WHO WE ARE

Meet our team

 
 

Dr Sharon Gold

B.A., Dip.Ed., GradDipPsych, B.A. (Psych)(Hons)., PhD (Science-Psychology), MAPS, MIACN

DIRECTOR, SENIOR Consultant PSYCHOLOGIST, board approved supervisor

Dr Sharon Gold is the Founder and Director of Live Better Psychology. Sharon is a senior consultant psychologist, Clinical Neuropsychotherapy Practitioner, APS Central Coast Committee Member and a board approved supervisor with 15 years experience. In her career, Sharon has gained experience working on the ward, in public health and occupational rehabilitation organisations and private practice.

From 2003 to 2015, while Sharon was in solo private practice, she built a strong reputation within the local Community of referrers and clients for her ability to treat clients with high intensity, dual diagnosis and complex needs.

Sharon works as an integrative therapist who favours a trans-diagnostic and personalised approach to treatment. This approach enables her to develop tailor-made treatment plans that focus on the unique experience of each client and draw from her clinically advanced training in Clinical Neuropsychotherapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapies, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Exposure Based Therapies, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Behavioural Activation Therapy, Schema-Focused Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Clinical Hypnosis and Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing Therapy. Sharon also has been deepening her therapy skills by training in the Gottman Method and Emotion-Focused Therapy for couples.  Currently, Sharon is commencing training in Trauma-Sensitive Yoga to pursue one of her passions: treating the impact of trauma in first responders and their families.

Sharon is always interested in clinical psychology, neuroscience and social psychology research that informs evidence-based best practice. In her doctoral research, she explored how to measure and predict the impact of people's perceptions of their actual and ideal social and task abilities on their behaviour in different social situations, including when these beliefs interacted with defensive processes. For example, Sharon was interested in finding ways to predict when an overweight person who was confident in their ability to control healthy eating and who valued having a healthy lifestyle, would actually binge eat repeatedly and thus, increase their risk of diabetes.

Sharon is fully registered with the Psychology Board of Australia  as Psychologist with General Registration and she is a Board approved supervisor for 4 + 2 and 5 +1 pathways as well as secondary supervisor for Clinical Registrars. Sharon has been a full member of the Australian Psychological Society for more than 20 years and she is a current member and has served on the professional development committee of the NSW Central Coast Branch of the APS several times. She is a full member of the International Association of Clinical Neuropsychotherapy, International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies, and the EMDR Association of Australia. 

Sharon has advanced clinical training in the treatment of Depression including Bipolar Disorders, all Anxiety Disorders including Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Complex Trauma, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Personality Disorders including Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Somatoform Disorders.

Special interests

Due to her personal experiences, Sharon is particularly interested in working with any First Responders from Police, Ambulance and Fire Brigade Services, Veterans, current Australian Defence Force personnel and their families, people who are suicidal and/or affected by alcohol, as well as those with a history of childhood trauma. Sharon also enjoys working therapeutically with couples and clients with relationship issues due to alcoholism, serious medical illnesses such as cancer, and clients who are dealing with insurance companies due to work injury, car accidents or workplace bullying. 

Sharon's therapeutic approach is informed by Clinical Neuropsychotherapy and she sees each client as unique and complex with his or her own genetic footprint, history and learning, beliefs, values and strengths. She applies the latest neuroscience on the neurobiology of wellness, memory, learning and brain conditions from anxiety to depression, trauma, the developing brain, ageing, attachment and the neuroscience of relationships to develop individual, tailored treatment plans for each of her clients. Sharon is passionate about helping clients to understand the effect of compromised versus enriched environments on their neural activation patterns and teaches them practical strategies that help them to rewire their brain and change their behaviour so that they can create enriched environments that facilitate wellness.


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Ben Taylor

Trained by Macquarie university

B. Psych (Hons.), MPsychClin., Assoc. MAPS

Registrar Clinical Psychologist

Ben is a registrar clinical psychologist. He completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) in 2013 from Macquarie University, and a Master of Clinical Psychology from Macquarie University in 2018. Ben is an Associate Member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), and is an accredited provider under Medicare.

Ben has worked therapeutically with children, adolescents, and adults, within individual and group-therapy formats. He has experience within several settings including schools, community outreach centres, universities, and private hospitals. Ben has worked therapeutically with clients presenting with various disorders, including Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, Schizophrenia, and Autism Spectrum Disorder.  

Ben has specialist training in clinical psychology. He is trained in psychological assessment and treatment of various disorders, and is experienced in intelligence testing, risk assessment, report writing, and cognitive assessment. Ben delivers evidenced-based interventions primarily within a cognitive-behavioural framework, including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Exposure and Response Prevention, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Ben has also completed training in perinatal mental health.

Ben has published peer-reviewed research in several international journals. His research has focused on areas such as human cognition and driving, post-traumatic growth, and the experiences of North Korean refugees within the international community.  Ben has also conducted research into the link between functional gastrointestinal disorders (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome) and the anxiety disorders.


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Jing Jiao

Trained by Macquarie University

B. Psych (Hons.), MProfPsych

Provisional Psychologist

Jing is a provisional psychologist who has recently completed her Masters of Professional Psychology at Macquarie University. She also holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) from Macquarie University.  

Jing has worked therapeutically with children, adolescents and adults presenting with Generalised and Social Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Learning Disorders, anger and attachment issues. She has been trained in delivering Cognitive Behaviour Therapy but has an interest in utilising an integrative, client-centred approach towards treatment.

Jing is especially focused on working with adolescents who struggle with mild to severe mental disorders, in an attempt to prevent and reduce symptoms. To assist this population, she works in private practice as well as school settings. 


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Jenna Wilson

Trained by University of New England

B Psych (Hons), Masters Professional Psychology (in progress)

Provisional Psychologist

Jenna is a provisional psychologist currently completing her final year of the Master of Professional Psychology at the University of New England. She also holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours).

Jenna has interest in working therapeutically with a range of clients, including adults who experience anxiety and depression. She uses evidence-based interventions to work collaboratively with individuals to achieve their goals.

 


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Max

Trained by Dr Sharon Gold

Therapy Dog in Training

Max is a Groodle puppy currently training to become a therapy dog.

Max is highly sociable, not only when he enthusiastically greets clients in reception, but also in session. He has a gift for sensing when clients are feeling distressed, and with Dr Sharon Gold's help, he is refining his skills in helping these clients to bring themselves back to a calm and collected state.


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Ryan Dodd

Executive Assistant/client relations, Psychology graduate

BPsych(Hons)(MQU)

Ryan has completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at Macquarie University, with his current ambition being to begin a Masters of Clinical or Professional Psychology in 2020. He is drawn to many areas of mental health, but is drawn especially to LGBTQI+ & adolescent issues, trauma, and anxiety disorders. His honours thesis explored the sociocultural influences on body image in transgender and gender-diverse people.

Ryan works as Executive Assistant, and in our Client Relations team as needed. Ryan has a friendly and warm manner and excellent administration skills.

He gives the best welcome to clients referred to our practice and he is amazing at helping our clients feel comfortable in reception when they are feeling anxious. Ryan makes a pretty good cappuccino for our clients too!


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Kelsie Passfield

Client Relations, Second Year Psychology Student

Kelsie is currently in her second year of studying a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at the University of Newcastle and is on track to complete her Masters in Neuropsychology in 2021. She is particularly passionate about the rehabilitation involved in post-trauma, but is drawn to all areas of mental health. She loves all people in general and is extremely passionate about helping people feel relaxed and welcome. 

Kelsie works 3 days a week in our Client Relations Team alongside her Psychology studies, and full-time throughout University holidays. She always welcomes with a bright smile, and with previous barista experience, you'll be welcomed with a tailored cup of coffee too!