Forensic Psychology
Structured risk assessments and psychological reporting. Contact us so we can further assist you with your enquiry on (03) 9815 3143.
Family Therapy

FAMILY THERAPY

Family Therapy

The family is an ecosystem. And an ecosystem thrives when there is balance, communication, support, nurturance and respect.

Families come to therapy when this ecosystem is breaking down in some way. There may be disagreement between the parents and the children on rules or discipline. There may be arguing between the parents and children, or between siblings. There may be behavioural challenges happening with the kids at home or at school.

Often, we find that true listening is not occurring between members of the family and connections in the relationships have broken down. These days, this is often driven by busyness and technology.

In family therapy, we look at what’s broken down within the ecosystem and then we seek to repair these things and reconnect all family members. Our aim is to support you in repairing the relationships and bonds within your family ecosystem and restoring a sense of peace, respect and love.

OPENING HOURS
  • Monday - Friday 7am - 7pm
  • Saturday 9am - 12pm
  • Sunday Closed

Hargan Psychology

Level 1/838 Glenferrie Road Hawthorn, 3122 3122
Individual Therapy

Individual Therapy

Are you at a loss and not sure where to turn for help? Are you feeling stressed and anxious about your direction in life? Do you spend more time worrying about your past and your future than living in the present moment?

Perhaps you’re a parent worried about your child. Are you wondering if your child has mental health challenges? Is your child presenting with low mood, lacking motivation or symptoms of anxiety? Are you concerned that your child may be taking drugs or experiencing an eating disorder? Is your child presenting with behaviours of concern at school or at home? Do they spend all their time gaming or on social media?

At Hargan Psychology, our therapists create a safe space and offer a range of services including CBT, mindfulness, ACT – acceptance commitment therapy, trauma informed therapy, psychodynamic therapy, play therapy – whatever suits and will benefit the client.

We offer therapy for both adults and children that may be experiencing anxiety, depression, anger, PTSD and all other kinds of challenges in life.

Whatever your situation, you’re not alone and we are here to help.

Our main goal is to help you to sort through the challenges that are holding you back from living the BEST life you can, according to YOU.

In working with children, we look at what brought your child to come and see us, dispel some of the myths about psychology and support them to understand what to expect and how they might benefit from sessions. We support your child to become aware of and start to recognise their feelings, emotions and triggers and find appropriate ways to express them and have their needs met effectively. Each child is different and there is no one size fits all approach.

Are you experiencing insomnia or finding yourself unable to concentrate? Do you dread social situations and conversations with people you don’t know? Are there obsessive or compulsive things you have to do habitually? Do you avoid leaving the house, driving on a freeway or flying on a plane? Do you feel like you’re unable to live your life in a way that evokes freedom?

Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried. While feeling anxious or stressed is a common response when we’re in a high pressure situation, these feeling usually pass once the stressful situation has passed.

Anxiety is when these anxious feelings continue without any particular reason. It’s a serious condition and the most common mental health condition in Australia, with 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men experiencing anxiety at some stage in their life (Beyond Blue).

Anxiety makes it hard to cope with daily life and when experienced consistently, can be really debilitating. We all experience anxious feelings from time to time but for someone experiencing anxiety, the feeling aren’t easy to control.

At Hargan Psychology, we aim to support our clients experiencing anxiety to identify, process, and cope with the triggers of their anxiety. Our aim is to support our clients to do less of the behaviours that aren’t working for them and do more of the things that are and ultimately to help them to live more of the life that they want to live.

If anxiety is affecting your ability to live your life, we’re here to help. Contact the friendly team at Hargan Psychology today.

Are you lacking in motivation, sleeping a lot, withdrawing from your friends or avoiding social situations? Are you finding that you’re not enjoying doing things you previously found pleasure in? Are you self-medicating or self-harming in some way? Do you have suicidal thoughts?

While everyone feels sad, low or moody at times, some people experience these feelings without any apparent cause, as well as feeling them more intensely and for longer periods of time – weeks, months, and even years.

Depression is a serious condition that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Depression causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest and can interfere with how you function on a day to day basis.

At Hargan Psychology, we aim to support our clients experiencing depression to identify thought and behaviour patterns that are either making you more likely to become depressed, or stopping you from getting better when you’re experiencing depression. Our aim is to support you to enjoy the things you used to find pleasure in again. Contact our friendly team today to discuss how we can help.

Are emotional and psychological trauma affecting how you live your life?

Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of stressful events which impact on your sense of security. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s often not the circumstances of the situation that determine the impact but your subjective experience of the event.

Examples of trauma:

  • A single event; an accident, injury, divorce or separation, a violent attack, witnessing violence; these events are particularly traumatic if unexpected or occurred during childhood.
  • Ongoing events; sexual, physical or emotional abuse, experiencing a life-threatening illness or experiencing traumatic events that occur repeatedly, such as bullying, domestic violence, parental substance misuse or childhood neglect.
  • Commonly overlooked causes, such as surgery, the sudden death of someone close, the breakup of a significant relationship, or a humiliating or deeply disappointing experience, especially if someone was deliberately cruel.
  • Traumatic events present unique challenges—even if you weren’t directly involved in the event. In fact, while it may be unlikely that we will be the direct victims, we are regularly exposed to horrific images on social media and news sources of those people who have been. Viewing these images repeatedly can overwhelm your nervous system and create traumatic stress.

Is your life and wellbeing being impacted by symptoms of PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a particular set of reactions that can develop in people who have been through a traumatic event which threatened their life or safety, or that of others around them. This could be a car accident, serious accident or injury, physical or sexual assault, war or torture, or disasters such as bushfires or floods. As a result, the person experiences feelings of intense fear, helplessness or horror.

Having experienced or seen something that involved death, injury, torture, abuse or another situation that led to feeling scared or helpless, you may experience some of the following:

Upsetting memories, flashbacks or dreams of the event;

  • feeling physically and psychologically distressed when something reminds you of the event.
  • had trouble remembering important parts of the event
  • had very negative beliefs about yourself, others or the world
  • persistently blamed yourself or others for what happened
  • persistently felt negative, angry, guilty or ashamed
  • felt less interested in doing things you used to enjoy
  • feeling cut off from others
  • had trouble feeling positive emotions (e.g. love or excitement)
  • had difficulties sleeping (e.g. had bad dreams, or found it hard to fall or stay asleep)
  • felt easily angered or irritated
  • engaged in reckless or self-destructive behaviour
  • had trouble concentrating
  • felt on guard or vigilant
  • been easily startled?

Whilst you may not meet criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD, any of the above negative symptoms can impact your life and wellbeing. Please contact Hargan Psychology for support.

Are symptoms of grief and loss getting in the way of how you live?

Feelings of loss and grief can be experienced after we lose someone or something that we care about. Like the death of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, a beloved pet or a job; a change to your way of life or loss of important possessions. The grief you experience in these instances is usually a typical response to an adverse life event.  The intensity of our grief, symptoms of grief and the period it lasts for differs for each person.

However, if symptoms of grief or loss start to get in the way of how you live, affects your work, relationships, or day-to-day life, then you may need support to process the grief and develop strategies to overcome the symptoms.

Long-term or overwhelming grief can put your physical, mental and emotional health at risk. If you think this is happening to you, please contact our team at Hargan Psychology for support.

Is addiction negatively impacting on your life, your health, and your relationships?

Addiction is most commonly associated with gambling, drugs (both illicit and prescription) alcohol and nicotine, but it is possible to be addicted to many other things.

Being addicted to something means that not having it causes withdrawal symptoms or a ‘come down’. Because this can be unpleasant, it is easier to engage in the continuous cycle. Often, an addiction gets out of control because the need to satisfy a craving and achieve the ‘high’ increases.

The strain of managing an addiction can seriously damage a person’s work performance and relationships. In the case of substance abuse (for example, drugs and alcohol), an addiction can have serious psychological and physical effects. Many factors can trigger addiction; stress, social isolation, emotional or professional pressure, short-term relief from psychological distress.

Addiction is a physical or psychological need to do, take or use something, to the point where it could be harmful to you. Whatever a person is addicted to, they perceive themselves unable to control the use and may become dependent on it to get through daily life.

In our modern world, it is common to see addiction to substances (drugs and alcohol) and gambling but also common is addiction to work, computers, social media, mobile phones, shopping, online gaming, sex, etc.

If you suspect that addiction may be impacting negatively on your life, please contact the team at Hargan Psychology for support.

OPENING HOURS
  • Monday - Friday 7am - 7pm
  • Saturday 9am - 12pm
  • Sunday Closed

Hargan Psychology

Level 1/838 Glenferrie Road Hawthorn, 3122 3122
Education Assessments

Education Assessments

How can an Education Assessment help my child?

By assessing various areas of mental functioning, education assessments help parents and educators gain insight to a child’s unique learning capacity and academic abilities, allowing them to make informed choices about a child’s ideal learning environment and their individual learning needs.

Parents typically become interested in an education assessment for their child for a couple of different reasons. Perhaps the child’s school has requested an assessment or suggested that there may be issues in a child’s learning ability. Perhaps you’ve noticed that your child is facing challenges in learning which may be due to an undetected cognitive deficit, intellectual difficulty, or expressive language difficulty, just to name a few..

The stage when this is often highlighted is in late primary school or early high school.

What process do we undertake during an education assessment for my child?

  • Conduct the assessment
  • Provide a written report for the parents
  • Conduct a feedback session with parents (parents may choose for this to take place in the school)
  • Provide recommendations for the child (both Educational and Social / Emotional / Behavioural)

There are different assessments that can be done. We usually start with an overall cognitive assessment and then conduct an assessment on a variety of areas to look at the strengths and weaknesses within your child’s learning abilities. As a result, we identify the specific areas that children need support in and how parents and teachers can best support them.

In Australia, learning materials are provided to students on an incremental basis. What this means is that if a child misses out on understanding a particular stage of these learning materials for any reason, then it will make the subsequent stages of that topic harder to grasp. The assessment process assists in identifying any areas that a child may not have grasped; the subsequent report then offers recommendations to support in correcting this and enhancing the child’s learning capacity.

Normally, the feedback is provided directly to parents. If parents wish for the school to be more involved, teachers are welcome to join us at our office to facilitate a discussion in the one session. For an additional fee, further feedback can also be provided directly to the school after the parent feedback session has occurred.

Through undertaking an education assessment, you will understand your child’s academic level, the areas of strengths and weaknesses, any areas for improvement and how to best support them to achieve enhanced learning outcomes.

What’s included in an assessment?

A Cognitive Assessment typically includes:

  1. 1 x 50 minute initial parent interview to gather some history about your child and their development
  2. The assessment process:
  • 2 x 50 minute sessions to administer the standardised cognitive (intelligence) test (WPPSI-IV, WISC-V or WAIS-IV)
  • A detailed report of findings with behavioural and educational recommendations tailored for your child
  • 1 x 50 minute parent feedback session to discuss your child’s assessment and answer any questions

An Achievement Assessment typically includes:

  1. 1 x 50 minute initial parent interview to gather some history about your child and their development
  2. The assessment process:
  • 3 x 50 minute sessions (dependent on how many subtests are administered) to administer the standardised achievement (academic) test (WIAT-III)
  • A detailed report of findings with behavioural and educational recommendations tailored for your child
  • 1 x 50 minute parent feedback session to discuss your child’s assessment and answer any questions

A Full Educational Assessment typically includes:

  1. 1 x 50 minute initial parent interview to gather some history about your child and their development
  2. The assessment process:
  • 2 x 50 minute sessions to administer the standardised cognitive(intelligence) test (WPPSI-IV or WISC-V)
  • 3 x 50 minute sessions (dependent on how many subtests are administered) to administer the standardised achievement (academic) test (WIAT-III)
  • A detailed report of findings with behavioural and educational recommendations tailored for your child
  • 1 x 50 minute parent feedback session to discuss your child’s assessment and answer any questions

A Vineland Assessment typically includes:

  1. The assessment process:
  • An email with a questionnaire to fill out
  • A brief report based on your assessment
  • 1 x 30 minute feedback session where your report is presented (and you can take it home)

What are the different types of assessments?

WPPSI – The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence

The WPPSI is a comprehensive measure of a young child’s intellectual ability. This cognitive assessment involves game-like activities, as well as age-specific subtests.

Test age range: 2.5 – 7 years

WISC-V – The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (Australian and New Zealand Standardised, Fifth Edition)

The WISC is an individually administered comprehensive clinical instrument for assessing the cognitive ability/intelligence of children.

Test range: 6 years 0 months through 16 years 11 months.

WIAT-III – The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test

The WIAT is a comprehensive, individually administered test for assessing the achievement of children, adolescents, tertiary students and adults.

Test range: 4 years through 50 years, 11 months

WAIS-IV – The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

The WAIS is a comprehensive measure of an adult’s intellectual ability that includes a full scale IQ score in addition to index scores that measure different facets of intelligence.

Test age range: 16 – 89 years

WMS – The Wechsler Memory Scale

The WMS is a comprehensive measure of adult memory functioning and assessed both auditory and visual memory. The results of a memory assessment help an individual develop effective strategies to retain information to aid future learning processes. Research into the WMS has found the psychological assessment tool to be valid and reliable. The results from the test can also be used to provide further insight into an individual’s performance on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale.

Test age range: 16 – 90 years

The Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales – Third Edition

The Vineland is used to assess individuals aged up to 90 years to measure how adequately they can live independently. It assesses the individual’s skills in specific areas and can help with treatment planning as well as helping to identify developmental delays, cognitive disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and other impairments.

*There is some overlap between ages for clinical judgement; ie suspected ‘giftedness’ or suspected Intellectual Disability.

*The above are all in the new format and latest editions; clients are assessed using IPads.

*There are several other assessments available, should clients require further investigation in a particular area, however these are the most used.

OPENING HOURS
  • Monday - Friday 7am - 7pm
  • Saturday 9am - 12pm
  • Sunday Closed

Hargan Psychology

Level 1/838 Glenferrie Road Hawthorn, 3122 3122

Education Assessment FAQs

Through undertaking an education assessment, you will understand your child’s academic level, the areas of strengths and weaknesses, any areas for improvement and how to best support them to achieve better learning outcomes.

No. While we specialise in assessments for children and young people, there are tests available for 2.5 years all the way up to 90 years

There will be an assessment over a couple of sessions, you will be provided with a written report of the assessment outcomes. We will then arrange a time to conduct a feedback session with you. Following this session, you will be provided with some recommendations for your child.

Following the assessment, you will have a list of recommendations you can begin to implement at home and at school. We are also here to help if you feel that you or your child would like some additional therapeutic support.

*Cognitive assessment (WISC-IV – WAIS-IV) $900
*Achievement assessment (WIAT-III) From $800
(dependent on how many subtests are administered)
*Education assessment
(both cognitive and achievement together)
$1400
Adaptive functioning assessment (Vineland) $400
All other assessments $200 per hour or part thereof (charged in 15 minute increments)
B.E.S.T Kids

Group Therapy / BEST KIDSTM

Group Therapy / BEST Kids™

BEST Kids™ Group Therapy Program

BEST Kids™ is an evidence-based program supporting kids in Building Essential Skills Together (BEST).

  • Building – over the time together, learning, practicing and building new skills
  • Essential – the essential social skills of communication and relating, which are seemingly compromised in our modern, technology-centric world
  • Skills – we practice developing these essential ‘skills’ of trust, empathy, problem solving and effective communication
  • Together – the program takes place in a group setting where kids are amongst and supported by their peers in a strengths-based environment.

The aim of the program is to help children develop skills to be their best selves and live their best lives. It’s not about kids, bullies or their behaviour being ‘bad’. Instead it considers, ‘what does a good role model look like?’ and ‘how can we be one?’. Through the program, kids are supported to understand that they can be empathic, they can be a good friend and they can be a good role model and are taught the skills to achieve it.

The goals of the program are to help kids to:

  • Build emotional awareness and learn how to identify their emotions and needs
  • Explore their empathic nature and express that part of themselves
  • Understand the difference between negative and positive behaviours
  • Decrease negative behaviours and increase positive behaviours
  • Build better interpersonal skills and improve relationships with their peers and families
  • Develop skills to improve their skills to communicate their needs effectively
  • Learn to be appropriately assertive, without aggression or intimidation
  • Improve their confidence and learning outcomes
  • Be a good role model

The 6 X 1 hour sessions include:

  • Emotional Awareness
  • Managing Emotions
  • Effective Communication Skills
  • Positive Friendships, Empathy and Sharing
  • Positive Leadership
  • Resolving Conflict
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday - Friday 7am - 7pm
  • Saturday 9am - 12pm
  • Sunday Closed

Hargan Psychology

Level 1/838 Glenferrie Road Hawthorn, 3122 3122

How the BEST Kids™ Group Program was created

The program was developed by Christine Harding as a result of her years working with teens within the juvenile justice environment. Christine found that her observations over the years working in juvenile justice, secure welfare and more recently schools, matched her research; most young clients presented with difficulties in social and communication skills. They often appeared unable to read social cues and body language, and showing difficulties in self-expression and how to effectively and appropriately have their needs met. As a result, Christine noted that young clients often became aggressive and used inappropriate ways to articulate their needs. Similarly, some clients presented as passive, depressed or anxious due to deficits in effective communication or assertive skills.  Clients presenting with these issues required support to develop the skills to assist them make better choices.

Christine’s research highlighted that bullying programs within schools largely appeared inadequate in addressing these issues, lacking the necessary content for prevention, rather than cure. After spending time in the education environment, Christine realised the tremendous pressures involved in addressing bullying and associated behaviours by teachers and the in-school psychologist (if there was one), supporting potentially 500 students!  A better approach was needed; hence BEST Kids™ was born.

The BEST Kids™ Group Program approach

The BEST Kids™ Group Program is a safe space for children to learn and practice essential social skills. Participants are provided with tools such as emotional awareness, understanding and communicating with others, empathy, respect, and how to manage strong emotions.

The group format and facilitation of the program means that every child is equal. Passive and aggressive children come together in a non-hierarchical setting to practice empathy and sharing. The kids are there as a part of the team and learn to problem solve together, reforming the relationships between them in a more positive way.

Group participants are encouraged to become aware of their emotions, identify triggers to strong emotions and develop more appropriate strategies to assist. The program provides a number of worksheets which children work on together in group session but importantly take home to share with parents and caregivers to provide them with further support in the future.

The program was piloted at St Kilda Primary in 2018 and 2019 with positive feedback.

The program will be both run in schools and from the practice.

Experience the difference with the BEST Kids™ Group Program

For more information about the BEST Kids program for your school or to secure a place in our Hawthorn practice, please Contact Us Today.

Download your own copy of the BEST Kids Group Program here: 

BEST Kids™ FAQs

The BEST Kids Group Program runs from our practices in Hawthorn after school or Saturday mornings during school term and at regular times during school holidays. Please contact us to find out more and book your place.

If you’d like us to run this program in your child’s school during the school term, please send us a message via the link below and share this page with your contact at the school.

The group format and facilitation of the program means that every child is equal. Children come together in a non-hierarchical setting to practice empathy and sharing. From the outset, the participants are encouraged to be part of a cohesive group, developing their own group rules, learning to problem solve together, communicating with others that may be have different views or circumstances.

The B.E.S.T. Kids program has benefits for all children.

No. You only need a referral if there is a Medicare rebate and Medicare benefits are not usually available for group sessions, unless there is a specific diagnosis from your GP.

The B.E.S.T Kids program is 6 payments of $100. A total of $600.

Enquiry Form

Enquiryform

    Couples Therapy

    Couples Therapy

    Couples Therapy

    Do you ever get the feeling your partner is not listening to you? That you’re not on the same page? That you spend more time fighting than talking? That you can’t agree on the best way to parent your children? That you argue about money every second day? That one or both of you are feeling stressed in your work and appear to be taking that out on each other and the family?

    Relationships don’t devolve overnight, it takes time, and at some point you find yourself wondering how you got to where you are now.

    All relationships go through challenges, including good ones. For those times when it’s more than you can handle on your own, that why we’re here.

    Couples usually come to therapy when it’s “resolve or dissolve” – when they are desperate to resolve their relationship and get it back on track, or when they are resigned to dissolve the relationship and separate.

    We know you will have tried your best to resolve this and if you feel like you still need support, please contact us.

    We offer a safe, confidential environment and we’re here to help you.

    So how can couples counselling help?

    COUPLES THERAPY / MARRIAGE COUNSELLING

    We offer couples counselling that is individualised and tailored to meet the needs of you, your partner and your unique situation. This therapy is future focused, which means we don’t dwell on the past, we look towards the future and what it is that you and your partner want to create together.

    We may look at things such as what attracted you two to be together in the first place and how to disagree in a constructive, strengths-based way. You may be invited to create an agenda together for what you want to talk about in our sessions and to set some relationship rules to support better communication and connectedness.

    These sessions aim to reconnect you and your partner and have you moving forward together in a positive way.

    COUPLES COUNSELLING FOR GREATER INTIMACY

    We live in an age of busyness and distraction, which can leave us feeling disconnected from ourselves, who we are and what really matters to us. When we’re disconnected from ourselves, it’s really hard to be connected in our relationships. How often do you and your partner put your phones and devices away and really connect with each other, just the two of you?

    Sexual and emotional intimacy is one of the first things to go when connection is lacking in relationship. Relationships can be functional in other ways and look completely ‘normal’ from the outside, while lacking the emotional closeness that really has you feeling a deep level of connectedness with your partner.

    Some couples come across some deep seated challenges in their sexual relationships; Hargan Psychology therapists can refer you to some excellent sex therapists for further support.

    The goal of this therapy is for you and your partner to feel closer and more intimate and connected again.

    COUPLES COUNSELLING FOR HAPPIER FAMILIES

    Are you and your partner experiencing challenges with the behaviour of your child or children? Perhaps your children have hit adolescence and you’re wonder if you are responding appropriately and healthily to their new behaviours. Perhaps you’re now in a blended family and you now need to find common ground and a united approach to your parenting styles?

    Children display challenging behaviours as a result of systemic issues within the family – this can be nuclear families, blended families, and everything in between. Once they see a little space developing between the parents, kids have a lovely time of taking advantage of the gap!

    We can often think that our child is having a challenging experience within themselves, when in fact they may be responding to the behaviour or communication style of their parents or the dynamics within the relationship. Children can sense if there’s a lack of direction and clarity of leadership within the family and may take the opportunity to challenge it. Or if one of their parents is facing challenges, it can leave children feeling unstable and unsafe and result in them acting out. Or you might find yourself in another challenge all together!

    There are effective ways to work though this and we can help you find new, more constructive ways to work together in creating a happier, more harmonious family unit.

    SEPARATION SUPPORT

    Separation can be such a challenging time, not just for you and your partner but for your children as well. You may be wondering, how can we do this in a way that’s not going to affect the children? How can we support our children through this process?

    In this therapy we help you to plan the steps of your separation with view to having the best possible outcome for yourselves and your children.

    OPENING HOURS
    • Monday - Friday 7am - 7pm
    • Saturday 9am - 12pm
    • Sunday Closed

    Hargan Psychology

    Level 1/838 Glenferrie Road Hawthorn, 3122 3122
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