I work with people to relieve issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship problems, addiction and eating disorders.

I also work with shorter term issues such as coping with big life changes, and do coaching to help people achieve specific goals and projects, and deal with work issues.

My Rates

  • Singles: $140 per session
  • Couples: $160 per session

Prices include GST.

I have a sliding scale depending on frequency and duration of therapy, and your general circumstances. I also offer reduced rates for twice-weekly work.

Note: Coaching is tax-deductible as professional development.

Contact me

Phone: 0425 296 727
Email: lisa@lisafleming.com.au

My background

I have a psychology degree and a diploma in somatic psychotherapy. Somatic means body so the therapy includes an understanding of how our  bodily states impact how we feel, and how emotional states impact on our body. This approach uses the relationship to help people understand why they respond the way they do and  to respond differently.

I am in private practise and have worked as a student counsellor with people from many different countries, and at South Pacific Private treatment centre. I have taught Counselling and Communication Skills and Theories of counselling & Psychotherapy at the Australasian College of Natural Therapies.

I came to somatic psychotherapy while studying coaching psychology at Sydney University. I discovered somatics through yoga and doing a lot of practise that helped me learn to be more present in my body, to notice my body more, and use this ability to help soothe and calm my mind. I was finding the cognitive behavioural approach not broad enough to include my own experiences. I still use some CBT techniques and find them very useful, but I now have a much broader approach and bigger toolkit.

My clinical work is underpinned by rigorous research, academic and clinical training. I am involved in continuing study and supervision and my own personal work.

I do research in the area of stress physiology which investigates how reactive we are to triggers in our environment and how to train the nervous system to become less reactive. When we are feeling down or are triggered or anxious it is difficult to access and use different areas of the brain that help to calm ourselves. It is also difficult to access the rational thinking part of our brain so it is difficult to see things clearly or think very well.

I am interested in the field of interpersonal neurobiology and neuroplasticity. This means that the way our brain functions is experience dependent. Depending on the environment we have been in, our brains work in a certain way. Through different experiences we can strengthen and create different neural networks and thereby change the way our brain functions.  This is a science that investigates how our brain functioning is affected by our environment. It explains how psychotherapy works by rewiring the neural networks. From this perspective our feeling states and ways of being are adaptive and make sense in terms of our experience so far. It is reassuring to know that the brain is able to change, so it becomes possible over time to respond to our environment in different ways.

This science provides a basis for understanding how we can become happier, calmer, more integrated, and have more supportive satisfying relationships. I am influenced by  the work of Louis Cozzolini, Alan Schore, Dan Siegel, Stephen Porges, the work of Russell Meares and the Conversational Model and the Westmead psychotherapy program, and others.

I use mindfulness training and other techniques to help train the nervous system to become less reactive.  For example, doing some exercise is one way to help boost the brains capacity to cope with stress more effectively. Research has shown that children who exercise regularly have increased volume in the hippocampus area of the brain which is associated with stress reactivity.

I am a clinical member of ASPA, the Australian Somatic Psychotherapy Association and member of IARPP, the International Association of relational psychotherapists and psychoanalysts. ASPA is a member organisation of PACFA (Psychotherapy and Counsellors Federation Australia).

Prior to this I had a varied professional background and have worked in many different jobs. As well as a Psychology Degree and Diploma in Psychotherapy I have a Masters in Management from Macquarie Grad School of Management, BA(hons) Griffith Univerity – majoring in Sociology & Comparative Studies in History & Literature, Cert IV Workplace Assessment and Training.

I worked in strategic planning at Australian Stock Exchange, management & marketing consulting, politics for a Labor member of Commonwealth Parliament, and worked and studied criminal law for a little while.

Anxiety

Anxiety can be crippling, however there are some things you can do yourself to help ease and manage anxiety. Mindfulness techniques, often referred to as MBSR – Mindfulness Based Stress Relief, have been shown to be very effective in reducing and managing stress and anxiety.

“Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a well-defined and systematic patient-centered educational approach which uses relatively intensive training in mindfulness meditation as the core of a program to teach people how to take better care of themselves and live healthier and more adaptive lives. The prototype program as developed in the Stress Reduction clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center has been described in detail in my book, Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress. This model has been successfully utilized with appropriate modifications in a number of other medical centers, as well as in non-medical settings such s schools, prisons, athletic training programs, professional programs, the workplace. We emphasize that there are many different ways to structure and deliver mindfulness-based stress reduction programs. The optimal form and its delivery will depend critically on local factors and on the level of experience and understanding of the people undertaking the teaching. Rather than “clone” or “franchise” one cookie cutter approach, mindfulness ultimately requires the effective use of the present moment as the core indicator of the appropriateness of particular choices.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn, originator of MBSR

Resources

Courses

I highly recommend the Openground MBSR courses, run by experienced psychotherapists (across Australia)

UK Online mindfulness course

MBCT mindfulness course  (Rozelle in Sydney)

Elizabeth Foley (Sydney)

Guided relaxation exercises (audio files)

  1.  Introduction to muscle relaxation
  2. Progressive muscle relaxation – long
  3. Progressive muscle relaxation – short
  4. Globe of light visualisation
  5. Guided imagery relaxation – beach
    Introduction to slow breathing
  6. Slow breathing practice
    Introduction to attentional training
    Attentional training exercise
    Passive sleep induction

Books

  • Full Catastrophe Living – Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Heal Thyself – Saki Santorelli
  • A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook – Bob Stahl, Elisha Goldstein

Articles

Websites