Wendy has worked as a clinical psychologist for nearly 25 years and as a psychologist for a few years before that. She has worked extensively with children and young adults with eating disorders associated with diabetes, sexual assault, pain management and other medical and mental health issues. At BodyMatters Wendy brings her extensive experience in complex mental health interventions and the development of strategies to motivate clients to achieve optimal mental and physical health outcomes.
She began her career in intellectual disability, working across the age span from Early Intervention and School-age to young adults transitioning from home to work and independent living. The main focus of this work was intellectual and educational assessment, behavioural observation, and rehabilitation. Young people with Autism spectrum disorder were a group of clients that Wendy developed specialist skills with. During this time she also worked with parents, families and staff in order to support their adjustment emotional life.
Wendy’s next move was to an Early Episode Psychosis service with young adults. She worked with not only the individual, but also couple, family or group, as needed. Later, Wendy became involved in the adult inpatient mental health program at Fremantle Hospital, providing individual and group therapy for adults experiencing severe depression, anxiety and other severe mental health conditions.
However it was in 2000, that Wendy’s most satisfying and productive career move occurred. She joined the staff of the Perth Childrens Hospital/Princess Margaret Hospital (at the time), which enabled her to work across multiple settings, age groups and presenting problems. Initially, she worked with young people experiencing acute mental health episodes in an inpatient setting, then with a similar group in an outpatient community setting; then with young adults who had experienced immediate and/or historical sexual assault; and finally with children and adolescents and their families diagnosed with a co-occurring medical condition and mental health related disorder. The medical conditions included oncology, head injury, chronic pain, disordered eating and Diabetes type1. While the mental health conditions included self-harm and/or suicidality, trauma, attentional difficulties and other learning problems; autism spectrum disorder, depresion, anxiety and adjustment and family stress.
As a result of her professional experience Wendy has developed and maintained a broad range of therapeutic interventions, models and ways of thinking about a person across the age span. She is curious to understand them from a family, social, emotional and community context. She has, wherever possible, taken an empirical, evidence-based approach to empowering individuals to problem-solve and support self-management of significant mental health disorders.
Wendy uses Attachment theory and the Circle of Security model to understand a person’s inner life and history as well as the person in context. After having worked extensively with the Cognitive Behavioural models of intervention, Wendy has expanded her work to include aspects of Dialectical Behaviour therapy, Trauma focused CBT, Acceptance and Commitment therapy, as well as Compassion focused therapy.
Wendy considers it important to meet the client where they are at currently and work collaboratively to develop outcomes that work for them.
In the meantime, you can read more about Wendy here.