Dr Allison Clarke

I am a Clinical and Health Psychologist registered with the Psychology Board of Australia and a full member of both the Australian Psychological Society College of Clinical Psychologists and College of Health Psychologists.  I have a Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne.  My doctoral thesis examined the psychosocial impact of epilepsy on young people and I am a current board member for Epilepsy ACT.  I have also undertaken additional training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Schema Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Clinical Hypnosis.

Health Psychologists specialise in understanding the relationships between psychological factors (e.g. behaviours, attitudes, beliefs) and health and illness. Research has shown significant psychosocial and physiological linkages that contribute to the development of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and respiratory disorders (see www.aihw.gov.au). Additionally, in managing chronic medical conditions there are several psychosocial and lifestyle factors that can impede recovery or cause an increase in symptoms, including: worry, anxiety, stress, tension, diet, exercise, sleep and lack of social support. Furthermore, strategies to enhance patient adherence to recommended medical and lifestyle health-related changes are critical to effective chronic disease management.

I am particularly interested in the application of psychology to:

    • life-style risk factor modification (e.g., smoking, diet, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, drug and alcohol use, and high risk sexual behaviour);
    • treatment of psychosocial and life style factors that impact chronic conditions (e.g. epilepsy, head ache pain, muscular/skeletal and joint problems, heart disease, cancer, diabetes), from illness assessment, through self-management, and rehabilitation;
    • increasing patient adherence to medical and lifestyle changes required for effective chronic disease management; and
    • using psychological treatment for problems that often accompany ill health and injury, such as anxiety, depression, pain, addiction, sleep and eating problems;
    • helping people cope with trauma, disability and rehabilitation; and
    • treatment of health/illness related anxiety and somatic disorders.

 

I am also an active Christian who has completed a Diploma in Christian Counselling and Family Therapy.  I am also a member of the Australian Psychological Society Christianity and Psychology Special Interest Group. I am interested in exploring the issues of integration between the journey of Christian faith and profession of psychology.

To email Allison: allison@optimalhealth.com.au