Therapy for kids

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Our therapeutic approaches

At ThinkWise, our clinicians use a number of different approaches to help you achieve the wellbeing and peace of mind that you deserve.
Scroll down to understand the different types of therapeutic approaches that your psychologist might use.

CBT: cognitive behaviour therapy

CBT – one of the most recognised therapies around the place, also known as cognitive behaviour therapy.

So what is this all about?

Have you ever noticed that your mind creates thought and those thoughts can create feelings in you, and those thoughts can also drive certain behaviours? Well, psychologists aren’t interested in the thoughts that you have that make you feel good. Psychologists love those thoughts that make you feel rotten – you know the ones. The thoughts about how you don’t look any good, or the thoughts about how you aren’t any good to anyone. You get the drift.

It’s generally not the happy thoughts that might lead us to do things that aren’t particularly good for us – like avoiding that social gathering or maybe drinking too much. We call thoughts that result in unpleasant feelings or unhelpful behaviours maladaptive thoughts. CBT teaches you the skills to manage your thoughts (as well as your beliefs that underlie those thoughts) and change the thoughts to be more adaptive and helpful (so that you will accept the invitation to go out, or maybe avoid that extra drink). CBT has been shown to be really helpful for issues such as anxiety, low mood and depression, overwhelm, stress, perfectionism and a wide range of other issues.


Well, this one (pronounced act rather than A.C.T.) has arisen from CBT and the realisation that some thoughts and beliefs just won’t be changed, no matter how hard we try.

If you’ve spent your life thinking a certain way about yourself or the world, it can be pretty hard to shift that thought pattern to something more helpful. This can be dangerous as our thinking does influence our mood and behaviour.

ACT has come along with some alternative, beautiful strategies to manage those troublesome thoughts and beliefs.

Rather than teaching skills in changing the way we think, ACT teaches skills in learning to ignore the unhelpful ways we are thinking or the beliefs we have – I know, right! Not everything that floats through our mind is truth or fact so we’ve figured out that if we can learn to ignore the unhelpful thoughts or beliefs, they lose their power over us (a bit like tuning out the ads in your favourite TV show).

ACT also teaches skills in mindfulness which is a great way to let thoughts or feelings just come and go rather than grasping onto them. Great skills and really helpful for anxiety, depression, overwhelm, and general life stress and worry.

Schema therapy

Also related to CBT in terms of understanding that once again, the way we think and our beliefs are linked to how we feel and how we behave.

In schema therapy, however, your psychologist is interested in taking a bit of a deep dive into your past (childhood, not past life!) to explore how unhelpful beliefs (or maladaptive schemas) have developed from having certain fundamental needs that have not been adequately met during your childhood.

This style of therapy is not about blaming your parents or those who raised you.

Rather it is about figuring out what the unmet needs were and finding more adaptive ways to meet those needs as an adult. Schema therapy is really useful if you feel worthless, insecure, unable to trust others, or generally discombobulated about the world and other people within it.

Virtual reality therapy

We are very proud to have been the first clinic in South Australia to work with this fabulous technology.

As you can imagine, lots of people are scared of lots of different things.

Sometimes being scared of something to the point that we’d label it a phobia doesn’t affect your life much at all, and so you don’t need to worry about it too much (such as fear of snakes but you live in the city rather than the hills so coming across a snake isn’t a high probability event).

Sometimes it hasn’t affected your life up to now but then starts to do so (ThinkWise had a large number of people wanting to get the COVID vaccination but couldn’t due to a needle phobia).

Or imagine if you get claustrophobia and suddenly need to get an MRI – tricky stuff.

Our virtual reality equipment allows you to experience your feared environments or situations in a safe way, helping you get to the point of facing that fear in real life.

Plus, say you had a fear of flying, taking your psychologist with you on all your flights would get pretty costly – VR therapy allows you to experience an immersive flying environment with your psychologist right beside you, helping you to manage your anxiety and achieve mastery over the fear!

Motivational interviewing

MI was developed to assist you if you are not ready for change or have challenges that are in the way of change.

MI is an empathic therapeutic approach that takes into account the difficulties we face in trying to change unhelpful or maladaptive behaviours such as addictions.

EMDR: eye movement desensitisation & reprocessing

Now, please bear with me as I describe this amazing approach to trauma, grief and even phobias.

Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing arose from the increased understanding of neurobiology (the way the brain processes and retains information) – super helpful for getting on with our lives but if we experience trauma, these brain mechanisms can become ridiculously unhelpful as they can misfire and create the problem of a traumatic memory remaining unprocessed and stuck.


When a traumatic memory remains unprocessed, it can rear up and bite us at any time, but especially if there is any reminder of the situation causing the trauma. EMDR helps the brain process the memories therapy reducing the level of distress experienced.

Gottman couples therapy

The Gottman method was developed in the US after extensive monitoring and evaluation of various couples and their methods of communicating and interacting.

Gottman couples therapy is a structured therapy focused on assisting a couple to develop and understand key skills for communication and clarity within a relationship, building a healthier and more functional relationship where possible, or assisting couples to recognise a relationship that may not be able to have a healthy future.