In November 2022, my family made our long planned move from Sydney back to Adelaide, the city I grew up in. For me, it was after 24 years away, more than half my life! It was a difficult decision to open a new location for Freedom Clinical Psychology. Steve Mayers and I put a lot of hard work into building the Sydney location, but it was time to take the plunge and start the new clinic.
It's exciting to see the Freedom Clinical Psychology brand and ethos spans across the country now. It's important that there are therapy spaces like ours that aren't concerned with the diagnoses and labels that can be given to people struggling with their mental health. We all deserve access to the best available mental health care. We work hard to meet people with openness regardless of what they struggle with and offer high quality interventions we've honed over many years of experience in both private practice and public mental health spaces that address the full spectrum of psychological issues.
Setting up in Adelaide was difficult initially. I haven't practiced psychology in Adelaide and had to build my networks from scratch. I'm not usually very good at this aspect of running a clinic, but I had to knuckle down and start meeting GP's, other psychologists and allied health professionals so I could grow awareness of the Freedom CP presence here. It took a little longer than I'd hoped and there were some anxious moments waiting for referrals to start to come in, but thankfully the referrals have started to flow and we are now humming along quite nicely.
I was fortunate to find a beautiful shared practice location in Parkside, Adelaide. It's a lovely little suburb on the outskirts of the city centre, just past the ring of parklands that surrounds Adelaide city centre. The building is an old bakery, renovated and filled with plants, paintings and calm music, while the original structure of the building has been maintained. I feel instantly calmer when I come into the space each morning and a number of clients have commented similarly. There's good parking all around and some really good cafes close by too (e.g., Gang Gang https://goodtimegang.co/ganggangparkside/).
At this stage, I'm offering individual sessions to clients aged 15 years and older along with clinical supervision to other psychologists and allied health professionals. In the near future, I plan to offer group sessions focused on a combination of schema therapy, internal family systems and Yalom interpersonal group therapy principles.
Clinical psychologists continually evolve their craft and approach to psychotherapy. At this point in my career, I would describe myself primarily as an experiential therapist. In a nutshell, there are three main forms of therapy; 1) skills based approaches (E.g., CBT, ACT, DBT), talk therapy approaches (e.g., psychodynamic psychotherapy) and experiential forms of therapy (e.g., schema therapy, EMDR, Internal Family Systems therapy). In my experience and reading of the scientific literature, experiential forms of therapy lead to the deepest and most lasting changes that really impact people's quality of life in positive ways. I've been very lucky to have witnessed these outcomes in many clients. I've also experienced the benefits first hand as a client in my own psychotherapy over a number of years.
It's always exciting introducing new clients to experiential therapeutic techniques. I've essentially started with a full slate of new clients in Adelaide and so it's a joy to see one large group of individuals progressing at similar points in their own unique therapy journey. At the beginning it's an adjustment getting used to this way of working, but as clients start getting to know their inner system there's a tangible sense of things starting to make a lot more sense - both in the therapy room and in their lives outside.
All in all, it's been a solid start to life back in Adelaide. I look forward to continuing the journey of building Freedom Clinical Psychology Adelaide and being a part of the journey as my new (and old) clients grow and achieve lasting change.