Indepth Psychology Blog

4 Tips for Surviving the Festive Season

Posted On: December 21st, 2014 by Ivone Rebelo | Category: General

The festive season can be enjoyable – with good food, great company and maybe an end of year holiday. However, it can also be a very stressful time of year with last minute Christmas shopping, family gatherings and social engagements on all at once. What can you do to survive the festive season and feel like you’ve had the chance to enjoy it?


Here are 4 quick tips that others say they find helpful:Christmas Challenges



 1. Plan Ahead


Christmas shopping can be overwhelming and people find that Christmas can creep up on them, with a lot to do all at once. If that’s the case, whenever you remember something that needs to be done, jot it down and then take some time to prioritise what to do first. For those who find shopping stressful, sometimes going with a friend on a scheduled day can be helpful, or planning to go at a quiet time when there are less people around. Another great tip is to have a few small back-up presents to save you from those situations where someone might arrive unexpectedly with a present for you.


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Insight on Anxiety

Posted On: November 28th, 2014 by Dr Elizabeth Hall | Category: Anxiety Disorders, Mental Health

The popular SBS program, “Insight”, is celebrating its 10th year, and has been airing some of their most popular episodes.SBS Insight Episode on Anxiety On Tuesday, 25th November, 2014, they showed the episode from 2010 on anxiety. It was one of the most popular episodes from 2010, perhaps not surprisingly given that anxiety affects approximately 16% of Australians in any single year.


One of the experts, Professor Ron Rapee, is the Director for the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University.  Our Psychologist, Ivone Rebelo, worked with Ron in the Centre for Emotional Health for many years, including in the role of Clinic Manager. She gained a wealth of experience treating anxiety in children and adults. Below is a section of the transcript from Professor Rapee outlining the treatment:

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5 Common Signs of Child Anxiety

Posted On: October 10th, 2014 by Ivone Rebelo | Category: Anxiety Disorders, Mental Health

Whilst anxiety is a common mental health issue affecting 1 in 8 children, it often remains undetected and untreated, leading to unhelpful distress in children and higher prevalence rates of mental health issues in adolescence. Here are 5 common signs to help detect anxiety in children:



1. Children often complain of unexplained physical symptoms such as tummy aches, headaches, or muscle tension. These can be physical signs of anxiety and stress.


2. Some children find it difficult to go to certain places or do things due to high levels of anxiety, and so avoid a lot of situations. For example, children who are regularly in sick bay or refuse school, who avoid being away from their caregivers or who lack confidence in social settings. Sometimes avoidance can be specific, like fear of certain animals, heights, needles or vomiting.


3. Other children might experience difficulties with focus when trying to concentrate at school, or do homework because they are distracted by worry thoughts or physical symptoms of anxiety.


4. Commonly children experiencing anxiety have difficulties with sleep, particularly with falling or staying asleep on their own. Often children are unable to sleep because they are worried about various things.


5. Some children become more easily irritable, angry and on edge, particularly if they are worried or stressed about a number of things, such as school deadlines, friendships and family.



Our Psychologist, Ivone Rebelo, has 10 years of experience working with children and she is passionate about helping families better understand and manage child anxiety, supporting kids to be more confident in themselves.


From now till 31 December 2014, Ivone will be offering bulk-billing consultations for all child referrals from GPs under the Medicare Mental Health Treatment Plan. For further information or enquiries, please contact us on 02 8068 4361.



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Psychologist Interview

Posted On: July 22nd, 2014 by Dr Elizabeth Hall | Category: General

Recently, one of our Clinical Psychologists, Dr Chien Hoong Gooi, was interviewed by the nationwide counselling and psychological services network, Australia Counselling. The interview transcript is as follows:


Tell us a bit about your practice- where it is, who you work with and the services you offer.Chien Hoong Gooi


I work in Glebe, Sydney. My partner Dr Elizabeth Hall and I set up the practice together, and we have an associate, Ivone Rebelo, working with us too. Between the three of us we work with children, adolescents and adults. I work with adults, mainly those who are struggling with anxiety, and also those experiencing grief.

How did you become interested in counselling and working as a psychotherapist?


I’ve always been interested in understanding human behaviour and also the ways we navigate through the ups and downs in life. This perhaps comes from seeing people go through pain and suffering, including those who are close to me and my own experiences. Through this sense of curiosity towards human experiences, I’ve also seen the great healing that can take place through genuine and caring interactions between people. This has deeply inspired me to offer help and support to others, and also to work professionally in this area.


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How Emotions Help Us

Posted On: May 26th, 2014 by Dr Elizabeth Hall | Category: Emotional Intelligence, Emotions, Mental Health

Many people struggle with emotions, particularly if they’re experiencing high levels of depression, anxiety, anger, stress, and other difficult emotions. This is particularly hard when we live in a culture that highly values being rational or logical, and being “too emotional” is a negative thing. It’s easy to end up thinking that it’s better not to feel certain emotions (or at least not strongly), and emotions are something to be managed or coped with. 


However, emotions fulfill a number of functions:

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