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About Us

Michelle Barratt Psychology is a Toowong and Redland Bay / Wynnum – Manly Clinical Psychology Practice, and aims to provide treatment for Trauma in Brisbane at the highest standard. The practice values implementing support and treatment that not only endeavours to support their clients feel safe, heard and understood, but also strives to offer effective treatment that will empower clients to learn new skills to support them in the future. If you are unsure about what you are dealing with, please don’t hesitate to contact us to support you through the next step of either working out what to do or how to proceed with an appointment.


Most of the time, trauma is utterly terrifying. Unfortunately, many survivors of trauma must struggle with symptoms that have a detrimental influence on their lives, and sometimes it can seem impossible to recover or manage these symptoms. Often clients who experience a trauma can suffer from the following:

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Adjustment Disorder
  • Panic Attacks
  • Flash Backs
  • Agoraphobia
  • Sexual, physical, emotional, financial and mental abuse.

Trauma therapy can help a client better understand why they are feeling the way they are, and once they have an understanding of why and what is happening in their brain, they can start the process of healing and processing their trauma.

It is nearly impossible for the majority of people with any of the aforementioned conditions to deal with their symptoms on their own, but more significantly, you don’t have to deal with these symptoms alone. Trauma therapy can provide you the knowledge and tools you need to heal, and it frequently gives you the chance to do so while also going through a profound transformation.It’s common to feel more compassion, empathy, and intimacy in your relationships and with everyone around you as trauma heals. Michelle Barratt Psychology offers support to people who have gone through trauma or are currently dealing with any of the aforementioned diagnoses or traumas. Each person’s view and conceptualisation of what happened to them determines how they experience trauma, which can occur in a variety of ways.


Michelle Barratt Psychology is a clinical psychology practice in Brisbane that offers psychological interventions and support for disorders linked to trauma symptoms, such as trauma therapy, through different psychological practices: Wynnum West and Toowong.

The trauma therapies offered in trauma counselling help persons who have experienced a range of traumas, including birth trauma, high conflict relationships, divorce, and separation. The goal of trauma therapy and related interventions is to assist patients not only deal with the trauma they have suffered, but also to recover and come to terms with it. Trauma therapy is a specialized form of therapy that focuses on the treatment of trauma-related symptoms and can be incredibly beneficial for individuals struggling to overcome the effects of trauma.

Sadly, dealing with and enduring trauma-related problems frequently prevents a client from fully engaging in the present. As a result, clients may feel stuck in the past and unable to accept the possibility of living a fulfilling life in the future. Trauma therapy can help clients address these challenges and develop effective coping strategies that allow them to move forward with their lives.

Interventions in trauma treatment can, in general, give a client a sense of wellbeing and optimism that they can get beyond their trauma and feel empowered to once again be in control of their own lives. Trauma counselling helps a client acquire the coping mechanisms they need to deal with panic attacks, flashbacks, anxiety, and any despair they may have had while attempting to handle their traumatic event on their own.

Unfortunately, people might become suddenly haunted by residual memories of unpleasant sights, sounds, tastes, or scents after experiencing a traumatic experience. The majority of the time, symptoms can quickly develop over time, debilitating a person and tormenting them beyond what they ever imagined was possible. Trauma therapy can help individuals process and manage these symptoms, allowing them to regain control over their lives and move forward in a positive direction.

Author: Michelle Barratt

Understanding trauma

Understanding trauma and its effects on children is essential for parents who want to support their child’s healing and recovery. Trauma therapy can be a helpful resource for both the child and their caregivers in navigating the aftermath of a traumatic event.

As a parent, it is important to keep in mind that a child who has experienced trauma may have difficulty coping with their emotions and behaviors. They may feel overwhelmed, anxious, or frightened and struggle to express their feelings in a healthy way. Trauma therapy can help a child develop coping mechanisms and strategies to manage these difficult emotions and behaviors.

Traumatic memories are powerful and can be triggered by seemingly innocuous events or stimuli. A child who has experienced trauma may struggle with intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and flashbacks, which can be incredibly distressing. Trauma therapy can help a child process and manage these memories and feelings, allowing them to regain a sense of control over their thoughts and emotions.

In summary, trauma can have a profound and lasting impact on a child’s life. It is important for parents to be aware of the effects of trauma and to seek out support and resources, such as trauma therapy, to help their child heal and recover.

What to keep in mind as a parent if your child has experienced a trauma?

  • A trauma is an extraordinarily frightening events that can overwhelm a victim with feelings of terror and helplessness. Feeling unable to cope against the force of terror, the child finds it impossible to face the events of the trauma which can create memorable emotional pain, confusion, and behavioural disruption.
  • The experience of a trauma is without care, forcefully imprinted on a child’s memory in ways that everyday experiences are not. Children struggle with lingering thoughts, feelings and visual images of a trauma long after he event is over and their safety has been assured.
  • Traumatic memories are hard to shake and are distressing. These memories and feelings intrude in children’s daily lives in alarming and disruptive ways. The memories can be set off by something randomly triggering the child or encountered by the child, or they can intrude willy-nilly and unwelcomed in the child’s daydreams or thoughts. Often nightmares ensue and the traumatic event will feel unshakable.​​

Understanding the Experience of Trauma For a Child

  • Children experience dread that the trauma will recur and have difficulty believing that it will not be repeated. They often use their play to help them master their experiences. The child’s efforts to control and master events over which they feel helpless are often unsuccessful, leaving them anxious and unrelieved.
  • Trauma causes psychological wounds. Healing from wounds requires them to trust and feel safe, and depends heavily on the understanding, support, and protection provided by parents and important other caretakers.

 Sources of Childhood Trauma

  • Any sudden Threat of Safety creating feelings of Vulnerability and Fear
  • Accidental injury and severe illness
  • Catastrophes and Disasters
  • Physical and Sexual Abuse
  • Interpersonal and Community Violence
  • The Child as a Witness: Observation as Source of Trauma
  • Traumatic Loss
  • Sources of Re-traumatisation – for example if there is anything around the child’s environment that may remind them of the incident – often this can re-trigger the trauma for them
  • When Trauma Involves the Criminal Justice System

Author: Michelle Barratt

Symptoms of Trauma in children

Understanding the symptoms of childhood trauma is crucial for parents, caregivers, and educators. Recognising these signs early can lead to timely intervention and support from a childhood trauma psychologist. Trauma can profoundly impact a child’s development and mental health, often with lasting effects. This guide highlights common symptoms, helping you identify when a child may need professional help.

Emotional Symptoms

Children who have experienced trauma often exhibit a range of emotional symptoms. These can include anxiety, depression, and feelings of intense fear or helplessness. Such children may appear unusually irritable or have sudden mood swings. A childhood trauma psychologist can provide a safe space for these children to express their feelings and develop coping mechanisms.

Behavioural Changes

Trauma can also manifest through behavioural changes. Children might display aggression, become withdrawn, or exhibit regressive behaviours such as bedwetting or thumb-sucking. They might struggle to concentrate in school, leading to declining academic performance. Engaging with a childhood trauma psychologist can help identify the root cause of these behaviours and implement strategies to address them.

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms are another indicator of childhood trauma. These can include frequent headaches, stomachaches, or unexplained physical pain. Some children might also experience changes in appetite or sleep patterns. A childhood trauma psychologist can work with medical professionals to ensure a comprehensive approach to the child’s wellbeing, addressing both psychological and physical aspects of trauma.

Cognitive Issues

Cognitive issues are common in children who have experienced trauma. These can involve difficulties with memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. Trauma can also lead to a sense of confusion or a persistent feeling of being overwhelmed. Consulting a childhood trauma psychologist is essential in helping children develop strategies to manage these cognitive challenges and improve their overall functioning.

Social Withdrawal

Social withdrawal is a significant symptom of childhood trauma. Affected children may isolate themselves from peers and family members, finding it hard to trust others or engage in social activities. This withdrawal can further exacerbate feelings of loneliness and depression. A childhood trauma psychologist can provide therapy that encourages social interaction and helps rebuild trust in relationships.

Developmental Delays

Trauma can hinder a child’s development, leading to delays in reaching typical milestones. These delays can be in speech, motor skills, or emotional maturity. Early intervention from a childhood trauma psychologist is vital to support the child’s development and help them catch up with their peers.


Hypervigilance is another common symptom, where a child constantly looks for potential threats. This heightened state of arousal can lead to difficulty in relaxing or sleeping. A childhood trauma psychologist can teach relaxation techniques and coping strategies to help reduce this constant state of alertness.

Low Self-Esteem

Children who have experienced trauma often suffer from low self-esteem. They might blame themselves for the traumatic event and feel unworthy of love and support. Therapy with a childhood trauma psychologist can help these children build self-confidence and develop a healthier self-image.

Substance Abuse

In some cases, older children and teenagers might turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism for their trauma. This behaviour is a serious concern that requires immediate attention from a childhood trauma psychologist. Early intervention can prevent long-term dependency and guide the child towards healthier ways of coping with their emotions.

Seeking Help

If you recognise any of these symptoms in a child, it’s essential to seek help from a qualified childhood trauma psychologist. Early intervention can significantly improve outcomes, helping children recover and lead healthy, fulfilling lives. A childhood trauma psychologist can provide tailored therapy to address the specific needs of each child, offering hope and healing for those affected by trauma.

Recognising and addressing the symptoms of childhood trauma is essential for the well-being of affected children. By consulting with a childhood trauma psychologist, you can ensure that children receive the care and support they need to overcome their challenges and thrive.

Author: Michelle Barratt

Symptoms of Trauma in adults

Due to the discomfort of trauma, many people feel a strong attraction to mask their symptoms through addictive and compulsive behaviours with alcohol, drugs, food, sex, gambling, and relationships.
Trauma typically occurs within the context of relationships (e.g., abuse, rejection, abandonment, humiliation, criticism, lack of support) and these issues often get repeated, triggered, or played out in your intimate relationships. Common symptoms include arguments, conflict, and hostility; isolation and withdrawal; sexual problems, extreme fear of abandonment and rejection, and attempts to control others.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops after a terrifying event in which physical harm occurred or was threatened. During the traumatic incident that caused the PTSD, the person experiences intense fear, a sense of helplessness, and horror. People suffering from PTSD typically startle easily, experience emotional numbing and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy, and struggle with insomnia, flashbacks, and nightmares. PTSD often co-occurs with anxiety, depression, and substance abuse and can be the source of painful relationship problems.​

Trauma plays a major role in shaping your belief system and typically underlies self-sabotaging thinking. It’s not uncommon to also experience difficulties with concentration, memory, decision-making, and being easily distracted due to emotional trauma.​

When unresolved traumas are continually triggered, they pull your attention to the past, making it difficult to function and appreciate one’s functioning and environment in ‘The Now’. Often traumatic experiences leave one experiencing intense emotions such as guilt, shame, low self-worth, low self-esteem, anger, resentment, anxiety, self-loathing and a large sense of un-forgiveness. Painful physical or emotional trauma would make it challenging for any individual to fully accept life just as it is, and to find a way to accept what once was. These kinds of experiences can make an individual question our sense of self and past spiritual beliefs and make us wonder about our future and present functioning. Emotional trauma naturally increases fear, which then can often lead to a more outwardly focused orientation, leaving less energy for inner connection with our true inner selves. This sense of disconnection can often maintain people to keep identifying with the personal pain of their past, thus making it more difficult and almost impossible to relate to the interconnectedness of life and all those things once so soundly believed in; those things that once made us so sure of ourselves and ourselves, thus keeping us from focusing on the greater purpose of life.

Author: Michelle Barratt

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Please be advised that you’ll receive a response within 24 to 48 hours

If in Crisis please call 000