0435 005 669

Sweeney House

150 Greenmeadows Drive

Port Macquarie, NSW 2444

Sweeney House

150 Greenmeadows Drive

Port Macquarie, NSW 2444

I’ve worked as a clinician for 22 years in Australia and the UK with organisations such as One Door Mental Health, Department of Education, headspace, Centrelink and NSW Health. 

 

During my career I have focused on mental health, developmental trauma, neurophysiology, endocrinology and the importance of the various social determinants of health and wellbeing. I am always learning and regularly undertake Continuing Professional Development regarding the latest evidence-based therapy techniques available.

I balance clinical practice with my academic roles as lecturer at the UNSW School of Medicine and Charles Sturt University in Port Macquarie.

https://arts-ed.csu.edu.au/schools/humss/staff/profiles/lecturers/don-mackenzie

Qualifications & Clinical Experience

  • Bachelor of Social Work (1998) University of Sydney 

  • Master of Social Work (2016) Charles Sturt University

  • Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AMHSW)

  • Conjoint Lecturer, UNSW School of Medicine

  • Lecturer, Charles Sturt University

  • Mental Health First Aid Instructor

What is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker?

Accredited Mental Health Social Workers (AMHSWs) are recognised providers with Medicare Australia and other programs, delivering clinical social work services in mental health settings and utilising a range of evidence-based strategies.

 

AMHSWs work with people across the lifespan (including children, adults and older persons) and provide a unique contribution to the mental health space in their holistic approach to working with a person.

 

The advanced training that is expected of AMHSW prepares and provides them with the skills for working with people with very complex presentations and co-morbidities.

 

AMHSWs are highly trained and educated professionals, meeting some of the highest standards of professional regulation in Australia.


I help individuals to resolve presenting psychological issues, the associated social and other environmental factors, and improve their quality of life.

 

This may involve family as well as individual counselling, and group therapy. Social workers recognise the broader implications of an individual living with a mental illness and the impact on friends, family, work and education.

Click here for more information about Accredited Mental Health Social Workers.

Assessing and treating mental health disorders

I have a breadth of experience in assessing and treating people who have mental health disorders, for example people with:

  • Depression and other mood disorders

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Personality disorders

  • Psychosis

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Relationship problems

  • Life crises

  • Adjustment issues

  • Trauma

  • Family conflicts
     

Like other allied health professionals, such as psychologists, I use a range of interventions in helping people with mental health disorders, including the following focussed psychological strategies:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy

  • Behavioural interventions

  • Cognitive interventions

  • Relaxation strategies

  • Skills training

  • Problem solving

  • Anger management

  • Social skills

  • Stress management

  • Parenting skills

  • Interpersonal therapy

  • Psycho-education (including Motivational Interviewing)

  • Narrative therapy

I don't believe simple labels are helpful in educating, processing and accepting or reconciling psychological health issues.

 

From a strengths-perspective, as individuals we all have something to give. Everything we have experienced helps to create who we are today. 

 

The mind, brain and body are integrated in a complex way. My role as a therapist can be to educate, explain and support how you understand your thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physiology.

 

Your physiological health impacts directly on your mental health.

A lot of what we think and feel is guided and directed by our physiological state, especially our autonomic nervous system following trauma.

 

Diet, sleep, exercise and social relationships are critical to maintaining good physical health and mental wellbeing.

 

Exploring attachment can also be helpful in understanding how you form relationships and respond to threat or anxiety.

 

Trauma also affects our explicit and implicit memory. Adverse childhood experiences and other factors can combine to affect what you believe, what you avoid and how you learn.

Through structured sessions, I can help you see yourself through a lens to the past to help resolve issues you have now. In doing so, you're building towards a positive future of self-managing internal and external stressors. 

Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AMHSW)

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Accredited Mental Health First Aid Instructor 

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Social Sense Allied Health Pty Ltd acknowledges the Birpai people as the traditional custodians of the land and pays respect to elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge this is Aboriginal land and always will be. We also embrace diversity and are committed to creating a safe environment for all people.

©2020 Social Sense Allied Health Pty Ltd           ABN 37 641 570 541          Medicare Provider No. 5401363T