Tag: Team

Service Update: Welcome Sarah Doyle

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Posted on by Freya Gardon

Service Update: Welcome Taylor Moore

I have recently joined the Quirky Kid team in Woollahra and Austinmer in a Customer Support role.

Why have I moved to Quirky Kid?

I am so excited to be a part of the Quirky Kid team! Quirky Kid is a dynamic and forward thinking clinic who stand out among others in Psychology. What I find really inspiring about Quirky Kid is that there is a common goal to thrive. Everyone in the Quirky Kid team is passionate about implementing change and supporting the younger generations. I am passionate to continue to work with children and adolescents. It excites me that I have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger working for Quirky Kid.

Sarah Doyle

What are my skills?

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Psychology at The University of Wollongong to further my qualifications, recently completing a Bachelor of Behavioural Science and Counselling. I have enjoyed spending the last few years working, travelling and volunteering for organisations such as the Starlight Foundations ‘Livewire’ and more recently across schools in Kenya. At Quirky Kid I will continue developing my skills to prepare me to enter the field at the completion of my degree.

What will my role at Quirky Kid be?

I initially started volunteering at Quirky Kid Clinic as the Lunch and Learn Coordinator. This role opened up an amazing opportunity for me to meet with leaders in the field of psychology and to rub shoulders with highly regarded professionals who inspire me. The opportunity to sit in on Quirky Kids internal professional development during our Lunch and Learn sessions has been invaluable in my personal development and career development.

Coming to the end of my volunteer contract I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to apply for a permanent role assisting with the running of the office and supporting our lovely team of psychologists across both our Woollahra and Austinmer clinics. My role includes conducting intake calls, organising and managing QK workshops, day to day administration and customer service. With the opportunities I have been given in Quirky Kid so far, I am keen to continue developing my skills by taking on new roles and responsibilities and will soon be assisting in facilitating Quirky Kid group programs.

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Service Update: Welcome Belinda Nixon

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Posted on by Freya Gardon

Service update: Welcome Sarah Doyle

 

I have recently joined the Quirky Kid Team in Woollahra and Austinmer as a Senior Psychologist.  I bring with me experience working in a busy private practice with children, adolescents and families, with a variety of presentations including anxiety; depression; challenging behaviours; social and emotional problems; trauma; bullying; toileting and attachment difficulties. My approach is child-centred and inclusive of parents in the therapeutic process. I work within a cognitive behavioural therapy framework and an interpersonal therapy framework with an attachment focus.

I have a strong background in psychometric assessments and diagnostic assessments for children with attention difficulties, learning disorders, and intellectual disabilities.

During 2007, I completed my Postgraduate Diploma and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)  at Macquarie University. In 2011 I completed my internship at The READ Clinic, on the Central Coast working with children and adults with complex presentations. I began my career working with children on the autism spectrum, at the Lizard Centre, Sydney, delivering Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) therapy to children in the home and shadowing children at school.

 

 

During my internship, I volunteered at Lifeline, taking crisis calls. I also worked for a corporate psychology company coordinating crisis support for critical incidents.

Together with Professor Ashleigh Craig at the University of Sydney, I researched the mental health and best practice assessment and intervention of newly injured spinal cord patients.

I am passionate about travel and I’m aiming to see as many of the top 100 lonely planet destinations as I can. Currently sitting on 35. Next destination … Japan. During summer, I am at the beach, as I love anything by the water. Other interests include creative pursuits, delicious food, and trying new experiences.

Why have I moved to Quirky Kid?

I have enjoyed working in private practice for the last 5 years. Working in a busy private practice provided me with the opportunity to work autonomously and develop my personal boundaries and clinical skills. However, the team environment attracted me to Quirky Kid. I am excited to join a team of friendly and experienced professionals who I can both learn from and contribute to.

Quirky Kid’s vision to make meaningful contributions to the social and emotional development of children inspired me to join this progressive and exciting company.

What are my skills?

My expertise is in working with children, adolescents and parents to develop their interpersonal relationships, and implement strategies to improve their emotional, behavioural and social skills.  I am skilled in conducting both clinical and psychometric assessments and in tailoring intervention programs to meet the individual needs of children and families.

In my experience, a holistic approach to client care, including liaison with teachers, doctors and allied health professionals, provides the best outcomes for the child.

What will my role at QK be?

My role will be to engage and build a trusting relationship with children and parents/carers and to provide evidence-based interventions and assessments.  

Consultations will typically involve an initial assessment of the background information provided by the parents/carers, and follow up consultations with the child or adolescent. Parents/carers are essential to the outcomes of children and will be included throughout the therapeutic process. When needed, allied health professionals, doctors and teachers may be consulted.

Part of my role will be delivering social and emotional programs and anxiety management group programs at Quirky Kid clinic.

I am very excited about joining the Quirky Kid team and empowering children and young people to achieve their potential. Please feel free to contact our reception on 02 9362 9297 for any enquiries or further information.

 

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Service Update: Welcome Jackie Tritt

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Service update: Welcome Sarah Doyle

I have recently joined the Quirky Kid team, based in Woollahra, as a Child Psychologist and Board Certified Behavioural Analyst.  I bring with me a range of child, adolescent and family clinical experience gained in Australia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates. I completed my Masters of Applied Psychology in 2015, and my Postgraduate Diploma in the Practice of Psychology in 2016 at the University of Waikato. In June 2016, I passed the Behaviour Analyst international exam and became a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA). 

I have always loved working with children and their families and began my career as an Applied Behaviour Analyst (ABA) therapist in Auckland, New Zealand in 2002. I gained clinical experiences working with children from the age of 18-months old with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I was promoted from a junior to senior therapist within 2 years and completed an 8-month work secondment in Al Ain, UAE. Following extensive travel adventures I returned to working with children with a development disability in 2009 as an Autism Advisor supporting families with a child recently diagnosed with an ASD.

From 2010 to 2013 I worked as a Senior ABA Therapist at The Lizard Centre. In this role I worked with children ranging in age from 18 months old to 10 years old with a developmental disability, I ran ESDM, VB-MAPP and functional behaviour assessments. I implemented individualized evidence-based early intervention programs, trained parents, junior therapists and education staff to implement challenging behaviour intervention plans and ran social skills groups. I gained immense satisfaction from being a part of the child’s developmental progress, improving relationships between the child and their family and supporting the child to transition to an educational placement.

More recently during my provisional psychology placement I worked with children and adolescents who experienced a range of psychological presentations including ASD, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, various Chromosomal abnormalities, Intellectual Disability, Anxiety, Depression, Traumatic Brain Injury and Developmental Disabilities.  My role included running functional behaviour assessments and psychometric assessments, and developing and implementing individualized evidence-based treatment interventions including ABA and ACT interventions. I presented staff training workshops in both educational and rehabilitation settings. Prior to starting with Quirky Kid I worked as a Psychologist and BCBA with Momentum Learning Services developing and implementing individualized evidence-based early intervention programs for children with a developmental disability, anxiety or emotional regulation concerns from the age of 2 to 16 years old.   

Why I have moved to Quirky Kid?

I have moved to the Quirky Kid team for both personal and professional reasons. Firstly, for personal reasons I am excited to be based in the clinic at Woollahra, and secondly, I am excited to be developing my clinical expertise working in a role where I can participate fully in both the early diagnosis of developmental disabilities, and the individualised treatment development and implementation of evidence-based interventions with a broad range of client presentations.   

What are my skills?

I am patient, kind, have a fun sense of humour and enjoy supporting children to exceed their potential. I enjoy taking the time to develop a strong therapeutic rapport with my clients and their families. I typically work within a cognitive-behavioural framework with extensive ABA and behavioural experience. I am a passionate advocator for early diagnosis and individualised early intervention programs for children in relation to a strengths and weaknesses based model.

What will my role at QK be?

My role as a Child Psychologist will be to provide assessments and individualised evidence-based interventions to children and their families at the Quirky Kid clinic in Woollahra. Consultations will typically involve the child, their parents and or carers.  I will work collaboratively with all stakeholder’s in the child’s support network including educational and or allied health professionals.  I will be involved in facilitating a range of Quirky kid group programs offered at the clinic.

I am incredibly excited about my new role at Quirky Kid and I look forward to meeting with you and working with you as a client or colleague in the future. Please feel free to contact our reception on 02 9362 9297 for any enquiries or further information.

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Sports Psychology Tips to Stop Negative Self-Talk

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

When it comes to improving performance. building self-esteem, good sportsmanship, and camaraderie, one of the most important aspects of sports psychology is positive self-talk. Research suggests that positive self-talk is associated with better performance. In fact, the Australian Sports Commission has carried out research that demonstrates the detrimental impact negative self-talk has on performance and having a positive attitude when it comes to athletic endeavours improves performance.

Young people, in particular, can benefit from learning more about positive self-talk. Improvements in their inner dialogue can improve both their attitude and performance and can have a positive influence on their interactions outside the sporting sphere. Quirky Kid has developed a program designed at young people aged 10 to 16, called Power Up. 

A common presentation for our young athletes is an inner dialogue that is dominated with doubt and negativity. Common expressions we hear from our young athletes are

“I’ll never be able to do it!”,
“I am no good at it,”
“there is no point trying.”

This type of negative self-talk can prevent a young athlete from performing well and create a negative cycle of poor self-esteem and poor performance. If a child feels they can’t be successful at a task, they often accept, and even expect failure. Negativity can turn a child’s insecurities into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The good news is that positive self-talk is a skill that children can learn and utilise with practice. By using positive self-talk, young athletes can build the confidence they require to accept new challenges, maintain a healthy self-esteem, and build on new skills, even when the task is personally challenging. The first task in helping children challenge and change their self-talk is to support them in recognising negative self-talk patterns and identifying unhelpful language such as “can’t” or “never” in their internal dialogue. Some children put themselves down by referring to themselves as “stupid” or by using other put-downs. Once a child has identified negative self-talk, they can be assisted in challenging and replacing those thoughts.

Like many habits, the process of replacing negative self-talk can take some time. Children need to learn to interrupt patterns of self-doubt with more realistic and helpful thinking. For example, a young soccer player who tells herself, “I’ll never score this goal,” can replace this thought with a more helpful and realistic thought such as  “I’ve made the goal many times during practice and I can do it again!”. Just saying happy things is not enough, children must believe the positive thought and thus the key is to replace negative thoughts with thoughts that reflect reality and that are helpful.

One way to practise positive thinking is through practising self-talk out loud each morning in front of the mirror. Write a daily affirmation on a Post-It note and stick it on the child’s mirror so they can start each day in a positive frame of mind. Ask them to say the affirmation out loud in the morning, and to remind themselves of it whenever they’re thinking negatively throughout the day.

Interrupting and replacing negative self-talk can be a challenging task for children who suffer from low self-esteem, but with practise, young athletes can learn to accept challenging situations without putting themselves down and can and learn to feel good about both their strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re interested in learning more about how sports psychology can help children develop their self-esteem and athletic skills, and be positive teammates, please contact us.

Support network:

Purchasing Power up

 References:

Austin, M (2016). Listening to the voices in your head: identifying and adapting athletes’ self-talk. Volume 28 Number 4
Bunker, L, Williams, JM and Zinsser, N 1993, ‘Cognitive techniques for improving performance and self-confidence’, in JM Williams (ed.), Applied sport psychology: personal growth to peak performance, Mayfield, Mountain View, CA. pages numbers?

Carlson, R 1997, Don’t sweat the small stuff, Bantam, Milson’s Point, NSW.

Carlson, R 2005, Easier than you think, HarperCollins, New York, NY.

Hardy, L, Jones, G and Gould, D 1998, Understanding psychological preparation for sport: theory and practice of elite performers, John Wiley and Sons, West Sussex, UK. pages numbers?

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Welcome Dawn Young

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

I have recently joined the Quirky Kid Team in Woollahra as a Psychologist.  I bring with me a range of experience from my work both in Australia and in the U.K.   Since qualifying with a Master’s Degree in Applied Science (Psychology), I have worked across a range of settings with children, adolescents and parents.

I began my career working as a Psychologist in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit at Western Hospital, Melbourne.  From there I moved to The Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, where I worked for a number of years in a research-based clinic specialising in School Refusal.  I later became Co-ordinator of another research-based clinic: The Berriga House Adolescent Depression Clinic.

The lure of travel took me overseas to London, U.K. in 1997.  There, I spent 10 years specialising in Paediatric Psychology.  At St George’s Hospital in South London I gained experience working with children with varying medical conditions including diabetes, immune system disorders (including allergies), leukaemia, metabolic conditions, obesity and psychosomatic complaints.  Many of the children I saw were experiencing common childhood behavioural problems but others experienced psychological issues specific to their diagnosis and treatment (e.g. problems taking medication, needle phobias, social anxieties, cognitive and learning difficulties).

Most recently, I worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London.  In this large Paediatric teaching hospital I worked as a Principal Clinical Psychologist for the Haematology, Immunology and Oncology teams.  In that role, I provided inpatient and outpatient assessments and interventions, ran group programs, administered a range of cognitive and educational assessments and undertook clinical research.

I have always gained great satisfaction from my work as a Psychologist and particularly enjoy the interaction with children/adolescents and their families.   I typically work within a cognitive-behavioural framework and am a strong advocate for an evidence-based approach to clinical practice.

Why I have moved to Quirky Kid?

To date, I have always worked in hospital-based settings.  However, now with a family of my own, Quirky Kid offers me a new professional challenge.   

I am excited to be working with the Quirky Kid team.  They are motivated, dynamic and collaborative in their efforts to deliver the best possible psychological care to families in a creative and progressive way.  The clinic environment is also enormously appealing to me.  It has been cleverly designed to use light, space and colour to create a welcoming environment for families.

What are my skills?

My particular area of expertise is in working with, and engaging with children, adolescents and parents.   I am skilled in conducting both clinical and psychometric assessments and in tailoring intervention programs to meet the individual needs of children and families.  Where required, I will often work closely with school and allied health professionals to facilitate a successful outcome.  In addition to addressing behavioural and mental health issues, I also have a broad range of experience in working with children and families affected by acute, chronic or life threatening medical conditions.

What will my role at QK be?

My role will be to provide assessments and evidence-based interventions to individuals and families attending the Quirky Kid clinic in Woollahra. Consultations will typically involve the child/adolescent, their carers and sometimes other family members.  Where indicated, education and allied health professionals may be consulted.  At times, I may also be involved in facilitating one of a range of Quirky kid group programs offered at the clinic.

I am incredibly excited about the journey ahead at Quirky Kid and will look forward to meeting and working with everyone associated with Quirky Kid.

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