Our Approach to Therapy

We aim to help our clients achieve a more satisfying life, taking into account their own values and goals – assisting them in identifying what they can change, as well as helping them to cope better with what they cannot change.

Although we do provide other therapies, we primarily use strategies drawn from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Cognitive therapy focuses on an individual’s unhelpful patterns of thinking, while behaviour therapy addresses associated actions. In combination, these two approaches can help to overcome a wide range of emotional and behavioural problems in children, adolescents and adults.

CBT is an active therapy, requiring people to work in collaboration with their therapist on change. In this way, you can learn skills to assist you in overcoming your current difficulties and those that you may face in the future. CBT focuses very much on the ‘here and now’, whilst developing an understanding of past styles of thinking and behaviour that have emerged over time. CBT is an evidence-based therapy – through extensive research it has been shown to be effective for many problems.

Our work also regularly incorporates mindfulness-based skills, which can assist in dealing with worries and other unhelpful thinking and assist in coping with emotional distress.

About Peter and Joanne

Peter and Joanne are experienced clinical psychologists, registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, and members of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), including the APS College of Clinical Psychologists.

Peter and Jo work with adults and adolescents to help them achieve a more satisfying life, taking into account their own values and goals – assisting them in identifying what they can change, as well as how to cope better with what they can’t. Peter and Jo have experience working with people who are troubled by depression and anxiety; workplace stress; anger; grief and loss; concerning health conditions; personality disorders; and changes in relationships. This includes experience with helping people to cope with, and reduce, the symptoms of panic attacks, generalised anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety, coping with traumatic events (including trauma focused psychological therapy for post traumatic stress disorder), compulsive behaviours, and substance use.

JG website photo

Mr Peter M Smith

Clinical Psychologist

BSc (Hons) MPsych (Clin), MAPS, FCCLP

Peter has been working in private practice for over twelve years, treating clients with a range of difficulties, particularly with anxiety and mood disorders. He has also worked in government settings. He holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours from Monash University and a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Swinburne University of Technology. Peter was the inaugural winner of the Australian Psychological Society College of Clinical Psychologists Student Prize at Swinburne for the quality of his study and clinical skill.  His research was focused on anxiety disorders in the area of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Peter has a particular interest in anxiety disorders and supporting clients to identify and address avoidance behaviours that contribute to and maintain their personal difficulties.

He previously worked at Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Australia at Mentone and with Joanne at Belgrave Psychology at Belgrave – which has now relocated to Boronia. Prior to work as a clinical psychologist, Peter worked in a range of consulting and business roles, including project management leading teams, marketing and communications, and planning – this has proven helpful in supporting clients who are dealing with workplace issues and difficulties with work-life balance.

Dr Joanne Griffith

Clinical Psychologist

BBSc (Hons) DPsych (Clin), MAPS, FCCLP

Joanne has been working as a private practitioner for over fourteen years and has clinical experience working in both suburban and rural settings. She has worked with clients across the lifespan believing that change is possible no matter what a person’s age.

Prior to working in private practice, Joanne worked as a clinical forensic psychologist in both inpatient and outpatient services. In these settings she provided assessment as well as individual and group psychological therapy for people with severe mental illness, substance use disorders, and offending behaviours.

Joanne obtained her Bachelor of Behavioural Science with Honours and her Doctor of Clinical Psychology at Monash University. She also holds a Diploma of Applied Science in Natural Therapies and is a strong believer in taking a holistic approach in assisting her clients to optimal well being.


Next Steps…

Have questions or want to book an appointment? Call 0411 400 391.