Kate Palmer

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As an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, Art Therapist and Acceptance and Commitment Therapist I’ve been providing targeted mental health support to children /young adults and their families over the past ten years. Predominantly working in paediatric and young adult health, specialising in paediatric oncology, rehabilitation and young adult mental health. In collaboration with my patients I offer Art Therapy, Interpersonal Counselling (IPT), Emotion Focussed Therapy (EFT), Somatic Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Grief and Loss Counselling, Mindfulness based therapies, Group therapy and Trauma informed Therapy. I also provide professional supervision to Social Workers, Counsellors and Art Therapists looking to develop and improve their skills and knowledge.

I gained my undergraduate Social Work Degree in 2010 from the University of Queensland. In 2016 while working in the Paediatric Brain injury unit, it was clear that patients needed a non-verbal option for therapy and so decided to undertake a Masters in Mental Health and Art Therapy to equip me with the skills I was seeking to provide non-verbal therapy. Through this journey, I have had the opportunity to establish the Art Therapy program in the Mater Young Adult centre and run clinical research alongside the University of Queensland looking at the efficacy of Art Therapy and Creative Approaches in Health care.

Art therapy is a powerful modality that can offer a unique way for patients to explore, express and process difficult emotions and life experiences. Sometimes words aren’t enough, or there simply are no words to describe a situation. This modality allows you to move past the words and explore this using a variety of art mediums. Art Therapy is about giving you a different way of communicating and expressing yourself. It will look really different for each person. I like to think about it in the sense that it allows you to Experience, Process and Explore using art. The way patients use art to express and process is incredible and offers something so unique. You don’t need to be good at art, or have a creative bone in your body. Its very much about the process of using materials and art making to explore, express and process.

No two clients are the same, and so my approach reflects this, tailoring my practice and approach to meet each client’s individual needs. Recognising that accessing therapeutic support can be daunting and often a very new experience for some. My hope is that by creating a peaceful, safe and nurturing space that clients will feel comfortable to explore and process these difficult emotions and life experiences.

I’m a Medicare Provider, thus allowing patients to access rebates through the Medicare Better mental health scheme. I also see clients under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) who are self-managed or plan managed.

I provide psychological support for: 

  • Bereavement & Grief/Loss
  • Medical trauma and anxiety related to medical treatments and hospital admissions
  • Difficulties with school engagement and attendance
  • Significant life transitions (e.g. marital breakdown, identity transitions like parenthood, transition into adulthood, work finding etc)
  • Anxiety disorders (General Anxiety, Social Phobia and Panic)
  • Anxiety related disorders (OCD and PTSD)
  • Depression
  • Childhood issues
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Impacts of Chronic Health Conditions (inc. Chronic pain)
  • Social Isolation
  • Support during Palliative Care/Carer & sibling support
  • Family counselling
  • Specialized in working with Paediatrics (0-16 years) and Young Adults (age 15-25 yrs) but also happy to see patients outside this age range

Professional Affilliations:

  • Member of the Australian Association of Social Workers
  • Accredited Mental Health Social Worker