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 build 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 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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Kim Gillespie

TRAINED BY University of New south wales

BSW(Hons)(UNSW), MAASW, AMHSW

Senior Clinical Social Worker

Kim is a fully registered Accredited Mental Health Senior Social Worker with 25 years+ experience on Community Care Teams, Acute Care Team, CYMHS, Home-Based Treatment Team, Mental Health Intake, St Vincents Hospital, Royal North Shore Hospital and Gosford Mental Health Units. She has worked in private practice for 13 years. Kim has specialised in mental health throughout her career working within various private and public inpatient mental health wards for adult as well as youth as well as community and therapy teams. Kim has predominantly worked with those presenting with moderate to severe concerns and suicide/self harm risk as well as those presenting with significant complex traumas.

Kim’s down to earth approach has led to her being referred many clients who often find it difficult engaging in therapy, and her treatment outcomes have built her a positive reputation amongst referrers as well as clients of all ages. 

Kim works from a systems approach drawing her skills from different schools of thought such as cognitive behaviour therapy, solutions focused therapy, narrative therapy, trauma informed therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and schema focused therapy. 

Kim enjoys working with people with complex presentations and dual diagnosis, and specific interests include disabilities (NDIS provider), LGBTIQ+ and human diversity in all forms, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders, complex and recent trauma, mental health, Workcover, domestic violence, victims of crime, EAP/workplace counselling and clinical supervision.


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Ben Taylor

Trained by Macquarie university

B. Psych (Hons.)MPsychClin (in progress)

Provisional Psychologist, Clinical Psychology Intern

Ben has specialist training in clinical psychology and is currently completing his final semester of the Masters in Clinical Psychology at Macquarie University. He also holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) from Macquarie University.

Ben has worked therapeutically with children, adolescents, and adults, within individual and group-therapy formats and has experience in several settings including schools, community outreach centres, private hospitals and in occupational rehabilitation. Ben works with clients presenting with various concerns, including Depression, Chronic Pain, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, Schizophrenia, and Autism Spectrum Disorder.  

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 is trained in delivering psychological interventions within a Cognitive-Behavioural framework. He also has a special interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and mindfulness-based interventions for depression, trauma, and the anxiety disorders. Additionally, Ben has a special interest in health psychology, and has conducted research into the link between functional gastrointestinal disorders (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome) and the anxiety disorders. 


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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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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!


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Ryan Dodd

client relations, fourth year psychology student

Ryan is studying fourth year Honours in psychology at Macquarie University and is on track to complete a Masters of Clinical or Organisational Psychology in 2019. Ryan works between lectures and tutorials in our Client Relations team 3 - 4 days/week and full time in University holidays. 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!