NSW Central Coast

Recent News

Central Coast Branch – November 2016

We have had some more successful events, including a breakfast with a local psychiatrist and a day spent looking at domestic violence responses.

Our non-voting AGM is coming up on Nov 22, and includes our Christmas dinner. CCLHD is having a PD day where we are being represented for Psychology Week.

Plans for next year include having some experiential events, such as Tree Tops Adventure Park (experiencing physical symptoms of anxiety) and having some half-day seminars where we source local knowledge and experience, and have opportunity to discuss and interact. We are hoping this will be relatively low cost. We are also going to try to have more “hands on” presentations at our Branch events/meetings. Our first half-day seminar will be around issues relating to trauma. Another possible idea is the psychology/medical interface (such as psychology as support to oncology, diabetes, etc).

Thank you to everyone who has helped out this year, most especially our PD crew (Sue, Sharon and Ashley) and our treasurer Heather. We look forward to having some new faces on the committee as our treasurer wishes to retire, and some committee members will now have to resign due to Branch rules that allow only 4 sequential years on a committee  (sad to see their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm go).

Some of the issues that continue to be of interest to our members are the lack of increase in Medicare rebates, the NDIS portal payment problems, lack of supervisors for provisionally registered psychologists, Workers Comp/SIRA issues, and the PHN rollout/changes to contracting.

So, happy end of the year and remember to stop and breathe occasionally (self-care IS important).

Patricia Morrow, MAPS
Chair, Central Coast Branch

Central Coast Branch Report - August 2016

Central Coast Branch has had another in our series of practical workshops. This workshop on Genograms by Kaylene Akins (an active local Branch Member) on July 19th was well received and generated some very interesting discussion; especially interesting was the discussion around representing those who are transitioning in their gender. The power-point will be posted up on the Branch website. Unfortunately it was a smaller turnout than we have had for our other events, and that means we made a loss as a Branch for this event. A shame that so many members missed out on a really meaningful and practical presentation.

Our next CPD, August 20, will be Trauma Informed Practise: Domestic and Family Violence, presented by BlueKnot. In the current ‘epidemic’ of family and domestic violence we are hoping we will have a good turnout and hopefully colleagues from outside the APS will also attend allowing some networking as well. You can register from the link on the APS website under Branches then NSW Central Coast page.

The next Branch meeting will be Sept 13, 7am at Caroline Bay Brasserie (breakfast) with a presentation by Dr David Lienert regarding interdisciplinary collaboration between psychiatrists and psychologists.

Patricia Morrow MAPS

Central Coast, Branch Chair

Central Coast Branch Activities Report - June 2016

Our Branch has had two events since the start of 2016.

The first event was in February where we had a great turnout for the start of the year. We as a Committee decided to run a series of presentations with an emphasis on practical tools. We have decided to run this practical-based training in response to the number of 4th year students and early-career psychologists attending meetings; as well as a good refresher for some of us more experienced practitioners. So commences our series on the CBT Toolkit.

Heather Irvine-Rundle (our illustrious Treasurer and ex-Chair) presented on Formulation using CBT. Heather’s presentation was interactive and provided some great resources for all participants. This was well received and both early-career and experienced psychologists benefited from the presentation.

The second event was in May and again had a great turnout. Some disappointment over the lack of resolutions at the Super Forum about problems we as psychologists are experiencing (eg, that there is little we seem to be able to do to influence government over Medicare sessions and rebates; a consensus that the APS administration has become unwieldy for Branches; ongoing problems of university training of psychologists). Another emerging issue for our Branch is the difficulty private practices are having in filling vacant positions, with some advertising for 3-6 months with little success. Many private psychologists have closed books for vital services such as Victims counselling or Workers Compensation, let alone bulk billed Medicare referrals. Is this the result of lack of Masters programs/excessive demands regarding supervision, seeing a fall in availability of registered psychologists? Enough, or I’ll soapbox on for too long!

Continuing our CBT Toolkit series we had Dr Sean Halpin (Director, UoN Psychology Clinic) who presented on play based therapy with children and Dr Tanya Hanstock (Director, Clinical Programs, UoN) who presented on mobile phone apps and how to incorporate them into CBT. She presented the relevant apps available for adults and children, how to use them in therapy and what to think about when suggesting apps as a psychologist. Again well received and another request for presentation slides for the great practical tools included.

As a Branch we endeavour to run large scale PD at a profit, and our small Branch events at a very low cost to members (or financially at a loss) so members feel they are getting some value out of their APS membership (almost free 10 hours of PD). We also do our best to thoughtfully spend our allocation so as to get our allocation. Reminds me of uni days in the Army reserve when we had  firing range weekends before the EOFY to use up our ordnance so we could get enough bullets and mortars the next financial year!
Looking forward to our next event where we will be looking at the therapeutic use of genograms. Also keep an eye out for our major PD event which will have a trauma focus.

Patricia Morrow, MAPS
Central Coast Branch Chair

March 2016