Gemma is a Registered Psychologist, an Associate Member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and a Member of the EMDR Association of Australia (EMDRAA). She is a passionate and client-centred Psychologist who sees adults and adolescents at the practice in Hyde Park. She has over 16 years’ experience in clinical counselling, vocational rehabilitation and consulting to organisations on a range of people issues.
She uses Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) as her primary treatment method incorporating CBT, mindfulness and Schema Therapy where appropriate. Additionally, Gemma combines Muse ™, the brain sensing headband which provides real-time feedback to clients on how to meditate more effectively.
“The past affects the present even without our being aware of it.”
― Francine Shapiro
Where I Can Help
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
School / Exam related stress and Performance Anxiety
Social and other Phobias
Women’s Health including Pregnancy and IVF
What is EMDR and HOW can it help ME?
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a Psychotherapy treatment used to treat trauma. When a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. One moment becomes "frozen in time," and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells, and feelings haven’t changed. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people.
EMDR has a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Normal information processing is resumed, so following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting. Many types of therapy have similar goals. However, EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.
Gemma uses EMDR to treat trauma, anxiety, depression, disturbing memories, panic attacks, stress, phobias, performance anxiety and complicated grief.
Muse is a brain sensing headband used to assist you with meditation practise whilst giving you feedback, by translating your brain signals into the sounds of wind. As your mind becomes more active, so too does the sound of the wind and as you calm your mind, the wind too calms down.
Muse allows individuals an opportunity to receive real time feedback about their capacity to be calm and relaxed. Unlike set homework that relies on the individual to attempt relaxation at home OR relaxation within the session with the Psychologist present (which for some individual’s is very difficult), Muse gives individuals an opportunity to relax alone in the therapy room prior to the session starting. The feedback is sent to the individual’s own mobile phone and is saved for future sessions.
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
CBT is a well-known and widely used talk therapy designed to reinterpret the unhelpful ways people think and behave. CBT is based on the premise that the way we think (our perceptions) influence how we feel about things emotionally. Gemma tends to use CBT in conjunction with schema work.
Schema’s are underlying core assumptions about ourselves developed throughout our lives, often in early childhood (but some in adulthood). In the assessment phase, we spend some time identifying the schemas and how the schemas are operating in the individual’s life. In conjunction with CBT, the individual is able to begin challenging the schemas, thus developing more healthy cognitions and behaviours. A lot of this work also underpins the negative belief work we do prior to beginning EMDR.
Mindfulness is an approach that teaches individuals to be present in the here and now. Gemma initially teaches individuals how to belly breathe (diaphragmatic breathing) and then introduces them to mindfulness through a series of sessional and homework exercises. Individuals are also encouraged to seek out a number of different mindfulness and meditation tools that are available free online and as part of weekly practise.