We are pleased to welcome the newest member of our team at Inner Melbourne Clinical Psychology, Sharon Prendergast. Sharon is a fully registered psychologist with over fifteen years of experience improving the mental health and wellbeing of her clients. She considers herself incredibly lucky to have found a career where she can make a genuine difference to the lives of others and experience personal satisfaction. Sharon is a sensitive, down to earth and caring person that works collaboratively with clients to meet their therapeutic goals. She utilises a broad range of evidenced-based therapeutic approaches, depending on her client’s needs, including, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Positive Psychology and Mindfulness.
Sharon completed her Master of Psychology at La Trobe University in 1998 and her thesis was in the area of suicide prevention in young people. In her early years, she focused on the wellbeing of children and adolescents, working primarily in the education setting. She then moved to Canberra where she continued her work in the school setting whilst also working in private practice with clients from 8-80 years of age. Sharon’s work with different age groups has provided her with an extensive understanding of the challenges people face across their life span. She has experience in treating clients experiencing anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, pre and post natal mental health issues, adjustment to life transitions, family and relationship difficulties, trauma, grief and loss, stress and workplace issues. She works with children (12 years and old) and adolescents who are experiencing school-based issues, behavior difficulties, peer conflict and family issues. Sharon continues to expand her knowledge and remain inspired and informed through ongoing professional development, supervision and peer consultation.
To get to know Sharon a little more we asked her some questions.
What do you do to take care of your own mental health and wellbeing?
When I am at work I am genuinely engaged with my clients. When I head home I switch off and immerse myself with my family and friends. Having recently returned to living in Melbourne I love to enjoy the flavours and energy of life in a big city. I enjoy bike riding with my children and being a Mum. This creates a sense of balance that I believe is critical to maintaining one’s own wellbeing.
What do you enjoy most about being a psychologist?
I love my job and always have. And for this I consider myself incredibly lucky. It is an honour to stand alongside a client as they explore their inner most feelings and life experiences. For me, the best part about being a psychologist, is the joy of seeing how small changes and insight can make the world of difference to people’s lives.
Of the psychological approaches you use which resonates most with you and why.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy resonates most with me because it acknowledges and recognises one’s life challenges but asks us to accept what is outside of our control and shift our energies towards focusing on the positive changes we can make to help us live a happier and more fulfilling life.
Why do you think people find therapy valuable?
I believe that in our busy lifestyle, we often lack the necessary time to reflect on ourselves and gain insight. Seeing a psychologist gives you the opportunity to slow down, share and reflect on yourself in order to make positive changes to improve your mental health and general wellbeing.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have access to three items what would they be?
That’s a tough question, but what comes to mind first is food, shelter and my family.