Spotlight Interview with Team Member: Monique Andreacchio, Psychologist and Clinical Psychology Registrar

How did you know you wanted to become a psychologist?

Becoming a psychologist was a journey shaped by my inquisitive personality, interest in human behaviour and passion for helping others. I always knew I wanted to work in the health sector and considered a few career options within it as high school was coming to an end. Psychology stood out for me due to the added opportunity to connect and build relationships with others.

What inspired you to work with young people?

As a psychologist working with young people, I have the privilege of witnessing the strength, courage, and potential of this age group. Children and adolescents experience such unique and complex challenges at a time where, developmentally they are more emotionally vulnerable and lack the tools to cope. I empathise with the difficulty of this and appreciate their openness and willingness to engage in therapy despite it; it serves as a constant source of inspiration.

What is your typical therapy mode and why do you find it to be so helpful?

I typically work under a cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) framework, supplemented by elements of dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). I find this integrative approach to be effective because it allows me to tailor therapy to each individual’s unique needs and preferences. I find young people respond better to a collaborative approach where they feel supported to explore and gain insight into their concerns.

We all feel stressed sometimes, including psychologists! What helps you to manage your own stress?

As a psychologist, it’s important that I practice what I preach! I prioritise regular exercise with a group of friends. Sometimes, when I feel less motivated to exercise, the social element gives me a purpose to attend. I engage in activities that bring me joy and relaxation, such as reading, spending time outdoors and visiting my nieces and nephew. I also strongly believe in the power of ringing a friend and debriefing life together; I always hang up the phone feeling so much lighter for it. 

If you could have given your teenage self any advice – what would you have said?

If I could offer advice to my teenage self, I would share the importance of self-compassion and authenticity. I would tell her it’s ok to make mistakes, to feel unsure, and not have everything figured out; Life is about navigating these experiences and with this comes such meaning and growth.

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