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About Me

Hi! I’m Alex, a clinical psychologist with a decade of experience in the field. I am also a film lover, writer and musician, and have had a lifelong obsession with good stories - no matter how busy I am, I always make the time to see a film, listen to an album or sit down to read a book!

I have developed a desire to merge evidence-based therapy approaches with the arts that people love, because I have experienced the numerous therapeutic benefits of the arts through my own life, as well as through working with many clients who are artists, musicians, content creators and writers. 

The arts were a form of therapy for thousands of years before the psychology profession existed. They have been an incredibly powerful tool to help people cope with life's difficulties, develop empathy and compassion, process emotions , cope with challenging experiences, and craft narratives that can heal the effects of trauma, both personally and collectively. The arts can foster deeper connection and understanding between people, because they act on our emotions and senses, as well as our intellect.

 

Why film therapy?

 

We inevitably consume countless stories every day, especially given the popularity and accessibility of streaming. According to Jonathan Gottschall’s The Storytelling Animal (2012), stories are one of the most powerful forces shaping the human mind. I know this has been true for me, because the stories I have connected with throughout my life have shaped my identity and helped me to work through difficult circumstances in many ways. So I wondered, what if we can strategically select and engage with films and shows in a way that improves our mental health, strengthens our sense of self and connects us with our values at a deeper level? And what if I can work with writers and directors to help them maximise the therapeutic benefits of their work for audiences?

 

My experience

 

Formal training

  • Masters of Psychology (Clinical)

  • Bachelor of Advanced Science (Psychology, Honours)

  • Bachelor of Arts (Theatre & Performance)

 

Specialised training

  • Clinical supervision training

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for adults, kids, parents and trauma survivors

  • Bibliotherapy

  • Narrative therapy

  • Schema therapy

  • Family systems therapy

 

Involvement in the arts

I have been blogging for several years on various topics including travel, culture, psychology and the therapeutic benefits of the arts, particularly films and TV shows. Below are links to my blogs:

 

I am a musician and have worked with multi-instrumentalist and composer Ganathipan on performance projects including his first album launch and his epic show The World Experience. Below are some links to footage from these performances:

 

I have also recorded an album with Afghani Australian musician Hussain Dala, and am an active participant in the Indian music scene around Sydney.

 

I was concertmaster of the Armidale Symphony Orchestra and have performed with a number of other community orchestras in both Canberra and Sydney.

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