BA (Psych), MPsych (Clin & Community Italy), PhD, MAPS
Alessandra is a Psychologist who has completed a Masters Degree in Clinical and Community Psychology in Padova Italy and a PhD in Developmental Psychology.
Throughout her career Alessandra has worked in private practice, outpatient hospital clinics, psychiatric clinics and university settings. In addition to practicing as a Psychologist, Alessandra has had an active career as a researcher in both academia and government. Her research has focused on anxiety and parenting styles, conduct problems, attachment, and schizophrenia epidemiology. She worked in New Zealand as a Post Doc with the Christchurch Health and Developmental study, and at University of New South Wales with the NSW Child Development Study.
Alessandra’s areas of interest and expertise include anxiety disorders, depression, complex grief, mood difficulties, long term life patterns, relationships, couple therapy, life transitions, emotional health, self esteem, self image and issues associated with eating.
In her work with individuals, Alessandra offers both short term and longer term therapy. She is trained in both psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural traditions, including Schema Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and other therapeutic modalities, enabling her to tailor her approach to the needs of each individual person.
Having lived and worked in various different countries, Alessandra is experienced at helping different population groups with a diverse range of presentations. She is also skilled at helping immigrants and others experiencing stress and depression when adjusting to different social structures, values, cultures and expectations.
An area of particular interest and expertise for Alessandra is complex grief and depression, and adjustment disorders. Alessandra particularly enjoys helping people who are going through very stressful situations requiring change e.g. loss of a job, relationship break-up, and grief to find ways to see their lives from new and creative perspectives.
In her work with couples, she blends attachment theory with Imago therapy elements and the more traditional Behavioural Framework. Alessandra helps couples to understand the origin of their conflict as an opportunity to grow and develop and help them learn how to communicate more openly and effectively in order to open possibilities for both members of the couple.
Alessandra’s research over the years has encompassed child development, anxiety and conduct problems, bonding attachment and later socio-emotional adjustment, schizophrenia epidemiology, impact of early life neglect on later development and the antecedents of antisocial and criminal behaviours.
Alessandra worked as Senior Researcher with a large administrative longitudinal linked dataset in universities and Government, and has worked with the Cancer Institute of New South Wales.
Alessandra brings great warmth, support, insight and dedication to her work with clients. Against a strong academic and intellectual background, she sees her greatest strength as her ability to relate well to other people and understand their needs. She is motivated by a deep sense of compassion and a commitment to helping others.
Alessandra is fully registered as a general Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and the Italian Psychologist Board.