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Caroline Binns

Caroline Binns – Psychologist

Bachelor Psychology (Hons1) – University of New England. 2008.

Registered Psychologist – Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. 2011.

Member – Australian Psychological Society.  2016.

In 2003 I started my career in psychological therapy and counselling with Lifeline’s Crisis Response and Suicide Prevention Programme – initially as a telephone counsellor and eventually as programme manager.  This role brought me into contact with the full range of personal and social challenges that cause distress and make demands on peoples’ capacity to cope.  Issues with which people presented included mental and physical health challenges, grief and loss, relationship difficulties, trauma associated with childhood abuse and neglect, domestic and family violence and victims of crime.  People also sought help with work and study related stress, problems of addiction to a range of substances and activities, homelessness or housing instability and the demands of caring for others with complex needs.  The experience I gained in responding to people who used deliberate self-harm as a way of coping or were at risk of suicide remains invaluable in my practice.

During the five years I worked for Uniting Care Community, I was able to extend my role to include face-to-face counselling as part of my psychology internship.  In this role I worked with individuals from late adolescence to late eighties.  Many of the problems that people brought to face-to-face counselling reflected the same issues with which they presented on the crisis line.  Many of my clients struggled with complex mental health challenges including schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, personality disorders and problems associated with complex trauma, as well as anxiety, depression, grief and loss and difficulties related to migration.

In 2011 I moved to a new role in the disability sector working with Spinal Life Australia.  This role existed to provide support to individuals and their families as they adjusted to the impact of spinal cord injury and (sometimes) acquired brain injury.  I was also responsible for training and supporting personal care workers who assisted clients with tasks of daily living.  I developed a deep understanding of the challenges of living with an acquired or developmental disability as well as the impact of chronic pain.  The experience I gained in this role deepened my understanding and appreciation of the interplay between biological, psychological and social processes in our functioning.

Five years later I was ready for a new challenge and to expand my learning and development in the field of child and family therapy in a role funded by the Queensland Department of Child Safety as Team Leader for the Silky Oaks Therapy Service.  Here I worked with children as young as five through adolescence and their families who were impacted by complex trauma, mental illness and neurodevelopmental and behavioural disorders.  Play and creative therapy were an essential part of our therapy framework, and “1-2-3- Magic and Emotion Coaching” was the framework of choice for assisting parents to support children’s development of emotion-regulation capacity and pro-social behaviours.  This led into the “Engaging Adolescents” programme for early to late adolescents.  I also trained as a facilitator and delivered the evidence-based and acclaimed Drumbeat Programme which uses music, rhythm, communication and fun to explore relationships (and in more recently parenting).

Early in 2016 I brought this experience in the community to my current position as a contract psychologist in private practice with OGI Potential, where I work with clients across the lifespan (from age six onwards).  In this role I use a range of different approaches including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and mindfulness and meditation training – always acknowledging compassion and acceptance as foundations of positive change and healing.  My clients seek help with depression, anxiety, adjustment to difficult life changes, grief and loss, anger management, substance use and other addictions, and trauma resolution.

Area of special interest

I have two main areas of interest in psychology.  The first, which I have nurtured from undergraduate days, is in the area of Positive Psychology which seeks to understand and maximise constructs such as happiness, resilience and emotional intelligence.  The science which explains how and why some people not only recover from traumatic experiences, but find meaning and insight in those experiences which support positive growth can be usefully harnessed in psychological therapy to help people realise their potential.  It can also be applied to everyday living to help individuals realise their full potential.

The second area of interest has developed through the course of my professional experience as I have watched clients struggle with the impact of trauma.  The pain and distress that unresolved trauma causes has motivated me to explore deeply and develop my understanding of interventions which help to alleviate the consequences of trauma.  And drawing again on my interest in Positive Psychology, I promote those practices that can immunise individuals against stress and bolster their response to traumatic events by developing their resilience.

Special Interest Training

Drumbeat Facilitator 2015

1-2-3- Magic and Emotion Coaching Facilitator 2015

Engaging Adolescents Facilitator 2015

Science of Happiness (University of California Berkeley) 2016

Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing 2016/2017

OGI Potential provides services to the Newport, Scarborough, Redcliffe, Margate, Kippa-Ring, Rothwell, North Lakes, Mango Hill, North Brisbane, Burpengary, Morayfield and Caboolture areas.