Back pain can be as much of a mental burden as physical. At Brighton Spinal Group, our psychologists specialise in chronic pain management. Psychology is concerned with the link between brain and behaviour and can offer motivational and pain management techniques.
There are a number of different types of insomnia, including difficulty getting off to sleep (sleep onset insomnia), early morning waking, poor quality or light sleeping, pain related insomnia, and worry insomnia.
Frauke Boelsen has been a psychologist since 1990 and a clinical psychologist since 1996. She has worked with adults who struggle with stress, anxiety, depression and sleep disorders in the context of chronic pain or other events. Since 2007 she also specialises in adult ADHD. She has Master’s degrees in clinical psychology (Melbourne) and health sciences (LaTrobe – major in rehabilitation) and a post-graduate diploma in health psychology (La Trobe) with additional specialisation in clinical hypnosis and mindfulness. For most of her career Frauke combined private consultancy work (Epworth Rehabilitation Brighton, Siegen Regional Hospital) with senior public hospital positions (Alfred, St Vincent’s, Caulfield) and prior to that with an academic position at LaTrobe University. Frauke practices from a strengths focussed, cognitive-behavioural and mindfulness framework, consistent with research in clinical, health and positive psychology. She believes that every person has strengths, vulnerabilities and ultimately an ability to improve on their life quality. Within a collaborative, mutually respectful and empathic therapeutic setting she encourages her clients to take charge of their life and their preferred future.
Robert PostlethwaiteClinical Psychologist
Rob graduated with a Masters Degree in Psychology from La Trobe University in 1981. The research for his thesis was done at the Alfred Hospital, investigating pain management strategies for patients undergoing open-heart surgery. Following his graduation, he commenced work at Pleasant View in Preston working with alcohol and drug problems and later at Pentridge as manager of the Prison’s Alcohol and Drug Programme. In 1988, he went into private practice to pursue his interest in chronic pain. He has consulted at the Geelong Pain Clinic for three years and with the Lewis Musculoskeletal and Pain Management programme at Cedar Court Rehabilitation Hospital since 1991. Chronic pain impacts on most aspects of a person’s life and coping with it is a huge psychological challenge for the individual. It requires a lot of learning about pain and injury/illness and creates considerable distress for the sufferer. In this context, Rob’s focus is how you cope with what you have. Those who work at overcoming the psychological and physical challenges maintain some quality of life; those who give up run the risk of losing that quality of life. Rob sees his task as a psychologist is to assist people to overcome the distress and to maintain as much quality as possible.