Kathy Smith

Kathy Smith – Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychologist

Beginning the counselling journey is a courageous act of self-love. Allowing your child to experience an exercise in potential growth and healing (such as Psychology) is an act of love, trust and acceptance.

Choosing a psychologist for yourself, or for your child, is an important and difficult process. It is an act of trust to allow your child to talk to a virtual stranger about their perspective of difficult situations that might be occurring in the home, school and/or family environments. It is imperative to find a Psychologist that you believe you and your child can trust, that has the ability to form a warm, engaging and empathetic relationship with your child and for the Psychologist to have extensive and long term training and experience. In addition, forming a good working relationship with you, as the parent, is important as you are likely to be involved in your child’s treatment program. The findings of countless research studies show that forming a strong rapport with clients is the biggest predictor of successful therapeutic outcomes and prognoses for clients of all ages. Kathy is highly skilled at forming warm and engaging relationships with clients of all ages. The treatment plan that Kathy designs for you/your child will incorporate both innovative and evidence–based treatment methods with the aim of creating the most successful outcome.

When a child begins to outwardly show signs of needing help, it is often the case that they have been struggling with an issue for a long period of time. It is important to “catch the problem early” in order to minimise detrimental effects in the family, home, school and community. The earlier the child receives support and intervention, the better the prognosis for the child.

At some point, every person will experience times when life stressors have overwhelmed us and we know that we are not living the best life we can live, we are not as close to those we love as we could be and stress is getting in the way of joy. Life stressors can overcome us and impact all areas of life including family, social, school and work. Problems also typically have many causes and may have been present for some time. Sometimes we arrive at a point where we are not even aware of the extent to which our stress levels are impinging upon different areas of our lives.

Seeing an accomplished and experienced psychologist during such times can help a person to learn life skills that will help them prevail when they next encounter hardships. Psychology is not just for people with severe mental health disorders; it can also help a person to unlock unused potential, experience more happiness, find balance and well-being, as well as assisting people to enjoy other self-improvement benefits. Obstacles seem smaller and more surmountable when the client has an objective, trained professional to offer useful expertise, feedback and provide the tools for change.

Kathy Smith has been practicing as a Psychologist for over 16 years. She is able to develop harmonious and warm, yet professional, relationships with clients due to her gentle and down to earth nature. Kathy enjoys helping clients heighten the joy and productivity in their life. Kathy draws upon her life experience and extensive background in Psychology to treat clients effectively. Her education, training and experience has predominantly been with children, adolescents and their families, who have been diagnosed wide range of clinical issues and come from a myriad of multicultural and socio-economic backgrounds. In addition, she has extensive experience and training in working with adults. Kathy enjoys working with people of all ages and from all walks of life.

Kathy believes that the first step to positive change is to acknowledge the issue(s) that bring a client to therapy and, coming from a strength-based, solution-focused background, she is concerned with helping her clients to overcome obstacles in a comforting and collaborative manner. Kathy’s goal is to help her clients to use the strengths that they already possess, teach them tools to help them surmount their difficulties and nurture the growth of the client throughout the therapeutic process. Kathy utilises many approaches including: Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Person-Centered Psychology, Transpersonal Psychology, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT), Strength-Based Therapy, Play, Art and Creative Therapy and Positive Psychology to help clients to achieve their therapeutic goals. She draws from the above modalities to create an individualised treatment plan for each client as she believes that every client ought to be treated according to their own unique needs and personality.

 

Qualifications and Memberships

  • Master of Arts (Counselling Psychology)
  • Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)
  • Registered Psychologist with the Psychological Board of Australia

 

Areas of Work – Children and Adolescents

  • Acute Stress Disorder
  • Adjustment Disorder
  • Assessment
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD( (formerly called Attention Deficit Disorder)
  • Attention and concentration difficulties
  • Anger management
  • Anxiety Disorders (including Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety and Separation Anxiety Disorder)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (a formerly used diagnosis on this spectrum was Asperger’s Syndrome)
  • Behaviour modification
  • Bereavement and loss
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Bullying related issues
  • Chronic pain
  • Common Disorders of Childhood
  • Communication skills training
  • Confusion
  • Conflict-resolution skills training
  • Defiance (Oppositional Defiance Disorder and Conduct Disorder)
  • Depression (including Post-Partum Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder)
  • Developmental Disorders (including Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD))
  • Early attachment difficulties
  • Effective communication strategies
  • Empowerment and assertiveness skills training
  • Family difficulties (related to arguing, separation, divorce, adoption, fostering and blended families)
  • Fears
  • Gratitude skills training
  • Grief and loss
  • Guided imagery
  • Mood improvement
  • Interpersonal difficulties
  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Life transition issues
  • Lethargy
  • LGTBQ+
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder
  • Parent/child relationship problems
  • Parenting strategies for behavioural and mood difficulties
  • Phobias (including specific phobias and social phobia)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Problem-solving skills training
  • Nurturing inner peace, tranquility and joy
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Relaxation and self-soothing skills training
  • Regulating and expressing strong emotions
  • School refusal
  • School related difficulties
  • Self-acceptance, Self-care, Self-esteem, Self-image, Self-improvement, Self-worth and Self-soothing skills training
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-doubt
  • Self-harm (including “cutting”)
  • Sexual, psychological, verbal and physical abuse (including a past history of abuse)
  • Sleep problems (All types of Insomnia, falling asleep, staying asleep, waking easily, waking up tired)
  • Social, friendship problems and problems with authority figures
  • Stress (including family, social, school and work related stress/worry)
  • Stress inducing situations
  • Thought stopping and reframing training (including cyclical, racing and negative thoughts about self, others and the world in general)
  • Well-being

 

Areas of Work – Adults

Kathy works with people of all ages in the areas listed above. Some additional issues that she treats adults with are:

  • Burn out
  • Fertility counselling
  • LGTBQ+
  • Life direction and purpose
  • Life transition difficulties
  • Menopause (including perimenopause and early menopause)
  • Pregnancy related problems

 

Treatment Approaches

  • Mindfulness
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT)
  •  Person-Centered Psychology
  • Transpersonal Psychology
  • Strength-Based Therapy
  • Positive Psychology
  • Play, Art and Creative Therapy
  • Child and Adolescent Psychology
  • Adult Psychology
  • Family Therapy
  • Parenting skills training