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Psychology Illawarra

Jenni Dall psychologist  yoga teacher

Service Types


 

Individual counselling - children, adolescents, adults

Some issues people deal with at MINDwise:

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First and foremost is the importance of building a warm trustworthy connection between you (the client) and me. You need to be able to tell that I 'get' you. So we would take the time needed to find out who you are, what your story is, and where you would like some help. During this part I hope you will be able to gradually build trust that you are safe here from shaming or other disrespectful responses to your difficulties; that instead there is compassion and understanding of where you are coming from.

Then I would explain where I think I might be able to help, and where I would not be able to (and give any other suggestions for alternative sources of help that I can offer).

If we agree to keep seeing one another one-on-one, we would work in a flexible way tailored to your particular viewpoints and understandings. I see myself as a fellow-traveller who has made it my life's work to acquire whatever wisdom I can, and use it to live well and offer whatever may be of use to those with whom I come in contact. In the consult room I have a number of frameworks that I use to help me think about people, where they are getting stuck, and what might be of best use to them. Chief amongst these is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). See below for more on ACT.

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Course (6 weeks)

"Yoga & Mindfulness for Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia"

Enrolling now! - details here

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This is a powerful approach as both the physiological and psychological dimensions of the human being are simultaneously recruited in service of physical, emotional, mental, and for that matter spiritual well-being. What this means in plain English is that your body being in special positions whilst you work with your mind turns out to be very helpful!

The Iyengar method is a very highly regarded form of yoga, particularly for its sophisticated knowledge-base regarding therapeutics.

Participants receive handouts of the sequences (with pictures of all poses) to take home and practice - choose the most relevant on any given day.

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Course (7 weeks)

"Handling Anxiety & Depression"

Learn skills to handle these mood states so that you are in charge of your life rather than the anxiety/depression running things.
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Modules include:

  • Moods and their Causes
  • Life-style Measures that can Help
  • Dealing With Feelings
  • Grief and Loss
  • Fear and Phobias
  • Laughter and its Role in Recovery
In addition to providing useful information (based in research evidence), the group provides (because of the way it is set up, and the agreements group members make) a safe place to explore personal relevances to the topics, and to try out some approaches that are different to your habitual ones. Group members find that the experience is an empowering one because as well as learning useful things for and about themselves, they are also active agents in each other's recovery.

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The Approach: what to expect

All service types listed above utilise an approach to living known as Acceptance and Commitment Training - also known within a counselling or therapeutic group context as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy - or ACT for short. (The acronym is pronounced "act" rather than the letters "A.C.T." to emphasise the importance of action in building the lives we choose.) The main purpose of ACT is to relieve human suffering through helping clients live a vital, valued life.

The possibility of being able to choose valued life directions is facilitated in ACT by developing skills in dealing with feelings and thoughts so that they don't get in the way. These skills are based in a practice called 'mindfulness'. Mindfulness is a way of letting unwanted thoughts and feelings do their thing with acceptance yet some detachment, rather than struggling to get away from them, fighting against them, or alternatively getting lost in or swamped by them. We use stories, jokes, experiential exercises, and logical paradox to get around the grip of the literality of our language-based minds and to produce more contact with the ongoing flow of experience in the moment. Research shows that it is a very effective method of dealing with many problems that people have that arise from within their own minds.

Some problems in life arise from outside ourselves, and using ACT to be able to think about how to act to deal with those is also very useful because it turns out that it is often internal barriers that once again prevent us from seeing that we can do what we can do and how to do it (or alternatively accepting gracefully that we can't do anything in some instances and then getting on with what we can do something about).

Links to further information

For more information about ACT see:
www.actmindfully.com.au/upimages/Dr_Russ_Harris_-_A_Non-echnical_Overview_of_ACT.pdfpdf
http://contextualpsychology.org.

For more information about research evidence that supports ACT's use see:

http://contextualpsychology.org/empirical_readings

For other therapists that use ACT see:

http://canberrapsychology.com.au/about-canberra-psychologist.html
http://www.actmindfully.com.au/directory.asp

For more information about Iyengar Yoga see:

www.iyengaryoga.asn.au
http://www.iyengar-yoga.com/iyengaryoga/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iyengar_Yoga
http://www.bksiyengar.com/