A warm welcome to our new psychologist Linda Russell
Hi Linda, thanks for taking the time to sit down and answer a few questions about yourself for us.
First off, what drew you into Psychology to begin with?
My first job was in insurance administration. After working in that field for quite a few years, I felt that I wanted more from a career and enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts and began volunteer work with young people. My interests were in wellbeing and the human search for connection, belonging, meaning and purpose. Through my studies and volunteer work, it became clear that pursuing a career in psychology was my vocation. It’s a privilege to be able to join with clients as they work on processing, understanding and resolving issues so that they can have a more meaningful life.
Your background in Psychology is pretty interesting, would you care to tell us a bit about it?
I’ve been lucky enough to have worked in a number of different areas. As mentioned, I started my career in the youth field. This led to working as a school psychologist in primary and secondary schools. Subsequently, I’ve worked as a psychologist for relationship counselling organisations, private practice, corporate sector and in tertiary education. Alongside counselling, teaching is a passion and I have taught counselling at the tertiary level. Finally, my interest in the areas of connection, belonging and purpose led me to completing a Graduate Diploma in Theology with a focus on spirituality and meaning.
Are there any areas in the mental health spectrum that you consider yourself as experienced/comfortable/knowledgeable?
I have experience with a range of psychological issues. These include depression, anxiety, life transition and adjustment issues, grief and loss, stress management, self-worth and compassion, and relationship issues.
Society is undergoing a mild revolution in our recognition of mental health being a significant issue. Do you think there has been an increased diagnosis of mental health conditions due to the increased awareness or is it more of a reflection of our society?
I find the current recognition of mental health in our society quite heartening as it helps to reduce the stigma around getting support. It’s hard to pin point this recognition to one thing but I don’t think we can underestimate the influence of people who are openly, courageously and honestly sharing their struggles with mental health and their healing stories.
Could you explain, simply if possible, your approach to psychological consultations? What are you trying to achieve and how do you go about it?
It is Important for me is to create a therapeutic space where clients feel safe and comfortable. The first session focuses on identifying what is going on for my client. From there, my approach depends on each client’s circumstances and what they are trying to achieve in counselling. Through exploration, questioning and discussion, I work to help my clients develop their own understandings of their situation and assist them to make meaningful change. I provide an accepting, supportive and collaborative environment where clients can reflect, tell and understand their story, explore their feelings and their way forward.