Positive behaviour support

A behaviour management approach which focuses on understanding what individuals are trying to achieve by their behaviour. Problem behaviour persists because it serves a purpose and is an attempt to meet a person’s needs, however imperfectly. Psychologists work to understand the individual’s motivations and reinforce more constructive methods. This approach has proven useful in addressing…

Motivational interviewing

A psychological approach that assists in behaviour change by focusing on a person’s motivations for problem behaviour, examining the consequences of it and addressing their ambivalence about making positive change. The approach arose from work in the area of substance abuse and is now thought to be effective in addressing bullying and the management of…


Bullying occurs when an individual or group repeatedly behaves towards a specific individual with the intention of causing harm or distress. This can include physical, verbal, social or online attacks. Psychological research has shown that being bullied, being a bully or witnessing bullying are all associated with negative effects on mental health.


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is published by the American Psychiatric Society as a classification and diagnostic tool for mental health professionals. The fifth edition, known as the DSM-5, was published in 2013 after a long period of research, consultation and some controversy. It is one of the potential reference tools used…


Aviophobia – or fear of flying – is a type of anxiety disorder. Even though flying is one of the safest methods of travel, somewhere between one in four and one in 12 people are concerned about flying to the extent that they won’t travel by plane, fly uncomfortably or have to self-medicate in order to fly.

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In psychological terms, interventions describe actions or therapies undertaken to bring about positive change in behaviour, thoughts or feelings.  Once a difficulty, disorder or developmental issue has been recognised, a psychologist would recommend a proven ‘intervention’ – course of action or activity.  For example, for children with autism this might be a particular focus on…


Psychologists are university-educated experts in human behaviour, emotions and mental processes. They work with people across the lifespan to help individuals to improve their lives.  Psychologists work in a vast range of settings including hospitals, community settings, private practice, correctional facilities, schools, the defence forces, research centres, government departments and organisations. Psychologists have a minimum…


Evidence-based refers to any information or practice that is based on a strong research foundation  that has been tested.  Psychologists often talk about ‘evidence-based’ practice which means using treatments, interventions or strategies that have been rigorously tested.