Need a psychologist in Byron Bay?

Are you looking for a psychologist in Byron Bay? Psychologists are part of allied health, people who have specific training and work as part of the greater health care system.

Psychologists work in the broad field of mental health, helping people unpack their thoughts and feelings. They help people to come to an understanding of why they do the things they do, and why they feel the way they feel.  This can help to  improve their wellbeing moving forward.

Mental health is a broad field because humans are so diverse in their experiences and how they process those experiences – no two lives are the same. This is wonderfully illustrated when you look around beautiful Byron Bay and see the eclectic mix of people who live, work and visit here. Just as the human experience is diverse, psychology as a profession is a very diverse field. There are varying schools of thought in psychology and there are many approaches to therapy. If you are considering seeing a psychologist in Byron Bay, it can be helpful to do some googling to see if you can get a feel for which approach might fit you best.

It is important to know that, although we’ll used the word ‘psychologist’ a lot here, psychologists are not the only providers of psychological support. People in hands-on community support roles, such as social workers, Drug and Alcohol counsellors, and GPs are able to pursue further education and training in specific therapies. They may incorporate this into their role or they may branch out in to providing these therapies in broader ways. While these providers are not psychologists, they do provide psychological services. Their diverse backgrounds and life experiences can add value to the therapeutic relationship that develops between you. There is no right or wrong way to go about accessing psychological services. You are part of the wonderful diversity of human experience, and so is whoever you choose to help you on your therapeutic journey.


Here are a few examples of the different approaches you might find when seeing a psychologist:


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Commonly abbreviated to CBT, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a process in which a psychologist helps you to examine your thoughts (cognitive), the things you do (behavioural), the way you feel, and the ways in which these three things impact on one another. CBT is helpful for anxiety and depression. It can be used with medication and as a stand-alone treatment. It is also helpful for specific phobias, such as a fear of flying. A psychologist may also use a CBT approach for people who are needing help with the way they feel, but do not fit completely in to a diagnosis such as anxiety or depression. We can help you to find a psychologist in Byron Bay who can take you through the process of CBT.


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Commonly abbreviated to ACT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy can give you the skills to live a life that is more in tune with your personal values. The aim of ACT is to develop psychological flexibility. There is evidence that ACT is helpful for chronic pain, depression, smoking, even tinnitus. A psychologist may recommend an ACT approach for people who are struggling with the weight of life but do not fit neatly into a diagnostic box. ACT has a focus on mindfulness, because the ability to give your attention to the present moment without acting on your feelings or allowing your feelings to act on you, is a valuable life skill. We can help you to find a provider of ACT, such as a psychologist in Byron Bay.


Narrative Therapy

To narrate is to tell a story, and Narrative Therapy is about you and your story. There is evidence that Narrative Therapy can be particularly helpful for Indigenous Australians when compared to other types of therapy. Your psychologist is in the role of non-judgemental listener. They help you to identify your values and your personal skills. Over a number of sessions, the aim is to help you co-author a new narrative moving forward. This can help you see your personal wealth of experiences as building blocks for skill sets rather than things that are holding you back. We can help you to find a psychologist in Byron Bay or surrounds who is skilled in Narrative Therapy.


This is just a few of the over 20 approaches used by psychologists and other providers of psychological services. There is overlap between many of them, yet they are distinct. An individual psychologist’s style is directed by your needs and goals, but is unavoidably shaped by their own experience and personal philosophy – this is why finding someone with whom you ‘click’ is so important.

If you’re thinking you might be in need of some psychological support, your GP is a good place to start. They can help you to formulate a plan and refer you to the best provider of therapy for you. We have a GP, Dr. Emma Coldwell, who has a special interest in mental health and is a qualified provider of psychological services. We also are pleased to welcome Robert Quinlan, a social worker with extensive further education and experience who is a Medicare-approved provider of ACT and other mindfulness-based therapies. Whether you live in or around Byron Bay or you’re just visiting, we are here to help. Give us a call at The Bright Side Clinic on 02 6680 7788.