Psychologists Sydney

The team are knowledgeable, professional & empathic. We are committed to working hard to help you make the changes you desire, as there is nothing more satisfying than hearing our clients say that they feel better.
Providing psychological treatment for adults with:
• Anxiety Disorders – Panic attacks with/without agoraphobia, health anxiety, excessive worry, OCD, social anxiety, performance anxiety, death anxiety, fear and phobias • PTSD and trauma • Depression, perinatal and postnatal depression • Bipolar Disorder I and II • Eating disorders, body image concerns • Anger and frustration • Addiction • Perfectionism and procrastination • Stress and adjustment • Work difficulties • Relationship issues, couples therapy, and parenting concerns • Grief and bereavement • Low self esteem and low confidence
Who are we?
We are highly qualified psychologists commited to providing Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
What can you expect?
• Comprehensive assessment • Effective and scientifically proven strategies to help you feel better • A professional, non-judgmental, empathic and respectful service

Feeling down and flat, hopeless, lacking energy and motivation, & post natal depression. Learn More

Excessive worry, panic attacks, health anxiety, OCD, social anxiety and shyness, fear & phobias, performance anxiety at work. Learn More
Our expertise lies in helping people deal with a range of issues such as: Eating disorders, body image concerns​, ​anger and frustration​, ​addiction​, ​​procrastination​, ​stress and adjustment, ​work difficulties​, ​relationship issues, couples therapy, and parenting concerns, just to name a few…Learn More
Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are extremely frightening experiences where the suddenness and the degree of anxiety is significantly beyond usual levels of anxiety. These intensely anxious feelings are accompanied by physical sensations. Physical sensations that are commonly experienced include a racing heart, difficulty breathing, chest pain, shaking, nausea, dizziness and light headed. During a panic attack it is common to have thoughts that you are going to faint, you are losing control, going crazy or that you are going to die. Panic attacks can be described as a strong wave of anxiety that overcomes people leading to strong urge to escape from the situation or some people describe feeling paralysed. If you experience panic attacks more than twice a month, and are often worrying about having another panic attack then you may have Panic Disorder. People who experience panic disorder often avoid situations where they have had panic attacks before. These situations can include public transport, lifts, crowded places, shopping centres and going out alone. This can sometimes lead to agoraphobia. You can experience Panic Disorder with or without agoraphobia. Although panic attacks can feel extremely scary and can lead to people limiting their lives, research has shown that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a highly effective psychological treatment for Panic Disorder. MindFrame Psychologists use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help you identify and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviour patterns. We will work with you on your individualised treatment plan reduce your fear of panic attacks and better management of them. In many cases, treatment can lead to getting rid of panic attacks altogether.
Health and Illness Anxiety
Our health is one of the most important factors in our lives, so it is understandable that we will have some worries about our health from time to time. These worries may be more likely to occur when there are specific triggers such as: unexpected symptoms, or loved ones experiencing ill health. These anxieties will often be mild and pass, however, for some people they develop an Illness Anxiety. People who have Illness Anxiety are pre-occupied with worrisome thoughts, or fear that they will acquire a serious physical illness. These thoughts are extremely distressing and difficult to control. People with Illness Anxiety are hypervigilant to their bodies. As a result they may interpret certain body sensations or symptoms as indications that they have a severe illness, or sometimes there are no physical symptoms. Beliefs about having a serious illness continue to exist even when medical tests are undertaken and are negative. Another symptom of Illness Anxiety is the engagement in excessive health related behaviours. This can include: checking their bodies for signs of illness and reassurance seeking from health professionals, or through internet searching. Illness Anxiety can occur when there is a medical condition present, or there is a high risk of developing a medical condition due to family history. In these circumstances, the preoccupation and worries are excessive and out of proportion with the situation. Illness Anxiety can cause significant distress, impacting on functioning at work, socially and in daily life. People with illness anxiety can often feel frustrated with others around them and alone because they feel misunderstood and that they are not taken seriously. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been shown to be a highly effective psychological treatment for Illness Anxiety. MindFrame Psychologists use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help you identify and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviour patterns. We will work with you on your individualised treatment plan to reduce and manage your illness anxieties, enabling you to improve your quality of life.
Excessive Worrying and Generalised Anxiety Disorder
It is very common for people to worry about situations as often people have thoughts about what can go wrong. However, for some people worrying can take over their lives and be extremely problematic. Worrying involves troubling thoughts about actual or potential problems. Worrying can be unhelpful as it involves getting stuck in revolving thoughts about hypothetical situations leading to tension and stress. These can lead people to feel overwhelmed with strong thoughts that they are unable to cope. Worrying can often revolve around bills, relationships, jobs, health or day to day tasks. When worrying becomes excessive, feels out of control, and impacts on your life, it may be that you have Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Symptoms of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) include feelings of constant tension and anxiety where worries are present most of the day, and have been occurring for a long time – 6 months or more. Commonly, there are physical symptoms, including: feelings of restlessness, being on edge, tension, weakness and exhaustion. Accompanying the worrying there is often irritability, difficulties concentrating and difficulties sleeping with consequent tiredness. People who have GAD describe feeling overwhelmed by worries that they feel that they cannot control and that they cannot relax in any situation. They find themselves worrying about events in life that may seem small and insignificant to others. They may have physical difficulties including: headaches, muscle tension and pain and nausea. Excessive worry can lead people to have difficulties functioning in their work and in their social relationships. Sometimes excessive worry can lead to feeling down and depressed because of the toll that worrying so much can take. People who excessively worry may find themselves often seeking reassurance, or working excessively because of perfectionism. It can also lead to procrastination because tasks seem too overwhelming. Generalised Anxiety Disorder is a less well known disorder and many people do not know that they have it, so the first step is identifying it, and understanding more about it. MindFrame Psychologists practice Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which research has found to be an effective treatment for Generalised Anxiety Disorder. The therapy helps you identify and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviour patterns. We will work with you on your individualised treatment plan to eliminate, manage and reduce your worries, enabling you to live a happier life.
Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Traumas are truly horrific experiences that affect people in different ways. Traumatic events can include abuse, rape, assault, injury, accidents, natural disasters and war incidents. In response to a trauma it is normal to have feelings such as: numbness, shock, anxiety, fear, irritability, anger, sadness, depression and feelings of guilt. People have different needs after a traumatic event. Many find it helpful to have understanding and support, others prefer to process their experience on their own. For many, the feelings may pass and they are able to resume their lives. However, for some, the feelings linger and cause problems. If you have been involved in a trauma where you responded with intense fear, helplessness or horror, and your trauma symptoms have persisted for more than 3 months, you may have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder include: experiencing intrusive thoughts and memories of the trauma, which may come in the form of nightmares of flashbacks. These may be triggered by reminders of the trauma. During these intrusions, there is a feeling that you are actually in the traumatic experience again, reliving it and you may experience similar physical sensations, as you did in the trauma. Other symptoms relate to heightened arousal. These include constantly feeling on guard, easily startled, feeling irritable with anger outbursts, difficulties concentrating and sleeping. There are also avoidance symptoms where you may try to avoid people, places, activities, thoughts and talking about the trauma. You may have difficulty recalling important aspects of the trauma. It can also lead you to feel emotionally numb and distanced from other people. People with PTSD often find it difficult to engage in activities that they used to enjoy and lack motivation. They also tend to have thoughts that their life will be shorter than others. If you can identify with a number of these symptoms, and they interfere with your daily life, you may have PTSD and may benefit from professional help. Often people with PTSD can feel alone, as if no-one else understands their feelings and reactions, and they can struggle to understand their own feelings. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help with this, and has been shown to be highly effective in treating PTSD. This therapy involves processing the trauma in a structured way in order to reduce or eliminate intrusive thoughts and memories. Through the processing and challenging of thoughts in therapy, people can come to terms with the traumatic event. EMDR has also been shown to be an effective treatment for trauma and PTSD. These therapies help people reclaim their lives again. MindFrame Psychologists are trained in CBT and Paul Kennedy is trained in EMDR. At MindFrame, we can help you with trauma and PTSD. Drop us line.
Social Anxiety
Most people experience social anxieties where they may be nervous meeting new people, anxious about going to parties or speaking in meetings and public speaking. These anxieties can differ in severity. If you are having persistent and intense social anxieties, leading to suffering or avoidance, and it is disrupting your work or social life, then you may have a social phobia. Signs that social anxiety is significantly impacting on your life include:

  • avoiding social situations (work events, parties) which could be of benefit to you
  • not contributing or asserting yourself at work, which may limit career progression
  • avoiding parts of your job role
  • spending long periods worrying about social situations and analysing them afterwards, and
  • not being able to go on dates or form friendships, due to feeling too anxious.

When people feel very anxious about a social situation it is very common for them to worry about the situation days or weeks before it happens. On the day they may procrastinate about getting ready, perhaps changing their outfit many times, or they may try to avoid the situation thinking up excuses why they can not attend. During the social situation, strong thoughts of being judged negatively are present, thoughts like ‘he is thinking I am an idiot, I am too quiet- they are wondering why I am not saying anything, I am going to say something stupid, why can’t I think of something to say, they are noticing that I am shaking and blushing and that is so embarrassing – this is a normal situation what is wrong with me?’ ‘I need to be interesting and engaging’ ‘I sound like an idiot’. During the social situation, physical sensations are often experienced, such as: tightness in the chest, feeling hot, butterflies in the stomach, palpitations and a shaky voice. These situations feel so awful that people with social anxiety find different ways of coping with them where they are trying to feel safe. Some common safety behaviours include: avoiding talking, looking at the ground, leaving the situation, drinking lots of water, fidgeting, and looking at the exits. Social anxieties can be particularly difficult to talk about where people can feel embarrassed, ashamed or alone with them, however it is important to remember that social anxieties are very normal. Most of us have fears of being judged negatively and we all have vulnerabilities. MindFrame Psychologists are very accustomed to helping people with social anxiety and offer a non-judgemental approach. MindFrame Psychologists offer you Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which has found to be the most effective psychological treatment for Social Anxiety. This therapy will help you change your unhelpful thoughts and behaviours. We will work with you on your individualised treatment plan to achieve your goals so that you can feel more comfortable and confident in social situations empowering you to lead a better quality of life.

Eating Disorders
Each person has their own relationship to their body and to food, and this relationship can fluctuate. When a person has negative thoughts and feelings about their body, body dissatisfaction can develop which can affect their relationship with food. Some people can use food as a comfort or to avoid experiencing difficult emotions, and this can lead them to binging on food. After a binge, some people feel the need to engage in a compensatory behaviour, for example, vomiting, laxative use, exercise. This is due to the extreme emotional and psychological discomfort they feel, and because they do not want the binge to affect their body weight or shape. If binges and compensatory behaviours occur on average once a week or more, over a 3 month period, they may have Bulimia Nervosa. Some people can feel highly anxious about food due to their extreme negative thoughts about their weight, body image and shape. This can lead them to severely restrict what they eat which may mean that they have Anorexia Nervosa. Eating disorders can often be accompanied by anxiety and depression, and strong feelings of guilt and shame. It can significantly interfere with people’s lives, impacting on their work, relationships and self-esteem.
Body Image Difficulties
It is extremely common, particularly among women and girls to have a negative body image, where there are unrealistic and negative views of how their body looks, and how others see their body. Many people find themselves placing an excessive emphasis on their body shape or weight, seeing their self-worth defined by the way they look. This can lead them to engage in unhealthy eating and exercise behaviours. These behaviours can include yo-yo dieting, excessively healthy eating, skipping some meals or limiting their food intake, excessive exercise and guilt feelings when they miss exercise. A negative body image can significantly impact on daily life, as it affects confidence levels leading people to be less assertive, less intimate in relationships, and they may avoid social engagements. Some people have difficulties leaving the house due to over preparation of their appearance and can constantly feel self-conscious. If you are having difficulties with body image and eating, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help. The therapy will help you identify unhelpful thoughts and behaviour patterns that you are engaging in. MindFrame Psychologists will work with you on your individualised treatment plan to help you achieve your goals and develop a healthier relationship to your body and food, empowering you to reach your potential in life.
Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD)

People who have Body Dysmorphic Disorder are constantly worried about the way they look and are obsessively preoccupied with real or perceived flaws in their appearance. People with BDD commonly find flaws with their hair, skin, nose and chest, however they can focus on any body part. The perceived defect may be a very small imperfection or it may be imagined, however for the person with BDD it is very significant and causes them great emotional distress. It becomes the focus of their life. The severity of BDD varies – some may know that their feelings are not entirely rational, whilst others are entirely set in their convictions. Some people are able to work and function despite their BDD, others may struggle to leave their house because of it.

Symptoms: People with BDD find it extremely difficult to control their negative thoughts and perform compulsive or repetitive behaviours to hide or improve their perceived imperfections. These behaviours include hiding their body with hats, using make up, clothing, or sitting in certain body positions in an attempt to conceal the imperfection.  They may engage in excessive grooming, mirror checking, and frequently undergo cosmetic surgery. They may find themselves constantly comparing their body part to others, and may seek reassurance from others, but they do not believe other people’s reassurances. Furthermore, they may engage in skin picking or excessive exercise. These behaviours only give temporary relief, and serve to keep the obsessional thoughts going. Impact: Due to the obsessional nature of the thoughts, people with BDD can find it difficult to maintain normal daily functioning. They may miss work or school, and withdraw socially because they fear others will notice and judge their flaws. BDD can be linked with low self-esteem, and often significant embarrassment and shame is experienced. It is common for people with BDD to experience other mental health problems including: Depression, Social Anxiety, Eating Disorders and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Causes: A number of factors may contribute to the development of BDD.  It may be due to chemical imbalances in the brain, and some people are predisposed to this due to their genetic make-up. There are environmental factors including western society’s narrow standards of beauty. Life experiences including trauma and personality characteristics of perfectionism and low self-esteem can contribute to BDD.  Certain drugs (e.g. ecstasy) can trigger the onset in vulnerable people.

Treatment: There are effective treatments for BDD. Anti-depressant medications including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can help relieve the obsessive and compulsive symptoms of BDD. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been shown to be the most effective for treating BDD. This therapy focuses on ways of changing thoughts and behaviours in order to think and feel in different ways. Mindframe Psychologists are trained in CBT, and would be very happy to work with you if you are experiencing BDD. It can be a debilitating disorder, but it can be treated to help you live a full and happy life again. Feel free to make an appointment now to find out more.

Skin Picking

It is not uncommon for people to pick their skin on occasions, perhaps picking pimples or scabs. However, for some people, skin picking is much more severe, frequent and problematic. This is when people have skin picking disorder, also known as excoriation disorder and dermatitillomania. Skin picking disorder involves the repetitive picking, rubbing or scratching of skin. Some people with skin picking disorder pick without being aware they are doing it, which is known as automatic picking behaviour. They may engage in this behaviour while: watching TV, reading or studying and may describe it as being in trance. People who have skin picking disorder may pick skin from one or various parts of the body. Commonly skin can be picked on the face, head, back, arms, legs, feet and hands including nail cuticles. Often people use their fingers or finger nails to pick, but they may also bite, or use tweezers or scissors. After picking, some people remove the skin and put it in the bin, and others may eat the skin.

Skin picking disorder can be classified as a type of obsessive compulsive disorder. People may have thoughts that they have an imperfection either, on or underneath, their skin, and there is a corresponding urge to remove the imperfection by picking the skin. While acting on the impulse by picking, people may feel relief, however this is usually short lived, and followed by feelings of guilt and shame. People may engage in this focused picking behaviour to avoid intense emotions, or to relieve difficult emotions including: sadness, worry or stress. Often people with skin picking disorders have other psychological problems including depression and anxiety.

Effects of Skin Picking Disorder: People who engage in skin picking may experience pain during or after picking. It can lead to the occurrence of sores, scars and disfigurement. In some cases, medical attention is needed to treat infections and wounds. It is common for people with skin picking disorder to feel a loss of control, embarrassment and shame regarding their behaviours. They may attempt to hide the evidence of the skin picking using bandages, clothing and make up. The pre-occupation with picking can make it difficult for people to work, or socialise optimally, and it can lead to social isolation. Frequently, they have tried to decrease or stop these distressing behaviours, and consequently can feel hopeless and ashamed that they have managed to stop it.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be effective treatment for skin picking disorders, and there are also some medications that can help. MindFrame Psychologists are highly trained in CBT and can help you if you are struggling with skin picking.