Dr Gemma Gladstone
Endorsed Clinical Psychologist
GradDip (Psychotherapy); Cert (Clin Hypnosis)
Member: Australian Psychological Society (APS)
Member: APS Clinical College
Member: International Society of Schema Therapy
Advanced Certified Schema Therapist, Trainer and Supervisor (ISST)
I have been working as a psychologist in the field of mental health for 24 years. In 2001 I commenced my own private practice while continuing to work in research. In 2008, my colleague Justine Corry and I established the Good Mood Clinic in Bondi Junction, Sydney – a clinic dedicated to the practice of Schema Therapy.
Due to our shared values and clinical experience, we had a joint mission to build a practice which focused on understanding and changing psychological vulnerabilities and not just providing short-term symptom relief. Together we aimed to spread the word about schema therapy and to recruit like-minded therapists.
Earlier on in my career I worked in clinical research and formerly held the position of Senior Research Fellow at the Black Dog Institute, UNSW. During that time I was involved in several large scale research projects examining the nature of depressive disorders including their causes, risk factors, characteristics and outcomes. I completed my PhD within the School of Psychiatry, faculty of medicine at UNSW. During my time in that organisation I conducted over 500 clinical research interviews with people referred for recurrent or chronic mood disorders. Collectively, those experiences gave me a rich and fairly unique insight into the nature of depression and an invaluable understanding of the role of psychological vulnerabilities (ie, schemas).
In addition to that experience, my time in private practice over the last 18 years has meant that I have worked with hundreds of clients in the community seeking help for all manner of psychological and relationship issues. I have had the great fortune to learn from them and gain a deep appreciation for why and how people develop emotional conditions like depression and for what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to interventions!
My experience has highlighted for me why it is so important to be an informed integrative therapist – someone who draws from a variety of effective methods. After using experiential interventions in the treatment of complex trauma, personality disorders, complicated grief and recurrent depression for many years, I decided to expand my use of schema therapy by completing my advanced certification in Schema Therapy. This is a therapy I am passionate about because I know how well it works and how beneficial it can be for understanding complex issues, resolving long-term patterns and tackling persistent emotional disorders like chronic depression.
I’ve also worked in various clinical settings outside of private practice including facilitating Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) groups and inpatient/outpatient mental health programs. I have also consulted in business as a coaching psychologist assisting managers better understand their own personality styles (ie, schemas) and how they affect the people around them.
As an experienced trainer and educator I have conducted numerous workshops for psychologists and therapists (sexual abuse; schema therapy; personality disorders) since 2005 and have worked in adult education. Lastly, I have a strong professional and personal interest in Buddhist psychotherapy, mindfulness and self-compassion practices and I incorporate these where possible, encouraging my clients to practice meditation and develop self-compassion in daily life. In my experience there is a big overlap between Buddhist psychology and schema therapy – as they both aim for better psychological integration and psychological/spiritual growth.
“I take a non-judgemental and respectful stance in my clinical practice and
treat each person I work with as a unique individual with an important life story”.
I have a continued, ongoing strong commitment to my own professional and personal development. I believe it is essential for a mental health professional to take an active role in their own continued growth and learning. I regularly attend extra/complimentary training in the area of schema therapy and related topics as well as clinical supervision and reflective practice. I’m a strong believer in the idea that we should never stop learning and never lose our curiosity for life.
Right now I share my work time between running special interest schema therapy workshops, providing supervision to other therapists, and seeing individua clients for schema therapy.
I see mostly individual adult clients but will see couples for schema therapy when my case-load permits it. I am also interested in helping parents develop healthier ways to parent their young children from a schema therapy and emotion coaching perspective.
My specialty areas
- Depression – including chronic and recurrent depression
- Abandonment issues. Healing from early abandonment traumas
- Complicated grief – including adults with a history of childhood loss
- Grief and loss experiences and life transitions
- Adult survivors of childhood abuse & neglect
- Healing from the effects of narcissistic parenting
- Relationship issues and recurring unhealthy relationship patterns
- Borderline & other personality issues
- Post-rehab schema therapy for alcohol, drug and other addictions
- Food issues and problematic eating (ie, emotional or comfort eating)
- Emotion coaching & parenting with young children
- Stress management, meditation & mindfulness training