Dr Terry Olesen

Psychologist – BA (Hons), M Psych,  PhD Psych, MAPS.

Hello! I am a nationally registered psychologist with over 25 years of experience in helping people via psychology-based counselling.

To help you decide if seeing me would be worthwhile, I provide a personal snapshot on myself below.

People come to me with what I call a ‘life situation knot’. That is, they come into the office feeling stymied (stuck), distraught, sad or angry. This is the ‘inside half’ of the story.

And at the same time, there is an outside half of the story. For example, the loss of a job, death in the family, ongoing tensions with the spouse or boss, etc. In my long experience, there is usually a number of factors at play.

To further complicate things these factors float in and out of awareness as per this illustration:

Terry Oleson Brisbane Psychologist - philosophy

Via therapy sessions I help each client to discover their knots, to understand, and then “untie” them.

In this process, I usually begin with helping the client to learn how to settle (calm) their minds, so they can see reality.

I then use various methods to help each client to realise that:

  1. They always have choices (freedom) to see things differently;
  2. They always have freedom to act/behave differently; and
  3. There is always a greater set of mental or emotional coping skills than they have employed, or can employ in the future.

An additional side benefit is that I can also show you how to lift the diamond into fuller awareness, in order to  “loosen the knot” – or even cut it up and let go of it.

Your First Session

In the first session or two, we get to know each other. I will inquire about your personal and family history, and how you define your issue or worries.

By the end of Session One we will come to understand your knot, and from there I will ask you to co-construct a draft treatment plan (a mutually written plan specifying goals and actionable steps).

In subsequent sessions we will implement  the treatment in a step-wise measured way, so as to better understand the knot as well as test ways to  loosen the knot’s strands.

Loosening is most often achieved as you learn various cognitive (mental and emotional) strategies, practise coping skills in session, and resolve to explore life resources.

Along the way I find it very useful to discover what your dreams and values are. This can be really helpful as I have found clients can endure quite a bit of confusion, setbacks or pain if they first outline and commit to what their deeper dreams and values are.

I work from a psycho-social-spiritual perspective. I bring into each session an attitude of helpfulness and respect towards my clients. To further this I explain things in practical, poetic and/or pictorial ways, to help each client understand what is being done with them (as opposed to: to them or for them).

My Underlying Philosophy

Remember that life is a journey. We all move through similar stages and trials, till death invites us to walk through another Door.

During the journey, your job is to learn and grow, and help others to learn and grow. Therapy is a joint adventure in which both of us grow, in which both of us become more alive, more compassionate,  more fully aware.

I find a “life as journey” perspective particularly useful in helping us both grasp how your life experiences have fashioned you into the person you present to the world now.

In therapy, I act as the Sherpa or Mountain Guide for you. My role is to help you not only objectively review your past ‘knots or turns’, but also to help you anticipate and deal with future knots and turns, using your values as a kind of compass to guide you once you leave therapy.

In our sessions, I try to maximise your personal agency and sense of control – first, by allowing you to set the pace as we won’t need to do everything at once. Better to work like the Tortoise rather than the Hare.

Secondly, at the beginning and end of most sessions I will ask you to mark our sessional progress on a feedback sheet. That way, we can correct things should either of us go off topic, or you feel things are not progressing well.

Above all, I want you to feel heard and genuinely supported in addressing internal and external challenges.

My Therapeutic Approaches

For those who like to read a little self-help or popular psychology, the therapies I employ include (but are not limited to):

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT);
  • Interpersonal [Relationships] Therapy;
  • Exposure Therapy;
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT);
  • Brief Solution-Focussed Therapy; and
  • Humanistic/Existential Therapy.

Services I Provide

My areas of interest and experience are wide-ranging and include the following:

  • Boys and Men’s Health (ages 13 and above)
    • Anger Origins and Control
    • Changes during Puberty
    • Relationships and Sex
    • Emotional Self-Regulation
    • Male Friendships and Male Culture
    • Online Addictions (eg Gaming/Pornography)
  • Couples Counselling (after 1 December)
  • Creativity Blockages and Releases
    • Writers / Poets
    • Artists
    • Musicians
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Counselling
    •  by prior vetting and discussion/approval, voluntary clients only
  • School/College Issues
    • Student Attendance
    • Peer Group Relations (Friendships, Social Upskilling)
    • Bullying /Intimidation
    • Classroom Behaviours
    • Family Support for Homework/Study
    • Sports and Study
    • Learning Difficulties
    • Anxiety & Fear of Failure
    • Student-Teacher Relations
    • Study Habits
    • Procrastination
    • IQ/Aptitude/Career Testing
  • Mood Realignment
    • For Anxiety
    • For Jealousy
    • For Shame
    • For Depression
    • For Anger
    • Other emotional states and schemas
  • Workplace Injury & Recovery (including workcover insurance)
  • Career/Work  Issues
    • Career Assessment
    • Career Transitioning
    • Coping with Redundancy
    • Career Stuckness/Immobility
    • Retirement, Semi-retirement, Downshifting
    • Work Life Balance (including child and elder care)
  • Family Counselling (after 01 January 2018)
  • Gambling
  • Homosexuality and Transgenderism
    • Understanding and Questions Regarding Sexual Identity/Orientation
    • Handling Shame and Self Doubt
    • Building Self Acceptance/ Self-Love
    • Educating Family, Friends, Culture
  • Phobias, Specific Fears or Situations
  • Health and Stress Reduction
    • Sleep Disorders/Repair
    • Dietary Change / Weight Loss
    • Hormonal/Thyroid/Adrenal Depletion
    • Exercise (Remedial and Progressive)
  • Existential and Humanistic Issues
    • Death and dying
    • Chronic Illness
    • Ageing
    • Loss of Loved One (Grieving)
    • Meaning /Purpose/ Making Sense
    • World Events (wars, crime, news events, global warming)
    • Spiritual Events (dreams, apparitions, paranormal)
  • Migration into Australia
    • Cultural Norms of Australia
    • Making Adjustments to New Homes
    • Homesickness
    • Maintaining One’s Cultural Identity; Rebuilding Identity
    • Negotiating with Institutions (police, schools, Medicare, hospitals, etc)
    • Visas
  • Mindfulness
    • Understanding Mindfulness
    • Mindfulness Exercises
    • Integrating Mindfulness into your Daily Life
    • Meditation
    • Stress Reduction and Minfulness
  • Post Traumatic Stress (vetting required)
    • EMDR
    • Narrative Therapy for PTSD
    • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
  • Stress Reduction
    • (see Health and Stress Reduction; see Mindfulness)
  • Work, Unemployment, Underemployment
    • (see Career/Work Issues)

Bookings and Fees: To make an appointment with Brisbane Psychologist Dr Terry Olesen, try Online Booking – Loganholme or call M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129.