lesley russellI have a life-long interest in psychology and human consciousness. I have studied psychology both within a modern Western science-based framework and a depth & archetypal framework that focuses more on the unconscious, the inner life, spirituality and subjective experience, drawing on Western and  Eastern practices and philosophies. Although there are important philosophical differences, both Western and Eastern approaches are valuable. Modern scientific research supports the physical and psychological health benefits of  traditional Eastern spiritual practices such as pranayama (yoga breathing) and mindfulness meditation. These practices have been incorporated into modern psychological evidence-based therapies.

I have studied formally and independently in my quest to broaden my knowledge, skills and experience. I completed my formal academic training as a mature-aged student. My work, in various settings, over the past 20 years has involved providing psychological assessment and therapy, counselling, teaching and supervising students, participating in peer consultation and assisting with psychological research. I have a special interest in and extensive training and clinical experience working with mood and anxiety disorders, eating/dieting disorders, body image & weight concerns (I use a non-diet/weight neutral approach and am a Verified Provider with Health at Every Size – HAES Australia), and psychological adjustment to life changes, medical conditions, injuries and disability.

I view psychological therapy and counselling as an art and a science as it involves engaging  and working collaboratively with clients and adapting research based information to individual client needs. I don’t do “cookbook” or “one size fits all” therapy, or try to fit individual clients into rigid theoretical or therapeutic frameworks. My approach is bio-psycho-social/holistic and I tailor therapy to the specific needs of individuals in the context of their diverse life circumstances and environments. I integrate all of my knowledge and experience from formal and independent study in my practice. I am committed to using ethical and qualitative & quantitative evidenced-based methodologies. I engage in continuing professional development and peer consultation and update my knowledge and skills according to the relevant current literature.

Although I enjoy assisting people with resolving and overcoming psychological problems where possible, I also recognise that there are challenging life circumstances, conditions, illnesses, injuries and disabilities that may not ever, or for the time being, be able to be completely resolved, cured or healed.  I am particularly passionate about helping people manage and integrate these experiences with a focus on finding meaning, coping with suffering and uncertainties, improving quality of life and enhancing self-compassion.

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