Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest: Nesh Nikolic
Guest Bio: Nesh Nikolic is a Clinical Psychologist based in Canberra whose skills are in helping people with personal, emotional, motivational and relationship problems. As well as being a registered psychologist who is trained in a number of therapy modes including Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Schema Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) he is also recognised by Medicare Australia as a qualified provider of specialist clinical psychology services. Nesh holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), the APS College of Clinical Psychologists and the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science. For more information, please visit www.strategicpsychology.com.au
Segment overview: Nesh Nikolic discusses the services that they offer in Strategic Psychology so that you can get the right assistance as you deal with issues. They focus on working with patients achieve the goals that they have set up for themselves towards living a rich and meaningful life. They employ a range of evidence-based therapies to best suit you and your needs.
Health Professional Radio
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar. Today my guest is Nesh Nikolic. Nesh is the Principal Psychologist and Managing Director of Strategic Psychology. Welcome to Health Professional Radio Nesh.
Nesh Nikolic: Thanks Wayne.
W: Nesh, because we go out as you know mainly to a clinical audience, but around the world. Can we just start with getting a sense of geographically what your service area is so as we talk about your services, people will know where it applies?
N: Sure. So we’re based out in Canberra the ACT, which is the capital city of Australia. And we service predominantly obviously the Canberra area but also the wider regional space. So these little townships of Yass, Bungendore, Braidwood and the like which is around our area. We service all the clientele in this space.
W: So the ACT and its environs in Australia. Nesh, now that we’ve got the geographic footprint out of the way. Tell us a little bit about Strategic Psychology, are you a provider only to the private sector or do you also provide into the government health sector?
N: Sure. So we predominantly provide services to the private sector. However having said that, a lot of our work in some sense is government funded as we have Medicare funded appointments. We also do some services for insurance agencies which is private but at the same time we do common care work which is almost like the Australia Public Service and Insurance Agency. So we support the clients or their workers who are trying to return from injury or the like back into their work place so a bit of a mixture of both.
W: So it’s a mixed funding model and I guess working in the ACT in Australia, public servants are going to make a large portion at almost everything there from a shopping customers to psychology customers and patient. Nesh, tell us what your services are. What does your clinic provide?
N: So we predominantly provide the treatment side or the counseling side of psychology. And our primary population is adults and children and adolescents. We also do some couples work for marriage counseling and the like. And so we tend to kind of cover the whole basis. Recently we’ve also introduced child adolescent counseling and assessment as there’s a real need here in ACT around that are supporting young persons, particularly who might be struggling with their education or socializing and the like. We’re able to identify through our assessments what needs at schools could put in place or maybe moms and dads can go out and assist at home, to assist the young person or children. It maybe catching up in a couple of areas or using their strength so that they can move on with their peers.
W: It does seem to be, I guess I’ll describe it as an unresolved issue within the health system generally, that when you just listen to the media – mental health is always an issue that where the need is apparent but the solution is not so obvious, let me put it that way. Do you have a view on how policy affects psychology?
N: I think the view that I kind of hold is that mental health is always going to be around and the need for supporting one way or the other is certainly going to be around forever. I think where we could make some advances or policy might be able to assist in this basis is to recognize mental health not as a problem or an issue but a part of how we live as human beings. I know for myself personally, I’ve had concerns, difficulties, challenges in my life, that I have to try and navigate through and there are times you might go out and consult with the professional. Other times you might consult with a parent or a family member or good friend. I think that obviously psychology assist in that, it’s professional care with always the evidence based therapy to assist in providing that support. But I don’t think that mental health is going away nor is it an abnormality or a strange thing that’s occurring. I think it’s just that we’re recognizing more and more that, as a society human beings struggle. And if we work together, we can support one another together. And maybe a more favorable outcome, we’ll be able to live life in a richer way, to think policy can assist in maybe not labeling persons per say with diagnostic disorders and so on but rather maybe looking at the person as a whole and looking at how we can support this person while we’re going through this experience, understanding the context rather than just applying a label. I think there is some room to move and I think policy beginning to recognize that it’s gonna be a slow shift over time.
W: Yes, certainly Nesh. From my sit in the media, I would say that awareness is increasing both at a community level, a clinical level and to the policy maker level. You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. If you’ve just joined us my name is Wayne Bucklar, I’m in conversation with Nesh Nikolic who is the Managing Director and Principal Psychologist at Strategic Psychology from clinic based on Canberra in the ACT in Australia. Nesh you mentioned before that the range of services you offer. What is it that you would like clinicians to know about those services? And I say clinicians because we like to think that our audience are mostly hospital based clinicians and some administrators and people from the hospital system. So if you were to address them, what would you tell them about your services?
N: I would tell them that our service which probably also branched out to other services as well, is that psychology and particularly here in Strategic Psychology, I think we treat human beings as such as an individual person with particular challenges and in a particular time in their life. And so psychology doesn’t necessarily just apply to those where I may call that in a clinical space, the more severe space but rather to all of us. And we often find that a large portion of our clientele those who are struggling and you will be surprised as to the changes that we can make in something as small as 3 or 4 appointments, that make a significant effect in their lives. So I would be saying to other clinicians out there and allied health providers is to consider psychology as part of that multi-disciplinary team because we certainly want to be part of that model of care. I think we would certainly got a lot to offer that compliments what other health professional are doing so well. And I think together we can do a fantastic job and get a better outcome for our community.
W: Nesh, is there one misconception that keeps you awake at night and drives you mad that you’d like to get on the record?
N: Wayne, yes and in actual fact there’s a bit, there’s one thing that I’m very passionate about in particular which I allude to which previously, which is talking about diagnosis rather than a normal human experience. I think often what happens is seeing a lot of my clients they might go into Google, or they might speak with their friends, or they might find out from someone else about an issue that they’re experiencing. They tend to label themselves very quickly. So for example someone says, “I’ve got a depression” and when someone says they’ve got depression, it’s almost like it’s something that’s inside them that they can’t be rid off and so my bug there or the challenge that I face is actually understanding this experience – that depression is being a moment to moment experience. So it’s saying, “I’m feeling at the moment low or I’m experiencing a low mood at the present moment,” rather than something that you have because in psychology there certain number of our population tends to hold on to a diagnostic for a length of time when we might go out and be able to see that they’re experiencing a low period. And there also times that they might also experience joy so it’s not just one or the other human being that are labels. I think we are an experience, if I can call it that.
W: What a great piece of insight. Nesh, thank you for sharing with us this morning some insight into your world. My name Wayne Bucklar, this is Health Professional Radio. We’ll put a transcript of this interview on our website, we’ll also have an archive of the audio on SoundCloud. So for anyone who’s coming to the interview late and missed the beginning, you can certainly go to the archive and both get either the transcript or the SoundCloud recording. We look forward to having Nesh come back and talk to us again about this further experiences with www.strategicpsychology.com.au the clinic in the ACT in Australia.