About Me

I have a life-long interest in psychology and human consciousness. I have studied psychology both within a modern Western science-based framework and a depth & archetypal framework that focuses more on the unconscious, the inner life, spirituality and subjective experience, drawing on Western and Eastern practices and philosophies. Although there are important philosophical differences, both Western and Eastern approaches are valuable. Modern scientific research supports the physical and psychological health benefits of traditional Eastern spiritual practices such as pranayama (yoga breathing) and mindfulness meditation. These practices have been incorporated into modern psychological evidence-based therapies.

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I have studied formally and independently in my quest to broaden my knowledge, skills and experience. I completed my formal academic training as a mature-aged student. My work, in various settings, over the past 25 years has involved providing psychological assessment and therapy, counselling, teaching and supervising students, participating in peer consultation and assisting with psychological research. I have a special interest in and extensive training and clinical experience working with mood and anxiety disorders, eating/dieting disorders, body image & weight concerns (using an evidenced-based, non-diet approach), and psychological adjustment to life changes, medical conditions, injuries and disability (including supporting carers).

I view psychological therapy and counselling as an art and a science as it involves engaging and working collaboratively with clients and adapting research based information to individual client needs. I don’t do “cookbook” or “one size fits all” therapy, or try to fit individual clients into rigid theoretical or therapeutic frameworks. My approach is bio-psycho-social/holistic and I tailor therapy to the specific needs of individuals in the context of their diverse life circumstances and environments. I integrate all of my knowledge and experience from formal and independent study in my practice. I am committed to using ethical and qualitative & quantitative evidenced-based methodologies. I engage in continuing professional development and peer consultation and update my knowledge and skills according to the relevant current literature.

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Although I enjoy assisting people with resolving and overcoming psychological problems where possible, I also recognise that there are challenging life circumstances, conditions, illnesses, injuries and disabilities that may not ever, or for the time being, be able to be completely resolved, cured or healed. I am particularly passionate about helping people manage and integrate these experiences with a focus on finding meaning, self-development, coping with suffering and uncertainties, improving quality of life and enhancing self-compassion.

Lesley Russell Qualifications & Experience

Academic Qualifications & Training:

  • Bachelor of Arts, Honours (Psychology) – University of Sydney, 1996
  • Master of Psychology (Clinical) with Merit – University of Sydney, 1998

Academic Awards:

  • Dean’s List of Scholars, Faculty of Education, University of Sydney, 1995
  • Headfort School Prize for Education, University of Sydney, 1995

Endorsement by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)


  • Area of Practice: Clinical Psychology
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    • Psychology Board of Australia –http://www.psychologyboard.gov.au– Registration Number: PSY0001320659
    • Health Insurance Commission (Medicare) Registration Provider Number: 2576124H

    Professional Memberships:


    • Interview in article, “I always cry on my birthday so I asked a psychologist why”, by Lucy Cocoran, on Whimn (with her in mind) website, 24/3/2020: https://www.whimn.com.au/strength/mind/i-always-cry-on-my-birthday-so-i-asked-a-psychologist-why/news-story/ff73499c530fdbad1eed8bbee8df130c
    • Interview in article, “How to tell if you are dealing with a somatic narcissist”, by Lucy Cocoran, on Body and Soul website, 5/2/2020:https://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/sex-relationships/relationships/how-to-tell-if-youre-dealing-with-a-somatic-narcissist/news-story/c594a4bb4cf21b1d1b039139e2683313
    • Interview in article about orthorexia, (an unhealthy obsession with “health”), “Teens chase counselling for addiction to ‘healthy diets'”, by Julie Cross, The Manly Daily, 19/05/2019.
    • Interview in article about the effect of photo-shop on girls’ self-esteem, “Picture Perfect”, Girlfriend Magazine, April 2013.
    • Letter about body image and psychological problems, “Hawko Controversy Misplaced”, The Manly Daily, 07/01/2010
    • Bornholt, Brake, Thomas, Russell, Madden,Anderson, Kohn & Clarke (2005). Understanding affective and cognitive self evaluations about the body for adolescent girls. British Journal of Health Psychology, Vol 10, No 4: 485-503.
    • Russell, Bornholt & Ouvrier (2002). Brief cognitive screening and self concepts for children with low intellectual functioning. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 41: 93-104.
    • Ideas to manage your fear of needles. Pamphlet, Westmead Hospital and Community Services, 1998.
    • Letter about research and treatment of eating disorders, Victims of Culture, Sydney Morning Herald, 20/06/1996

    Experience as a Clinical Psychologist:

    • Community Adult Mental Health providing assessment and therapy for individuals, couples and groups with a range of psychological problems and mental illnesses.
    • TAFE Counsellor at Bradfield Senior College working with adolescents with psychological, learning & personal problems (and counselling their parents).
    • Brain Injury Rehabilitation for adults, adolescents and their partners/families, assisting with adjustment to mood and behavioral problems related to traumatic brain injury.
    • Drug and Alcohol Service (Non-Government Organisation) providing psychological assessments for clients and mentoring to counselling staff.
    • Private Practice since 2002 (full-time from March 2012), providing psychological assessment, therapy & counselling to adolescents, adults, couples and parents for a range of psychological disorders, problems and issues (including being a registered provider of psychological treatment for WorkCover, and assessment & counselling services for Victims Services – victims of violent crime. Please note I no longer provide services under WorkCover or Victims Services).

    Experience as an Intern Psychologist:

    • Community Adult Mental Health
    • Community Adolescent Mental Health
    • Acute Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Unit
    • Gynecological Oncology

    Contact Lesley Russell on 0412 638 749 or lesley@lesleyrussell.com.au or fill in my form.


    Endorsement by the Australian Health
    Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
    Area of Practice: Clinical Psychology
    > Psychology Board of Australia
    > Health Insurance Commission (Medicare)

    Contact Me

    8/294 Sydney Rd, Balgowlah NSW 2093
    P: 0412 638 749
    Email me:
    or complete my enquiry form.

    Professional Memberships

    > The Australian Psychological Society (APS)
    > The APS College of Clinical Psychologists
    > Australia & New Zealand Academy for
    Eating Disorders (ANZAED

    © Copyright Lesley Russell 2024.