Bachelor of Applied Science (Applied Psychology)
Graduate Diploma of Applied Science (Applied Child Psychology)
Master of Clinical Psychology
Australian Psychological Society (APS)
APS College of Clinical Psychologists
APS College of Forensic Psychologists
Australian Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (AACBT)
ANZATSA – Australia/New Zealand Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abuse
A nationally recognised forensic and clinical psychologist, Shona is known for supporting troubled children, young people and their carers, and collaborating with support and protection agencies to address the challenging behaviours that result from complex and criminal situations.
Applying more than 20 years’ experience in evidence-based forensic and clinical psychology, Shona delivers detailed, concise assessments of complex cases; formulates and implements treatment for troubled children and young people; and advises and consults to the agencies and institutions involved in their support and protection. Her keen intellect and extensive experience of forensic and clinical psychology is underpinned by a genuine desire to achieve workable, happy and safe outcomes for all involved.
Working through a staged process that is delivered with respect and sensitivity, Shona’s approach is positive, practical and focussed upon achieving the best possible outcomes for individuals and their support networks.
The depth and breadth of Shona’s experience is considerable. She worked for over 10 years with young offenders at Malmsbury Juvenile Justice Centre providing assessment, intervention and advice for the Centre while providing professional direction and guidance for Regional Juvenile Justice staff and the Youth Parole Board. She also consulted for the Male Adolescent Program for Positive Sexuality (MAPPS), providing assessment and intervention for adolescents who had committed sexual offences. These experiences positioned Shona to contribute to Government policy and procedures for responding to sexual and violent behaviour as well as managing vulnerable young offenders.
Shona has worked in the Emergency Department and Psychiatric Ward of Calvary Hospital, Canberra, where she provided crisis assessments of mental state and conducted group and individual therapy for a range of psychiatric disorders. She also provided information and presented workshops to the families of those with mental health concerns.
A private practitioner since 1999, Shona has continued to consult to Youth Justice (including MAPPS), Child Protection, Community Corrections and Prisons, and Disability Services. She is called upon to provide consultation and assessments with respect to children and parents at risk of abuse and young people at risk of commiting serious offences.
She works with issues that include anxiety, depression, trauma, self-harm behaviour, and learning and developmental issues. Shona provides assessment and treatment both privately and under Medicare, WorkCover, those seeking or receiving compensation from workers’ compensation, Victim Assist Queensland (or the equivalent in other states and territory), motor vehicle accidents, welfare agencies and government departments.
As a leading professional, Shona provides supervision for provisional psychologists, master’s and doctoral students in forensic and clinical psychology as well as peer consultation for private psychologists or those working in governement agencies.
Shona regularly presents workshops for support agency personnel, professional staff and direct care workers with Child Protection, Corrections, Disability Services, the Centre Against Sexual Assault and for schools. Her many workshop topics include child maltreatment, anger in young people, intellectual disability, anxiety, self harm, sexual behaviours, ‘melt downs’, workplace stress and self-care, managing emotions, PTSD, personality disorders, teens and offenders. She has presented for TedX on youth mental health and has addressed the Australian Bribery and Corruption Summit on young people and the development of corruption.
She was invited to write a submission for a national investigation on specialised therapeutic services for children with sexualised or sexual offending behaviours. Shona contributes regularly to local media by sharing her expertise with respect to issues that impact on the welfare of children, teens, youth adults and families.
Asked to write about what she calls ‘tricky’ emotions and delicate situations, Shona has authored and published Big Hug series, designed to assist young children and their families in times of distress including grief, family separation, bullying and cyber issues. Her books are sold in Australia, the US, Europe and Asia and have been translated into Hungarian, Dutch, French and Chinese.
Growing up on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Shona fondly remembers school days in Buderim and Maroochydore including her year as School Captain at Maroochydore State High School. Leaving the Coast to pursue university studies, she later established and developed her career in Victoria. Shona and her family have recently returned to her home town of Buderim where they enjoy the company of extended family and Roger, the Brittany Spaniel. A health-conscious wife and mother, Shona has taken up running and growing her own vegetables.
Shona’s life is characterised by keen intelligence, genuine warmth, quick humour and a ready laugh. She describes herself as devoted to the practice of psychology, especially the techniques that help others to live healthy lives beyond the therapy room.