We are excited to be able to introduce our newest member of the APAWC team, Lyn Howell

Psychologist and Mediator

Lyn is an extremely experienced Psychologist and Mediator and in the past has worked as a Family Dispute Practitioner who spent 18 years working for herself in a successful private practice in Victoria.  Lyn’s life prior to Psychology was a Certified Midwife, Intensive Care Nurse and Paediatric Nurse with a wide knowledge base working in a variety of Medical settings including working in North America and the UK as a Nurse working and studying the emotional needs of families and infants requiring high need care once discharged from hospital.

Introducing Annette Summers - Clinical Psychologist

 Annette is a Clinical Psychologist who spent over a decade working for Defence, and prior to that worked in mental health. Having recently left Defence Annette is now in private practice working with adults, older adults, veterans, and adolescents (16+).
Annette offers assessment and treatment for a range of psychological concerns including: Anxiety - including generalised worry, phobias, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and panic. Depression - including Low mood, Post-natal adjustment and Bipolar, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)’ Grief/ Loss and other life transition adjustments, Problem use of alcohol and other substances; and Communication training to enhance performance in career/work and relationships.

Modalities of Therapy:  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Schema Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness-based approaches, Motivational Interviewing.

Honours & Awards: 2010 Australia Day Defence Medallion ,2010 Group Commendation, Silver Level - Directorate of Psychology, Research & Technology

Introducing some of our Newest Members to our Fabulous Team

Focus Magazine Article April 2015 -

We are excited to introduce you to our new APAWC team members, Dr Ian Nisbet, Alira Bayndrian and Steve Smithers. 
Ian is a Forensic Psychologist with years of experience working in Juvenile Justice, Griffith University and as a School Counsellor.  Ian has a special interest in working with children, youth and men.  Ian works with adjustment issues for both teens and men experiencing mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression, conduct problems, court and legal assessments, school behaviour, and parent/teen relationship issues.  
Alira is a Clinical Psychologist and a local who moved back after working as a Manager and Clinician at the Child and Youth Mental Health Service in Alice Springs. Alira has extensive experience working with children, young people and families experiencing mental health issues including emotional and behavioural disorders, trauma, foster carers and children in alternative care. 
Steve is a Coffs Harbour local, and our newest Provisional Psychologist, who has an interest in men’s health and will be providing biofeedback and counselling.
To access a psychologists there are a number of pathways, please contact us for more information on 66993820 or or or like us on Facebook.

What is Resilience?

When faced with challenges some people adapt and recover more easily than others. Research has shown that these people have a number of characteristics that contribute to this ability, referred to as resilience.  Resilience is our ability to adapt and cope with stress, to bounce back from life’s challenges and difficulties and it involves thoughts, behaviours and actions that can be developed by everyone.

What is stress?

Stress can be described as feeling tense, worried, anxious, overloaded or burnt-out. Any situation in which you feel threatened or that your ability to cope is exceeded can bring on a stress reaction which is accompanied by biochemical, physiological and behavioural changes.  The stress reaction prepares your body to respond to situations where a threat is perceived, however, ongoing effects of stress may be linked to numerous physical and mental health problems, which in turn may also impact on behaviour, cognition and other aspects of your life.

What is attachment?

Secure attachment exists when infants form strong emotional ties to their caregivers and are able to be soothed and calmed by their presence. When an infant is fearful or anxious they receive comfort from contact with their caregivers.

Grief in Children

Living with the pain of loss

For some children, their loss or bereavement can be the first time that they have experienced profound abandonment. Fears may arise that they might be similarly abandoned again. Nor do all children understand that the pain they feel will subside. In addition, they may try to protect the feelings of others by avoiding displays of emotion in front of them and, as a result, their feelings can go underground and resurface at a later period in their life.


Everyone feels down or moody sometimes, but persistently feeling low for long periods of time could indicate something more serious. Depression is one of the most common mental health problems. One in seven Australian adults will be affected by depression.  There are a variety of symptoms and different people are affected in different ways.  The most common symptoms are listed below. Some people may have one or two symptoms, others might have many more. 

Symptoms checklist:


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