What is a psychotherapy session like?

At it’s core, psychotherapy is about your life, and the type of life that you would like to live. There are many different ideas about mental health therapy because it comes in many different forms. The different psychological and counselling therapies can be put into four basic groups. There are ‘talk therapies’, action-based psychotherapies, memory processing therapies, and counselling therapies to help with relationships. Give us a call if you would like further information. You can also book and appointment online.

Talk Therapies and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Talking is normally a large component psychological therapy, including cognitive therapy, psychodynamic therapy, existential therapy, and humanistic therapy. Some people have initial nervousness about talking about themselves, but this dissipates quickly. Most people enjoy the opportunity to say what has really been on their mind. Through the process of being able to express yourself and receive feedback from your psychologist, you will come to a greater understanding of yourself, and why you feel and act in certain ways. You will also learn that even experiences that we find shameful and embarrassing are quite normal. At times, the things that happen to us can lead to form beliefs that are untrue or unhelpful. Your psychologist will help you to identify these beliefs and find new ways of thinking that give you relief from your distress and move you towards your goals.

Action-Based and Behavioural Psychotherapies

Action based psychotherapies place a strong emphasis on taking consistent actions during, and between each session. These include behavioural interventions, acceptance and commitment therapy, and graded exposure. These therapies are often very effective. Your mental health therapist will most likely take a more direct approach to your therapy. They will help you to rediscover your motivation and overcome the psychological barriers that are getting in the way. This process is done slowly. The key is take small actions regularly and use the strategies your psychologist will give you to regulate your emotional responses. If you engage in an action-based counselling and psychotherapy, you will find that you are rewarded for the effort that you put in.

Relationship Counselling and Psychothearapy

There are professional counselling therapies that are specifically focused on relationships, such as couples therapy. In individual psychotherapy, strategies from range of different psychological therapies can be used to assist you with your relationships. These include interpersonal therapy (IPT), attachment-based therapy, object relations psychotherapy, transactional analysis (TA), and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). There are a few common strategies that psychologists use that tend to be helpful: analysing recent conflicts and why they happened, regulating stress and emotions, noticing how emotions from one relationship can overflow into another, examining how unhelpful communication styles have developed, and brainstorming more helpful ways of communicating about your wants, needs, and desires. Relationships are an important part of our mental health. Improvements in communication and understanding often lead to greater psychological health and relationship satisfaction.

Memory Processing Therapies: Psychodynamic, EMDR, Trauma Focused CBT

There are three main therapies that are used to process memories. Psychodynamic, or psychoanalytic therapy requires two psychotherapy sessions per week and will normally last for more than six months. It suits people who enjoy the process of self-exploration. Memories are processed gradually, rather than quickly. While intensive, it is a very gentle way of working. Over time, how well you get along with your therapist will become an important part of treatment. The changes that people experience tend to be profound and lasting. It is used for both traumatic, and non-traumatic memories. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is used extensively to treat traumatic memories and people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). During treatment, both sides of the brain are stimulated either through eye movements, tapping the hands, or sounds on either side of the head. It differs from other memory processing therapies because the memories need to be held in your consciousness, but you do not need to talk about them in detail. It is not suitable for everyone, and your therapist can help you to decide whether it is right for you. An alternative to EMDR is Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT). It uses talk-based psychological strategies to process your thoughts about the trauma, and emotion regulation strategies to sooth your nervous system and stabilise your mood. After these initial stages, traumatic memories are addressed and worked through. These videos by the USA national centre for PTSD give good overviews of EMDR, CPT (Quite similar to TF-CBT), and prolonged exposure (an element of (TF-CBT)

Do I need to talk about the past? While many people enjoy being able to talk about childhood experiences, some people are apprehensive about this. Talking about memories from the past can help you to see that some of the beliefs that you have formed made sense at the time but have since outlived their usefulness. Knowing this can make it easier for you to let go of these beliefs and replace them with more useful ones. If you find it too difficult to talk about traumas from the past, this can be managed by modifying your psychological treatment in several ways.  The first is by focusing on the effect that the trauma is having on your present life and giving you strategies to minimise these effects. The second is to allow you include the parts of these memories that you do feel comfortable talking about. This process takes longer, but for some people it is the method that they are the most comfortable with. The third method is to use memory processing techniques, such as in EMDR (see above). The important thing to remember is that you always have the power to decide what you want to address in therapy. Your therapist will make suggestions based on what is likely be the most effective but leave the decision up to you.

Who will be my TrueHope Psychologist?

TrueHope Psychology is the private practice of Darius Leo. Darius is a registered psychologist, mental health therapist, and member of the Australian Psychological Society. He is motivated by a love for counselling psychology and providing help to people in need. He enjoys running a small practice that allows him to provide a personalised service for every client. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, with honours, and a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. He has provided education and training services for universities and community service organisations. He is a Brisbane local who loves the sea, sunshine, and forests of South-East Queensland. Find out more about Darius, watch his introductory video, or book an appointment with him online.

Which psychological therapy is right for you?

In addition to talk therapies, Darius uses interpersonal, mindfulness based, and memory processing techniques. He draws on a large range of theories of counselling and psychotherapy, including:


  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
  • Existential Psychotherapy
  • Humanistic Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
  • Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Attachment Based Psychotherapy
  • Behavioural Therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Logotherapy
  • Object Relations Psychotherapy
  • Person-Centered Therapy
  • Transactional Analysis (TA)

Darius is an integrative therapist, who uses the most appropriate psychotherapy techniques for your needs. Research shows that different psychological approaches are more suited to different conditions, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, chronic pain, interpersonal and relationship problems. The decision of which therapy to use is made collaboratively by discussing the therapies that are the most effective for the type of problem that you face, and that suit your personality.

TrueHope Psychology is at Wynnum, but what other areas do you service?

TrueHope Psychology is located at Fourth floor of the Flinders Building 10/182 Bay Terrace, Wynnum QLD 4178. Appointments can be made by phone or online. Most of our clients come from the greater Brisbane area, including:

Eastern Suburbs and Brisbane Bayside

Balmoral, Belmont, Bulimba, Camp Hill, Cannon Hill, Carina, Carindale, Chandler, Coorparoo, Gumdale, Hawthorne, Hemmant, Lota, Lytton, Manly, Manly West, Moreton Island, Morningside, Murarrie, Norman Park, Port of Brisbane, Ransome, Seven Hills, Tingalpa, Wakerley, Wynnum, Wynnum West.

Brisbane City

Bowen Hills, Brisbane, East Brisbane, Fortitude Valley, Herston, Highgate Hill, Kangaroo Point, Kelvin Grove, New Farm, Newstead, Paddington, Petrie Terrace, Red Hill, South Brisbane, Spring Hill, Teneriffe, West End, Woolloongabba.

Brisbane Northern Suburbs

Albion, Alderley, Ascot, Aspley, Bald Hills, Banyo, Boondall, Bracken Ridge, Bridgeman Downs, Brighton, Brisbane Airport, Carseldine, Chermside, Chermside West, Clayfield, Deagon, Eagle Farm, Everton Park, Fitzgibbon, Gaythorne, Geebung, Gordon Park, Grange, Hamilton, Hendra, Kalinga– Kedron, Keperra, Lutwyche, McDowall, Mitchelton, Myrtletown, Newmarket, Northgate, Nudgee, Nudgee Beach, Nundah, Pinkenba, Sandgate, Shorncliffe, Stafford, Stafford Heights, Taigum, Virginia, Wavell Heights, Wilston, Windsor, Wooloowin, Zillmere.

Brisbane Southern Suburbs

Acacia Ridge, Algester, Annerley, Archerfield, Burbank, Calamvale, Coopers Plains, Darra, Doolandella, Drewvale, Durack, Dutton Park, Eight Mile Plains, Ellen Grove, Fairfield, Forest Lake, Greenslopes, Heathwood, Holland Park, Holland Park West, Inala, Karawatha, Kuraby, Larapinta, MacGregor, Mackenzie, Mansfield, Moorooka, Mount Gravatt, Mount Gravatt East, Nathan, Pallara, Parkinson, Richlands, Robertson, Rochedale, Rocklea, Runcorn, Salisbury, Seventeen Mile Rocks, Sinnamon Park, Stones Corner, Stretton, Sumner, Sunnybank, Sunnybank Hills, Tarragindi, Tennyson, Upper Mount Gravatt, Wacol, Willawong, Wishart, Yeerongpilly, Yeronga.

Western suburbs

Anstead, Ashgrove, Auchenflower, Bardon, Bellbowrie, Brookfield, Chapel Hill, Chelmer, Chuwar, Corinda, Enoggera, Enoggera Reservoir, Ferny Grove, Fig Tree Pocket, Graceville, Indooroopilly, Jamboree Heights, Jindalee, Karana Downs, Kenmore, Kenmore Hills, Kholo, Lake Manchester, Middle Park, Milton, Moggill, Mount Coot-tha, Mount Crosby, Mount Ommaney, Oxley, Pinjarra Hills, Pullenvale, Riverhills, Sherwood, Sinnamon Park, St Lucia, Taringa, The Gap, Toowong, Upper Brookfield, Upper Kedron, Westlake

Start today

Book an appointment online, give us a call, or write us a message if you have questions or would like to organise a free 15-minute introductory chat. We love therapy and think you will too.

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Bonus tip?

Psychotherapy is as individual as you are. We love meeting new people and hope that you choose TrueHope Psychology. Regardless of who you choose, it is important that you find a psychologist that is warm, compassionate, and makes you feel comfortable. Give us a call for a free discussion of your needs or to book an appointment now.

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