About Dr Emma Symes
BSci (Hons), DPsych (Clin) MAPS CCLIN
Thursday am, pm, evening
Emma has been practising as a Clinical Psychologist for over ten years, and completed her professional doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2003. Emma has a had a long-standing interest in supporting families through the transitions that occur around the time of pregnancy, birth and during the early parenting years. Emma has helped families experiencing adjustment issues, mental health problems and other difficulties that arise during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Emma has worked in the adult mental health sector as well as with adolescents and their families at Headspace. Emma has also worked as a Clinical Psychologist at Tweddle Child and Family Health Service, a state-wide Early Parenting Service, she provided residential and outpatient psychology services to parents and infants. Emma is currently employed part-time as a Senior Clinical Psychologist at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Centre for Women’s Mental Health.
In her private practice in North Carlton, Emma works specifically with women, men and couples experiencing perinatal anxiety, depression, and stress; parent-infant relationship/bonding issues; childbirth-related trauma; reproductive loss; ambivalence about pregnancy; premature birth; and infertility.
Emma is a registered Circle of Security parent educator. This program is a relationship-based parenting program, which is aimed at improving relationships by helping parents to read and respond to their child’s emotional needs and cues. Emma is available to provide this group-based parenting program.
Emma coordinates professional development activities for the Western Perinatal & Infant Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN). She is also a registered supervisor with AHPRA and she offers supervision to psychologists.
Approach to Therapy
Emma provides individual therapy to parents to improve parenting confidence and strengthen parent-child relationships. Emma works collaboratively and is committed to supporting families during this important period. Her approach to therapy is tailored to meet the needs of each person, and is founded upon empathy, respect and an assumption that every parent is trying their best. Emma provides a safe environment in which clients can explore difficulties and can work towards the improvements they are seeking.
Emma is trained in the following evidence-based therapies: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT). She also draws upon psychodynamic approaches and Attachment Theory.
Registered with Psychology Board of Australia
Registered Circle of Security parent educator
Member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS)
Member of APS College of Clinical Psychologists
Member APS Perinatal and Infant Psychology Interest Group (PIPIG)
Member of Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA)
Symes, E. (2017). The transition to motherhood: Psychological factors associated with pregnancy, labour and birth. InPsych, 39, 18-19.