Melanie Waugh, Principal Psychologist and Director

Melanie Waugh, Principal Psychologist and Director of MindSpring Psychology Centre, Ashgrove

BA(Hons), BBehavSci(Hons)(Psych), GradDipMngt, MPsych(Ed&Dev)

Registered Psychologist, Educational and Developmental Psychologist, Member Australian Association of Psychologists Inc, International Affiliate American Psychological Association, Registered Medicare Provider

My clinical experience is wide-ranging, and includes work with adults experiencing mental health difficulties (e.g., anxiety and depression), trauma recovery, identity and self-worth issues, social-emotional problems (e.g., low confidence, poor self-esteem), stress, overwhelm and burnout, adjustment issues, and learning difficulties (e.g., ADHD, executive functioning issues).

I provide brief or short-term interventions, as well as more in-depth work supporting the development of client insight about long-standing emotional, cognitive, or relational patterns and difficulties. My expertise in development psychology particularly informs my work with adult clients who have had a history of family-of-origin difficulties, childhood emotional neglect or narcissistic abuse, or who are struggling with issues from their childhood or early family life and have a special interest in working with  adults recovering from these types of issues.

I recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in achieving positive outcomes. I have a warm, considered, and empathetic approach and want to help my clients to feel safe, supported, and understood. I use evidence-based approaches that are individually tailored, and focus on symptom relief, or the development of a deeper understanding of difficulties, depending on each person’s needs. I use an integrative approach, combining a range of interventions including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Play Therapy, Schema Therapy, Psychodynamic, and Attachment/Relationship Informed Therapy.

I also coach and mentor high achieving individuals who want to conquer limiting fears and self-doubt so they can ‘embrace their awesome’. I am currently writing a book about ‘high-functioning anxiety’ called ‘Embracing your Awesome’. I’m passionate about helping people develop the skills, strategies, resilience, and emotional well-being needed to get out of their comfort zones, be their authentic selves, achieve their goals, and live a values-driven life.

I have worked in the mental health industry since 2007, in a variety of clinical, research, and supervisor roles. I have delivered presentations, workshops, and group programs on a variety of topics.  Pre-COVID, I ran the Meetup group ‘Brisbane Professionals’ Collective’ and the Facebook group ‘The Professionals’ Collective’. I am passionate about the power groups have to help bring together values-driven professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs striving for ongoing learning and development, continuous personal growth, inspiring collegial relationships, and positive change.

I provide supervision to other psychologists including those undertaking an Educational and Developmental Psychology registrar program. I am a mentor in QUT’s Career Mentor Scheme and provide mentoring to final year students with a major in psychology. In 2011, I presented my Masters of Psychology research internationally and co-facilitated a professional development workshop on childhood anxiety at the 3rd International Conference on Educational and Counselling Psychology, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I was also involved in training Bangladeshi psychology students to set-up and run a parent education/school readiness program. In 2012, I co-authored ‘Supporting siblings of children with a rare chromosome disorder’ for UK charity and support group, Unique. Prior to working in private practice, I worked as a specialist psychological assessor for the Federal Government and spent several years working as a researcher with the Child and Youth Mental Health Service (Children’s Hospital Health Service District). In 2012 I worked on research projects at the Mater Children’s Hospital on Autism Spectrum Disorders (co-authored ‘Uptake and Diagnostic Yield of Chromosomal Microarray in an Australian Child Development Clinic‘, published in 2014) and the Australian Angelman Syndrome Research Register. My undergraduate and postgraduate psychology qualifications were attained at the Queensland University of Technology. I have AHPRA specialist endorsement as an Educational and Developmental Psychologist.