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It's inevitable that as you become experienced in anything, you develop natural affinities with particular elements of what you do. Psychology is no different, and here are the areas in which I have the most affinity and in which I've concentrated my on-going training. 

Couples Relationships

Couples counselling, is a therapeutic process aimed at improving relationships between two people. To support this delicate and transformative process, I utilise the works of Sue Johnston and Esther Parel.

Sue Johnston, a renowned relationship therapist and founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), believes in creating a safe space where partners can openly express their thoughts and emotions. EFT emphasises the importance of active listening, as it allows couples to understand each other's perspectives more deeply. The method encourages effective communication techniques such as using "I" statements, which can foster understanding and reduce defensiveness.


EFT promotes collaboration, helping couples navigate conflict and find mutually beneficial resolutions.


Esther Perel (EP), a well-known relationship expert, offers a unique perspective on couples counseling. Her focus is on the intricacies of desire, intimacy, and infidelity in relationships. EP recognises that relationships evolve, and that maintaining desire requires continuous effort. Her technique encourages couples to explore their needs, desires, and boundaries, creating a space for vulnerability and open conversations about sexuality and intimacy. We may also challenge traditional notions of gender and monogamy, which allows couples to redefine their relationship dynamics.

Cleandra Waldron Counselling Psychologist
Cleandra Waldron Counselling Psychologist

In couples counselling sessions, I may incorporate various therapeutic techniques from either EFT or EP, depending on the specific needs of the couple. These techniques can include:

  • EFT: we focus on identifying and understanding the underlying emotions that drive conflicts within a relationship. Exploring these emotions, I support couples with developing greater empathy and creating a stronger emotional bond.

  • Narrative Therapy: involves exploring the stories couples tell themselves about their relationship. By examining these narratives, I enable couples to challenge negative patterns and co-create new, more positive stories that foster growth and connection.

  • Mindfulness and Self-Awareness: I will facilitate the learning of mindfulness techniques to help couples become more present and attuned to their own emotions and the emotions of their partner.

  • Homework Assignments: To support the progress made in therapy sessions, I may suggest specific activities or exercises for couples to work on between sessions. These assignments can include communication exercises, intimacy-building activities, or exploring individual interests to foster personal growth.

With courage and guidance, we will embark on a journey of self-discovery, improved communication, and deepened intimacy, together we will work towards building healthier and more fulfilling relationships.


Resilience & Self Esteem

Self-esteem refers to the overall evaluation and perception of oneself. It encompasses the beliefs and feelings we hold about our worth, capabilities, and value as individuals. Self-esteem is a fundamental aspect of our psychological well-being and plays a crucial role in shaping our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours.

When we have healthy self-esteem, we possess a genuine sense of self-acceptance, self-respect, and self-confidence. It involves recognizing our strengths, accomplishments, and positive qualities, while also acknowledging our imperfections and areas for growth. Healthy self-esteem enables us to embrace our unique identities and engage with the world around us from a place of authenticity and self-assurance.

On the other hand, low self-esteem can have a detrimental impact on our mental and emotional well-being. It involves a negative self-perception, self-doubt, and a constant sense of inadequacy or self-criticism. Individuals with low self-esteem may struggle with feelings of unworthiness, self-sabotage, and difficulty asserting their needs or boundaries. This can lead to various challenges in relationships, career, and personal fulfillment.

Cleandra Waldron Counselling Psychologist
Cleandra Waldron Counselling Psychologist

Throughout the therapeutic process, I encourage clients to practice self-care, engage in self-reflection, and set realistic goals for personal growth. I provide support and guidance as they navigate their journey towards improved self-esteem, reminding them that change takes time and effort.

Through integrating the approaches of Virginia Satir and Salvador Minuchin, I strive to create a therapeutic experience that promotes self-discovery, self-acceptance, and empowerment. By addressing the underlying systemic dynamics and fostering a nurturing therapeutic relationship, I help individuals with low self-esteem build a stronger foundation of self-worth and develop healthier ways of relating to themselves and others.

I utilise therapeutic interventions that focus on building resilience, promoting positive self-talk, and fostering a healthy sense of self-worth. Ultimately, the goal is to develop a strong and balanced self-esteem that supports overall well-being and empowers us to lead fulfilling lives.



Trauma can be defined as an overwhelming experience or series of experiences that exceed a person's ability to cope and disrupt their sense of safety, connection, and control. It can result from various events, such as physical or sexual abuse, neglect, witnessing violence, natural disasters, or combat. Trauma affects individuals on multiple levels, including their physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being.

I treat trauma using a holistic approach. To best support my clients, I incorporate insights from Judith Herman, Janina Fisher, and Dr Bruce Perry. These experts emphasize the importance of understanding trauma as a complex interplay between neurobiology, psychology, and social context.

Some of the key principles that inform my treatment of people with trauma:


  • Establishing Safety: I believe creating a safe and supportive therapeutic environment is crucial. This involves building trust together, validating experiences, and ensuring physical and emotional safety.

  • Stabilisation: Trauma dysregulates the nervous system, leading to symptoms like hypervigilance, anxiety, and dissociation. Therefore I use techniques such as grounding exercises, mindfulness, and breathing exercises to help regulate the nervous system and provide stability

  • Processing Traumatic Memories: Because trauma memories are often fragmented, disorganized, and stored in nonverbal forms. I highlight the significance of safely and gradually processing these memories to reduce emotional intensity.

Cleandra Waldron Counselling Psychologist
Cleandra Waldron Counselling Psychologist
  • Rebuilding Relationships: Trauma can damage a person's ability to trust and form healthy connections with others. Restoring social support networks and addressing attachment-related issues are essential. I work to understand and support the significance of nurturing secure relationships to facilitate healing and resilience.

  • Meaning-Making and Integration: Helping survivors make sense of their trauma and integrate their experiences into their personal narratives is crucial for healing. This process involves exploring the impact of trauma on one's beliefs, values, and identity. By incorporating techniques from narrative therapy and cognitive restructuring, I can assist individuals in reframing their experiences and finding meaning in their recovery journey.

Because it is vital that trauma treatment be tailored to individual needs, I always consider cultural, developmental, and contextual factors when creating a plan for treatment. I use collaboration to ensure the therapy process aligns with the survivor's goals and preferences.

I use a soft and empathetic approach, drawing from the research to create a compassionate therapeutic environment where trauma survivors can embark on a journey of healing, resilience, and reclaiming their lives


PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), can develop in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event or experienced a series of events throughout their lives. Both are characterized by a range of symptoms that persist beyond the immediate aftermath of the trauma/s. These symptoms can significantly impact a person's daily functioning and overall well-being. According to Bessel van der Kolk, a renowned psychiatrist and trauma expert, who has extensively studied the effects of trauma on the human brain and body, (book – The Body Keeps the Score). 


PTSD/CPTSD occurs when an individual's normal coping mechanisms are overwhelmed by the intense emotional and physical distress caused by a traumatic event or events. These events may include experiences such as combat, physical or sexual abuse, natural disasters, accidents, or other life-threatening situations. Bruce Perry, a renowned psychiatrist and researcher, has emphasized the neurobiological aspects of PTSD/CPTSD (book – What Happened to You). He suggests that traumatic experiences can lead to dysregulation in the stress response system and the brain's capacity to process and integrate the traumatic memories. This dysregulation can manifest in various symptoms, including hyperarousal, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, avoidance behaviours, and emotional numbing. Gabor Maté, a prominent physician and addiction specialist, has highlighted the link between childhood trauma and the development of CPTSD (book – When the Body Says No). He emphasizes that early adverse experiences, especially in the absence of supportive relationships, can significantly increase the vulnerability to developing this disorder later in life.


Cleandra Waldron Counselling Psychologist
Cleandra Waldron Counselling Psychologist

Maté's research underscores the importance of understanding the broader context of a person's life experiences when working with PTSD/CPTSD. Dan Siegel, a renowned psychiatrist, and neurobiologist, has contributed to our understanding of how traumatic experiences impact the brain (book – Aware). His research suggests that during a traumatic event, the brain's survival-focused regions become hyperactive, impairing the ability to process and integrate the traumatic memories properly. This leads to a fragmented and dysregulated response system, causing individuals with PTSD/CPTSD to experience intrusive memories, flashbacks, hyperarousal, avoidance, and emotional numbing.

As a psychologist, I integrate the knowledge gleaned from these experts to define PTSD/CPTSD comprehensively.


PTSD/CPTSD is characterised by a cluster of symptoms, including intrusive and distressing memories of the traumatic event, nightmares, flashbacks, emotional and physiological reactivity to trauma reminders, persistent avoidance of trauma-related stimuli, negative alterations in mood and cognition, and heightened arousal and hypervigilance. It is important to remember that each person’s history and experience of PTSD/CPTSD is unique, and the severity and manifestation of symptoms may vary greatly.


I support clients as they develop a deeper understanding of their history, individual experience, and utilize my knowledge of evidence-based approaches to help us navigate a healing journey together.

Grief & Loss

Grief is a complex and natural response to loss. It is a deeply emotional and often painful experience that occurs when we lose someone or something significant to us, such as the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, or even the loss of a cherished dream or opportunity. Grief encompasses a wide range of emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations. It can include feelings of sadness, anger, guilt, confusion, fear, and loneliness. It can also manifest as physical symptoms like fatigue, changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, and difficulty concentrating. The grieving process is unique to each individual, and there is no "right" or "normal" way to grieve. It is influenced by various factors, such as cultural and religious beliefs, personal coping mechanisms, and the nature of the loss itself. Some people may experience intense grief for a relatively short period, while others may have a more prolonged and fluctuating grieving process.

Grief often involves different stages or phases, although these stages are not necessarily linear and can overlap or be experienced in varying degrees.

The commonly recognised stages of grief, as proposed by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, include:

  • Denial: Initially, it can be difficult to accept the reality of the loss, leading to a sense of disbelief and shock.

  • Anger: Feelings of anger may arise, directed at oneself, others, or even the person who has passed away, for leaving or causing the loss.

  • Bargaining: This stage involves seeking ways to regain what has been lost, making promises or seeking solutions that may reverse the outcome.

  • Depression: A profound sense of sadness, emptiness, and despair can set in as the full weight of the loss is felt. This stage may involve withdrawal, loss of interest, and feelings of hopelessness.

  • Acceptance: Over time, individuals may come to accept the reality of the loss and find ways to adjust to their new circumstances. This doesn't mean forgetting or completely moving on, but rather finding a way to live with the loss and integrate it into their lives.

It's important to note that not everyone experiences all of these stages, and the grieving process can be highly individualised. Additionally, grief is not limited to the loss of a person; it can also occur in response to other significant losses.

Cleandra Waldron Counselling Psychologist
Cleandra Waldron Counselling Psychologist

David Kessler, who worked closely with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, expanded on her work and proposed a sixth stage called "Finding Meaning." According to Kessler, after accepting the loss, individuals can search for meaning in their experience and find ways to grow and transform as a result of their grief. This stage emphasises finding purpose, making sense of the loss, and creating a new narrative for one's life.

Grief is a natural and necessary process that allows individuals to mourn, heal, and eventually find meaning and purpose in life again. It's important to be patient and compassionate with oneself or others who are grieving, as the journey through grief can be challenging and unpredictable. Seeking support from loved ones, friends, support groups, or professionals can be helpful in navigating the grieving process. Utilising Kessler's concept of "finding meaning" in grief, I guide individuals in searching for significance and purpose amidst their pain. This involves helping them identify and honor the memories, values, and legacies associated with their loss. By encouraging clients to engage in activities that foster connection and remembrance, such as creating rituals or participating in support groups, I empower them to find their unique path to healing and meaning-making.

Yalom's perspective on the universality of grief reminds me that clients can benefit from connecting with others who have experienced similar losses. Group therapy or support networks can offer a space for individuals to share their stories, gain support from peers, and recognise that they are not alone in their grief. I may facilitate or recommend such resources to my clients, ensuring they have access to additional support outside of our counseling sessions.

In my practice, I integrate Kessler and Yalom's insights by tailoring my approach to each client's unique circumstances and needs. I understand that grief is a complex and ongoing process, and that healing occurs at an individual pace. I offer gentle guidance, coping strategies, and tools to help clients navigate the emotional rollercoaster of grief. Additionally, I remain attuned to signs of complicated grief or unresolved issues, knowing when to refer clients to specialised professionals if necessary.

Overall, I aim to provide a compassionate and supportive environment where individuals can explore their grief, find meaning in their loss, and ultimately embark on a path towards healing and growth.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that can significantly impact an individual's functioning and daily life.

Gabor Maté, a renowned physician and author, emphasises the relationship between ADHD and early childhood experiences, particularly the impact of stress and trauma. According to his research, adverse childhood experiences, such as neglect, abuse, or dysfunctional family dynamics, can contribute to the development of ADHD symptoms. Maté suggests that these experiences can disrupt the development of executive functions in the brain, leading to difficulties with attention, self-regulation, and impulse control.

On the other hand, Russell Barkley, a prominent psychologist and expert on ADHD, focuses on the neurobiological factors underlying the disorder. Barkley's research highlights the role of impaired executive functioning in individuals with ADHD. Executive functions are cognitive processes that help us manage time, plan, organize, and regulate behavior. Barkley suggests that people with ADHD experience deficits in these executive functions due to differences in brain structure and neurotransmitter functioning, specifically involving the prefrontal cortex and dopamine regulation.

Cleandra Waldron Counselling Psychologist
Cleandra Waldron Counselling Psychologist

Both Maté and Barkley's research contributes to my treatment and understanding of clients with ADHD. Maté's work underscores the importance of considering environmental factors and early experiences in the development of ADHD symptoms. Barkley's research, highlights the neurobiological basis of ADHD, emphasising the role of impaired executive functioning and dopamine dysregulation. This multifaceted knowledge supports my ability to educate clients about the underlying neurobiology of ADHD and exploring strategies for managing symptoms and improving executive functioning.

I approach clients with ADHD with empathy and understanding, recognising that it is a complex and multifaceted condition. I aim to provide informed support and help people with ADHD navigate their challenges effectively.

Creative Flow & Artistic Block

Creative flow, also called, being "in the zone," is a psychological state in which a person is fully immersed and intensely focused on a creative activity. It is characterised by a sense of energised focus, effortless involvement, and a deep enjoyment of the process of creation. During this state, people often lose track of time and become fully absorbed in their work.

When in a state of creative flow, people experience a heightened sense of productivity and creativity. They enter a state of deep concentration where their thoughts, actions, and awareness align harmoniously. Distractions and self-consciousness fade away, and there is a sense of being fully present in the task at hand.

Several key features characterize the experience of creative flow:

  • Intense focus: Individuals in a state of flow are completely absorbed in their creative activity. They become highly focused on the task, losing awareness of their surroundings and any distractions.

  • Effortless action: Flow involves a feeling of effortlessness and ease in performing the creative task. Ideas and actions flow naturally, and there is a sense of fluency and smoothness in the creative process.

  • Time distortion: People in a state of flow often lose track of time. Hours can feel like minutes, as they are completely engrossed in their work. This time distortion is a result of the deep concentration and enjoyment experienced during flow.

  • Positive experience: Flow is characterised by a sense of joy, satisfaction, and fulfilment. The process of creation itself becomes inherently rewarding, and individuals derive pleasure and fulfilment from the activity.

  • Heightened creativity: Creative flow often leads to an enhanced state of creativity. Ideas flow freely, and individuals may experience novel insights and solutions to problems. The creative process becomes spontaneous and unbounded by self-criticism or fear of failure.

Creative flow can be experienced in various creative pursuits such as art, music, writing, sports, or any activity that requires focused attention and creativity. While flow can occur spontaneously, certain conditions can foster its occurrence, such as clear goals, immediate feedback, a challenging but achievable task, and a supportive environment.

Overall, creative flow represents a state of optimal engagement and peak performance, where individuals can tap into their full creative potential and experience a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfilment in their work.

And we all want it!

As a psychologist my approach is rooted in the understanding of how our brains and relationships shape our mental well-being. When working with a creative person or artist who is experiencing a creative block or feeling stuck, I utilise the principles of interpersonal neurobiology to help them tap into their creative flow once again.

Cleandra Waldron Counselling Psychologist
Cleandra Waldron Counselling Psychologist

Recent research and articles have shed light on the connection between interpersonal relationships, brain functioning, and creativity. Studies have shown that the quality of our relationships and social connections significantly impact our ability to access our creative potential. By fostering supportive and nurturing relationships, individuals are more likely to experience enhanced creative flow and overcome creative obstacles.

In therapy sessions, I aim to create a safe and trusting environment where the artist feels comfortable exploring their thoughts, emotions, and creative struggles. Through active listening and empathic understanding, I establish a strong therapeutic alliance, which is crucial for fostering a sense of security and facilitating the artist's self-expression.

I help the artist explore the neural pathways that may be contributing to their creative block. We examine their past experiences, including any adverse events or critical feedback, and how those experiences may have influenced their neural wiring and creative process. By gaining insight into these underlying factors, we can identify any limiting beliefs or patterns that hinder their creative flow.

Moreover, I incorporate mindfulness and body-centered practices into the therapy process. Research suggests that mindfulness exercises, such as meditation or focused breathing, can help individuals access a state of flow and enhance their creative abilities. By grounding the artist in the present moment and helping them cultivate self-awareness, we can uncover any emotional or cognitive barriers that are impeding their creative expression.

Additionally, I encourage the artist to engage in activities that stimulate different areas of the brain and promote neuroplasticity. Exploring various art forms, experimenting with new techniques, or engaging in novel experiences can activate different neural circuits and facilitate fresh perspectives and creative breakthroughs. By integrating these activities into the therapeutic process, we can stimulate the artist's creativity and help them overcome feeling stuck.

Research on interpersonal neurobiology has also highlighted the significance of positive social interactions and social support in promoting creative flow. I often encourage the artist to seek out supportive communities, collaborate with like-minded individuals, or participate in group activities that foster a sense of belonging and inspiration. By connecting with others who share their passion for art, the artist can gain new insights, receive constructive feedback, and cultivate a sense of shared purpose, all of which can fuel their creative drive.

I help creative individuals and artists overcome creative blocks by fostering supportive relationships, exploring neural pathways, incorporating mindfulness and body-centered practices, stimulating neuroplasticity, and promoting positive social interactions. By utilising these strategies based on the latest research and articles, I strive to empower artists to access their creative flow, unlock their full potential, and find joy and fulfilment in their artistic endeavours.

Cleandra is an honest, passionate, and deep-thinking therapist. Her dedication to detail and helping you uncover your truth is extraordinary

- C.B.

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