Katie completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology at the University of Queensland and was awarded the Dean’s Commendation in 2003. She then graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology from Monash University in 2005. In 2006 Katie was awarded a Research Degree Scholarship and completed her Doctorate in Health Psychology in 2009.
Katie has worked in public health settings since 2009, with her main focus being adjustment to medical diagnoses, chronic health conditions and grief/loss. She developed her clinical interest in perinatal and infant mental health while completing her Master of Clinical Psychology degree.
Katie is completing a clinical internship as part of the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health team at the Queen Elizabeth Centre (early parenting service). Her Clinical Masters research is being conducted at the Mercy Hospital for Women, Perinatal Mental Health Service.
Katie’s Masters research is part of the Mercy Pregnancy and Emotional Wellbeing Study (MPEWS), a pregnancy study following a sample of Australian mothers and children until the age of 3. A key aim of this research is to understand the factors that may protect a mother against anxiety and depression over the perinatal period, with the ultimate aim of enhancing women’s well-being during motherhood. The developing relationship between a mother and her infant during pregnancy and the postnatal period is of interest to Katie in her research. Katie coordinates research sessions aimed at assessing parent-infant attachment and maternal sensitivity. Katie’s research focuses specifically on the relationship between maternal mental health and sleep - in both the prenatal and postnatal periods - and infant sleep patterns.
Katie’s Doctoral research was in the area of women’s experiences of sexual intimacy within the context of a committed relationship. For women with clinical levels of sexual difficulties, interpersonal factors (such as relationship dissatisfaction and communication problems) were found to be of primary importance.
Katie’s Doctoral portfolio entitled “The Role of Parental Emotional Engagement in Child Psychopathology”,incorporated case studies from an internship at a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). It was apparent that extremes of parental emotional engagement (i.e. enmeshment/disengagement) could contribute to children developing emotional and behavioural difficulties. Katie’s findings suggested that parental mental health and family dynamics were an essential consideration in the psychological treatment of the child.
Katie is a psychologist completing a specialist clinical internship at the Queen Elizabeth Centre (early parenting service). As part of a multidisciplinary team, Katie works collaboratively with all professionals involved in a client’s care team including midwives, maternal and child health nurses and psychiatrists. In this setting, Katie screens and diagnoses postnatal depression/anxiety and other disorders in parents. Katie provides intervention to parents and their infants and young children, using an attachment formulation and diverse therapy modalities (e.g. systemic, family therapy, mentalization, supportive psychotherapy). She works particularly in the areas of individual and couple adjustment to parenting, reproductive grief/loss, parent-infant interaction, infant mental health and trauma. Katie also conducts standardized assessment of the developmental and cognitive abilities of infants and young children. Katie is a registered Circle of Security parent educator.
Approach to Therapy
Katie has trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness and Schema Therapy. Katie incorporates attachment based therapy and a family systems framework, particularly when the parent-infant relationship is a focus of treatment or a couple is experiencing parenting-related stress. She is experienced in both short and longer-term therapy and she works collaboratively with her clients in developing treatment goals.
Registered with the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA)
Member of the Australian Psychological Society (MAPS)
Registered Circle of Security parent educator
Member of the APS Perinatal and Infant Psychology Interest Group (PIPIG)
Member of the Armadale Perinatal Mental Health Professionals Network
Member of the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health (AAIMHI)
Member of the Australasian Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health
McCabe, M., & Giles, K. (2012). Differences between sexually functional and dysfunctional women in psychological and relationships domains. International Journal of Sexual Health, vol. 24, pp. 181-194.
Giles, K., & McCabe, M. (2009). Conceptualising women’s sexual function: linear vs. circular models of sexual response. Journal of Sexual Medicine, vol. 6, no. 10, pp. 2761-2771.
Giles, K., & McCabe, M. (2008, April). Women’s Sexual Response: Exploring the Contribution of Psychological Characteristics to Female Sexual Dysfunction. Paper presented at 3rd Sexual Dysfunction Conference, Gold Coast, QLD.
Giles, K., & McCabe, M. (2006). Female sexual dysfunction: A theoretical consideration of the nature of the sexual response and aetiological factors, in R. Wilkinson, & Z. Pearce (Eds.), Relationships- Near and Far Proceedings of the Australian Psychological Society’s Psychology of Relationships Interest Group 6th Annual Conference, pp. 56-62, The Australian Psychological Society, Australia.