Russell Downham

Russell Downham

General Psychologist
Anxiety Depression Relationships

About Russell

Hi, I'm Russell. I’m a registered psychologist with a PhD in Philosophy. I love helping people to shift perspective and make the changes they need to move forwards in their lives.

You might be surprised to learn that many of my clients are highly successful individuals. Many have never before spoken with a psychologist. Some come simply seeking an objective perspective, or to talk through issues and emotions they feel unable to share with anyone else. Some, noticing warning signs or heeding advice from people close to them, resolve to act early to prevent anxiety, depression, or stress from spiralling out of control. Others reach out in their darkest moments, desperate for a way out of a situation that in the depths of despair can seem hopeless from the inside.

Opening up to a stranger takes courage deserving of respect. I promise to listen to you with open-minded compassion and curiosity. At times I may politely interrupt to suggest new avenues of exploration when I think that this may better serve you. I will gently challenge your assumptions when I believe they I think they might stand in your way — you deserve nothing less that this. Not everyone’s needs are best met by highly structured approaches to therapy, but following an agreed agenda in each meeting keeps your session on point. Beyond offering counselling and emotional support, as your psychologist I will tailor evidence-based psychological interventions to help you develop the awareness, capacities, skills, strategies, and motivation you need. In this process I will seek feedback from you to discover what most helps you to meet the goals we agree upon for your sessions and your life.

I find that I can help most of the people I see using a broadly cognitive-behavioural approach to therapy (CBT). My conviction comes not only from the strong foundation of ongoing research informing the CBT approach, but from personally seeing positive results in a variety of clinical settings including at Bankstown Anxiety Clinic, at the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS), at Sydney Spine and Pain, and with individuals from diverse occupational and cultural backgrounds in Employee Assistance Programs and in private practice. Cognitive therapy focuses on identifying and challenging unhelpful thoughts and beliefs that cause unnecessary suffering and obstruct effective action. Sometimes simply identifying these unhelpful thoughts and beliefs alerts you to more helpful options. It can be more difficult to let go of unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, however, when they are embedded in broader life philosophies and perspectives that nonetheless express much that is true or valuable for you. My philosophical background equips me particularly well to help you disentangle that which is truly valuable to you from that which is not, freeing your perspective of this unhappy psychological baggage. I can likewise help you to think and communicate more clearly about personal dilemmas, interpersonal conflicts, or questions of life purpose and priorities. Finding a psychologist who you can relate to, and believe in, is a significant factor driving positive outcomes from therapy, so I welcome you to book a 'matching consultation' if you'd like to talk more about how we could work together -- or you can simply book your first session and we'll get started without delay.


  • English

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