When did you start at NBP?
I started at NBP in March 2018.
Why did you get into Psychology in the first place?
I was a Nutritionist in my first career and I began to have an increasing fascination for the impact physical health has on mental health so I started to investigate more, which lead me back into the university space to study Health Psychology. I still draw from my previous education and experience and it certainly informs the lifestyle suggestions I discuss with my clients and many of them appreciate this.
What would you have done if you didn’t become a Psychologist?
If I didn’t go in the direction I did, I would have gone into Law or Veterinary Science. I’m deeply humanitarian at heart and am attracted to helping roles.
What do like best about your job?
The connection it fosters with others. I often feel immensely privileged that the clients I work with feel safe enough to share their intimate life stories with me. It’s such a personal moment when a client releases something they have been holding onto for years.
Which are your favourite therapies to draw from and why?
I like to have a substantial toolbox of options to draw from which is why I always max out my professional development budget! Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is particularly helpful and totally relatable for most people. I find that a mindfulness-based approach really helps my clients to ‘get out of their head’ and see their thoughts from another perspective! I use interpersonal therapy as well as some positive psychology approaches with a focus on improving lifestyle choices and personal relationships to foster the development of a life filled with meaning and engagement. I also draw upon Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) as it is an autonomous, easy and effective therapy that my clients can use as needed when they feel stuck in their feelings. Last but definitely not least, I love the Gottman model for working effectively with couples to improve their relationships. All of the above approaches have an underpinning in science which I find comforting as I am a total science nerd.
What does a typical day on the job look like for you?
Must start with a good, strong coffee! Then up for a walk or run on the Brisbane river, which I live near. I listen to podcasts on the way to work and then my day consists of a mixture of seeing individual and couple’s clients, writing letters to General Practitioner’s (GP’s) to keep them up to date and advocating for my clients with external organisations such as insurance agencies, Workcover and EAP providers. Every now and then I run into one of the other psychologists and say a quick ‘Hi!”, however, the job is quite a solitary one, aside from working closely with my clients.
What activities do you enjoy outside work?
I love eating out as I am a huge foodie. I am also drawn to the water so anything on, under or near water is great from boating (got my license), diving (got my tickets), exercising or eating near the water. I like live music (saw Elton recently and OMG!!), being with my partner doing anything at all and I’m also a big people and dog watcher (I am the custodian of two kittys so, therefore, dog deficient).
I’m quite spontaneously social so my friends can expect last-minute text messages for catchups. My favourite thing would be a leisurely lunch at a nice tapas restaurant next to the water, in a people-watching spot with my partner or a friend. The only way to improve on it would be if you got me there by boat!
What issues do you particularly like to help people with?
I like working with both couples and individuals. The connection between our physical and mental health is quite fascinating to me so I enjoy working with people who have chronic health conditions that are impacting their mental and emotional wellbeing. I enjoy working with people who are using substances to cope with life or are chronically addicted and those who are struggling with disordered eating. I also enjoy working with people who experience anxiety and/or depression, those with trauma and the chronically stressed!
Pia sees clients at our Aspley Office. Book an appointment with Pia today.