Matt provides our free “get to know us sessions” at Brisbane Counselling Centre
Why not pop in for a tea or coffee and a free chat with Dr Matt!
DPsych (Clinical), MSc (Psych) (with Commendation), BA (Hons) (Bus). Executive Coaching Programme (Distance) Cambridge University.
Levels 1, 2 and 3 of Gottman Couples Training.
9 Months Training (online) with Boston Trauma Centre Massachusetts, USA
Areas of Specialisation
- Couples Counselling
- Recovering from toxic relationships
- Self-Worth & Self-Esteem
- Strategies for dealing with narcissists & sociopaths
- Life direction & coaching
- Business/entrepreneur coaching & workplace issues
- Court reports
- Immigration reports
- Trauma, Anxiety, Depression & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or “PTSD” (Incl. Complex PTSD)
- He also has a great interest in applied neuroscience so often uses the brain based therapy EMDR for complex trauma.
“Does your partner not understand your needs?”
“Are you arguing over the smallest things?”
“Do you feel resentful towards your partner?
Are you walking around on eggshells?”
“Do you lack direction in your life?”
“Do you feel worthless?”
Learn Essential Skills To Deal With Low Self Worth With Dr Matt
Dr Matthew Worthington, Clinical Psychologist, understands that low self worth is at the root of relationship issues, low confidence, anxiety, addiction and depression. He teaches his clients essential skills to deal with low self worth. Matt has been researching self esteem for nearly four years. He has a deep understanding of self esteem. As such he can you practical suggestions for boosting your self esteem. He uses a unique combination of evolutionary psychology, neurotherapy, powerful motivational coaching and EMDR to help his clients break free from the shackles of low self worth.
Couples / Relationships
Matt has completed levels 1, 2 and 3 of Gottman Couples Training (Gottman Couples Counselling is based on over 40 years of scientific research on the behaviour of couples). He believes most relationships can be recovered from irreconcilable differences with help, as long as both partners are motivated to reunite, and there is no pathological violence, narcissistic abuse or ongoing affairs. “Most issues arise because we don’t, or don’t know how, to clearly express our own needs. Therefore we do not understand our partners needs, and these misunderstandings can lead to resentment & shame which can manifest or appear as anger & avoidance.
One of Matt’s best skills is helping couples to interpret their partner’s language and emotions to understand the hidden meanings? One of Matt’s favourite expressions is “There is always a reason for a behaviour but it is often not obvious.” Matt will provide you with a matrix tool and template he has developed for couples to explain your partner’s language and behaviour and to help your partner understand your needs, this makes recovery so much easier. Matt has refined his resources over many sessions of couple’s counselling and will give them to you on the first session. He is often booked out 4 or 5 weeks in advance, however we do keep a long waiting list for when cancellations come up. “It’s always best to call regularly and ask about cancellations and reschedules and I will do my best to fit you in.” He gives you the resources that you need in the first session to use right away and because they are effective you may not need to return. If you do want to return its best to book several sessions at a time with Matt as he books out so quickly.
Matt really loves his job as a psychologist, he lives and breathes it. He has only just stopped working 7 days a week and often says he is so privileged. He particularly likes couples counselling and brain based therapies. Psychology is the observation of behaviour and interpreting that behaviour. He likes couples counselling so much because he can observe behaviour and interpret it in real time. Matt says, “There is soooo much going on infront of me in a couple’s session and ultimately deep down we are all after the same thing – to feel safe (comfortable / content). Problems arise in relationships when we express our need to our partner and we are not understood.” Matt says its actually easier than what many people think to resolve relationship problems. Its all about understanding how to interpret each others needs.
Trauma is a raised heartbeat when you are upset. As children we have a lot of these situations. This is very important as a lot of faulty memories such as “I spilt some juice and am being smacked by Mum so I am bad”, occur. If there are repeated patterns of this type of upset overtime this leads to a belief “I am bad” or similar “I am not loveable”. Importantly we all experience trauma in childhood. Trauma is not restricted to being physically or sexually abused or other severe violence. Trauma can result from repeated criticism, repeated house moves, repeated school moves, Mum being away, Dad being away. Trauma can even occur from parents having a straight face. Here’s a YouTube link to “the still face experiment“. Adjusting our view of what trauma is can help with recovery.
Eye Movement Desensitisation (EMDR)
EMDR helps to change traumatic memories
For EMDR a good analogy Matt often gives to his clients is to consider multiple camp fires in a dense forest. The forest is your brain, the smoke your thoughts and emotions. All thoughts and emotions are a manifestation of the brain just like the smoke is a manifestation of the camp fire. White smoke represents positive thoughts and feelings and black smoke traumatic thoughts and feelings. Trauma often leads to lots of troubling thoughts, lots of black smoke which floods the forest. Before starting EMDR this is like standing on the edge of the forest.
During EMDR the client is asked to watch a light move from side to side or listen to tones. This leads to an opening up of the memory, its like travelling into the forest, each camp fire represents a memory, and EMDR is like going back through time very very quickly towards the source of the black smoke. The client’s own brain then repairs the faulty memory, it removes any toxic fuel that is on any fires producing black smoke and there is a deep felt sense of resolution. The client will often feel a deep shift for example, shifting from “I am bad” to “I am not bad, I was treated badly” or “I am not bad and that situation does not define me”. This is important because often before a first session of EMDR clients say “I know rationally I am a good person but I don’t feel it”, this is not the case after EMDR. Its important to know that there is very little talking in the session, the client comes to their own resolution. This is not hypnosis this very strongly evidenced based trauma treatment as supported by many research studies.
Matt is regularly requested to write reports for clients’ court cases. If you require this service please call 07 3831 4452 and ask to speak to Matt regarding a court report.
“Being a good psychologist, its just about being human and having lots of life experiences”
~ Dr Matt Worthington
Matt is one of our busiest psychologists. He is 50 years of age and hails from the home of the Beatles, Liverpool, North of England. Like all Liverpudlians, he is best known for his likeable natural warm, cheeky sense of humour which is typical of his Liverpool/Irish origins. A word of warning sometimes there is far too much laughter coming from Matt’s office : ) He is a brilliant motivator and has a real “can do” attitude when overcoming challenges. Matt walks the walk as well as talks the talk. His resourcefulness stems from his interesting and varied life experiences
“I have failed many times and need to fail a lot more yet. Failure, its just an experience. Losing a business is devastating the thoughts about trying again are draining but somehow you pick yourself up and dust yourself down and move on to the next thing. The strongest swords are made in the hottest furnaces.”
In his very young years age 8 he was making toys and selling them to neighbours. At 9 he rode almost 40 km on his bike to his grandfathers when he got there he was told “you can have a cup of tea and then ride straight home”. At 18 he overcame a childhood trauma of almost drowning and became a scuba diver. At 19 he received a commendation for bravery for going to the aid of some young women who were being attacked by a group of men. He has also travelled widely and had some amazing adventures. At 21 he hitchhiked 16,000 km around America for the first 8,000 he had no money as he lost everything in his first week. Nevertheless he pushed on without money, every day he hitched and families would pick him up and take him home he even managed to get a free flight! At 22 he had travelled the world and drove from Darwin down the centre of Australia in an old Toyota and hitched from Adelaide to Sydney. One time he was homeless on Hawaii and lived on Waikiki Beach. He has also served as a police officer and in the military, he has worked in sales and owned several businesses. When he was in his 20’s he had a $2 million mail order business that he started with just a few hundred dollars. During his thirties he rode a Harley Davidson across America. He also had a highly successful life coaching business. While travelling through London one rainy night he decided to take off to Asia he taught English as a foreign language. He wanted a university job in Asia but other more experienced teachers who had been there for years kept telling Matt he would need many years experience before he could get a university job – within 5 months of leaving London he was working at a top university in Thailand.
“People who say something can’t be done just leave plenty of opportunities for the one’s who say it can be done”
After graduating from his Masters in Psychology he was in a job interview and doubled his salary “by literally crossing a line” please get him to tell you this amazing story! He hopes to go to the North Pole soon, he says he wants to sit on top of the world and I wouldn’t be surprised if he had done this before breakfast tomorrow. Matt has a flexible, down to earth, warm, easy going, value based and compassionate approach to best accommodate his clients.
“being a psychologist is just about being human”.
He strongly believes that the therapist’s personality, ability to build rapport and relate to a client’s world-view are of utmost importance in therapy. He is effective at quickly getting to the root of his clients’ worries and drawing on a range of evidence based interventions to assist his clients to cope with their issues. Matt is particularly adept at helping individual clients and couples with finding a sense of meaningfulness. Matt likes to help clients to accept themselves for who they are. Self acceptance is so important. When we accept ourselves for who we are we like ourselves. We have confidence so we can stop “people pleasing” and not fear saying what we want to say to our partners and friends. Matt also uses the latest advanced technology (developed through Japanese governmental research) to help people deal with their fears and anxieties.
Two of Dr Matt’s life goals are to trek to the North Pole and climb Mount Everest.
Qualifications & Research
Matt is a fully registered clinical psychologist with AHPRA. He has also completed training as a supervisor for trainee clinical psychologists. He obtained his doctorate in clinical psychology after 5 gruelling years of study and clinical training at James Cook University. He has worked mostly in private practice as well as James Cook University and the medical centre at Queensland University of Technology. He has experience with a wide range of issues and is particularly effective with treating couples, anxiety related matters and workplace bullying.
He achieved a Masters degree with a Commendation in Psychology from the University of Hertfordshire (UK). This uni is known for the high calibre of its psychology training and is home to the world famous psychologists Professor Richard Wiseman and Oxford University Experimental Psychologist Professor Ben Fletcher, who was Matt’s supervisor.
His doctorate research is titled “Why Don’t You Just Stop Drinking?”. He worked closely with Alcoholics Anonymous and asked chronic alcohol users and clinicians for their views on the barriers to stop drinking. He found that there was a general lack of awareness of “denial”. From his research he developed a “denial spectrum” which he hopes to publish. Denial is typified by minimisation and rationalisation of alcohol use, it is an unintentional subconscious state. In some cases it is a way of avoiding the pain of alcohol withdrawal. In other cases the effects of alcohol (intoxication) may well be masking painful memories of trauma which is often the case with PTSD. Denial can also be a symptom of brain injury caused by chronic alcohol use.
Matt believes in continuous improvement and is always training. He has completed an intensive 9 month course of training with the world famous “Trauma Centre at the Justice Resource Institute”, Boston, USA, renowned for trauma research. The Trauma Centre is directed by Harvard Psychiatrist Professor Bessel Van Der Kolk who is amongst the top specialists globally in the trauma field and author of the book regarded as the bible on trauma, “The Body Keeps The Score”. Dr Bessell Van Der Kolk strongly recommends EMDR for trauma. Matt has completed training in Executive Coaching with Cambridge University in England. He trained in hypnotherapy with the Holmes Clinic, Beverley Hills, California. Matt has also trained in high intensity cognitive behaviour therapy with the National Health Service (UK). Prior to coming to Brisbane Counselling Centre Matt was a senior psychologist within a university counselling centre. He has just been accepted to study for the Diploma in Law (one of the oldest Law qualifications in Australia) at the Law Extension Committee based at the University of Sydney as he has a keen interest in human rights and health law.
Dr Matt Worthington in the news, media and public engagements
Matt is one of our busiest psychologists and we get some great feedback. He frequently provides presentations within workplaces for staff well-being. He recently presented at the Brisbane Police Academy on the subject of trauma and it’s treatments. Matt is regularly consulted by the media for his opinion. Recent media articles featuring Dr Matt Worthington, “How to train your brain to reach 2017 health goals” and “how to use consumer bias to maximise conversion rates“. Another is one of Matt’s ground breaking innovative corporate presentations to a large Human Resources Group, “Future People Attachment Styles and Leadership Matt Worthington“.
Matt has also been featured on ABC Radio, Bay FM, Channel 7 and Chanel 9 news. He believes strongly in giving back so he is happy to give free presentations to organisations & groups for worthy causes. Reviews are also available on Google Reviews
Areas of counselling offered by Matt include:
- relationship issues / couples counselling
- breakthrough sessions for low self-esteem & self worth issues
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- overcoming traumatic incidents (such as car accidents and robberies)
- dealing with narcissists in your life
- painful memories
- dating confidence
- people pleasing
- lack of assertiveness
- abusive relationship issues
- grief therapy
- motivation issues
- workplace issues such as bullying
- finding personal values and life’s direction
- habit breaking & addictions (including gambling)
- academic issues
- executive coaching
- Psychology Student Supervision
- Court reports
- Reports for visa issues
- Employment related
Psychological Interventions include:
- Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
- Clinical Hypnotherapy
- Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Applied Neuroscience
- Levels 1, 2 and 3 of Gottman Couples Training
Dr Matt is available Thursdays to Sundays. He is also available to provide phone or Skype consultations.
If you would like to make an appointment with Dr Matthew, please call us on (07) 3831 4452