Dr Nicole Hess,
B Psych (Hons), PhD.
Hi! My name is Nicole! I offer counselling and psychotherapy services for all ages. Having recently completed a Master of Professional Psychology (MPPSY) I am also trained to provide psychological assessment and evidence-based therapies.
Prior to commencing the MPPSY, I completed a Bachelor of Psychology with honours and a PhD that focused on therapeutic interventions to improve cognitive performance in elderly adults with mild cognitive impairment and dementia.
Prior to and during my studies in psychology I have worked as a volunteer at St Vincent de Paul providing counselling for individuals who were living with an array of challenges including financial, social, parenting, and substance abuse issues.
I also spent 7 years working with older adults in dementia respite programs and intellectually disabled individuals in community access programs.
Currently, I am keen to work with children, adolescents, and adults in individual therapy.
Children & Adolescents
Most passionately I am interested in working with children who experience academic challenges and learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and information processing delays.
Specifically, I endeavour to educate both the child and the significant adults in the child’s life, of the perceptual and reasoning differences that accompany a learning disability and how these might affect the child’s experience of the world and thus their behaviours. Learning disabilities are neurodevelopmental issues that affect neural processing. This is often one of the most ignored challenges associated with learning disabilities.
Counselling for Individuals
Most people come to counselling armed with a sense of hope that they will find understanding, meaning, and healing. Considering that each of us has a unique life-story and is driven by unique motivations, a method of counselling and psychotherapy that works well for one person is just as likely to fail when applied to another person. Therefore, it stands to reason that encapsulated in the process of counselling is a deeper exploration of the context and meaning behind each client’s motivations. In this regard, individual context is key!
Consequently, despite the potency of cognitive and verbal processes in therapy, counselling cannot be relegated to only practicing these approaches. Contextual, implicit, and non-verbal factors also contribute significantly to the fabric of human experience and should not be ignored; thus, it is essential that these factors are recognised and addressed within the psychotherapeutic environment.
For example, young children are expert non-verbal communicators through play and art but do not yet have the maturity of verbal expression; and for some adult clients there may be times when feelings and thoughts escape articulation, when there simply are no words. In counselling it is important to understand that this is okay – that there are other therapeutic means that we can offer our clients, to help them alleviate their suffering.
Collaborative exploration between counsellor and client to uncover a unique, client focused therapeutic solution is imperative to successful outcomes in therapy.
In fact, research has identified unique client factors as contributing to 40% of the therapy outcome. These factors may include qualities such as the client’s willingness to the change, the client’s theory of change given the context of their challenges, and the client’s belief that change can occur and that the chosen therapy can affect this change.
Additionally, the relationship between therapist and client is said to account for 30% of therapeutic outcome. This includes the strength of the working relationship between client and therapist and their mutual agreement regarding the structure and goals of therapy.
Thus with at least 70% of successful therapy attributed to factors outside of the specific type of therapy engaged in, it is important that therapists are open to recognising the benefits of a variety of evidence-based therapies including:
- Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT);
- Interpersonal Therapy (IPT);
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT);
- Narrative Therapy;
- Play Therapy;
- Attachment Therapy;
- and art-making therapies.
I am committed to learning and developing the necessary skills to guide clients through an individualised therapeutic plan that suits their unique needs. Further to this, it is my goal to be guided by each client in understanding their unique therapeutic goals and needs, and where necessary to refer clients to the most suitable therapist.
Please note: Nicole’s referrals come directly from Vivian Jarrett (director of Vision Psychology). If you are interested in seeing Nicole, there are no fees while she is on placement. However, only those who have attended a free emotional health check-up with Vivian Jarrett are eligible to see Nicole. In the future, once Nicole’s MPPSY has been endorsed through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) she will remain working with Vision Psychology as a provisional psychologist.
To make an appointment try Online Booking. Alternatively, you can call Vision Psychology Brisbane on (07) 3088 5422.