Therapy Principles & Assessments

During our therapy, the guiding principles I follow are based upon current research and evidence. For me, creating safety is always the best form of treatment. Developing a sense of safety across our home, work and social lives is critical in maintaining our mental health and wellbeing. Metacognition is also important during therapy, where you think about why you have certain thoughts and how to change those thoughts if they are maladaptive, increase avoidance or get you stuck. Often these thoughts are about what you think about yourself, a relationship, a particular event or the world around you.

I am also a strong believer in the mental health recovery model where you are the author of your recovery. You define what recovery means and when you get there. I provide support, feedback and expertise across a variety of issues you may have experienced in your life. We can have in-depth discussions in a non-judgemental or stigmatising way as we process together your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. The therapeutic relationship is safe, confidential and structured in a way we can measure how you are progressing towards your treatment goals.

Your body always keeps the score and your mind hears everything your body says. Interoception, or how you interpret your bodily sensations significantly affects your mood, decision-making, emotional literacy and sense of safety. I always incorporate body sensing and mapping techniques in therapy as this helps a person self-regulate and accurately interpret their bodily sensations.

Testimonial:

Both of my children aged 9yrs and 15yrs have seen Don this year.

He has always been so approachable and easy for the kids to relate to.

 My son even looked forward to his sessions each fortnight to chat and learn from Don.

Each session we took home strategies and real tools to help with current situations going on in their life.

These strategies were very easy to implement and age appropriate. 

I personally recommend Don to anyone at any age who needs help with their mental health.

- Client's mother

 

 

ASSESSMENTS

Adaptive Behaviour Assessment System (Third Edition) (ABAS3) is a validated tool which is used internationally to assess a person's (aged 5-21yrs) independent functioning across a range of areas, for example, home, school, community, health and safety and communication. A comprehensive report is provided with statistical data regarding the age and stage of the child or adult.The ABAS3 Report will also inform and guide ongoing interventions from caregivers, allied health professionals and educators.

Developmental Profile (Fourth Edition) (DP4) which is a is a reliable and valid tool which is norm-referenced to assess an individual (aged 0-21yrs) across a variety of settings. The assessment includes feedback from the caregiver, educator and clinician to provide a detailed account of the individuals’ strengths and identify any areas of developmental delay. The DP4 Report will also inform and guide ongoing interventions from caregivers, allied health professionals and educators.

Sensory Processing Measure (SPM) assesses sensory processing issues such as praxis and social participation in primary school aged children (5-12yrs). Sensory processing and integration of sensory inputs is a crucial neurobehavioural process
that strongly affects development. The SPM Report will also inform and guide ongoing interventions from caregivers, allied health professionals and educators.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Assessment reviews physiological, social, psychological and environmental aspects of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event such as a car accident or assault. Avoidance, flashbacks, hyperarousal and mood are all assessed using a validated tool, the PTSD Checklist (Fifth Edition) (PCL5). 

Integrated Listening System (Safe and Sound) is an evidence based treatment to reduce sensory behaviour dysregulation and address social emotional communication difficulties. This treatment protocol for children and adults involves one hour a day for five consecutive days with a pre and post questionnaire to measure progress.The Safe and Sound Report will also inform and guide ongoing interventions from caregivers, allied health professionals and educators.

Social Emotional Wellbeing Assessment is a comprehensive tool which assesses social emotional skills and functioning such as resilience, coping strategies, trauma, mental health and safe relationships. The report provided presents the clinical findings in a constructive and supportive way and includes recommendations for future treatment goals for caregivers, allied health professionals and educators.

*Please note: we can administer specific scales, questionnaires and tests such as the above, but please note I do not provide: letters, assessments or reports for family law or other legal purposes; testing and reports for an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis; ADHD assessments and reports; IQ testing; and other cognitive testing e.g. WISC, WPPSI, WIAT and WAIS.

THERAPY PRINCIPLES

The social model of disability

A person’s barriers and challenges are from the society they live in rather than from their physical or mental impairment or neurodiversity. This includes the built environment and people’s attitudes or stigma that can be significantly disabling.
 

Our 8 Senses

Every day we use taste, touch, sight, hearing, smell, vestibular (balance), proprioception (where our body is in space) and interoception (sensations from your body). All of this sense data feeds how your brain predicts based on your past experience and what is happening in your environment.  

Evidence-based

Using intervention techniques and therapies that have a sound, peer-reviewed science and rationale for why the technique works. I will provide you with resources and tools as we move through the structured, therapeutic process.

Trauma infomed

A conscious awareness of how trauma impacts everything that we think, feel and do from a basis of the principles of safety, choice, collaboration, trust and empowerment. This also acknowledges single trauma, complex trauma and intergenerational trauma.

Play-based Learning

The science of play-based learning clearly shows children, young people and adults benefit through play at different developmental stages of our life. It is particularly critical for regulation, sensorimotor skills, cognition, speech and language, comprehension, working memory and social emotional development.

Social & emotional education

Understanding how children and adults process and manage emotions, make decisions, manage busy days, maintain relationships and continue to learn and develop. Emotional intelligence is important for home, work and study.

Person-centred

Your values, decisions and goals are self-authored and we co-produce the therapeutic intervention. We will develop, plan and review the therapy process together with you at the centre.

Diversity and inclusion

My practice is based on cultural safety for people of cultures, beliefs, sexuality and spirituality. It includes respecting the neurodiversity of how people think and how their brain functions. It includes respecting people across the gender continuum of how they identify, express and relate about gender.

If you are in a crisis, contact Emergency Services 000, the Mental Health Access Line 1800 011 511, Lifeline 13 11 14, Suicide Callback Service 1300 659 467, Men's Referral Service 1300 766 491, 1800RESPECT 1800 737 732 or Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.

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 inclusion and diversity regarding ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity, with a commitment to creating a safe environment for all people.

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