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Russell Downham - Independent Practitioner

Clinical Psychologist and Supervisor

Russell is a psychologist, and has been clinically endorsed since May 2019. He works mostly as an individual therapist in private practice, and currently offers scheduled phone and video sessions with adults across Australia from diverse cultural backgrounds functioning across a range of levels from quite low to very high, specialising in short- to medium-term interventions. Russell draws on clinical experience gained at Bankstown Anxiety Clinic, at the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS), in Employee Assistance Programs (including on-call crisis counselling, critical incident response, and on-site training), and in WorkCover settings. He has co-facilitated psychoeducational therapy groups including multi-week interdisciplinary group programs in CBT for pain management and regularly assists in assessment and report-writing for families in crisis referred by the Family Law Court.

Portrait of Senior Woman

Russell has expressed that as psychologists, in seeking to help others, we are challenged also to improve ourselves. To assist you in this process of professional and personal development, Russell will do his best to create a safe space for reflective practice, prompting you to explore and evaluate the reactions, assumptions, and insights that arise for you as you encounter the unexpected in your clinical practice. Russell says; “growing into the roles required of us means learning to integrate priorities that can pull us in opposing directions: validating our clients' experience yet maintaining our own distinct clinical views on what else might be happening, seeking opportunities to use evidence-based intervention principles yet adapting to each client's particular strengths and values, relating authentically to our clients yet maintaining professional boundaries. As a clinician continually seeking deeper understanding, inspired and equipped also by my prior training in Philosophy, I particularly enjoy helping people to achieve clarity about dilemmas that naturally arise in attentive clinical practice”.
Russell understands and frames his approach to therapy in broadly cognitive-behavioural terms, so his practice integrates elements from a range of therapies that seek to modify thoughts and behaviours.

Therapies he regularly employs include;
Behavioural experiments
Exposure therapy, and
Cognitive restructuring

Russell also draws upon what he has learned from trainings in;
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Schema-based cognitive therapy, and
Solutions-Focused brief therapy

When asked about his favourite part of supervising Russell will tell you that learning excites him, in himself and others. He loves being present to witness other people’s moments of realisation, and finds the experience especially gratifying when it seems like he has played some part in making that moment happen.

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