Joanne Spadavecchia

Joanne Spadavecchia

Joanne Spadavecchia completed a Master’s degree in Psychology in 2004, and since then has had success working with a range of children, adults and families. She has a warm, communicative style and gives confidence to clients by her ability to understand and make firm recommendations about how a client can take control of their emotions and move forward.

Children, Families and Adults – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 

Joanne has a passion for working with children, adults and families who have experienced trauma during childhood or adulthood, including child sexual assault, as she, herself is a survivor of such crimes. She brings her own personal understanding of the pain and suffering someone goes through after enduring such trauma and has a client-centered approach.

Her empathy and approachable style allows clients to feel at ease to discuss such difficult matters and her knowledge of the court system (having been successful herself through court and a keen sense of justice) is truly invaluable.

Depending on the client’s initial presentation and personal goals, Joanne utilises different forms of therapy for PTSD and Acute Stress Disorder; these being, gradual exposure therapy, de-sensitisation therapy, solutions focused therapy, schema therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to name a few. Familial issues that arise, having gone through such trauma and the effect is has on the individual is also taken into consideration in treatment, along with any other psychological issues present, such as Eating Disorders, Anxiety and Depression. She assists clients in learning how to cope through the myriad of issues that they may be presented with, encouraging strength and positivity during a difficult time.

Educational Psychology

Joanne worked as a psychologist at Mercedes College for 2 years, working with children (5-18), parents and teachers. She will visit schools to consult with teachers and assist in developing individual behavioural programs to encourage a student’s full potential. She can assist with:

• Working on individual Negotiated Educational Plans (NEP)
• Assistance with children with additional needs in the mainstream classroom
• Liaison with the school on behalf of the families
• Implementation of individual behavioural programs

Past Research and Program Developments

Joanne has worked with Professor Sandy McFarlane at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, undertaking research into the relationship of parenting styles during trauma (Ash Wednesday Bushfires) and adulthood depression. She also conducted psychological assessments of trauma patients, crisis intervention and counselling.

She worked at the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service of Australia (CRS) for 2 years, where she developed and ran group therapy courses for anxiety and depression, titled ‘Creating your future’. She performed psychological testing and assessment, vocational testing, gave professional recommendations and followed through with psychological counselling, therapy and case reviews.

Areas of Work

Clinical Psychology – Adolescents and Children

• Trauma related issues – PTSD and Acute Stress Disorder
• Parenting Strategies
• Behaviour problems
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Sleep problems
• Early attachment difficulties – including Separation Anxiety
• Self harm
• Educational psychology
• Bullying at school

Clinical Psychology – Adults

• Trauma related issues – PTSD and Acute Stress Disorder
• Depression
• Bipolar Disorder
• Anxiety
• Disorders including Panic Disorder, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Social phobia,
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Adjustment Disorders
• Self harm and suicidal thinking
• Relationship Difficulties and couple counselling
• Grief and Loss
• Anger Management

Organisation Psychology

  • EAP interventions
  • Work-related stress

Treatment Approaches

Joanne combines a warm and personable approach with a best practice approach to
therapy, including:
• Cognitive-behavioural Therapy (CBT)
• Mindfulness
• Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
• De-sensitsation and exposure therapy
• Narrative therapy
• Play therapy
• Family therapy
• Solutions Focused Brief Therapy
• Schema therapy
• Interpersonal psychotherapy

Qualifications and Memberships

• Master of Psychology
• Bachelor of Arts (Honours Psychology)
• Registered Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia