Our support groups
Support groups run by qualified psychologists for people living with depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety.
Psychology Clinic group programs
Our Psychology Clinic, based at the Black Dog Institute in Randwick, NSW, is now offering the following group programs:
The REACH program
The REACH program is a 9-week psychoeducational wellbeing group (based on the principles of responsibility, education, acceptance, connection and hope) to help participants with depression or bipolar disorder manage their illness and stay well.
- fostering strengths
- dealing with loss and grief
- identifying early warning signs and triggers
- wellbeing strategies
- nurturing support networks
- creating a unique Wellbeing Plan
Eligibility criteria for participants:
- Over 18 years old
- Diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder, for a minimum of one year
- Capacity to participate in a group setting
- Capacity to commit to attending the 9 weekly sessions
- Acceptance of illness
- Motivation to implement personal change strategies
Upcoming REACH groups
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Venue: Centacare Fennescey House, 33 Wakefield Street, Adelaide
Facilitator: Deb Daw and Dr Michael Musker
To register interest: call Centacare on 8159 1400
Deb Daw is an Occupational Therapist with over 10 years practice experience. She is a mental health worker in the Reconnect Mental Health service with Centacare. Deb has a wealth of practice experience in both youth and adult mental health service delivery ranging from private practice, to roles with SA Health and a variety of community organisations.
Deb’s practice is founded on a recovery approach that identifies and builds on existing strengths to enhance resilience. Having run the REACH program before Deb strongly believes in the benefits, knowledge and insight that can be gained through participating in the REACH program and is looking forward to co-facilitating the 10 week program with Mike.
Dr Michael Musker is a mental health nurse with 30 years practice experience. He is the Bellberry Senior Research Fellow at the Mind & Brain Theme at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and facilitator of their Lived Experience Research Consultation Group and theme representative for the Health Consumer and Community Engagement Committee.
His career has been dedicated toward a recovery approach to mental health and he has a strong interest in the areas of bullying, trauma, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome. He was the Advanced Clinical Services Coordinator for the South Australian Forensic Mental Health Service. Mike was the winner of the South Australian Nurse Excellence Awards 2013.
Commencing 20 February 2017 for nine weeks
Time: 10am – 12noon
Venue: The Kirribilli Centre, 16-18 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli
Cost: $22 for workbook
Facilitator: Virginia Field
Contact: Virginia on 0401 628 379 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the Lawson REACH flyer for more information.
Virginia is trained in public health and vocational education and is currently completing a Masters in counselling and psychotherapy. In 2015, Virginia fulfilled her registration with the Black Dog Institute as a REACH facilitator. Virginia has been employed as a community development worker, social planner and policy officer, work which has highlighted for her, the need to improve and increase services and care for people living with mental illness in our community. Virginia also has trained in and practices Chinese massage, Qigong and Taiji. She provides group and individual coaching in these modalities.
Commencing Monday 8 May 2017
Dates: 8/5/17 – 3/7/17
Time: 12.30pm – 2.30pm
Venue: Bellambi Neighbourhood Centre, 49a Cawley Street, Bellambi NSW 2518
Facilitator: Nat Witbreuk
To register interest: Contact Nat via email email@example.com or call (02) 4228 1499
My name is Nat. I am a community development worker at the Wollongong Women’s Information Service. I am a REACH facilitator and run the REACH Group. In addition, I provide information, support and referral to women who experience isolation and disadvantage and whose safety, health and wellbeing are at risk due to the adverse impact isolation and disadvantage has on their lives.
I hold a Masters in Counselling. My passion is understand others' personal situtations and assist people in their recovery. I look forward to working with you if the REACH group is for you!
Tuesdays - 7 February – 4 April 2017
Tuesdays - 25 July – 19 September 2017
Time: 11am – 1pm
Venue: Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury, 4 Park Ave, Gordon, 2072
Fee: $25 (a one off payment for the REACH Wellbeing Program handbook)
Facilitators: Olivia Saxon and Sophie Walker
For expressions of interest: 02 9498 8805 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Olivia Saxon has a Masters in counselling and psychotherapy. She works as a face-to-face counsellor at Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury and in addition to facilitating the REACH group has also been involved in facilitating the Hoarding Treatment Group. Olivia strongly believes that groups provide a positive environment for learning and connecting with others, and has consistently found that on completion of the REACH program participants feel an increased sense of hope and have developed invaluable strategies to help them on their journeys towards wellbeing.
Sophie Walker is a psychotherapist and counsellor and has been providing individual, couple and group therapeutic services to clients since 2003. Sophie completed a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Psychology) at Sydney University in 1993 and a Graduate Diploma in Psychotherapy and Counselling at Jansen Newman Institute in 2004. Sophie is passionate about empowering clients to overcome challenges and create opportunities in which to thrive. She believes the REACH Wellbeing Group is a great vehicle to help participants build upon their strengths, gain greater awareness and understanding, develop helpful perspectives, and learn practical strategies and techniques to help manage their mental illness.
Tuesdays 10 January - 7 March 2017
Time: 12:30pm – 2:30pm
Venue: Business Enterprise Center, 70 Topham Road, Smeaton Grange, NSW 2567
Facilitator: Carrie Wallis
To register interest: call 0458 972 257 or email email@example.com
Carrie Wallis runs a private practice in the Southern Highlands. Carrie is a qualified counsellor with a Diploma of Counselling and is about to start her Masters. She has therapeutic expertise in a variety of areas including anxiety, depression, pre and post-natal depression, stress management, resilience, self-esteem and confidence issues as well as workplace counselling, anger management, communication and other soft skills training. She runs a variety of psycho-educational groups and has a wealth of experience facilitating change in a wide range of individuals from the long term unemployed to successful entrepreneurs who have found themselves stuck.
Carrie is passionate about providing opportunities for people to connect, realise they are not alone and receive the support they deserve to get them through difficult times. Carrie's personal experience with depression after losing her husband to cancer at an early age and supporting her two young children, one of whom also experienced depression which led to a diagnosis of Asperger, puts her in a position to understand the debilitating effects depression and mental illness can have.
Commencing in Lilyfield on Tuesday 11 July 2017
Time: Tuesdays 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Venue: Whites Creek Cottage, 31 White Street, Lilyfield
Facilitators: Sharon Newlan and Rochelle Hunt
A bicycle rack is available at the facility. The 370 bus stops at Moore Street which is a short walk from the cottage
Sharon Newlan is tertiary accredited in a Bachelor of Counselling and is a member of Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA). Sharon has experience in working at a psychiatric hospital where she counselled clients and facilitated group therapy for people living with mental illness and substance abuse. Sharon has her own practice and is currently running art therapy groups for people with anxiety, depression and self-esteem issues in the inner west of Sydney. Sharon is passionate about group therapy and the opportunity for growth and empowerment within a supportive and safe environment. Sharon has a lived experience of dealing with depression and brings personal insight to assist others in their recovery. Sharon is looking forward to co-facilitating with Rochelle over the nine weeks of the REACH program.
Rochelle Hunt is tertiary accredited in a Bachelor of Counselling and is a member of Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA). Rochelle has extensive experience in working at a psychiatric hospital; it was there that she gained knowledge of complex trauma, anxiety disorders, and addictions. Rochelle was a psychoeducational group facilitator as well as a one-on-one counsellor. Rochelle has her own practice and is currently running art therapy groups for people living with a mental illness in the inner west of Sydney. Rochelle is committed to group therapy and loves the opportunity to help clients grow and be empowered. Rochelle’s therapeutic focus is centred specifically on people suffering anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, and relationship difficulties.
I look forward to hearing from you and welcoming each participant to a wonderful program such as this, that has been beautifully crafted by Black Dog after much research.
Taking Expressions of Interest
Time: 10am – 12pm
Venue: CatholicCare Penrith, 326 High St (Parking via Higgins St), Penrith, (Behind St Nicholas of Myra Church)
Facilitator: Julie Webster
To register interest: Phone (02) 4721 5331
Cost: $20 for workbook and gold coin donation
Julie Webster is a social worker with CatholicCare Social Services and has been a registered REACH facilitator since 2013. Julie manages the mental health program RECOVER WELLBEING for CatholicCare Social Services and has facilitated nine REACH wellbeing programs over the past 18 months. Julie trained as a REACH Facilitator as she saw the need for people in the Western suburbs and Nepean/Blue Mountains region of Sydney to have access to education about managing their recovery and wellbeing.
Tuesdays commencing 7 February 2017
Time: 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Venue: ACAP Psychology Clinic, Level 11, 255 Elizabeth Street
Facilitator: Ester S German
To register interest: Contact Ester Sanderey, 8236 8070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ester Sanderey is a clinical psychologist with more than twenty years of experience working with individuals and groups in a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings. In her full time position as the ACAP Psychology Clinic Manager she is involved in the training and supervision of psychologists undertaking post graduate qualifications in professional and clinical psychology.Ester has post graduate qualifications in clinical psychology, clinical hypnosis, dialectical behaviour therapy and mindfulness-based approaches to stress reduction and wellbeing. Ester is interested in mindfulness meditation and teaching skills to reduce suffering and improve wellbeing.
Tuesday evenings commencing 31 Jan 2017
Time: Tuesdays 7 – 9pm next group starting 31 Jan 2017
Venue: Queen St, Woollahra
Facilitator: Victoria Shorthouse
Expressions of interest: Contact Victoria at email@example.com or 0413 300 606
For more information about the REACH program.
Victoria Shorthouse runs a busy private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney addressing the debilitating effects of depression and bipolar disorder. Involved with the Black Dog since the beginning of ‘REACH’, Victoria has witnessed the progress and relief of many individuals engaging in this practical program.
Victoria’s therapeutic focus is centred specifically on relationships during the group sessions because ‘the way we relate (to ourselves, others, and the world around us) shapes our experience’. In the REACH program clients learn skills to better manage their mental illness, and grow awareness of their own relational patterns that help or hinder success.
Bringing a wealth of experience to her clients, Victoria has assisted individuals suffering a broad variety of issues including grief and loss, trauma, disordered eating, childhood sexual abuse, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, mood disorders, alcohol addiction, gambling and substance abuse disorders.Victoria’s lived experience of depression makes her keen to assist others suffering its debilitating effects. Recognising the rising prevalence of mental illnesses among her private clients and the community at large, she seeks to address the current lack of support in this area of mental wellbeing by running regular support groups each school term.
Starting on the 5th April
Date: Wednesdays, commencing 5th April 2017
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Venue: Melbourne Affordable Psychology
Cost: $20 per 2 hour session, and materials will cost $20 once at the beginning of the program.
Facilitator: Mr Isaac Lee (Primary Facilitator), Ms Katy Dib (Secondary Facilitator) Dr Peter Eide (Secondary Facilitator).
To register interest: Contact Mr Isaac Lee on 0455 850 064 or email REACH@grouptreatment.com.au
Peter Eide is a self-employed psychologist in the inner North Western Suburbs of Melbourne helping men and women with depression, anxiety and addiction. He has been providing treatment since 2000 and has worked in community agencies as well as mental health service and university settings. His interest in depression began while studying undergraduate psychology. He completed his Honours thesis on depression and personality at Swinburne University of Technology and the Melbourne Clinic, a private psychiatric hospital in Melbourne. He continued to study the topic of depression completing a PhD. The topic of which explored personality profile, thinking processes and brain imaging in medication-free patients with depression. Since completing his studies he has setup a program for depressed patients focusing on improving physical activity with a local personal trainer. He has also supervised Honours students at Victorian University studying the impact of exercise on depression. His private practice for the past 8 years has focused on helping men with depression, although many of his clients are also women.
Thursdays commencing 31 March 2017
- Thursday 30 March to Thursday 1 June
- Thursday 29 June to Thursday 31 August
- Thursday 28 September to Thursday 30 November
Time: 9am – 11am
Venue: Mental Illness Fellowship North Queensland (MIFNQ)
Facilitator: Shayne Pattie
To register interest: Contact MIFNQ 07 4725 3664 or email Townsville@mifnq.org.au
Shayne Pattie is a mental health clinician at MIFNQ Townsville. Shayne has completed a Diploma of Counselling and a Bachelor of Psychology. Shayne has a background in health and fitness which he has been able to combine with his mindfulness pilates group at MIFNQ. He has experience in a variety of areas such as: anxiety, depression, mindfulness, counselling, and group facilitation.
Shayne is passionate about educating people and communities about mental health. He hopes to encourage people to learn in order to help themselves. He is passionate about many aspects of self-care with a strong focus on physical and mental wellbeing.