We are pleased introduce the newest member of our team at Inner Melbourne Clinical Psychology, Dr Gerke Witt. Gerke is a registered clinical psychologist and a founding member of the Australian Clinical Psychology Association. She completed her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at The University of Melbourne. Gerke has over 10 years of clinical experience working with a range of issues including depression, anxiety, panic, post-traumatic stress, eating disorders and related body-image issues, psychotic disorders, substance use and other addictive behaviours. She also has extensive experience in treating issues such as grief and loss, self-esteem, stress, relationship and personal difficulties, life transition and adjustment issues, anger, assertiveness and communication.
Gerke works from a strengths-based, client-centred approach with a therapeutic relationship centred around respect, support and acceptance. She uses a collaborative, practical and reflective approach to assist clients to increase their self-awareness, to better manage their lives and to achieve more fulfilment in life with their personally important values and goals.
Her main treatment approach is based on a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy framework while also incorporating other evidence-based techniques, such as Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and insight-oriented techniques. She ensures that the therapy techniques she utilises are relevant, flexible and responsive to the needs and goals of her clients.
We asked Gerke a few questions to get to know her a little more.
What do you do to take care of your own mental health and wellbeing?
I aim for a good balance in my life, between work time and time off. For me, that requires both boundaries and flexibility. Privately, I enjoy time with my family, dogs and friends. I love the bush so leaving the city behind, to walk and hike, to slow down, to recharge and re-energise, is always something I look forward to and seek out on a regular basis. Professionally, supervision, seminars and workshops keep me inspired and keep my professional passion nurtured.
What do you enjoy most about being a psychologist?
The privilege to be trusted with what can sometimes be the most vulnerable, difficult and private aspects in a person’s life. To witness people’s courage and to witness part of people’s journey in life. To be inspired and learn about a person’s strengths, talent and unique ability– no matter how hidden it may seem, sometimes so overshadowed by suffering.
Of the psychological approaches you use which resonates most with you and why?
I have been drawn to and used Mindfulness for a long time now – personally and professionally. I really appreciate it as it is gentle, applicable to any moment, and simple (while not necessarily easy). The challenge of observing and accepting life (and ourselves) as it is in the very moment – no matter how different it is to how we may wish it to be. And how fundamental this is to pursuing change.
Why do you think people find therapy valuable?
I think people find therapy valuable for different reasons. For some, seeking professional help is a very important and an active step in taking care of themselves. Sometimes, it is about recognising your struggles and limits and that you don’t have to do this alone – to be acknowledged in your suffering and efforts, while having someone professional and skilled to assist and guide you, and to help you work through it. Increased self-awareness can lead to more choice (and less automatic reactions), more options and coping strategies.
Tell us about someone you admire and why.
Momo (the main character in Michael Ende’s book ‘Momo’) and my late mother – for the same reason and quality: for their extraordinary ability to listen, to really listen. People would seek them both out for their unique ability to listen – and by being listened to people would realise their own answers to their questions and problems, they would find their own solutions, their own strength, and their value and ability –without Momo, or my mum, telling them or giving it to them.
If you would like to make an appointment to see Gerke please call us on (03) 9376 1958 or email email@example.com