For the teachers and the parents of ‘difficult’ students…


Posted by Dr.Hughes in the Creative Community category on 30-04-2013

or Deliberately Defiant?

Managing challenging student behaviour due to trauma and disorganised attachment

Dr Judith Howard

It is not unusual for educators today, whether in the early childhood, primary or secondary sectors, to be confronted with severely challenging student behaviour – students who fly into unexplained violent and oppositional outbursts with little warning; who respond poorly to tried-and-true behaviour management processes. Such behaviour has considerable impact on the delivery of teaching and learning programs and the emotional wellbeing of the teachers themselves as well as raising safety risks for the entire school community.
This book explains the basis for such behaviour as the neurological, physiological and behavioural outcomes of “disorganised attachment” due to prolonged exposure to a traumatic home life and provides practical advice to educators on ways that schools can effectively manage these students. By examining the science behind attachment theory, the neurobiology of behaviour, and the manifestation of disorganised attachment in the school context, this book will help educators:
• minimise such challenging behaviour,
• manage crises and disciplinary responses such
as suspension and expulsion,
• improve student compliance,
• enhance education and overall wellbeing, and
• deal with parents.


Covers early childhood, primary and secondary settings.  AVAILABLE FOR ORDER NOW  …



Posted by Dr.Hughes in the Creative Community category on 28-04-2013


It’s good for your mind!

Sunshine! Fresh Air! Nature at it's best!


Dr Simone Hughes is very happy to provide WALK AND TALK – her new psychological service that is fully rebated by Medicare (under a mental health care plan) or by your private health provider. This is Counselling on the move!  Walk While you Talk!

Participate in an active counselling session while walking through John Forrest National Park. Sessions 50 minutes. Learn mindfulness, Practice creative-observation, Learn stress-management strategies, Address substance use difficulties and other self-defeating behaviours. Inquiries to Dr Simone Hughes



0433 500 606

Eye Movement Desensitisation Resensitisation – EMDR for TRAUMA


Posted by Dr.Hughes in the Creative Community category on 23-04-2013

Dr Simone Hughes is happy to provide a new therapy for people who present with trauma (simple and complex). Eye Movement Desensitisation Resensitisation (EMDR) is regarded as the gold-standard treatment for trauma. Further details of this exciting intervention provided courtesy of Therapist Training, are provided here for your interest.

The focus of EMDR treatment is the resolution of emotional distress arising from incidents such as automobile accidents, assault, natural disasters, and combat trauma. In addition to PTSD, it is also being used as a treatment for disorders where earlier emotionally traumatic experiences are etiologically related to the person’s current distress. Hence it can be used as a component in the treatment of phobias, panic attacks, depression, substance abuse, complicated grief and personality disorder. EMDR works more rapidly and is less distressing to patients compared with exposure based therapy.

The scientific evidence supporting EMDR as a treatment for traumatic memories is now substantial. A recent Cochrane review (2009) and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (2009) confirmed EMDR meets criteria for evidence based practice. The Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health endorsed EMDR and trauma focused CBT. Other organisations have also examined EMDR and found that the evidence supporting its efficacy in treating PTSD is at the highest level including the Israeli Council for Mental Health, the Dutch National Steering Committee for Guidelines for Mental Health Care, the Northern Ireland Department of Health, and the United Kingdom Department of Health, the American Psychological Association, the Australian Psychological Society and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

If you would like to consider the benefits of EMDR or learn more about it in the context of your presentation (for trauma, phobias, mood dysfunction), please speak with Dr Hughes at


Resilience building for Kids!


Posted by Dr.Hughes in the Creative Community category on 12-04-2013

Dr Simone Hughes recommends a New Resilience Book for children….


Healthy Mindsets for Super Kids: A Resilience Programme for Children Aged 7 – 14

Stephanie Azri an Australian mental health professional has just released her book which covers resilience skills.

This manual is packed full of great activities for anyone wanting to teach resilience to children either in groups or individually. Covering self esteem, healthy relationships, bully management skills with the ‘wise warrior’ there is a lot to like about the work sheets in this book. if you want to do some preventative  work on building your children’s resilience skills then this book is a must. Great for parents!

CONTENTS:  Introduction. Session 1. Self-esteem. Session 2. Communication Skills. Session 3. Positive Thinking I. Session 4. Positive Thinking II. Session 5. Grief and Loss. Session 6. Anxiety and Stress Management. Session 7. Anger Management. Session 8. Healthy Relationships. Session 9. Peer Pressure. Session 10. Healthy Minds and Healthy Bodies. Appendices. Author Information Stephanie Azri is a clinical social worker from Brisbane, Australia. She has over 10 years’ experience teaching resilience skills and addressing early symptoms of depression, anxiety and mental health issues in children and young people. Sid Azri is a freelance illustrator from Brisbane, Australia. As a devoted comic book fan, he particularly enjoys drawing superhero themes.















Facebook Addiction!


Posted by Dr.Hughes in the Creative Community category on 12-11-2012


Time to do something about your unhealthy addiction to facebook?

In an effort not to be the biggest hypocrite on earth, Dr Simone will be taking one week off facebook on the 1st day of every month. Want to join her? Simone has introduced addressing facebook addiction to her clinical psychology practice service provision… come along for the ride. Fall off the wagon. See what it’s like in the ‘real’ world…

Email her at:

Check out the Creative Focus Facebook page:

Check out the One Week Off FB a Month:






Posted by Dr.Hughes in the Creative Community category on 04-07-2012

Do you want to grow your business ideas? These interactive and energetic sessions are specifically designed by Dr Simone Hughes (clinical psychologist and creativity coach) to make your business ideas blossom. As part of a super-fuelled 2-hr creativity session you will engage with creative media – no skills required. Dr Hughes will take you through a guided collage session to build the symbolism around your business and your connection to it. A follow up 1-hr session will get you playing with clay to bring out your intuitive edge. Not for the faint hearted – if you’re ready to explore and play then Creative Focus is ready to help you!
Invest in Your Story. Grow! Be! Become!

Private health refunds apply.

Contact to find out more …

SMH article on domestic violence by Stephanie Peatling


Posted by Dr.Hughes in the Creative Community category on 03-06-2012

Net widens on family violence

Photo of  minister Nicola RoxonFederal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said much family violence remained “invisible to the legal system”. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui

The definition of domestic violence will be expanded to include emotional manipulation, withholding money and harming the family pet under controversial changes to family law.

The changes, which become law on Thursday, for the first time broaden the definition of violence beyond physical abuse to other damaging actions , including:

  • Stalking;
  • Repeated derogatory taunts;
  • Intentionally damaging or destroying property; and
  • Preventing someone having contact with family and friends.

Women’s groups argue the changes tip the balance of family law back towards putting the safety of children first, while men’s rights groups fear they will rob children of time with both parents.

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Under the changes, the Family Court will be required to ask parents if there was abuse or a threat of abuse in the relationship.

The federal government believes this change will encourage more victims to raise the problem as many are too scared to bring it up, worried they would be unable to prove abuse.

As well, the court would be required to ask whether children were exposed to abuse from a parent, and this would be taken into consideration when hearing custody cases. The Family Law Act has been amended to say: ”A child is exposed to family violence if the child sees or hears family violence or otherwise experiences the effects of family violence.”

The federal Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, who has lobbied for the changes, said much family violence remained ”invisible to the legal system” an d she wanted to send a message that it had no place in Australian society.

“Unfortunately, more than half of the parenting cases that come to courts involve allegations by one or both parties that the other has been violent,” Ms Roxon said.

In NSW, police recorded 26,673 domestic violence assaults last year, up from 26,084 the previous year.

The chief executive officer of the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children, Terese Edwards, said the changes reflected a more contemporary understanding of abusive behaviour. ”It clearly sets out what behaviour is unacceptable, including physical and emotional abuse.”

Ms Edwards said she was pleased to see the changes addressed the exposure of children to family violence, which increased the risk of ”behavioural and learning difficulties in the short term, and of developing mental health problems later in life”.

The changes are a response to a 2006 overhaul of family law by the Howard government, which prioritised shared parenting. Several studies of the changes showed children were insufficiently protected from violence and abuse and, in some cases, were forced to spend time with a parent who had been abusive.

The shared parenting provisions have not been rolled back. Instead, the federal government hopes to sidestep this by placing a greater emphasis on children’s safety where abuse is a factor.

Barry Williams, president of the Lone Fathers’ Association and a key campaigner for the 2006 changes, is concerned that courts will now be too quick to believe allegations of abuse.

The family law expert Patrick Parkinson, from the faculty of law at the University of Sydney, said courts could become distracted by definitions of behaviour and the changes could make legal battles more expensive and drawn out as parents argued about the nature of relationship breakdowns. ”But it is to be hoped that a commitment to child-focused practice, and the protection of everyone from violence and abuse, will prevail,” he said.

Read more:

Anxiety article in May Nova Magazine


Posted by Dr.Hughes in the Creative Community category on 09-05-2012

Dr Simmo has an article on anxiety in the May edition of Nova Magazine. You can read it online at their website, here, or pick yourself up a copy today ..



The Child’s Way of Seeing the World…


Posted by Dr.Hughes in the Creative Community category on 01-05-2012

Do you remember when you were a child how you had your own agenda and timescale? It’s such a contrast to the busy-busy adults we frequently become. What would it be like to pause this busyness, to take the time to look closely again at something in nature, or to suspend your belief and imagine again?

As an activity in practicing mindfulness, go have a look around your backyard or head to your nearest park and hunt for little things: find a leaf or rock or something that takes your eye, and sings…

Sit down and look at your leaf or rock or object, take the time to quietly notice using all of your senses: your sense of sight, touch, smell, the kineasthetic sense of imagining all those molecules that are tightly bound into forming the object that you hold.

Apply this ‘present’ mind awareness at any time to increase your sense of wonder. It is a grounding activity to commune in spaces and with nature. When you increase your sense of wonder, you say YES to life and you enlarge your vision of it too.

When you are present, you reduce resistance. You remind yourself that you have time, YOUR TIMESCALE to sit and reflect and BE without judgement of yourself. Pausing to listen to the noises around you, or the sights you can see, or the feeling of your body in space. Remind yourself not to let other people Hurry You and not to apply that pressure to yourself.

Anais Nin once said: “We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.” Give yourself the gift of space and time to wonder again.



ART! Everything!


Posted by Dr.Hughes in the Creative Community category on 30-04-2012