Group therapy

At Northfields Psychology Clinic we offer a range of group therapy programs. These programs have been developed within the School of Psychology at the University of Wollongong using evidence-based therapy approaches. Group therapy is provided in a structured, client-focused, and supportive manner. 

Why group therapy?

Group therapy provides an opportunity for individuals with similar difficulties to work through their problems as a team, with the assistance of a psychologist group facilitator. As with individual therapy, group therapy programs aim to address clients’ concerns by teaching the skills required to better cope with psychological difficulties or distress. Group members can benefit from the support provided by others who share their experiences, as well as provide participants with a sense of acceptance and belonging within the group.  

Group patient session at Northfields Clinic

What groups do we offer?

A 10-week group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program utilising the group format to expose clients to feared social situations.

The purpose of the social anxiety group is to equip clients with a set of skills that will help them manage their social anxiety better, to have better control over it.

The social anxiety group is for those people who have the main features of social anxiety, that is, a fear and expectation of negative evaluation, anxiety about scrutiny by others and a fear of making a mistake in a public situation. They have an inordinate fear of embarrassment.

In the course of the sessions in our group we help clients to understand the nature of anxiety, the various symptoms of it and how it is evoked. It also deals with panic symptoms and the role of hyperventilation in them. The course teaches clients the skills of relaxation and breathing control, how to deal with panic symptoms (if they have them), to identify situations where they are most likely to feel anxious and why they become anxious. The course will also help the client to recognise the unhelpful and often irrational thoughts and beliefs he/she has that instigate or increase anxiety in social situations and then to dispute and change them. Because a particular set of thoughts is central to the problem of social phobia this aspect of the treatment is emphasised and occupies several sessions. Some general stress management and problem-solving strategies will also be taught.

There is a big educational role in this approach, the idea being that an understanding of what is happening gives a large measure of control over symptoms. Rather than feeling like a helpless victim at the mercy of forces the client doesn’t understand, the approach teaches him/her the skills necessary to master them.

The sessions themselves involve discussion of a new topic or aspect of the problem, describing one’s own experiences and then small group (2-4 people) practice of skills covered in the discussion. At the end of each session the client is asked to do various things before next session. For example, he/she may read material to be discussed in the next session, record particular examples of anxious experiences that occur during the week and/or practice the skills taught in the previous session. The idea is that the client doesn’t get better without practicing what he/she needs to do to overcome the problem.

The Social Anxiety Group is run once a year. It commences in July and runs on a Wednesday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm for 10 weeks.

One of the group leaders will ring you, prior to the group commencing, for a pregroup meeting to determine if the group would suit your needs and give you a chance to ask any questions you might have. If you decide to attend there will be a one off standard fee payment of $120 or concession fee payment of $60.

Register: Contact us at Northfields Clinic on 02 4221 3747 or email us at nfc-uow@uow.edu.au

A 9-week mindful parenting program that builds cooperative relationships between parents and children while reducing unwanted behaviours - A Parenting Program for Parents & Carers Raising 3-11 year old Children with Problem Behaviours.

The Confident Carers – Cooperative Kids (CCCK) program helps parents to feel more confident, and to create more positive and cooperative relationships with their children.

Problem behaviours are shown by most, if not all, children from time-to-time. Children often express their feelings through their behaviour. Some children display more severe problem behaviours that significantly interfere with how they get along with their family, friends and schoolwork.

Common problem behaviours include:

  • Losing temper easily
  • Arguing with adults
  • Disobedience
  • Deliberately annoying others
  • Blaming others for own mistakes
  • Being easily annoyed by others
  • Holding grudges
  • Saying hurtful things

CCCK helps parents and carers to:

  • Get back in touch with what is most important in the relationship with their child
  • Tune into their child’s individual temperament and needs
  • Strengthen the parent-child relationship

Fine-tune responses to their child’s behaviour through the use of:

  • Mindful play, positive engagement and other activities
  • Effective praise & rewards when reinforcing appropriate behaviour
  • Effective instructions and household rules and routines when setting necessary limits on behaviour
  • Use preventative strategies (e.g. planning ahead, ignoring & managing emotions) that limit the causes of misbehaviour
  • Consistent responses to misbehaviour

General program details:

  • For parents/carers of children aged 3-11 years old
  • The program runs for nine weeks (2 hours each week)
  • Groups are run four times a year
  • Groups are usually held on a Thursday evening
  • Parents/Carers are expected to attend the entire program
  • Children do not attend the program
  • Childcare is not provided
  • The cost of the program is $120 per family (standard), $60 (concession)

What to do next:

Parents concerned about their child’s behaviour can contact Northfields Psychology Clinic directly to place their child’s name on the wait list in preparation for a pre group assessment. The assessment will determine the appropriateness of the CCCK Program.

Register: Contact us at Northfields Clinic on 02 4221 3747 or email us at nfc-uow@uow.edu.au

Cool Kids® Program: A 9-week Anxiety Management Group Program for 8 to 12 year old children and their families (adapted from Macquarie University).

About 1 in 10 children have difficulty coping with their fears and worries. This is also known as anxiety.

Displays of anxiety vary. Some children:

  • Are very reluctant to separate from their parents or carer
  • Are very shy and feel uncomfortable talking or socialising in large groups
  • Fear & avoid specific situations
  • Are easily worried by many things
  • Repeat certain actions as a way of preventing “bad” events or to remove uncomfortable feelings
  • Feel very sick & tense before certain important events (eg. tests etc)

Anxiety is a normal emotional response. However, there could be a problem if it causes frequent, intense or ongoing distress that prevents a child doing the important and fun things in life.

The Cool Kids® Program is a clinically proven anxiety management group program that was developed by the Macquarie University Anxiety Research Unit.

The Cool Kids® Program assists children to manage their own anxiety by:

  • Helping them to understand anxiety
  • Teaching them to think realistically
  • Encouraging them to “fight their fears”
  • Developing social skills & assertiveness
  • Developing problem solving skills

Through the Cool Kids® Program, parents acquire the knowledge and skills to effectively “Coach” their child as they develop and master the key anxiety management skills.

Northfields Psychology Clinic is a specialist psychology service at the University of Wollongong that runs the Cool Kids® Program.

What to do next

Parents concerned about their child’s anxiety-related difficulties can discuss these concerns with their child’s doctor or school counsellor, or can contact Northfields Psychology Clinic directly to book a pre-group assessment. The assessment will determine the appropriateness of the Cool Kids® Program for the child.

Northfields Psychology Clinic – Cool Kids® Program:

  • The program runs for 9 consecutive weeks during each school term
  • The groups are held one afternoon per week between 4pm and 6pm
  • Parents must attend the entire program with their child
  • The program involves a maximum of 8 families at a time
  • The standard cost of the program is $120 per family. Concession is $60. An additional fee of $35 for the manuals

Register: Contact us at Northfields Clinic on 02 4221 3747 or email us at nfc-uow@uow.edu.au

® The Cool Kids Program is the property of the Macquarie University Anxiety Research Unit

 

A 6-week group program offering evidence-based skills and strategies.

The program aims to address concerns related to ADHD/ADD and provide practical skills to help manage associated difficulties.

What?

A six week group course with evidence-based skills and strategies. Topics covered include; organisation, planning, managing procrastination, problem-solving, enhancing attention & memory, managing impulsivity, self-care and improving relationships.

When?

Dates for 2020 will be confirmed. Please check the website for updates or contact Northfields Psychology Clinic on 02 4221 3747 for details.

Who?

Adults (18+ years) who experience difficulties associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Attention Deficit Disorder.

Where?

Northfields Psychology Clinic is a specialist psychology service at the University of Wollongong that is staffed by Intern Clinicians under the supervision of experienced senior Clinical Psychologists. Building 22, Northfields Psychology Clinic, University of Wollongong.

Register: Contact us at Northfields Clinic on 02 4221 3747 or email us at nfc-uow@uow.edu.au

Chilled is a 10-week online Adolescent Anxiety Program; a cognitive-behavioural intervention program for adolescents (13-17) with anxiety and their families.

Anxiety is experienced by everyone; however, for some people it can interfere with daily functioning and wellbeing. The Chilled program aims to address concerns with anxiety and provide practical skills to help adolescents manage these feelings.

What is Chilled?

  • A scientifically tested course
  • Group format involving the participation of adolescents and some sessions with parents
  • Research shows an 80% improvement of participants
  • Improvement in fear, worry and general anxiety levels
  • Improvement in academic success, achievement, confidence, social involvement and participation in activities

Delivered by Northfields Clinic online. Thursday evenings 5-7pm for 10 weeks starting 14th May 2020.

Cost: FREE

Northfields Psychology Clinic a specialist psychology service at UOW that is staffed by Intern Clinicians under the supervision of experienced senior Clinical Psychologists.

Register: Contact us at Northfields Clinic on 02 4221 3747 or email us at nfc-uow@uow.edu.au

An Introduction to Mindfulness Practice

Are You Interested in Mindfulness?

This 4 week program explores how mindfulness can be implemented daily to improve mental health and wellbeing. Participants will learn the following skills:

  • How to maintain current moment awareness.
  • Fostering self compassion
  • Tolerating uncertainty
Register: Contact us at Northfields Psychology Clinic at nfc-uow@uow.edu.au

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