Adult Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is about making changes that last.  That means it is important to take a step back and examine some of the factors underlying our emotional and psychological difficulties. This process provides time and space to think together with a therapist about what is actually going on, both in our behavioural patterns, and also in our thoughts, feelings and psychological experiences.

Psychotherapy is an opportunity to look beneath the initial problem.  By working within a trusting therapeutic relationship, clients are able to address patterns of psychological experiences and behaviours which may have persisted for many years. As a result, clients are able to take more control of their own lives, and to develop stable, long-term capacities and strategies so they can respond in a healthier, more satisfying way to life’s challenges, long after therapy is finished.

Dr Celia Conolly has provided psychotherapy treatments for adults for over 30 years, addressing problems such as relationship difficulties, anxiety, depression, Drug & Alcohol addictions, identity issues and other emotional and psychological concerns. She is a member of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR) and thus remains up-to-date with the most recent international research findings for psychotherapy treatments.

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Therapy for Children & Adolescents

Dr Celia Conolly uses Play Therapy with children, as they respond well to playing and can often express many of their worries and concerns through play.  Adolescents respond differently to younger children, and make their own choices about whether they want to do some art activities during therapy (e.g. drawing) or whether they prefer to mainly talk with the therapist.  It is important that all therapy takes into account the developmental needs of the individual.

In general, children don’t sit and discuss their problems, but are very comfortable playing, while the therapist joins in.  The therapist is able to use the case conceptualisation of play as an opportunity to learn about the child’s underlying feelings and concerns, and then respond to them within the play environment.  This way children can be helped in a manner which is appropriate for their age and capabilities, increasing their confidence and sense of self-control.

Celia trained as a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist with ICAPP, and hence has a special interest in working with children and parents.  For younger children, parents and child attend together, also using play therapy techniques. Such sessions can address issues such as insecurities, sleeping problems, eating problems, family dynamics, discipline and boundary issues, and tantrums.  Older children come for play therapy on their own, but regular sessions are held separately with parents to discuss the relevant issues, so that parents and therapist are working together to help the child.  Frequent problems include behavioural issues, difficulties regulating (controlling) their emotions, school refusal, sibling rivalry, depression and anxieties.

When working with children, it is essential that parents are part of the process. This is because the more the parents are involved, the better they are able to respond to their children’s worries and behaviours at home, supporting the therapy process, and empowering parents.

When appropriate, Dr Conolly can also work closely with parents and schools to assist school staff to understand the specific requirements of the child, creating a team approach in caring for the child’s psychological and emotional needs.

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Parent Consultations

Parenting is one of the hardest jobs in our society, and there are many external and internal stresses as parents try to do their best for their children. Celia works with many parents to help them understand and respond to their children’s psychological and emotional needs.

Parents often want to come to discuss their children and their parenting, without actually bringing their child for therapy.   On these occasions, parents can benefit from support to cope with all the emotional demands of parenting, and gain an opportunity to think clearly about what their children are thinking and feeling.  A collaborative approach of talking and thinking together about their parenting and their children’s needs can be a positive experience, leading to clarity and renewed confidence in their own abilities.  This is particularly so for new mothers who may be struggling with the many demands of motherhood in our busy, high-pressure society.

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Clinical Supervision

Dr Celia Conolly has more than 20 years’ experience providing clinical supervision for psychologists and counsellors in private practice.  She is committed to promoting and maintaining high professional and ethical standards for all psychologists.

Clinical supervision is an invaluable opportunity for mentoring and learning, as well as providing support for the emotional intensity of clinical practice. Celia’s supervision entails a close evaluation of clinical work, ensuring that supervisees have the opportunity to learn about both the theoretical and clinical aspects of their practice, and to aim for continual improvement of their skills.  Recent relevant research is introduced and considered.  Simultaneously, self-reflection and an awareness of one’s own countertransference responses are encouraged and nurtured, within a context of empathy and compassion for the difficult personal task of emotional containment in the provision of psychological services . This emphasis serves to strengthen the clinician’s capacity to respond to their own and their client’s emotions with reflection, integrity and professionalism.

Dr Conolly held the position of Manager of Clinical Supervision for Mandala Community Counselling Service for 15 years.

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Professional Development Training & Webinars

Monthly webinars for practitioners’ on-going professional development are presented by Dr Celia Conolly.  These one hour presentations provide an opportunity for therapists to examine relevant clinical topics, as well as being introduced to recent findings in psychotherapy research.

Dr Conolly has many years’ experience teaching and presenting professional topics to psychologists and counsellors.  She has taught Counselling at UNSW, UWS and Uni of SA, and devised and presented training courses for psychologists and counsellors.  Her numerous conferences and seminar presentations have included international conferences in New York, Amsterdam and London.  Her teaching style emphases the presentation of professional topics in a manner which engages the audience, providing clarity and intelligibility for complex professional concepts.

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Telehealth Consultations

Consultations are available using Coviu, a Telehealth platform specifically designed for medical services to provide confidentiality and privacy. Coviu sessions are available during the COVID-19 pandemic for any clients who prefer not to attend sessions in person.

If you would like to organise a Telehealth session with Dr Celia Conolly, please contact (02) 9344 5675 or email

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