Therapy, EMDR assumes the position of all experiences being traced to memory networks in the brain. These memories can be processed and “rewritten” with the use of a carefully structured treatment protocol that involves alternating bilateral stimulation of the brain. This stimulation can be done by movement of an object from left to right across the client’s visual field, with the eyes moving left to right. It can also be achieved with auditory tones presented via headphones or tapping/buzzing sensations in the hands. The targeted memory responsible for the current symptom is held and focused in the client’s mind during the bilateral stimulation.
Positive states can also be achieved through EMDR by focusing on a desired future outcome. Given the individual has had the training in the skills required to achieve that outcome (the desired outcome must be realistic!), the positive state can be achieved.
More information is available here: https://aware-psy.ch/eye-movement-desensitisation-and-reprocessing/
Mindfulness is a state of awareness whereby the person participates fully and effectively in the current moment. Mindfulness has been practised for centuries by Eastern cultures and philosophy for inner emotional and spiritual balance. In Western society, it also assists our day to day performance and to manage our busy lives. It relies on a series of mental strategies for concentration, non-judgmentalism and efficiency that are taught in individual or group format and then practised at home and integrated into the clients’ lives. Mindfulness is a foundational skill required for many other therapies and is often used as a resource before exploring painful emotions or memories.
Positive Psychology is a movement created by Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania. This approach focuses on the pursuit of happiness through authentic empowerment of individual strengths and values. Seligman coined the term “Flow State” describing the easy of information flow in the brain, and resulting effective behaviour. This approach improves the self through identifying and focusing in on the strengths of an individual, not limited to only their cognitive abilities, but harnessing their personal values, areas of excitement (passion) and emotional intelligence as well. Any blocks to accessing the individual’s strengths are investigated and processed.
The approach is humanistic or person centred, and borrows theories and strategies from the cognitive behavioural model.
Developed by Aware Psychology, “Aware Adolescent” is a 10 week program offered in group or individual format, targeted to families, schools and community organisations who would like to see their adolescent thrive. Recommended ages are 12-25 years of age. Groups are arranged according to adolescent phase: early (12-14) mid (15-19) and late (20-25) adolescence. Parents and families are provided with education and support along the way.
The program Aware Adolescent has been crafted from 18 years of clinical and theoretical experience with this client group. Additionally, the development of interpersonal neuroscience research over the last 10 years helps us now to understand and integrate the unique needs of this important developmental phase into the program.
Aware Adolescent is a structured course of learning and process, both theoretical and experiential. The client(s) and their family experience new perspectives of their very important life phase.
The program is an integrative approach taken from the following psychotherapeutic modalities:
Aware Psychology offers numerous and varied therapies to suit individual needs, either in person or online. Some sessions may be held off site for the purposes of skills training, e.g. in nature for mindfulness programs, or unique locations for graded anxiety exposure.
Please contact Christina directly if you have any further questions relating to the listed interventions.