Child Psychologist in Adelaide

Child Psychologist in Adelaide

Therapy for Children with A Child Psychologist

A child psychologist talks with parents and assesses a child’s behavioural and mental health problems. They will assess for and treat, behaviour problems, parenting strategies, children’s emotional problems such as anxiety, sleep disturbance and a wide range of clinical disorders. Parents are – especially with young children – involved in the treatment program. For young children, the parenting component is very important to therapy outcomes. The foundation of all programs is based on:

  •  Assessing the nature of the child’s mental health, emotional or behavioural problems
  •  Using approaches with the child that communicate at the child’s age level
  •  Showing the child how to change their thoughts and behaviour through play and talking
  •  Using approaches with the child that help them to understand and change
  •  Teaching parents a new approach to understanding and working with their child

Our Child Psychologists in Adelaide

Helen White

Helen is a Clinical Psychologist with over 15 years’ experience working in Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health clinics in Perth and Adelaide. Helen has a warm and engaging style and is direct in her approach. She takes a family therapy approach, meaning that she looks at the child in context of the relationships that surround him or her. The parent or primary care giver then has a very important role to play in the treatment program and day to day management of the child. At the first appointment, Helen would like to see you and your child together.

Her work is grounded in systemic theory, which emphasizes the role of the system of interpersonal relationships surrounding the child. She will work with people to find new ways of approaching the difficulties they are experiencing with the goal of bringing about your goals for positive change.

She incorporates strategies from a wide range of evidence based practices including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Solution focused therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Family Therapy, Mentalisation Based Therapy into her strengths based, family focused approach to treatment.

She has experience dealing with a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, school refusal, self-harm, suicidality, emotional and behavioural dysregulation, trauma,  family conflict, self-esteem, anger management, attachment issues, gender dysphoria and eating disorders.

Joanne Spadavecchia

Joanne is a warm person who is very easy to talk to. She sees children and the their families. She especially has skills in disability.

Joanne prefers that the parent book a private session with her first without the child. Often it is advantageous for the psychologist to hear all about the issue from the parents perspective, and this is best done without the child being present.

Areas of Work – Younger Children

Issues that our child psychologists commonly work with in younger children include:

  • Behavioural problems such as disobedience and oppositional behaviour (defiance)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Bullying
  • Anxiety, worrying
  • Fear and avoidance of certain situations
  • School refusal
  • Depression
  • Bed wetting
  • Phobias – anxious avoidance of places, people, or activities
  • Separation anxiety
  • Excessive temper tantrums or excessive crying
  • Insecurity and over-dependence on parent(s)
  • Tummy ache, enuresis, inability to relax
  • Ritualised behaviours

Areas of Work – Adolescents

The following are more often found in the older child:

  • Self-harm
  • Eating disorders
  • School refusal
  • Examination anxiety
  • Social anxiety and avoidance
  • Depression
  • Perfectionism, anxiety and avoidance


Both Helen and Joanne see young children and adolescents.

Margaret Mitchell and John Gwiazdwinskiwill see children over 12.

John Gwiazdzinski

John was a school psychologist for 20 years and will see older children for

  • Bullying
  • School avoidance
  • Learning difficulties

Margaret Mitchell

Margaret is a clinical psychologist with a gentle approach.

She often uses mindfulness approaches integrated with an evidence based treatment program.