Carla SarkisCarla's qualifications are a Bachelor of Economics and Social Science with Honours in Psychology from Sydney University, a Masters degree in Organisational Psychology from the University of New South Wales and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Charles Sturt University.
Carla has worked as a psychologist for over ten years in various capacities ranging from psychiatric inpatient facilities to private practice. Early in her career she also worked in psychological injury management and return to work, and prior to that in human resources and governmental advisory and policy development roles.
As psychologist and team leader in a psychiatric inpatient unit, Carla provided short-term therapy for acute distress as well as longer-term therapy towards treatment and recovery for various high severity and chronic psychological conditions. These included depression and other mood disorders, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, personality and relational disturbances, trauma and posttraumatic stress and other psychological difficulties that significantly impact on sufferers' lives.
In addition to providing therapy and treatment Carla undertook ongoing research into the latest treatment protocols for patients experiencing acute and chronic mental health conditions. She also supervised other psychologists and participated in strategic planning and development of psychological services of the unit. As part of this role she developed treatment program content, including treatments for mood and anxiety disorders, relapse prevention and group Schema Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder.
As a Clinical Psychologist Registrar Carla worked in a dedicated anxiety clinic providing cognitive behavioural treatments for people with anxiety disorders ranging in age from 6-55 years. Her role involved diagnostic assessment and treatment of anxiety conditions including Generalised Anxiety Disorder (excessive worry), Panic Attacks, Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders of childhood.
In private practice Carla has provided short and long-term therapy for a wide variety of issues and individuals who present with complex emotional and psychological needs and / or current life stressors. Such issues include depression, anxiety, anger and emotional disturbances, relationship difficulties, life stress, self-esteem / sense of self issues, grief and loss, life transitions & change, physical health issues (e.g. eating and sleep related disturbances), self harm, unhelpful coping behaviours and issues relating to childhood and disrupted attachments.
In both hospital and private settings Carla has worked with children as well as adults and couples as well as individuals. Her experience with both individuals and couples incorporates a wide range of relationship difficulties. She enjoys complexity and is skilled at responding in an attuned fashion to the dynamics of relationships and the distinct needs of individuals.
Carla's work encompasses a range of interventions drawn from an evidence base to address the whole person and their presenting difficulties. Her approach integrates many differing schools of psychotherapy and is informed by psychoanalytic literature, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Schema Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness and Brief Solution Focused Therapies, adapted as necessary to individual client needs.
Carla's approach is to work together to provide an empathic, genuine and mutual understanding of a person's difficulties, with a view to enhancing personal growth and personal meaning, and enriching relationships with oneself and others. Through a better understanding of themselves, other people and their relationships Carla helps her clients to begin to discover and live from a place of their own authentic self. She believes in building a safe therapeutic relationship as an important first step in this process.
Carla is fully registered with the Psychology Board of Australia and the Australian Psychological Society.