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Transforming Pain into Strength

Psychologists are experts in helping people cope with thoughts, feelings and behaviours in various situations.

Dr Kathy Casey has extensive international and local experience in the psychological aspects of HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health.

CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY: Dr Kathy provides therapy for adults experiencing Depression, Stress and Anxiety disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and drug and alcohol use issues. Dr Kathy Casey has experience in working with people who experience difficulties in association with their sexual and gender identity.

HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY: Dr Kathy provides support services helping people who have been diagnosed and are receiving treatments associated with acute, chronic and life-threatening health conditions including Cancer, Huntington’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Infectious diseases. Kathy has both international and local experience working with people living with HIV and other infectious disease. Psychological interventions are offered to reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, support healthy eating, improve treatment adherence and to address emotional reactions to living with an illness.


Depression is a mental health condition where a person feels sad, hopeless, or unmotivated for an extended period. It can affect how they think, feel, and handle daily activities. People with depression may lose interest in things they once enjoyed and have trouble concentrating or making decisions. It’s important to know that depression is a real illness and not just a feeling that will go away on its own. Treatment, such as therapy or medication, can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Our psychologist can help people living with depression by:

  • Providing a safe and supportive environment to talk about their feelings and experiences.
  • Listening attentively and empathetically to understand their challenges and concerns.
  • Offering practical strategies and coping skills to manage symptoms of depression, such as negative thoughts or low energy.
  • Exploring underlying factors contributing to depression, such as past experiences or current stressors.
  • Collaborating with individuals to set achievable goals for improving mood and overall well-being.
  • Providing ongoing support and encouragement as individuals work towards recovery and healing.
  • Monitoring progress and adjusting treatment as needed to ensure effectiveness.
  • Offering education about depression and its treatment options, empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their mental health.
  • Advocating for individuals’ needs and connecting them with additional resources or support services as necessary.
  • Providing a compassionate and non-judgmental space for individuals to express themselves and feel understood.


Stress is a natural response to challenges or demands in life. It’s normal to feel stressed before a test, job interview, or big event. However, when stress becomes overwhelming and starts affecting daily life, it can be a problem.

Our phychologist can help people living with stress by providing a supportive environment where they can talk about their feelings and concerns. They listen attentively to understand the causes and triggers of their stress, helping individuals recognise how stress affects their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Through therapy sessions, our psychologist can teach practical strategies such as relaxation techniques and problem-solving skills to help individuals manage their stress more effectively. They offer empathy and encouragement, helping individuals feel understood and supported in coping with their stress. Together, our psychologist and individuals develop personalised plans to address stressors and build resilience for handling future challenges.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are mental health conditions where people feel excessively worried, nervous, or afraid in situations where there isn’t any real danger. These feelings can be overwhelming and persistent, making it hard to cope with daily life. Anxiety disorders can vary in severity and may involve physical symptoms like a racing heart, sweating, trembling, or stomach problems. Examples of anxiety disorders include generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.

Our psychologist offers a supportive and non-judgmental environment for individuals with anxiety disorders to discuss their feelings and concerns. They teach practical coping skills, help identify triggers, challenge negative thoughts, and use techniques like gradual exposure to reduce anxiety over time. With their support, many people can learn to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings. People with Bipolar Disorder experience periods of intense emotional highs, known as mania or hypomania, where they may feel overly energetic, happy, or irritable. These periods are followed by episodes of depression, where they feel sad, hopeless, or lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. These mood swings can affect sleep, energy levels, and daily functioning.

Our psychologist can help individuals with Bipolar Disorder by offering a safe and understanding space to discuss their experiences and emotions. They teach practical coping skills to manage mood swings, help individuals track changes in mood, and ensure medication adherence for stabilising mood and preventing relapse. Additionally, they assist in developing stress-management techniques, provide education about Bipolar Disorder, offer guidance for navigating relationships, and collaborate with other healthcare providers to ensure comprehensive care. With their support, many people can effectively manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.


Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may have trouble distinguishing between what is real and what is not. They may experience symptoms such as hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there), delusions (believing things that aren’t true), disorganised thinking, and difficulties with emotions and behavior. Schizophrenia can be challenging to live with, but with the right support and treatment, many people can manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.

Our psychologist will help individuals with schizophrenia by providing support and understanding, teaching practical strategies to manage symptoms, and enhancing insight into their condition. They also assist in medication adherence, social skills training, and family education. Using techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), they address negative thought patterns and aid in rehabilitation and recovery to improve overall functioning and well-being.

Drug and Alcohol Use Issues

Our psychologist supports individuals struggling with drug and alcohol issues by offering a safe space to talk without judgment. They help identify triggers and teach practical strategies to manage cravings and resist substance use. Working together, they motivate individuals to make positive changes and develop plans to prevent relapse. They also address any underlying mental health issues and provide education about the risks of substance use. Throughout the recovery journey, they offer ongoing support, celebrating successes and providing guidance during challenges.

Acute, Chronic and Life-Threatening Health Conditions

Our clinical psychologist supports individuals with health conditions like Cancer, Huntington’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Infectious diseases by addressing their emotional, psychological, and social needs. They offer a safe space to express feelings and teach coping skills to manage stress, anxiety, and depression. They help adjust to life changes, navigate relationships, and provide support for end-of-life care. Additionally, they offer pain management techniques and cognitive-behavioral therapy to improve well-being. Collaborating with healthcare providers, they provide holistic care to enhance overall quality of life.

Helping people living with HIV

For people living with HIV, it’s about dealing with the emotions that come with being diagnosed with a lifelong condition, such as fear, anxiety, or sadness. It also includes coping with stigma and discrimination, as well as managing relationships and intimacy with partners.

Our psychologist can help patients with HIV by providing support, education, and counseling in the following ways:

Providing emotional support: They offer a safe space for individuals to talk about their feelings, fears, and concerns related to their HIV diagnosis.
Teaching coping skills: They teach practical strategies to manage stress, anxiety, and depression, which are common emotional challenges faced by people living with HIV.
Addressing stigma and discrimination: They help individuals navigate and cope with the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV, empowering them to feel more confident and resilient.
Promoting adherence to treatment: They work with individuals to address any psychological barriers to adhering to their HIV treatment regimen, which is crucial for managing the virus effectively.
Improving quality of life: They assist individuals in enhancing their overall well-being by focusing on factors such as self-care, relationships, and life goals.

Our goal is to support the mental health and well-being of individuals living with HIV, helping them navigate the emotional challenges and live fulfilling lives.

Helping people with issues related to Sexual and Reproductive Health

The psychological aspects of Sexual and Reproductive Health involve how people feel and think about their sexual and reproductive well-being. This includes:
Emotions and Relationships: How individuals feel about their sexual relationships, intimacy, and reproductive choices, as well as how these aspects impact their mental well-being.

Body Image and Self-Esteem: How individuals perceive their bodies in relation to sexuality and reproduction, and how this affects their self-confidence and self-worth.
Fertility and Parenthood: Concerns and emotions related to fertility, infertility, pregnancy, and parenthood, including desires for children, fears of infertility, and the emotional impact of pregnancy loss or infertility treatments.
Sexual Functioning: Thoughts and feelings related to sexual desire, arousal, performance, and satisfaction, as well as concerns about sexual dysfunction or changes in sexual functioning.
Cultural and Social Influences: How cultural norms, societal expectations, and social pressures shape individuals’ attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to sexuality and reproduction.

For people experiencing difficulties in associating with their sexual and gender identity

Our psychologist can help people with difficulties related to their sexual and gender identity by providing a safe and supportive space to explore their feelings and concerns. They listen to individuals’ experiences without judgment and help them understand and accept themselves for who they are. Through counseling and therapy sessions, they assist individuals in navigating challenges such as coming out, managing discrimination or stigma, and coping with internal conflicts or societal pressures. Psychologists also offer guidance on building healthy relationships, improving self-esteem, and finding community support.

Ultimately, their goal is to empower individuals to live authentically and confidently as they navigate their journey of self-discovery and acceptance.

Psychology and Pain

The psychology behind pain is more complex. People often think of pain as a purely physical sensation. However, pain has biological, psychological and emotional factors.

Pain is a factor in many injuries and the ‘pain experience’ is understood to be greater than the physical sensation of pain. The interference of pain on performance of daily activities and the emotional burden of pain, can drive a change in behaviour. The psychological becomes interwoven with the physical and can become self-defeating. Our Allied Health Psychologist Dr Kathleen Casey, can help you cope with the feelings and behaviours that accompany pain.

Regarding persistent or chronic pain, the most effective way to deal with this is to adopt what is termed a “bio-psycho-social” approach to the problem. This is true whether persistent pain has resulted from an injury at home, an accident at work or a slowly progressing chronic illness. Taking a bio-psycho-social approach means recognising that getting better will involve not just medical investigations, medications and hands-on physical treatment, but also the importance of boosting psychological and social well-being in order to progress along the recovery pathway. Injury is often coupled with an emotional burden that can lead to self-defeating behaviours. Mood and motivation are usually affected as an injury may restrict previous activities.

Dr Casey together with our skilled and compassionate team seek to understand the factors that have shaped each person’s unique psychological response to the problem of pain and to provide coping strategies that assist with both emotional and physical recovery. When a person who has persistent pain learns how to gradually get active without triggering significant pain increases, their quality of life can substantially improve. Learning strategies to settle symptoms of anxiety or depression can also help with physical recovery.

Most of the psychological strategies are based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Mindfulness treatment models. Both models are evidence-based interventions.