We’d like to welcome the newest member of our team, Richard Stratton. Richard is an approachable and passionate psychologist, with a Master of Clinical Psychology from Griffith University. He enjoys seeing first-hand the long-lasting change therapy can bring to people’s lives. Richard has experience treating a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, low self-esteem, relationship concerns, loss and grief, phobias and fears, obsessions and compulsions, social difficulties, generalised anxiety and anger.
Richard travels nationally working with older adults living with dementia. In this capacity he has developed a thorough understanding of older people’s needs, concerns and challenges. Beyond his experience as a psychologist Richard has worked extensively with young and older people that have serious or terminal illness. He has over ten year’s experience working for a not-for-profit organisation that delivers programs to seriously ill children and young adults in and out of hospitals, a role that enabled him to develop excellent skills engaging children and their families.
When delivering therapy Richard draws upon a range of evidence-based techniques that include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness. He also has experience with one session treatment for specific phobias. His responsive and person-centred approach seems to be one that resonates with clients of all ages.
An interesting fact about Richard is that he began his career as a playwright after completing a Bachelor of Creative Industries in Theatre. This previous chapter in his life can still be recognised in the creativity that now informs his therapy, and his use of narratives to help people give meaning to their life experiences and responses.
We asked Richard some questions to get to know him a little more.
What do you do to take care of your own mental health and wellbeing?
My wellbeing is something that I continue to learn more about. Free time is often the hardest thing to find, and I don’t always make sustainable choices. However, over time I’ve learned the importance of relaxation, vegetables and sleep, and I make many efforts to ensure that I receive enough of these things in my day-to-day life. I think an important skill is developing the flexibility to choose the right people to be around and supportive activities to engage in as my life and its challenges change.
What do you enjoy most about being a psychologist?
I have always wanted a career where I can spend my day having conversations and connecting with other people. As a psychologist you meet interesting people from all walks of life, and in this professional role you have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in helping them to achieve their goals, work towards and maintain good health, and build supportive relationships.
Of the psychological approaches you use which resonates most with you and why?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) does a good job of asking people to think about what is most important to them, making the most of the positives in their life and helping them derive meaning and joy from these things. Beyond this, I think our profession is very fortunate to have a whole toolkit of approaches to help people, as mental health problems come in many shapes and sizes. I get a great rush of excitement when a client tells me that they resonate with a therapeutic approach I have explained to them.
Why do you think people find therapy valuable?
The therapy environment is a safe place to talk about difficult things. For example, change. Change can be so hard. Even making small changes in your life, relationships, or work can be tough to do alone. I think that people value having a supportive professional who can help them navigate these challenges in a safe, supported and comforting way.
Where is your favourite place to travel?
I really enjoyed travelling to Cambodia with some friends a few years ago because the contrast in pace, architecture, sounds and smells were such a departure from my everyday life in Melbourne. It’s places like that, which allow me to stop and think about my life. Plus the food and laughs with my friends were fantastic.
If you would like to book an appointment to see Richard, please call us on (03) 9376 1958 or email firstname.lastname@example.org