Group Therapy Programs

Q Psychology runs various group therapy programs. For more information on these, or to join, please contact the practice.

Brown Barbell Baddies

April program has now commenced. Please contact the clinic for information on next intake.

Brown Barbell Baddies (BBB) is a one-of-a-kind group therapy program for South Asian women that incorporates psychological support with powerlifting movements. The program has been developed by our resident national power lifter and clinical psychologist Edwina Vejayaratnam. The program celebrates, supports, and empowers the overall well-being of South Asian Women.

BBB runs for five weeks, with two evening sessions each week (Monday and Thursday 5:45pm-7:45pm). Each session includes a component of psychological support and a component of powerlifting. Psychological topics include the relationship between physical and mental health, motivation, body image, identity, intersectionality, self-compassion, and living within our values.

When: The program will commence in April 2024. Registrations are now open, please call or email reception talk@qpsychology.com.au

Facilitators: Edwina Vejayaratnam (clinical psychologist) and Alexander Dellaportas (powerlifting coach).

Where: Three Point Performance – Unit 7, 339 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne.

Cost: The cost is $295.00 per week (this covers both weekly sessions). With a valid GP referral and mental healthcare plan a Medicare rebate of $128.80 each week will be available (weekly out of pocket cost = $166.20).

Other info: You do not need to have experience in powerlifting or weights training to participate, the program and trainers will tailor the program to all levels of experience.

LGBTQIAP+ Schema Therapy Group Program

Contact us for next intake

Schemas are ways that we have come to understand ourselves, others, and the world. Schemas become maladaptive when our needs that are universal (e.g., needs for safety and belonging; needs for emotional validation and understanding) are not consistently met in childhood and adolescence. Because they begin early in life, schemas become familiar and therefore comfortable and we engage in behaviours that reinforce the schemas.  Schemas may remain dormant until they are activated by situations relevant to that particular schema and we engage in different behaviours that aim to help us deal with the triggers – sometimes these ways of coping, end up perpetuating the schema (see example below).

Schema therapy is an integrative therapy that combines elements from cognitive behavioural therapy, attachment and object relations theories, and Gestalt and experiential therapies. The group program will assist in understanding your schemas, what behaviours (“coping modes”) you use to protect yourself from these schemas occurring, and, how these coping modes may no longer be serving you in your current life. It will do this by working on cognitive and behavioural strategies for change, as well as closely focusing on experiential activities to enact emotional change and healing.

Research has shown schema therapy to be effective in treating high prevalence disorders (such as depression and anxiety) as well as low prevalence and persistent disorders (such as personality disorders, chronic mental health difficulties, and relationship issues) and developmental trauma.

Click here to view an example Case Study of a schema and its associated coping modes.

Facilitators: Dr. David H. Demmer & Dr. Jamie Byrne. Dave and Jamie are both clinical psychologists and accredited as Advanced Schema Therapists by the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST). They will be supported in their facilitation by Justin Olstein (provisional psychologist).

When:  This program will commence on Saturday 7th October 2023 and run for 10 weeks (final session Saturday 9th December). Sessions run from 9:30am – 12pm.

​Where: Q Psychology, Carlton. First Floor, 285-287 Lygon Street, Carlton.

Online Emotion-Regulation Skills Group

Please contact the clinic for information on next intake.

The Q Psychology Emotion-Regulation Skills Group is for those who are wanting to learn practical skills to manage and support their overall emotional and psychological wellbeing. This may be particularly helpful for those who have used up all of their individual psychology sessions for the year via their Mental Healthcare Plan but still have a need to engage in accessible support. The group may also be an appropriate avenue for those awaiting individual support, or as an additional support in a positive group environment.

The sessions will run on a 6 week cycle, with participants able to join at any time. The sessions will offer basic psychoeducation on common mental health concerns, presented in an easy-to-digest format, as well as the opportunity for participants to accumulate emotion-regulation skills. Additionally, the group will offer the opportunity for connection in the group format. Different topics will be explored each session, and the skills covered will be derived from a range of evidence-based therapeutic modalities, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness Based Approaches, and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.

When: The group will run via Telehealth on Wednesdays 12pm-1pm. The group start date is 16th August 2023.

Cost: The sessions will be bulk billed with a valid GP referral for 10 ‘group’ sessions. There is no out of pocket fee for participants of the group.

Rainbow Minds – Embracing Diversity in Adolescent Identity

Please contact the clinic for information on next intake.

The Rainbow Minds group program is an inclusive therapeutic social group for gender diverse and neurodivergent adolescents 11-15 years of age. The group creates a safe and welcoming space where young people can celebrate their unique identities and connect with peers who share similar experiences.

What to expect:

Guided discussions: on topics related to gender diversity, neurodivergence, mental health, and self-care. Facilitators will provide psycho-education and strategies. Participants are encouraged to share their perspectives and learn from each other, whilst feeling accepted and understood.

Collaborative creative project: participants will spend time each session working towards a communal creative project, which supports the development of communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills all while having fun with peers.

The ESTEEM Program

Please contact the clinic for information on next intake.

Same sex attracted men are significantly more likely than heterosexual men to experience depression and anxiety. Many experiences account for this, including real or perceived rejection due to sexual attraction, repressing or concealing one’s same sex attraction, and internalized homophobia (‘gay shame’). Many same sex attracted men also experience exclusion and disconnection from other same sex attracted men, leading to feelings of loneliness and separation from their own community. Often, these men can develop unhelpful ways of coping with these issues including striving to be the best (e.g., having the perfect body, the best job, the highest income) or using temporary and unhealthy coping strategies (e.g., excessive sex, drugs, or alcohol).

The ESTEEM protocol was developed by researchers and psychologists at Yale University (USA). ESTEEM is a psychotherapy for same sex attracted men aimed at improving their mental and physical health. ESTEEM uses cognitive-behavioral principles to address the social contexts and issues that influence same sex attracted men’s wellbeing.

Dr. Dave Demmer and Q Psychology were granted permission to delivered The ESTEEM Group Program in 2021, and since then the program has run four times at the practice. Over the course of 10 sessions, group members will explore their experiences of mental health and its relationship to the minority stress of being same-sex attracted, their experiences within the LGBTQIAP+ community, some unhelpful ways of coping with their emotions. Group members will also be provided with adaptive strategies to regulate and tolerate emotions, challenge unhelpful thoughts, express themselves and their needs assertively, connect with others in a healthy way, and prepare themselves for future mental health issues.

When: Please contact reception on 03 7023 4780 to be added to the waitlist for our next 2024 program.

Q-mmunity Connections

Please contact the clinic for information on next intake.

Q-mmunity Connections is aimed at fostering social connections for older LGBTQIAP+ Victorians, particularly those who are isolated, through basic psychoeducation and shared activities. Each session, attendees will have opportunities to connect, share, laugh, and learn. Different topics are explored each session, including arts and crafts, emotions, cooking, mindfulness, exercise, and many more.

Research indicates that social connection is crucial for physical and mental wellbeing (Leigh-Hunt et al., 2017). It has also been found that persistent community connectedness has positive effects on health (Fothergill et al., 2011) and that groups are effective in targeting health behaviours (Elyer, et al., 2003). Further, Sherman and colleagues (2020) conducted a systematic review on transgender community connection and found that it is linked to improved mental health, increased connection to care, supported exploration of sexual and gender identities, and informed gender transition for the trans and gender diverse community.

When: Please contact reception on 03 7023 4780 to be added to the waitlist for our next 2024 program.

Cost: Free