Psychological Services Group

Psychological Assistance and Counselling - Bariatric Patient Support and Assessment

Ms Olivia Rafael, 
BAppSci(Psych), PGDipPsych, MPsych(Ind&Org), MAPS

Olivia is a passionate Psychologist who draws on a range of therapeutic modalities including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, Positive Psychology, Motivational Interviewing and Solution Focussed Therapy. Olivia has developed strengths in bullying and harassment, life change, OCD, career guidance, memory testing, burnout, self-esteem and work related stress and anxiety.

We interviewed Olivia to find out more:

How do you describe your main therapeutic approach and/or what modalities do you use in therapy?
I utilise a collaborative and client-centred approach with a therapeutic relationship focussed on respect, support and acceptance. When exploring the causes and triggers of a clients’ current problems, I consider the their values, strengths and aspirations and aim to facilitate behaviour change, enrich thought processes and increase self-awareness. I draw from a range of therapeutic modalities including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, Positive Psychology, Motivational Interviewing, Relaxation Training, Solution Focussed Therapy and Assertiveness Training. 

Regarding the above, who might benefit from this approach?
I ensure that the therapy techniques I utilise are relevant, flexible and responsive to the needs, values and goals of clients; thus any one who is willing to commit to therapy could benefit. 

What are some of the more specific and specialised presenting problems that you work with?
I have a particular interest in working with individuals who are experiencing work related stress, anxiety, burnout and bullying. I also have an interest in working with clients who require career guidance and are exploring the impacts of their role on their mental wellbeing and relationships. 

What are some of your more general skills, life-experiences, or practise settings that have contributed to your development as a psychologist and how do these assist you in helping others?
I have experience working in both public and private settings including working on peer support programs and managing bullying prevention programs across Victoria. My work experience on the bullying prevention program has provided me with the knowledge and resources to assist clients on preventing and responding to bullying whether it be in a workplace or school setting.  Furthermore, working on a peer support program has provided me with the opportunities to guide colleagues through a variety of difficult career decisions. 

Finally, what is important about obtaining/engaging in psychological services? Or in other words, what you could say to prospective clients pondering counselling...?

  • You are not alone, emotional, behavioural and interpersonal problems are very common.
  • When we're facing a challenge in one part of our life it has a ripple effect on all areas - early intervention is important.
  • Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.